Donnacha Costello 6x6=36

Donnacha Costello 6x6=36
Irish-born minimal techno producer Donnacha Costello is currently at the height of his game, but back during the crowded clicks-and-cuts era he delivered two albums — one indebted to Maurizio, the other to Brian Eno — that never caught on in any major way. In 2004, he began recording for his own label, Minimise, and since then his output (like 6x6=36 and the Color series that preceded it) have been unapologetically conceptual concepts that bring out the best in him. The 6x6 series revolves around discipline and intuition. Costello recorded six six-minute tracks, one a day, over six days. The results were then released over six weeks in the fall of 2006, and then as this astoundingly cohesive CD version. This is first-rate work, all unfiltered, high-treble, no-nonsense techno, high-octane glitches and loose loop evolutions. Costello has come across something refreshingly rough, cold and inspired in testing his boundaries. 6x6’s confidence in off-the-cuff spontaneity makes other producers’ tracks — save for Ricardo Villalobos’s epic singles streak — sound overdone and second-guessed. Here, Costello allows something as small as a day’s mood dictate the results. 6x6=36 reminds the listener that techno need not be warm or emotive to stir, that sometimes intuition is humane enough. A remarkable, nearly flawless set.

What led to the concept of six tracks, six days, six minutes?
Conceptually, a release of six tracks each six minutes long with the project title 6x6=36 has been going around my head for a few years. The idea of doing it in six days was, in the end, not only conceptual but also practical. The first four months of 2006 were spent partially renovating an old house we bought. Between doing the renovations and my travel commitments, I had no studio time. My travel schedule from May onwards was looking very busy and I had a window of six days before that kicked off and it all just came together at that moment.

Would you agree that your career has been revived since you started your own label?
Yes, things have definitely been much different for me since 2004. Between 2001 and 2003 I went through a musical mid-life crisis type period and I dabbled in lots of different projects and almost gave up completely at one point. However, the kick drum called me back and I decided to stop fighting against it. Since then things have been better than I could have hoped.
(Minimize/Forced Exposure)