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Music Interview: Cian Frawley

Cian Frawley (Frawl) has spent the past 20 years of his life devoted to the underground music scene and, more recently, organising backwardS parties in Limerick City. Cian has worked across the board in the music industry, from pirate radio and record producing to running two music labels and, first and foremost, DJ’ing.

Who are your musical influences?
Everything from 70’s dub reggae, King Tubby, Prince Jammy and Scientist to the NY disco scene. The first, and second, wave of Chicago and Detroit producers and DJs have had a massive influence on the way I play and approach the studio; Ron Hardy and Theo being two of the biggest DJ’s. I listen to a lot of jazz and hard funk, soul, boogie, rock and roll, and I also try to incorporate these genres into my sets. No rules.

What international influences do you take on board with events?
I can’t say that I take much influence when it comes to a party – If I like the room or space then, a red light bulb, two decks and a mixer. Just add party people. What I wouldn’t take from the current, international party scene is fireworks, cake throwing and people trying to be something they are not.

What is your best event experience in Limerick?
It would be either when Shane Healy and I were doing techno parties monthly in Dolan’s Warehouse and Derrick May played and the whole place felt like it was on the same wavelength! That was nearly 10 years ago! Or more recently, we have had some truly special backwardS parties with Specter, Scott Grooves, Leonid & Jose Rico, Alton Miller & Prosumer.

Hard to pick a favourite, but those are some of the most special nights I’ve had the pleasure of attending, or being a part of. I couldn’t single out any one experience.

Speaking of experiences, do you have any particular things you enjoy doing in Limerick?
I love to spend time in the studio, playing records. Then to the Milk Market on Saturday mornings – there’s amazing food and it has a lovely, little record stall down there. There’s no proper shop stocking underground music, so that would be a good idea for someone…. hint, hint!

What have been some of your favourite music memories?
Have you got two weeks? Every time I get a record released, every time a party goes off! Or when you hear a magical record, but then, that happens every day.

What do you see happening in the underground music scene in the coming year to 5 years?
I can’t tell you what I’m going to do tomorrow, let alone what’s going to happen in the next 5 years ! Underground-wise, it seems to be bubbling a little, but besides one or two crews trying their best in various venues, there’s not enough commitment to the scene right now. Not from the council, or from bars and clubs in general. backwardS does not happen every Saturday, nor do any of the other collectives have a steady weekly venue; there needs to be more regular events to maintain the scene.

Any advice for budding DJs and people who want to take a step into music?
Play what you love, don’t follow trends and play records if you’re going to DJ.

Who would be your dream collaborators?
Most of them have left this world, but there are a few : Orlando Julius is one that is living, another one was John Daly. I now run the 60miles live show/label and spend days on end in the studio, collaborating or just jammin’ with him. He’s become like a brother. I’ve worked with Specter and Hakim Murphy, Christopher Rau and Juniper and I’d love to work with Scott Grooves, Alton Miller and many more. I believe it will happen.

What is next for you?
Working on new music for one or two labels, digital release of the 60miles 001 & 002 with the vinyl of 003 dropping in the next few months, more backwardS parties and we have a late night stage for two nights at Vantastival too. Lots happening, which is great, still got some Saturdays free that I’d love to play records for though, worldwide.

Why do you do what you do?
Because I absolutely love and live for it.

Article by: Michelle Costello & Christine Costello
Photography by: Tarmo Tulit

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