- Pics & Vids
- 24 Jun 03
Read an interview with RICHIE EGAN about his solo project JAPE - and listen to tracks from Jape's debut album, COSMOSPHERE
Listen to tracks from Cosmosphere:
Nobody can accuse Richie Egan of being lazy. Not content with wowing audiences from Killybegs to Killarney with The Redneck Manifesto, or with being part of David Kitt’s musical revolution, Egan’s latest melodic manifestation, Jape, sees the Dubliner creating an album of electronica, pop, hip-hop and acoustic guitar-smithery, in the shape of Cosmosphere.
“I listen to a lot of different styles of music, so I try to keep my finger in as many pies as possible. It keeps me interested,” he laughs. “The Rednecks is one part of my personality, but the Jape stuff is a bit more personal. I have the Kittser stuff as well and another couple of things on the go, just to keep myself busy.
“I’m very lucky to have a group of friends who are so into music. We all constantly buy music and hear new music. There is no such thing as one genre of music that I listen to, so I take that into the way I make music: you could say I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none (laughs).”
This sonic experimentation has always been a part of Richie’s character. “I’ve been playing in bands since I was really young but I’ve always been messing around on the side with four-track tape recorders, experimenting with sounds,” he says.
The chance to turn this “messing around” into something concrete came about when he was given the opportunity to decamp to Avoca, where fellow Redneck, Niall’s family own a house. Richie used it as a studio for a week.
“I just went down with a load of equipment, locked myself away and recorded what ended up as Cosmosphere,” he recalls. “It was more of an experiment, really. I like to record stuff and then see how it sounds. I had a few songs knocking around and I wrote a couple of songs down there. Neil from Connect 4 Orchestra came down for a day, and we wrote a song together. I was really happy with the results, so we decided to put an album together.”
The album is released via the Dublin independent label, Volta Sounds.
“I’ve always listened to really lo-fi music,” Richie says “and Cosmosphere was informed by a lot of underground hip-hop stuff that’s around now, bands like Clouddead, Dose One who just have fun. Fun in music is an element that seems to be lost, the ability to just try stuff out. It’s brilliant that labels like Volta will release music like this. A few years ago, this probably would have ended up on a cassette in Comet Records but now you can buy it on CD. The format has changed, but the music hasn’t.”
Richie’s current focus is on Jape’s live show, although getting the group of musicians together isn’t always easy (“everyone who plays in the band is in about six other bands”), and by the time you read this he will have travelled the country, playing support to Halite. A constant workaholic, he is already itching to start work on the follow-up.
“When I finish the support tour with Halite, the plan for me is to use something like Pro-Tools to make the next record. I’ll maybe lock myself away for a longer period this time, and have different collaborators coming down. Cosmosphere is the first time I’ve ever done anything like that, and I’m happy with the overall result – but I just want to continue writing and record the next album. Whatever else happens is a bonus.”