Finding out you’re going to be a parent for the first time is a life-changing event for anyone.
For Stockholm-based Corkonian Mark O’Sullivan, it was the inspiration for recording a solo album that’s been receiving nothing but positive praise since its release. ‘Fragments from a Long Country’ is Mark’s debut solo album – many will know him from his work with DK7 and the Mighty Quark – and is proof that he’s skilled at producing techno that sounds fresh in an understated way.
From album opener ‘She Stood There Laughing’ (about the joyous moment his partner announced her pregnancy, perhaps?), it’s clear that a huge amount of emotion has gone into ‘Fragments’. It’s no surprise that Resident Advisor – whose word can most certainly be trusted – said about the album, “Recalling the heyday of mid-’90s techno in feel and intent, O’Sullivan has crafted an inspired blend of the fragile and funky. Fragments from a Long Country speaks for itself without needing any specific context; O’Sullivan’s subtlety is evident throughout on what is, on the one hand deceptively simple and on the other unerringly complex. A very accomplished piece of work.”
Mark says himself that the album was made during a time when he was happy, yet “knowing that nothing was ever going to be the same, my feelings and thoughts were influenced by a sense of nostalgia and pragmatism”. Interestingly, he says he was also inspired by his love for his native language, which was rekindled by “a brilliant poem by Máirtín Ó Díreáin called “Stoite”(uprooted) giving the essence of sense of place and identity a strong influence on the mood”. ‘Fragments’ was also recorded between the Swedish winter and spring, where, unlike in Ireland, two disparate seasons have to battle it out.
But don’t worry if you think this all sounds a bit intense – the music is what speaks for itself. Mark’s long and varied career – taking in many variations of house, dub, techno, minimalism and more – has enabled him to create music that’s as suited to the dancefloor as it is to your headphones. Support homegrown music and have listen to some of the tracks from the album on Mark’s myspace site – you can purchase it from Nice & Nasty.