Interview: Brame and Hamo


Over the course of the past year or so, young Sligo natives Brame and Hamo have been making waves across Europe from their new base in Berlin. Having releases on Dirt Crew, their own imprint Splendor and Squalour, and Dutch house merchants Detroit Swindle’ s Heist Recordings they have garnered an ever growing respect both at home and abroad with their brand of slick house and hip-hop with audible roots in Jazz and soul. Ahead of their brand new Kebab Dreams EP due out on the 21st of March, and their sold out gig in Galway on the 16th of March organised through local promoters TRIBE, Eoin Murray has an insightful conversation with the duo on the subject of their beginnings in the west of Ireland, their surreal and thrilling present and their even more exciting future…

Hi guys. How are you both doing? The past few months seem to have been pretty exciting between releases on Heist Records and Dirt Crew, more and more gigs happening all over the place and developments in the Splendour and Squalor camp. Has it all felt a bit surreal and intense or has the pace seemed reasonably natural?

All good thanks. Yeah the last couple of months have been really sick, it feels quite surreal. We have been to cities we would have probably never been to if we hadn’t been making music. We’re playing in Colombia next month, that’s crazy.

Going back to the start, I wanted to ask about initial drive behind the style. Sligo doesn’t strike me as the most bustling place for Hip-Hop and sample-heavy house music. Where did the influence come from? Or, basically, what got ye started in this realm as opposed to others?

There’s quite a strong love of Hip-Hop in Sligo. We all listened to Eminem when we were young and then went deeper the early underground stuff. For us, we always wanted our music to have the same aesthetic as the early hip hop music.

Moving to Berlin then seems like a fairly logical and natural progression. But what gave you the final push to bite the bullet and go for it? How did you find the initial experience? How did you feel received by a city so big where so many people are trying to do something similar to yourselves?

We had a couple of friends living there and they loved it. We had two gigs in Germany in November 2014 and we just decided to go over for good. It’s been great. It’s a completely different world than north west Ireland. There’s so many different scenes for music. It is mostly techno but we have had some great gigs here locally.

What do you make of the way the electronic music and clubbing scenes in Ireland are developing? In Dublin the club scene has never been bigger, but there have been issues expressed; some people say that the emphasis on big acts every weekend in big venues is stagnating the possibility of up and coming DJs and residents gaining momentum. Do you think that’s the case?

We think the electronic music scene in Ireland is brilliant! It’s always growing. When we started running nights in Sligo there would be like 20 people there but it quickly grew into something brilliant, people have been so supportive of us and of anyone who makes music in Sligo. In regards to the rest of Ireland I think it’s growing at a huge rate too. Now that there is deadly events/venues/promoters in all the cities I think it gives young producers and DJs a lot of motivation to get gigs or even just start there own night. It’s a snowball effect.

How do you feel Ireland’s licensing laws have affected the club experience? Can you see things changing any time soon?

It’s good and bad. I think because we are so limited in time when it comes to clubbing that the whole gig from start to finish is at peak time energy. When your in a club for 5 or 6 hours in Germany sometimes there is never a peak time, but in Ireland it’s ruckus from start to finish.

What are some tracks your really enjoying playing right now?

There’s a duo from Bolgana in Italy called Nas1. They’re amazing. Their last EP on Oddsocks records was unreal.

Who are some artists your listening to a lot of? Anyone you think we should all be paying more attention to?

Kickflip Mike, Alex Seidel, Nas1, Henry Wu & Monomite.

There are rumours of an album happening at some stage this year? Anything you can tell us about that? Would working on an LP lead to you delving even further into the Jazz and Hip-Hop elements maybe?

We just started working on it. Hopefully it will be out this year. It’s going be a wider look at the music we make and the music that influences is. Definitely lots of hip hop and jazz. Lots of creamy vibes, spicy too.

Anything I’ve left out? What should we be getting excited about from you guys and from Splendour & Squalor in the coming months?

Not much planned for Splendor & Sqaulour yet. We’re planning on taking over the world though. Shouts to Robertos and all the take-aways in Sligo. Wouldn’t be possible without ye and remember kids, always tell your mum you love her. Peace.

Brame and Hamo play Galway’s Cellar Bar tonight through TRIBE Galway. ‘Kebab Dreams’ will be available from March 21st on Dirt Crew.

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