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Now Playing: Fish Go Deep Mix

Fish Go Deep Top Ten
1: Roses (Bangara Remix) – Clarisse Muvemba – Heya Hifi
2: Walkabout – Nick Hogendoorn & Eelke Kleijn – Ork Recordings
3: Best Friend (Charles Webster Remix) – Voom Voom – G Stone
4: I Go Deep – Yass – Grei Matter
5: Playing Tricks On My Mind - Restless Soul
6: Midnight At The Aquarium – Chymera – Mezzotinto
7: Supersonic Revelation – Simbad – Raw Fusion
8: Drummin’ – Alex Wizz – Defected
9: Community (FGD Remix) – Audio Soul Project – NRK
10: Anywhere You Are – Sunshine Jones – King Street Sounds
Fish Go Deep

Since the early 1990s, Fish Go Deep have been among the biggest names on the Irish DJ circuit, yet beyond the Emerald Isle few outside the most committed deep house circles had heard of them. All that changed last year with the worldwide success of ‘The Cure & The Cause’. Now the Cork-based duo of Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson (along with partner-in-crime Tracey K) look set to scale even giddier heights. The Fish Go Deep story really begins with Greg Dowling. Born in Dublin in 1960, he was an avid music buyer from an early age, and started “messing about with tape recorders and stuff” in his teens. But it wasn’t until the mid-’80s that he started DJing, initially at friends’ parties. “It was a simple case of, I was the one that had the most records,” he recalls. “I’d play all sorts, there weren’t the boundaries that there are now. Anything from The Sugarcubes to hip-hop, funk, and then early house when that came along.” And it was through DJing that Greg met Shane Johnson. Born in 1970 in Cork, Shane, like Greg, had grown up with a passion for music, perhaps inspired partly by his father, who was a keen jazz fan (“there was always music on in our house,” Shane recollects). In his early teens he started buying records, initially indie/alternative stuff like The Jesus & Mary Chain, then mid-’80s hip-hop, and eventually house music. His older brother Billy was then a club DJ in Cork, and it was Billy who introduced Shane to Greg. Greg was at this time (1988) DJing at a club called Redz, and Shane – still in school – would go along to hear him play. Impressed by the younger man’s record collection, particularly his extensive house selection, Greg invited him to spin a few tunes one night. And thus was born a DJing partnership that’s still going strong nearly 20 years later. Redz was the birthplace of Fish Go Deep, then, but it was at another Cork nightclub, Sir Henry’s, that they really made their name. Their Sweat residency there lasted 13 years (finishing in 2001), and rapidly became one of Ireland’s hottest nights out, picking up various awards and accolades over the years and attracting heavy-hitting guests like Derrick Carter, Herbert, Miguel Migs, Kerri Chandler, Laurent Garnier and Joe Claussell. In fact it was partly the success of Sweat, says Shane, that kept their worldwide profile low. “We were having too much fun at Henry’s!” he says. “We just couldn’t miss that, so tours and overseas gigs were a bit tricky to manage as well.” Rather, the pair were concentrating on developing their production chops. Which is as good a time as any to explain where the fish connection comes in. When the duo were taking their first tentative steps into the world of music production in the early ’90s, Greg was working in a record shop. As the record shop was housed in an old fish market, it was called Fish Records. Accordingly, Shane and Greg’s first release was ‘Silver’ by Fishcotech, and indeed they’ve been known to work under a variety of piscine-related monikers, including Fish Go Jazz, before finally settling on the name Fish Go Deep. Under this name, from 1995 onwards Greg and Shane began to turn out a series of 12-inch singles and EPs, including no fewer than five EPs for New Jersey’s i! Records (“We just sent them a load of tunes, and they liked all of them, simple as that,” shrugs Greg. “We’ve never even met anyone from the label”) as well as releases on respected underground imprints such as Chez, Imperial Dub and Brique Rouge. The next major development in the Fish Go Deep story came in 2003, when they met Tracey Kelliher, a young Dublin-based vocalist formerly of popular live Irish dance act Dextris. The first fruit of their joint labours was the single ‘Nights Like These’ and, pleased with the response, Greg and Shane invited Tracey to work with them on their debut long-player, 2005’s ‘Lil’ Hand’. Coming out on Canada’s Ultrasound label, the album was only ever released in Ireland and sold a comparatively small amount, but one track – ‘The Cure & The Cause’, credited to Fish Go Deep feat Tracey K – found favour with deep house jocks around the world. Knowing a quality house tune when they hear one, Defected snapped up the track last year and the next thing Shane and Greg knew, they had a UK chart hit on their hands (the single peaked at No 23). “The funny thing is,” says Greg, “that it didn’t even chart in Ireland. For years we’d been known in Ireland but not elsewhere, and yet now we had a massive hit overseas and everyone in Ireland completely ignored it. It was like a complete reversal of our career to date!” Let’s hope not a reversal, but it was certainly a career-changing moment, as Greg and Shane both testify. “It’s blown our profile wide open to a whole lot more people,” affirms Shane, and Greg agrees. “Yeah, it’s brought our profile up all over the world. Have we been getting more international bookings? Oh, big time! We’ve been all over the place, places we’d never have been without that record.” Greg cites gigs in Portugal, Turkey and Estonia as some of the highlights of Fish Go Deep’s recent hectic touring schedule. But they’ve put the DJing more or less on a backburner for now, as they’re currently holed up in the studio working on their debut album for Defected (as well as continuing to run their own Ork imprint along with cohort Mark O’Sullivan, an outlet for “the trackier stuff,” as Greg puts it). A mixture of new material and reworkings of tracks taken from ‘Lil’ Hand’, the album is due out later this year. Nearly all the tracks again feature Tracey K on vocals; she says she’s keen to work on a live project to promote the album but “Greg and Shane see themselves primarily as DJs, even though Greg plays guitar and Shane plays keyboards, so we’ll have to talk some more.” Whatever happens, the album will be trailed by a single, and followed by a promotional tour. And then another name change may be required – to Fish Go Supernova, perhaps?


 
 

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Silver - Red Records - Ireland 1995

Fish Go Deep Vol One - Eventual Records - Ireland 1998
Flying Funk EP - i! Records - US 2000
Half Step EP Brique Rouge France 2001
There For Me - i! Records - US 2001
Music’s Got Me - Gourmet Recordings - US 2001
Let’s Go Back (with Rebecca Meagher) - Chez Music - US 2001
Set The Night On - i! Records - US 2001
Sins I’ve Lost (as DSP) – Imperial Dub – US 2002
No Big Deal / Dollface (with Mary Cigarettes) - Brique Rouge - France 2002
The Jazz EP - i! Records - US 2002
How Do You Feel? - Elevation Recordings - Ireland 2003
3 Miles EP - Attic Space - Canada 2003
Layback EP - i! Records - US 2003
Nights Like These (with Tracey K) - Inspirit Music – UK 2003
Soundscapes: Ireland - Deep House Network – Ireland 2004
Hey Mr California – Blusoul – Ireland 2004
2 Dings – Gourmet Recordings – US 2004
Culture Bug (as Mighty Fish) – Ork Recordings – Ireland 2005
The Cure and the Cause (with Tracey K) – Go Deep – Canada 2005
Soul – Ork Recordings – Ireland 2006
Wurk (as Fish Go Deep & Mark O’Sullivan)– Ork Recordings – Ireland 2006
Chemical God (with Mary Cigarettes) – Go Deep – Canada 2006
The Cure and the Cause (with Tracey K) – Defected – UK 2006
ESL – Ork Recordings – Ireland 2007

 
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