INTERVIEW: Nine Raths



You may be familiar with the Robocobra Quartet, the fantastic jazz/punk/spoken word band from the north. One of the members, Ryan Burrows, teamed up with his friend Adam Smith to create an electronic music-focused moniker called Nine Raths. They’ve channeled the same edginess of the Quartet into a really great debut EP here, exploring deconstructed techno and club inspired by conflicting identities that those in Northern Ireland feel are never part of the UK or the Irish mainland.

We have had the pleasure of speaking with Nina and this has been the result.


Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?


We are originally from small towns built onto the main motorway into Belfast in Ireland. We started various bands in our youth and have always played music together growing up from punk to folk to noise rock. Throughout all this we have always made electronic music separately and had a keen interest in the more extreme genres so it has definitely been a natural progression to work together now on this project.


How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?


We have become interested in finding less conventional ways to use breakbeats and are always exploring faster and more irregular rhythms in our music. Artists we currently enjoy mixing include Coco Bryce, S.Murk, Gabber Modus Operandi, Arca and Lanark Artefax.


How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?


Obviously we hope it influences them to purchase the music but also we hope to convey a sense that if you also are questioning your identity in relation to nationality as we are in Northern Ireland, there are other people also trying to process this through music and art.


What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?


We are finishing work on EP2 which has quite a different sound palette to EP1 and working on future visual collaborations. I (Ryan) will also be releasing an album this year with my band Robocobra Quartet so it is a very busy year ahead.


Where are you and what have you been doing now?


In Belfast processing our environment through electronic audiovisual means.


Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?


Our sound is always evolving, our musical criteria is to not feel we have to abide by strict musical guidelines and to explore writing the music in a natural way, we have no interest in repeating ourselves either.



Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?


You should always feel safe to play experimental sounds, pushing the ideas as far as you can is the best way to develop them. If you aren't on the edge you're taking up too much space.


We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?


The digital revolution has affected sales in a good way in my opinion, giving more to the artist directly rather than being taken by middlemen. Streaming platforms like Spotify are currently the middlemen in today's industry and hopefully that gets addressed.

As for creativity, I think it's easier to get creative, going on YouTube and finding new production videos will either always spark creativity or at least teach you something new.


Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?


We plan to release 2 more EPs after EP1 and work on various audiovisual projects throughout the next year or so.


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