Figure of 8
Belfast, County Antrim
Belfast-based Electronic artist, Releases on Satans Circus, On The Fruit Records, Dreamquest,9G Records, STA records
Featured on Electronic Rumors, Too Many Sebastians, La.Ga.Sta, Hugo Boss, Binary, Harder Blogger Faster,Robot Pigeon, Frenchy Symphony,
AU Magazine, Hot Press Magazine, BBC ATL, BBC Electric Mainline ,BBC Radio 6.
Support Slots for Too Many DJs, The 2 Bears, Todd Terje, Japanese Popstars,The Whip, Cosmonauts, Ejeca,Phil Kieran.
Remixes for Japanese Popstars, Deadbots, Final DJs, Tatana, Kid Champion, Yelle, WhoMadeWho, The Rapture, Creatures of Love, Barry Manilow, Penguin Prison, Sirkuz Sirkuz
Remixed By Mighty Mouse, Deadbots, The Penelopes, BrightlightBrightlight, Worship, Digitalfoxglove
Leftfield electronica, with disco, house, giallo, new wave and garage influences.
Debut Album "The 7 Levels" in pre production for release 2013
Dermot McGowan is Figure Of 8, a solo producer of throbbing electronic music based in Belfast. You may know him from his excellent remix work for bands like Lamb and The Rapture, most of which can be found on his Soundcloud. He brings a warm synthetic candy touch to all that he works on, with pulsed beats and glowing keys. It has the kind of patient electronic style that we adore, reminiscent of Little Loud (now known as Tourist) – now there would be a collaboration we’d like to see – elevating all they touch to a kind of cinematic class. If you take Figure Of 8′s solo compositions, such as Blind Mice, he offers a purely instrumental piece of electro nu-disco with a slowed walking pace. The neon glow sounds like the soundtrack to a scene from Blade Runner, with a set of 80s raindrop synths and a building of layers that doesn’t so much speed the track up, but make it more and more claustrophobic.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous track, but when it’s compared to the work he designs when he collaborates with other artists we see it fade into a piece of background music. That’s no slight on Blind Mice, rather a show of just how much his game is raised when interacting with others. The latest track to come under our radar, kindly passed to us by the label working with him on some of his releases – the excellent French label, On The Fruit Records – is Bittersweet (featuring Jonny Nutt). When paired up with a singer like this we still find Figure Of 8′s signature leisurely four-beat pace, but the bass drums land with heavy feet and then the vocals kick in. It’s at this point that the tune is taken from his usual instrumental electro playground and stepped up to the big boys pitch, in more of a pop arena. Fellow Irishman Jonny Nutt‘s voice is delivered in a storytelling, almost speaking rather than singing style, in an effortless manner reminiscent of Men At Work‘s Colin Ham. It’s a masterstroke and serves to lift the track to an irresistible new dimension.
The big debut single arrived last month, causing a fairly exciting ripple on Radio One, as well as some useful blogs and magazines worldwide. No One Cries For Me (featuring Sophie Galpin) deserves the hype as it’s a fine production, delivering the smoothest and most complete Figure Of 8 track so far. It’s impossible not to enjoy it and will surely continue to rise with the more ears that it reaches. It has a wonderfully warm drift to it, as McGowan – who also adds the artists Bright Light Bright Light and Our Krypton Son in a collaborative production – layers up the synths, but they punctuate it all with a wonderful bouncing keyboard riff that arpeggiates up and down throughout the song. Once again though the vocals lift it to the stratosphere, with Galpin’s voice laid out all over it like a nacreous cloud. It’s an absolute winner, a hit in the making, being as ultra-divine as it is instantly-accessible. Belfast have themselves a very tidy producer on their hands with this work, but it’s by pairing up with others, particularly with tidy vocalists, that his soundscapes are populated and turned into vibrant spaces. It’s a key lesson in utilising vocalists to lift electronic music from the repetition and monotony that this genre can occasionally suffer from, up to a level that transcends it’s individual protagonists. Indeed, with this excellent example the total sum of these parts are colossal.
Figure of 8 aka Belfast electronic producer Dermot McGowan has followed up his recent No One Cries For Me EP with something of an unorthodox remix. Giving West Belfast, Gaelic singer-songwriter Gráinne Holland’s (above) ‘Bata an Tsil’ an almost unrecognisable makeover, McGowan continues to prove that he’s one of the more imaginative and forward-thinking producers in the country. ‘Bata an Tsil’ comes from Holland’s debut album, Teanga na nGael (The Language of the Gael), which was released last year.
[Brian Coney AU Magazine]
We’re taking a little trip up to Northern Ireland for today’s HUGO Track. Figure of 8 is the stage name of Belfast-based producer Dermot McGowan, who makes lush, wisftul electronic music, suitable for all that wet weather they get up there. “No One Cries” is McGowan’s new single featuring the lovely vocals of Sophie Galpin
[HUGO TRACKS (Hugo Boss)]
Figure of 8 is Belfast-based producer Dermot McGowan and his first single “No One Cries For Me” is a rather good first single. It’s part that whole ‘nu-disco‘ thing.. but, it’s also part ‘a really good pop song‘. Some really nice vocals from Sophie Galpin too, I suspect it’s not the last time either of them will be making an appearance on the blog.
[Too Many Sebastians]
I’m not actually sure if Dermot McGowan sleeps. the man you know better as Figure Of 8 is like a song-writing machine. Since the release of the Belfast based producer’s acclaimed ‘No One Cries For Me’ EP he given us new material practically weekly. What’s even more unbelievable, though, is that it has all been awesome.
And he's not breaking that run just yet. his latest reMix is a beautiful piece of work. Gráinne Holland is a fellow Belfast resident and Gaelic singer-songwriter. Gaelic has always been a language that lends itself well to music and the combination of her ethereal vocals in ‘Báta An tSíl’ and Figure Of 8’s smooth electronica is a winner. The end result has something quite ‘90’s about it, a bit of an Orbital flavour, but with Figure Of 8’s modern DancePop twist. The majestic quality of the vocals is enhanced when Dermot bring in some huge cinematic chords whist gritting things up with some distorted Acid lines. Another rad mix from Figure Of 8, who seems to have a knack of thinking outside the box, oh and not sleeping.
[Clive 'Crash' lewis (Electronic rumors)]