Credit: I.N.V.A.D.E.R

We Are The Night XXII: I.N.V.A.D.E.R

Our series, “We are the night” presents artists, promoters, production managers, label owners and others who are bringing the music world of the Czech Republic forward, from the past to the present and the present to the future. This week we spoke to I.N.V.A.D.E.R, a young Irish DJ based in Prague, and a rising star of the city’s techno scene.

It was a late summer night, cold wind and bright fire, in one of the numerous techno events held at Altenburg 1964, an alternative venue in the rising Prague 7 district.

It was a night I did not spend one minute on the dance floor, because straight away I found a cool little temporary night community of people chilling outside. It was there that I met I.N.V.A.D.E.R, a DJ but not only. After some great discussions, I wanted to know more, about his musical path, inspiration, and next steps, so we sat down for an interview…

Where are you from originally?

Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland. Born and raised since 1998.

As far as you remember, what is your first memory of music?

Definitely my earliest memories come from being in the back of my fathers car, listening to the same sounds he listened to during his 20s, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, The Streets. Back then it was CDs and discs of music videos that I sat with on repeat.

Did you get any musical education? How and where did you start DJing? Were you part of a collective?

None at all, self-taught aside from some basic introductions from friends, a lot of messing around, and YouTube videos. Once I started partying at 17 I saved up enough to get my first bunch of DJ equipment and some speakers before leaving school. From the moment I entered clubs and festivals I was fascinated by how the sounds were being controlled, and wanted to figure it out for myself.

From there, in college, I played some local gigs and student nights until setting up a collective of friends and DJs together to throw our own parties. From clubs, then to helping organize illegal raves, we kept up momentum until entering bigger clubs and attracting international DJs. Since then it’s been a climb, with our six year anniversary just passing by this month. What started as a group of friends looking to find places to play, has led to an internationally recognized artist, arts, and events agency, which has been a crazy journey.

“The Czech Republic is probably my favorite so far, there’s something about the community that shines here.” Credit: I.N.V.A.D.E.R.

What brought you to Prague?

Dublin was not offering what I needed, in terms of music and life.

Did you live abroad before Prague?

Yeah, Rotterdam, Netherlands for nearly one year. It was an interesting introduction, as I arrived during the pandemic, which locked down a lot of clubs and festivals. What I did get to witness though was the underground. Squat raves, music protests, secret train tunnel raves, walls of sound systems in houses and warehouses, and then towards the end, the clubs opened back up. The sounds were definitely something I haven’t heard anywhere else, there’s a specific sound from their crews, especially the underground and illegal sound systems. The people were also great and welcoming, although I must say I preferred the underground rather than the clubs.

Where have you played in Prague? How do you find the Czech audiences?

Altenburg, Mecca, Akropolis, Le Clan, and some other secret places. The Czech Republic is probably my favorite so far, there’s something about the community that shines here. Each party I’ve been to feels like I’m with a group of friends. There’s a laid back but look out for each other type of feeling, that makes it easy going. Irish people definitely go harder, and bring that craziness, but it’s shorter and in higher energy bursts.

How do you see the music scene in the Czech Republic, and the techno scene especially?

Its definitely more appreciated here, from what I can see, you’ve got a lot of options that I didn’t have before. Jazz, Punk Rock, Techno, Electro, Metal Bands seem to be respected and promoted here. Venues especially seem to be more open and passionate about providing the right experience for the fans, which is something that’s important in my eyes.

Techno seems to be growing more and more since I arrived, its interesting to see so many different types of parties, sounds, crews, each with their own version of sounds and personality. There is a lot of saturation of the same thing in other countries and cities, however Prague seems to have a difference between crews. I love to see the amount of collaboration and joint parties from brands, its not as often in Dublin you see this.

How would you define the music you play?

At the moment, definitely the harder and faster side of techno. Although I’m still honing my sound and finding that perfect texture, I feel myself getting closer to the sounds I want to present. I’m aiming to create a journey, something to empower you, give you time to get lost into it, while pushing through you to remind you of the power music has. Loud kicks, drums, ethereal soundscapes, and some artistic elements throw in for good music. A meditation and march at the same time.

Do you or will you produce your own music / tracks?

I do, I did, but at the moment I have stopped releasing while I find the sound that I think is ready enough.

What are the things you want to improve and reach for the next years in terms of music?

For my productions, I have a project I’m working on. A soundscape of sounds, encompassing a journey of conflict and overcoming those challenges. For our events, more intimate parties, with a focus on the fans and attendees getting what they deserve for their money. For my artists, to find more exciting acts I can help push to the forefront and compliment their artistic journey, while also getting our current artists out there even further.

“The sense of community should exist and be promoted despite anything else, including money. The parties don’t exist without the people.” Credit: I.N.V.A.D.E.R.

Are you now part of any collective?

Yep, Vision Agency, since 2018. What started from eight friends and some DJs, became two owners, eight artists/acts, 1 media designer, and many more crew hands and friends who help us operate. Dublin is our main events base, but we have some plans for Prague coming real soon.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

A 》Prague is a more “flexible Berlin” in terms of door policies and overall music experience

= I never had any issues in Berlin personally, but I have seen and been a part of priority lists and guestlist/skip lists, and I’ve only been once. I have heard the complaints and horror stories though. It’s something I can understand, you want to support those who help make the scene what it is, and of course friends/crews of the party organizers and workers. From running and visiting events in Prague, I don’t think there is any issue with admission or priority over people. You’re not lining up for an hour in Prague just to be told no, as an example. Berlin does seem a lot more protected, but it is a culture that needs to be respected also. The problem comes from when it gets too “gatekept”, but that can be said for anything and anywhere. Music wise, I see a lot more variety in Prague but I haven’t spent a lot of time physically in Berlin.

B 》there are too many political and societal messages in the organization of parties, and some of the audience are starting to ask for a dance floor only focused on music?

= Personally, I see it two ways. If you are promoting and organizing your brand and parties in support of political and societal messages, that’s fine. If you are not promoting and supporting, that’s also fine. The problem I can see comes from when one forces the other to agree with either side. Music and the dancefloor have always been a place to escape, but also a place as a community to push a message. Both can be done, without telling one party what to do and who to support. Let the people decide what they want at the moment.

C》the sense of community in the techno scene should be promoted and maintained despite the maximum flow of money that is present around the party industry?

= Yes. Community is what makes the party industry what it is. For some of us, it’s the only time we get to meet a large group of friends and people you would not meet in regular life. The sense of community should exist and be promoted despite anything else, including money. The parties don’t exist without the people.

Give us 3 tracks you want to share with our readers?

– Fatboy Slim – Song For Shelter
– Leftfield – Dusted

You can follow I.N.V.A.D.E.R on Instagram.

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