Richie Blacker is an Irish underground stalwart, colliding rave, techno, house and 90s vibes with releases on imprints such as Armada Music, Anjunadeep and SHEN. We sat down with Richie ahead of his collab release with James Shinra on Last Night On Earth…

Hey Richie! Welcome to Music Is 4 Lovers, what have you been up to recently?

Lately I have been working flat out in the studio. I took 6 months off touring over the winter to try and rebrand myself. I am known for a very 90s heartbeat, acid house, rave sound. In the past, I felt like I was only getting booked for gigs that wanted that certain sound, however, I have so much more to offer as a DJ/producer. As a music lover and electronic music producer, I love to DJ and produce a lot of different styles from techno, Italo disco and Afro house. This time has helped me to step away from that 90s rave sound and make a lot of new music in different styles which I love! It was important to me that this new music would still have my ‘signature’ sound attached to it. I don’t like to pigeon hole myself as a DJ.

Due to the success that I had with the tracks with the 90s rave sound, I felt that I had to pursue that style for a while. However, it’s now time to broaden my horizons to show the world what else I can do and what I’m capable off. I still love and play the 90s sound that I’m known for but for the next while I’ll be on a different trajectory. One which involves blending and fusing together a lot of different styles and genres and I’m absolutely loving the process of it in the studio.

2. Next month, you’re dropping a new release alongside James Shinra on Last Night On Earth, ‘Rapture’. What can we expect from this one?

The idea for ‘Rapture’ was something that would be more dance floor focused for the clubs and festivals. Phat baseline with euphoric uplifting pads and big breakdown.

‘Ukiyo’ is more of a stripped back electronic track. Something to put on at an after party at 4am or listen to watching a sunrise/sunset, yet it would still work at the right moment in a DJ set or DJ mix.

3. We’d love to know more about your working relationship with James Shinra, how do you find the process of working collaboratively as opposed to solo?

It’s a funny story as this EP almost never saw the light of day. I have been a fan of James since I first heard his debut release in Biceps ‘Feel my Bicep’ label. Long story short, I reached out to him and asked was he game for working on a collab together, he said yes and the EP kinda came together pretty quickly; however, the two tracks just sat on our hard drives for over a year an a half and we almost never did anything with them. I came across the tracks on my laptop and thought I would send them to Sasha. He liked them and now they are getting released on LNOE

4. What’s your favourite festival and why?

All the big festivals I have played at over the years have been incredible, but hands down the best festival I have played at was ‘Warm Up Festival’ in Hertfordshire. The line up was incredible and the set up was absolutely unbelievable; it blew my mind, it was in a forest and had hundreds of disco balls hanging from all the trees. It needed to have been seen to be believed. Unfortunately like more of the small festivals, it’s had to close down which is such a shame. The government need to do more for our industry as there are far too many festivals and clubs closing down.

5. What can you tell us about your journey as an artist and DJ so far? Where did you get started and what have been your inspirations?

I got into DJing through my older brothers, they used to go raving every weekend back in the early 90s. I loved sitting in their room, listening to their rave tapes on their HiFi system with headphones on. They had mixes from the likes of Orbital, Leftfield, 808 State, Sasha and Andrew Weatherall. Those mixes are what imprinted my little 8 year old mind and inspired me to become a DJ/producer.

6. Which venue would you most like to play at right now and why?

I have always wanted to play at DC10 for Circoloco. It has always been a dream of mine and it will happen one day lol. Just putting that out there into the universe!

7. It’s been great to chat to you! With summer around the corner, can you share any current plans with us?

My next gig is in Glasgow with John Digweed and Franky Wah on 8th of June.

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