Get to know Brame & Hamo, the Irish duo making anthemic house and gritty techno
The obvious parallel is Bicep, but for Brame & Hamo’s mums, the more amusing comparison they like to reach for is “the Irish Ant and Dec”. Truth is, this house duo is like neither because they say they’d go crazy if they spent as much time together as either of those famous twosomes.
“We know each other so well we don’t have to speak sometimes,” say Tiarnan McMorrow and Conor Hamilton, who both live in Berlin now. But they do admit they are similar in most senses, from their taste in music to lifestyle via a shared and “serious sense of ambition.”
They are also both products of Sligo, an Irish seaport of majestic mountains, dramatic seas and miles of sandy beaches where they lived 10 minutes apart and attended – unknowingly at the time – the same school. Despite a population of just 20,000, the town used to boast a club, The Clarence, which welcomed the likes of Sasha and Booka Shade before eventually closing. Brame & Hamo both used to attend, the former as a DJ despite being only 15 or so at the time. They eventually met through a music sharing group on Facebook when Tiarnan, 23, was selling his decks and Conor, 26, was in the market for a pair. “I didn’t buy them, though,” he says.
Realising they had similar tastes in “a lot of the Detroit stuff”, they began hanging out and heading to Dublin to see the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble and Kerri Chandler. Tiarnan had been making music since he was 10 on FL Studio; Conor came to it later. Now, since moving to Berlin a few years ago, they make the tunes they want to hear in their own DJ sets, having finally started to play out more and pick up a “proper understanding of club culture”. “We know now that club nights go on for more than a few hours, so we can make a real range of stuff,” they tell us.
Irish crowds are known for being full-on and rowdy, so it’s no surprise that Brame & Hamo say they still like playing the peak-time slot and now find themselves leaning more towards techno. Early tunes came on Dirt Crew, but their breakout hit ‘Roy Keane’ came on their own eponymous label, set up so they could speed up their release process “and not have someone tell us we can’t have a ghetto house track and a soulful house track on the same EP”.
The summery joy and nostalgia of ‘Roy Keane’ truly got their name out there, but the pair are keen to state that they’re about more than what they call “silly disco edits”, with their brand new ‘Limewire’ EP showcasing their taste for breaks and some harder-edged techno. To be honest, though, those silly little disco edits still sound pretty special to us.
Brame & Hamo’s ‘Limewire’ EP is out on Brame & Hamo now