Killarney, Co. Kerry isn’t the first place you think of in terms of cutting-edge electronica, but for a short period in the early 90s, it spawned forth one of Ireland’s most beloved dance troupes.
4th Dimension (or 4D for those in the know), helmed by brothers Joe, Steve and Moss O’Leary along with turntable whizz The Nutter, hit the big time in 1994 with Storm, a somewhat novelty track that lifted an accordion sample from a Sharon Shannon tune, which garnered regular airplay in the charts, as well as on RTE’s The BeatBox.
But there was more to 4th Dimension than a one-off, as follow up EPs such as Loverman and Wake Up! established the O’Learys as one of Ireland’s hottest acts, supporting acts such as The Prodigy, and playing some of Ireland’s biggest festivals.
4th Dimension’s upward trajectory led to them being interviewed by Eamon Carr for the Evening Herald, who was keen to discover how, from their West of Ireland base, Joe, Moss and co had made such an impact on the club scene.
“The bottom line is, the tune has to be good,” Joe explained. “You can have the best production job in the world, but if the tune isn’t there, it’s still just a band tune well produced.”
At the time of the interview, in July 1994, 4th Dimension’s Dream EP, which contained the track Pure Dream (a Sound Crowd remix of which would go on to be one of the first releases on the legendary Red Records label), had risen from #29 to #5 in the Irish charts, with the group eager to explore new musical frontiers.
As Joe put it, “We’ve got three different keyboard setups and we work in different houses completely. When we record we come together. That way, there’s no individual style. It works well for us.”
And what of the contribution of the Sharon Shannon-sampling Storm on their legacy?
“That single has give a lot of people the wrong impression of what we’re at,” Joe explained. “But it came about almost by accident. We were playing that track for a year before anyone picked up on it.
“Solid Records did pick up on it and offered us a one-single deal. It wouldn’t have been our first choice release if we had a choice in the matter. But it was a a one single deal, so fair enough.”
We’re still waiting for the comeback tour, lads. 🙂 The full article can be found below.