Mutate is a techno collective which was started in October 2013 with the aim of bringing over niche international guests and fresh faces to Dublin’s clubs. Jasper Mathews got in touch with Mutate bossman Jay Carroll to discuss the sounds of Mutate, how to stay afloat in today’s competitive scene and the resurgence of club culture with the Celtic Tiger 2.0 rolling in.
Tell me a bit about the inception of Mutate, what was the thought/conversation that got the ball rolling?
The idea came about during my involvement in the now defunct clubnight in the midlands called Disco Nouveau, which was run in The Stables Live venue, Mullingar, by Gavin Mc Donagh. I always had aspirations of running my own events and bringing in international guests so when Disco Nouveau came to an end, I decided to put the wheels in motion for Mutate. Mullingar being a small town, it wasn’t feasible to run Mutate there, hence Dublin being the preferred option.
It made sense anyway as I had spent most weekends there, going to various clubs to get my weekly techno fix! Being a DJ and buying records from an early age, I felt that maybe some of the artists putting out these records should be playing in Ireland. There were so many more acts out there that I wanted to see play here, so I decided to take a leap and bring them over, as many others were sticking to the old reliables and not taking enough risks.
During our correspondence you referred to Mutate as independent, whats does independence mean to you?
Independence to me means absolutely no outside funding and not being part of let’s say an umbrella group or operating as one of the many guises of a larger outfit.
Given the move by the broader end of club-culture to larger clubs, what is the key to survival as an independent promoter?
The key to survival is surround yourself with like minded individuals, ask your peers for their advice, belief in your abilities, persistence, perseverance and above all, don’t fuck people over.
Promoting new acts is a risky business, what has you continually striving to introduce Dublin’s electronic music scene to new artists?
To elaborate if I may on ‘risky business’ there’s risk involved in everything, although there are so many things that could be done, it doesn’t need to be a risky ‘business’. Promoter coherence and cooperation is pretty simple and quite easy to achieve so nobody need loose out and it means they don’t have to compete against each other for people to attend their events.
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a clash of nights to some degree and that can’t be completely eliminated but it’s a community we are a part of at the end of the day and it should be a community united as opposed to one divided and going head to head all the time. Ultimately I don’t look at it as a business though, I’m not here to make money out of it, I’m doing it because I love it and I get to see acts I possibly wouldn’t see unless I travel to Europe and look, if I broaden people’s minds that little bit more along the way as to the sheer quality out there then that’s a good thing.
Given all the talk of an economic resurgence in Ireland, have you seen any signs of it within club culture?
Well the larger promoters will always branch out into festivals and obtaining control over more venues, and that wouldn’t be possible if people weren’t going out more and paying into their nights.
In terms of people within the club scene there are more young people than ever before heading off to major European electronic music festivals, they must have money to do it or they wouldn’t be at it. There’s also more people paying bigger entry fees to larger events here. A few months ago I saw online tickets being sold for between €15 and €30 to a certain dj, it sold out. That says it all really.
What does the future hold for Mutate?
Well the future for Mutate is quite bright, after almost 3 and a half years on the go there is talk of a label, a radio show and of course continuing the night’s ethos of bringing over exciting breakthrough acts.
Can you give us a rough description of the sounds of Mutate, what are 3 tracks that exemplify this?
Well in my opinion the sound of Mutate is definitely Underground Techno. It’s also a very European style that you’re likely to hear in some of the more infamous clubs in Germany, The Netherlands, Spain etc.
To pick 3 is pretty difficult! Here’s four!
1. Ø [Phase] – Decode (Token Belgium)
2. TENSAL – Transmisiones 3 (Modularz US)
3. Radial – Storm Tide (MORD Records)
4. UVB – Mixtion (MORD Records)