Premiere: Kormac – Ondes (Featuring Jafaris)

This month sees Dublin composer, producer, and DJ Kormac gearing up to release his first album in almost a decade. Drawing inspiration from orchestral compositions, the multi-hyphenate artist says that this project was born from a desire to do something very different. “I basically decided I wanted to write an album with an orchestra at my disposal,” he told us, “which coming from a hip-hop and dance music background was a bit of a leap.” To achieve this vision, Kormac spent months in Bulgaria training, preparing, and making mistakes before returning to the Irish countryside to write what would become Equivalent Exchange. “I reached out to artists I wanted to collaborate with very early on in the process, hence the title Equivalent Exchange,” he explains. Those artists include the likes of Loah and Jack O’Rourke, but most significantly the Irish Chamber Orchestra, who worked closely with Kormac to help achieve his singular vision. “When I decided I wanted to work with an orchestra, I essentially wrote it as a live show.”

You can hear this sense of grandiose theatricality on Ondes. Named after the historic synth that takes the lead on the track, Ondes is a fiery grime record featuring verses from Zimbabwean-Irish rapper Jafaris, an artist whose approach Kormac says is exactly what Ondes needed. But it’s the song’s striking, extended introduction that really sets Ondes apart, and speaks toward the sort of alchemy that Kormac is aiming for on Equivalent Exchange. It opens with crescendoing swells of the entire orchestra rising up from silence, playing aggressively ‘in tutti.’ “I wanted it to be the best intro I’ve ever written or that anyone’s ever heard. Striking and abrasive.” The results are ridiculously epic, just as Kormac intended. “If we’re gonna have an orchestra,” he says with a knowing smirk, “I’m going to harness that power.” 


Listen to Ondes from Equivalent Exchange below. Pre-order the album on vinyl here.

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