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redXdown's path to where it musically arrived at today has been somewhat schizophrenic. A journey of extremes, with many lefts at the metaphorical traffic lights! Donal Ward-McCarthy, currently redXdown's principal, learned classical piano from the age of 5. He became so restless with the rigid constraints of serious music that even his teacher had doubts about Donal continuing! Donal recalls them both looking out over Cork City on a dull, rainy afternoon; as they took a break, the teacher said: "take up the fecking guitar, you're done here!" Donal thought he should listen! A year previously, Donal bought an old, weathered guitar from his mother's fellow teacher and was interested to learn everything he possibly could. He decided to take lessons at an alternative guitar school.
It was a vibrant city atmosphere, with many eager teenagers absorbing the wonders of this amazing and rebellious instrument. Soon afterward, Donal found himself playing with bands and settling in with some local lads to form Orchid. The band performed together around Cork for about 6 years before splitting up. They loved playing live, and gathered a loyal following for their unique take on punk and hard rock. Unfortunately, the members' lives followed different directions after finishing university. Donal was fairly accepting of this transition, as he himself was faced with another of those "left at the traffic lights" scenarios. Donal recalls sitting at a bar one evening with some friends and being absolutely blown away by the album the bartender was playing. It was Leftfield's debut album Leftism. Listening to that album once was enough to foreshadow Donal's later inklings to take that left at the lights. England's dance scene was extremely vibrant at the time, with such bands as Leftfield, Chemical Brothers and Underworld intriguing Donal to no end. He needed to know how to make this type of music, so he set down the guitar and vox, and was soon investing in hardware synths, samplers and sequencers! All this while, Donal was working full-time as an engineer in Ireland; he took a holiday to Canada, and fell in love with both girl and country. These loves precipitated moving to Canada, (Left); and venturing upon learning to produce electronic music. A short visit later to a music store, and a chat with someone who knew a lot about producing beats, and redXdown was born. Elliott Bryant and Donal worked together from 2004 to 2008, doing various remixes as well as their own blend of electronic music. Their collaboration bridged the gap between two extreme tastes and talents. Donal was obsessed with the electronic and wanted to learn more and more.
In 2008, when each member wished to continue in his own guise, it was decided that Donal would continue under the redXdown moniker. Soon afterward, redXdown landed a few tracks with Thoughtless Music, a well-respected Toronto tech house and minimal techno label run by Noah Pred. Hear the Music and Morning Rise showed redXdown's ability to produce great tech house tracks and received very positive feedback in the field such as: "Jamie Kidd, Limacon, and redXdown are all stellar - very into these!. All cuts on here are quality, and I think will be favorites for different people. Thanks very much for this!" - DEREK PLASLAIKO, The Bunker But again Donal felt the tug. He missed the good old days of picking up a guitar and belting out a tune at the top of his lungs. Guitar and vox began to once again take shape in his songs, (Left). Make up your bloody mind man! Some, but not all, of the blips, bleeps and twiddling of knobs at the mixing board were replaced by guitar melodies and vocals. Donal began to write songs again, or more to the point — he never stopped. He would just remove as much of the song elements as he possibly could, to create the "remix" version of the song that was never written… The need came for the song to be written again, and that's where we meet redXdown in 2011. Working on a solo album, and slowly morphing many of the backlogged songs into fully fleshed-out tracks was the aim. So here we are now in 2012. redXdown has finished the full length album and is shopping around for labels. It is indeed a smorgasbord of the electronic and some very powerful songs. redXdown was not quite ready to give up the dance groove! In the interim, redXdown played the Canadian Music Week Festival in Toronto in March 2012 alongside Toronto's Kids & Explosions and Most People.