Kormac’s Big Band ‘Wake Up’

Kormac’s Big Band performing the song ‘Wake Up’ live. It’s taken from their album Doorsteps released in 2014.

Kormac’s Big Band with Vyvienne Long on vocals performing a live version of ‘Drown Me’ – taken from Kormac’s album Doorsteps.

The origins of DJ Kormac’s recorded output can be found in dusty second-hand stores and junk shops where he spent countless hours unearthing archaic and forgotten music.

Fascinated with the recordings and movies of another era, he amassed a collection full of vintage instrumentals, jazz drum solos and spoken-word pieces which would go on to form the basis of his sound.

This forgotten material was twisted, morphed and shaped into the instantly recognisable and idiosyncratic style heard on his first two EPs and debut LP, Word Play. The record took off and a young Kormac was invited to DJ in nightclubs and festival stages all over the world. Now he was sharing stages with his heros, Nas, Sonic Youth, Jurassic 5 and Sigur Ros.

Bigger bookings started to come in. Kormac wanted a new way to present his sampled-based productions in a live setting. He set about recruiting his own ensemble and Kormac’s Big Band was born. He found a brass section and complemented that core with an ever-evolving group consisting of bass, drums, electronics, guitars, synths, turntables, singers and MCs.

The show itself is no run-of-the-mill, chin-stroker but a demented, bouncing, infectious spectacle. To quote Kormac himself, “It’s absolute carnage”. After their performance at Annie Mac’s AMP night she described it “the most bizarre setup I’ve ever seen, but it really works.”

Instantly becoming festival favourites, the Big Band quickly moved from dance tents to main stages. Glastonbury, Bestival and Electric Picnic became Europe, Asia and Africa culminating in a tour of Australia with Portishead and The Flaming Lips.

So what next? Having exhausted the bargain bin, the logical step was to now create his own source material to twist and morph. Packing a portable recording set-up, Kormac travelled to the homes of a motley crew of writers, rappers, soloists and opera singers including Irvine Welsh, Speech Debelle, Bajka, Micah P. Hinson and Vyvienne Long.

These recordings and the fruits of several Big Band studio sessions became the backbone of Kormac’s new material, just as the old movies and records had before.

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Robin Ball ‘Mixermanhattan’ – Producer/Engineer & Editor
Bob Gallagher – Director/Camera
John Barker – Executive Producer
Harry Kelly – Camera Operator
Aidan Frawley – Camera Operator
Ivan Jackman – Audio Mastering
Ellius Grace – Photos & Camera Operator

Category: Music