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2011 is set to be a big year for Irish techno duo Psycatron aka Paul Hamill & Dave Lievense as they take their project to the next level. 2009 Started off with a string of high profile productions being released on some of the world’s most respected labels, they received props from some of the biggest names in the business and record sales flying high in the Beatport charts. 2009 began with the Location Unknown EP on Fergie’s Rekluse imprint. The lead track ‘Takefive’ was a huge smash at the Miami Winter Music Conference with everyone from DJ Hell to Sasha (who was closing his sets it with) making it one of the biggest records of the conference.
From Belfast to Detroit followed, with the master Carl Craig signing ‘Deeper Shades Of Black’ for Planet E Communications making them the first Irish artist to appear on the Detroit imprint. ‘Deeper Shades’ spent 6 weeks in the Beatport Top 20 peaking at Number 5 with only Cirez D, Adam Beyer, Joris Voorn and Sebastian Leger standing in the way of pole position.
Then from Detroit to Sao Paolo in Brazil, where Christian Smith’s Tronic Music delivered the devastating ‘Directions’ and ‘Tipping Point’ with charts and plays coming in from everyone from Dubfire to Digweed. ‘Directions’ remixes followed soon after from Matt Nordstrom and Fergie well as featuring on Christian Smith’s Platforms compilation for Renaissance. A bit closer to home and an appearance on London based Simple Records demonstrated a deeper, subtle edge at the opposite end of the spectrum from their previous big-room releases but still retaining the signature melodic touches with the ‘Orchestral Manouvres In The Park’ EP showing up on Will Saul’s highly respected imprint.
As if to prove that getting signed to Planet E was no flash in the pan, they then went on to sign a deal with legendary Belgian imprint R&S Records home to the likes of Aphex Twin, Joey Beltram and Derrick May who released ‘Is What it Is’ in November, before rounding the year off with a specially commissioned Transitions mix for John Digweed’s radio show.
“I think Planet E are one of the most revered labels in the world and it never ceases to amaze us when we meet other well established producers who tell us how much they’d love to release a record on the label and how jealous they are of us! We went from a position where nobody knew about us to releasing on Planet E and all of a sudden lots of doors begin to open and people start taking notice.”PH
As the list of Psycatron supporters continues to grow, it starts to read like a who’s who of quality underground electronica with everyone from Ewan Pearson to Joris Voorn, DJ Hell, Dave Clarke, Paul Woolford and even Martin L Gore from Depeche Mode all getting behind Psycatron.
“I’ve been into electronic music since i was a kid, from hearing eighties electro-pop on the radio i became a huge Depeche Mode fan (and still am) and their influence creeps into a lot of our music. I played piano for a few years as a kid, but never followed through on it as what I really wanted to play was synths and DJ.”PH
With the theme set to continue well into 2010 with Psycatron tracks appearing on the world-famous Radio 1 Essential Mix two weeks running with Simian Mobile Disco and Christian Smith favouring them in their sets, while remix offers have since come flooding in with labels including Cocoon, Bedrock, International Deejay Gigolo, and Secret Cinema’s Gemm Recordings all notched on the bedpost for the year.
Having spent the past seven years hosting their residency at the world-famous Shine and the Stiff Kitten in Belfast where they’ve supported some of the biggest DJ’s on the planet, 2011 will be the year where Psycatron’s winning combination of killer DJ sets and live shows will see them emerge as one of the most exciting acts of the year as their profile continues to grow on a global scale.
“When we play live, it’s all our own music which we perform live using a couple of laptops and controllers and some keyboards. We also throw in some loops and samples from people who have influenced us over the years and little surprises along the way.” PH
Big festivals and events like Hitting Movement 2010 in Detroit in May with Carl Craig and millions more are becoming the norm now for Psycatron, they have played all the big Irish festivals and recently being asked by Dave Clarke to play his party at Amsterdam Dance Event with himself and Green Velvet and friends. Rex Club in Paris has come calling giving psycatron their undeniable stamp of approval and with shows in Naples and Helsinki its easy to see that psycatron are really turning some heads.
“It’s only when we go abroad that it becomes apparent through meeting people at our shows how far our music has travelled. It’s easy to forget when you are back in Belfast on a tiny little island the impact our releases have had around the world, i guess that’s a lot to do with working with truly global labels like Planet E, but it’s a lovely feeling having strangers come up to us at gig to talk about our music” PH
Exiting collaborations are to continue with Detroit legend Blake Baxter on ‘She Is Music’ which came out on Planet E in October. Also and a new project with Paul Woolford on tracks Thunder/CLoud 9 for Cocoon which is the start of ongoing project with more tracks in the pipeline!
An AV twist for the live show is being developed at the moment so expect to see this hitting the clubs 2011.
“Psycatron perform an outstanding live set " Dave Clarke
“Their tracks combine relentless energy and groove with bundles of emotionand tension, to make for an all-encompassing sound that is perfect for those big arenas and club rooms. Truly 21st century techno”.
“These guys are fantastic, definitely a name to look out for” John Digweed
“Their hybrid, genre-bending live set sees them splice, filter and mess with anything – from their own productions to underground house and techno classics – with devastating effect” DJ Mag.
“One of the most exciting outfits of their genre” Data Transmission