Phil Kieran Talks


Ahead of Le Carousel’s London debut show at Fabric this Saturday night, we caught up with the brain child of the project Phil Kieran to talk Weatherall, residencies at Shine and sublime summer songs….

To start things off where are you from and where are you now?

Im from Belfast , and I’m on my sofa watching TV and on the laptop.

Le Carousel is your second band project now alongside Alloy Mental back in 2007, whats your attraction to bands? Both their sounds differ drastically to your own purer techno orientated productions as yourself

Im not sure, Le Carousel was not even going to be a band, I just made the album and decided it would be exciting to try and play it live, I love a challenge, and this is. I dont think I have an attraction to bands, its hard work and a pain in the hole to take a full band out on the road, but its music , and I’m not one for taking the easy option, I just want to explore all options and see what I can learn from the experience. 

Alloy Mental experimented with more punk infused sounds. What was the music of your teenage rebellion and was this a reflection of that?

My teenage rebellion was techno and acid house, and what a great one it was! The punk thing maybe came later in life, I’ve always just made music that seems to fit what I like at the time.

Youve said that the title Le Carousel is a metaphor for the rotations constantly occurring in daily life, which piece in the album would you say depicts this best or is the whole album a comment on this?

I tried as best as I could to make the album all fit together as one piece of music. I guess the “Carousel ” track I see as the lead track and it explains this idea in more detail; “around again, every day’s another round” etc. but I think the words in the rest of the album are all connected in some way . 

From what Ive heard of the album its as equally suited to home listening as it is the dance floor. How does it translate into a live setting?

It’s all in its early stages so it still feels young. Fabric is going to be a big show for us! For the live show we have just stripped the tracks down and built them up again, almost like live remixes .  

Winter Months reminds me a little of Fujiya Miyagi  – it’s also a sublime beauty of a track which instills hope for the summer every time I hear it. What were you listening to when you wrote the album?
Ha, well thats what I tried to do with the words and all the songs. I wanted them to feel happy and optimistic as much as I could, even if the meaning is not. I like twisting meaning and mood around together to almost give the opposite effect. If im being honest the winter months is a reference to feeling depressed, I had the urge to make people feel happy with the music, like it could give hope, so im delighted it makes you think of summer. Just as I wanted it!

What inspired the more slower tempo album? Have you been infected by the slow mo spearheaded by Andrew and Sean’s ALFOS movement?

Well, it’s kind of a coincidence it came out like that. I started work on the album around 2009/2010, so not sure if ALFOS was around then. But what I would say is I grew up on screamadelica and MBV etc, a good example would be Weatherall remixing MBV along with Primal Scream. I loved that part of my life and when I was writing this album I was dipping into all my past. Sometimes I would think of my Mum or my daughter, or my wife or friends. But the background would be a backdrop of all the music I grew up with and Weatherall was a big part of that. The ALFOS connection was just a happy accident, but then I always think music works like that. It’s weird, people all go in a direction for no reason but just cause it feels right at the time, so alloy mental felt right at the time and maybe it doesn’t anymore. 

If your sound was a visual thing, what would it look like?

Hopefully something trippy, fuzzy, warm and welcoming .

Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?

I think snare. I love a good warm snare sound and I feel like I could make a track from lots of snares. 

Cor blimey that Weatherall mix of Lose Your Love is a belter. I’m assuming you and Mr Weatherall have been acquaintances since Shine days.  Looking forward to playing with him in Room 1 at Fabric this weekend?

Of course! I think I’m not the only one who really looks up to him, people love him. So many people are full of shit, most djs treat what we do too much like a business. Sometimes it feels like they are selling burgers and not music, spending more time talking about their “profile” or worried about gigs. Weatherall has that true punk rock feel for me, no bullshit, just gets on with the real stuff and he is a real music fan. He is a fan of the album and the support he gave me meant so much to me.

Shine – what an institution, I’m gutted that I never made it over there when you were resident. Bicep namecheck it as the club where it all made sense to them. It must be quite life affirming to hear the place talked about in such enthusiastic tones under your residency reign there. What was it that made it so special?

A big room full of nut cases from Belfast all wanting to hear very loud techno out of their minds. Huge sound system, good lights, good DJs, what could go wrong?  Credit due to Phil and Alan for putting it on over the years. To be honest my first days of going out were even before that, sugar sweet etc with David Holmes. And of course frequent visits from Weatherall right back to the Smokebelche days, Black Dog, Warp Records, Basic Channel, that was my youth before being a DJ, or a wanna be DJ . 
First and last record ever bought?

I can never remember what my first “bought ” record was… My first record was free off of a cereal box. It had Herbie Hancock “Rocket” on the b-side. The last record I bought was a Conrad Schnitzler record.

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

I’m a very obsessive person, it’s a bit of a problem I have. My mind never really rests it gets very annoying. I’m obsessed with making sure we have a great gig this Saturday . 

What’s the strangest place youve woken up naked?

In a hotel room in India. Might not seem strange, but I asked the staff for a wake up call and when I woke up three hours late, out like a star naked on the bed, I asked them why didn’t they wake me up? I was told they came in to the room many times to wake me up and I would not move, felt a bit wick . 

Complete the sentence: I’m proper techno because.. 

I like DIY and cutting my grass.

What should I have asked you but haven’t?

What happened to your website ?
Answer: Some prick stole the domain and was trying to get 5k off me last week. I just went and bought another one and refused to give him a penny. Here is the new site: 


Finally, big question: Zapp or Zappa?


Oh and one other thing I love your own mix of Carousel, it’s amazing! 

This Saturday you can catch Le Carousel playing Room One at Fabric alongside the likes of Craig Richards and Andrew Weatherall. For tickets and info click here.