Sirkus’ skills travel the globe

Declan McLaughlin (Sirkus Sirkuz).
Declan McLaughlin (Sirkus Sirkuz).

One of Derry’s finest musicians is about to see his passion and dedication bear more fruit with the release of two self-composed new EPs on trans-Atlantic labels this summer alongside a raft of new remixes.

Declan McLaughlin from Danesfort area will showcase his skills on Saturday afternoon at an outdoor gig in the Craft Village as part of this week’s electro dance music Celtronic Festival.

He will also be performing a couple of live tracks from The Glassworks tomorrow night (Thursday) for BBC Radio Ulster’s Electric Mainline.

Declan’s first brush with musical success came with pioneering local outfit Hedrock Valley Beats, earning him the name ‘Decky Hedrock’, something he is still known by.

He went on to be one third of the highly successful and much lauded electronic group, the Japanese Popstars, before leaving three years ago.

Explaining why he left, Declan said; “I had started up Sirkus Sirkuz as a side project, doing my own stuff and that became the bigger thing for me.”

Some of the crwods who turned out for Celtronic Festival events back in 2013. The festival is returning to Derry this week.

Some of the crwods who turned out for Celtronic Festival events back in 2013. The festival is returning to Derry this week.

Since then he has gone on to gain success with each release and has amassed an army of distinguished supporters, including many of the world’s biggest DJs and producers including Leftfield, Benny Benassi, Fake Blood, and Fatboy Slim.

And he currently hosts the popular monthly dance show ‘Sirkus Sirkuz Presents’ on RTE2FM radio, releasing his own brand of tech house, as well as playing many clubs and festivals under his new moniker.

Over the past year, the ‘Sirkus Sirkuz Presents...’ radio show has been growing in popularity and gaining major listenership.

‘The show is dedicated to bringing the best new house, electro and techno music as well as showcasing local Irish talent amongst international producers. A regular feature on the show which many producers crave is the monthly serious sound award. This accolade is selected from the tons of new music and is presented to the very best track each month.

Sirkus Sirkuz (aka Declan McLaughlin)

Sirkus Sirkuz (aka Declan McLaughlin)

Speaking about his radio DJ gig, Declan says: “I was invited on to do a special guest show and everything has come together and it has really been growing since last year.

“The radio show has been syndicated to Italy and some stations in the US and in the UK.

“I never imagined to be on the radio and never thought I’d have the confidence to be a radio presenter.

“To begin with I pre-recorded the show and cut out the nervous bits and then sent the show down, but the awkward and nervous bits have largely gone as I’ve become more confident doing it.

“The biggest thing for me when I started doing it was about giving something back to people, giving a lot more people the chance to hear underground tracks.”

Declan has also been helping to showcase new and emerging acts, thus ensuring not just exposure and airplay but also royalties and the chance to be picked up on by other stations.

In terms of his own musical career meanwhile, Sirkus Sirkuz will be releasing a new ‘Ghettoblaster EP’ on US-based 9G Records next Tuesday, June 30th.

This time the double A-side release features the tune ‘Ghettoblaster’- a heavy festival banger that uses an old S’Xpress sample- and ‘Credence’, a hugely popular track in Sirkus Sirkuz’s live show over the last year.

‘Credence’ has already been BBC Across The Line’s Track of The Day, and received much national radio airplay alongside the main title track, Ghettoblaster.

Both tracks have gained support from various well know DJs like The Flash Brothers, Eddy Temple Morris, Robbie Rivera, and major radio play on stations such as XFM, 2FM, BBC Radio and more.

Hot on the heels of that release, Sirkus Sirkuz will drop another EP called ‘Paranoid’ on the July 19 with a UK-based tech house label, Whartone Records, run by Sonny Whartone.

‘Paranoid’ has been quite a big techno track for many DJs that got early copies and is expected to set many tongues wagging when it is released next month.

The flip-side is a remix coming from ‘Deeplift’.

Sirkuz Sirkuz has also done some high profile remixes which will be hitting club and festival sound systems over the summer, starting off with the reworkings of the old 1999 Cut LaRoc anthem ‘Freeze’, which will be released on Skint Records (home of Fatboy Slim) as well as the cool Australian record label Vicious Bitch, releasing two Sirkus Sirkuz remixes of Zeskullz new track ‘Devil.

Finally, there will be a special remix of Doorlys cover of the classic The Beloved track ‘Sun Rising’ which will see release this summer as well.

You can catch Sirkus Sirkuz playing as part of the live outdoor daytime showcase of electronic music during Derry’s long-running Celtronic Festival this Saturday, June 27 at the Craft Village.

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