Legion is the first long player from Corkman Ruairi Lynch, best known as Bantum, and it's one of the most fondly received Irish releases of the year. The album is an electronic patchwork of sounds, featuring guest appearances from the likes of RSAG and Margie Lewis. Lynch told John Balfe about the year he's been having so far, the development of his album and his plans for the future.
Bantum will feature in entertainment.ie's second eLive gig in The Mercantile on Thursday 22nd November, along with Empire Saints, VerseChorusVerse and Twin Terrace.
Tickets are completely free, but you must reserve online at entertainment.ie/tickets.
Every critical review I've come across about Legion so far has been effusive in its praise. What do you make of the reaction to your first album release?
I've been blown away by the reaction! It got to the point that I was working on and listening to the album so much that I didn't quite know how people would take to it, but all the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.
You worked with some pretty talented folk on the album, like Owensie and Margie Lewis (among many others). Was it a deliberate approach of yours to have guests on the album to diversify it, or did it just work out this way?
It was a natural progression for me. I only started to work with vocalists on my last EP (Lay Lay) and that experience opened my eyes towards collaborating with as many artists as possible. I had the artists in mind after I had the bare bones of the tunes recorded, and it helped that I was working with friends as opposed to strangers! Working with RSAG was a particular highlight for me as I have been listening to his music for years, and I see him as an influence for sure.
How long did it take this album to come to fruition, from composing to the final mix?
It took 10 months, I started work on New Years day with a view to working on an EP, but I gradually starting to focus on an album as the songs progressed.
Does approach a full length LP give you more room to manoeuvre as a musician and producer, compared to an EP?
I did have more room to manoeuvre with the variety of musicians I worked with, but I also tried to make the songs on the album as cohesive as possible, as opposed to a mix of totally different styles which tended to happen on my previous EPs.
What are you listening to nowadays, anything we should know about?
I'm loving the new Deftones album, very atmospheric and damn heavy in places, my inner angsty teenager approves! Kendrick Lamar is really impressing me with his album "Good Kid M.A.A.D City", great ryhmes and production. I'm digging the No Spill Blood and Lar Kaye EPs, and to top it all off I'm going through a bit of a Prince phase, so his "Controversy" album is on non stop!
What's the plan for the rest of this year and into the next?
I'll be working on a bunch of music videos, the first of which will be "Oh My Days" with Feel Good Lost. We hope to have it out in December. I'm talking about releasing more videos in the new year with a bunch of great directors so I'll keep you posted. Other then that I'll be looking at the summer music festivals, remixes, Live Visual shows, possible soundtracks and some Prince themed DJ sets (seriously!)