Tonight, A DJ Will Save Your Life: An interview with Performer Extraordinaire The Niallist

The_Niallist
 
‘...I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews.’

Niall O’Conghaile aka The Niallist is talking about the music that inspired him to become a musician, a producer, a DJ, a one-man-disco-industry, and a Performer Extraordinaire.

Niall makes music that moves you “physically, mentally and emotionally. Dance music, for want of a better term!” But it’s always been about more than that.

Let’s turn to the history book…

When Brian Eno was working with David Bowie in Germany, he heard Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” in a record shop. Eno bought the single and ran, holding it aloft, back to Bowie in the studio, where he announced, like a pop John-the-Baptist, ‘I have heard the future.’

Niall is part of that future and his musical output is quite phenomenal and brilliant.

But it’s not just music that Niall has made his own, you’ll know him as a star blogger on Dangerous Minds, and perhaps through his work on the blogs Shallow Rave, Weaponizer, Menergy and his site, Niallism.

Niall also DJs / organizes club nights with Menergy and Tranarchy, and is the keyboard player with Joyce D’Ivision. All of which, for my money, makes The Niallist one of the most exciting, talented and outrageous DJ/producers currently working in the UK. Not bad for a boy who started out spinning discs on one turntable at school.

Now, it’s strange how you can spend much of your working day with someone and yet never really know that much about them. Wanting to know more about the extraordinary Niallist, I decided to interview him for (who else?) Dangerous Minds, and this is what he said.
 
DM: Tell me about how you started in music? Was this something to moved towards in childhood?

The Niallist: ‘Yeah, music is something I remember affecting me deeply as a kid. My sister, who is older than me, was a huge Prince fan and naturally that teenage, female, pop-music enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I would read all her old copies of Smash Hits and create my own scrap books from the magazines, even though the bands were, by then, either non-existent or pretty naff.

‘My brother was into more serious, “boy” music, which I didn’t like as a child, but which I really appreciated when I hit puberty. He had a big box of tapes that was crucial to me, even though he didn’t like me borrow them, but he had pretty much all Led Zep’s albums in there, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Bowie, The Stone Roses, and I particularly remember him getting a copy of Nevermind when it had just come out, which was a key discovery. That box smelt of Dettol and musty cassettes, and to this day the smell of Dettol still takes me back!’

What were your early tastes in music? What were those key moments when a song a record made you realise this was what you wanted to do?

The Niallist: ‘Well, Nevermind was definitely one. I think that record started a lot of people on a musical journey. But also, I really identified with Kurt Cobain, as he was an outsider in the pop music landscape who spoke up for gay and women’s rights, which really struck a chord with me. He was a man, but he also wasn’t scared of being seen as feminine. He was a pop star, he looked scruffy and spoke with intelligence and passion. He was different. As someone else who was different, and a natural outsider, I guess I saw music as maybe a place where I could fit in and still fully express myself.

‘Call me hopelessly naive if you will, but I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews. Looking back on the early 90s now, it seems like an incredibly politically-charged time for music and pop culture. Public Enemy, NWA, Ice Cube, Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill, The Prodigy with “Fuck ‘Em And Their Law”, Pearl Jam telling Ticketmaster to fuck off, Spiral Tribe, massive illegal raves, Back To The Planet, Senser, Rage Against The Machine, the fact that RuPaul was a pop star, even Madonna’s Sex book and Erotica album for God’s sake! If you weren’t politically active or at least aware back then, you were terribly uncool. That spirit seems to have disappeared from music altogether now, which is sad.’
 

 

 
More from Niall, including his Top 5 picks, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Disco Argento’ - a horror theme disco versions cash-in mix


 
‘Tis the season, and all that jazz. Halloween is my favourite time of year, so to help people get into an undead festive mood here’s the first of a couple of spookalicious mixes I will be sharing over the next few days. First up it’s my Disco Argento mix, a compilation of late 70s and early 80s horror movie-inspired discomania put together for Glasgow’s Menergy club. It features dancefloor versions of the themes from Phantasm, Friday the 13th, Dawn Of The Dead, Amittyville and Demons, some score tracks and a few soul horror cash-ins. It also comes with a rather snazzy (and exclusive) Thriller-inspired sleeve by top comic artist Frank Quitely too. Here’s the full tracklist:
 
Halloween II - John Carpenter
Cannibal Ferox - Fabio Frizzi
Zombi - Goblin
Amityville Frenzy - Lalo Schiffrin
Prom Night Theme - Zaza & Zitter
Phantasm - Captain Zorro
Phantasmagoria / Silver Sphere Disco - Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave
NYC Theme - Budy-Maglione
Demons (Disco Beard Edit) - Claudio Simonetti
Friday The 13th Part III - Manfredini & Zager
Lust - Rinder & Lewis
Doin’ It In A Haunted House - Yvonne Cage
Disco Blood - The Vamps
Soul Dracula - Hot Blood
 

  THE NIALLIST Disco Argento Mix by Menergy Mixes
 
UPADTE
The download limit for Disco Argento has been reached on Soundcloud - but you can also download the mix from this link:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/eg1dcw

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Patrick Cowley: MENERGY!
10.13.2009
01:04 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Disco
Sylvester
Menergy
Patrick Cowley
Hi-NRG

image

I heard about this venerable jam at Burning Man a couple years back. It’s undeniable. Just undeniable. I mean, how can you go wrong with a beat like THAT and lyrics like THIS:

The guys on the sidewalk
Workin’ it out,
Talkin’ ‘bout Menergy.

Menergy…Menergy…Menergy…

The boys in the back room
Laughin’ it up,
Shootin’ off energy,
The guys in the street talk checkin’ you out,
Talkin’ ‘bout Menergy.

I laughed. Twice.

Cowley, a groundbreaking Hi-NRG producer was, sadly, one of the first victims of AIDS; his influence lived in 1980s dance acts like New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. You can hear that pretty clearly in this funky jam, which also stars the vocal stylings of Sylvester.

Written by Jason Louv | Discussion