Mike Sheridan: Techno Boy Wonder
He may be just 17 years old, but he’s already a well-known figure and very much in demand on the Danish electronica scene. Talented composer and producer Mike Sheridan may well end up following in the footsteps of colleague Trentemøller and achieve major electronic success – and not just within the confines of nightclubs.
In autumn 2008 Mike Sheridan released his debut album ‘I Syv Sind’ (“In Two Minds”) in Denmark, to a warm critical reception. The album also sold well, staying at number one on the national iTunes chart for several weeks.
The release was the result of several years’ passionate sound-sculpting in his bedroom at his parents’ home in Amager, an island in the Sound that separates Denmark from Sweden.
Inspirational Christmas present
Mike Sheridan first started to appear in Copenhagen nightclubs at the age of 15 – not as a guest, but as a DJ behind decks he could barely see over.
“I wasn’t even old enough to get into the clubs, so at first my parents had to come with me when I was playing,” explains Mike, who gets his English-sounding name from his Irish father. “They’ve been a great source of support, even when I decided to drop out of school.”
Sheridan’s interest in music was sparked in 1999 at the age of 10, when his dad, an IT innovator, gave him the music-editing program Acid for his Christmas. These days, Sheridan calls his computer his right hand.
Sheridan had an electronic music epiphany in summer 2004, when Danish national radio transmitted a live set by Geoff White’s alter ego Aeroc from the Sonár Festival in Barcelona.
“It was like being swallowed up by a universe. For me, a whole new world opened up,” says Sheridan.
Among his other electronic infatuations were the likes of Nightmares on Wax and Plastikman. Later, he also became interested in more nimble techno, as well as the film scores of composers such as Thomas Newman and Cliff Martinez.
Music with no sense of history
His debut is a richly organic soundscape, perhaps best described as an interwoven tapestry. Its many repeating phrases slowly develop into an intricate, shifting pattern.
Gradually, a structure emerges amid the protracted atmospheres, pulsing rhythms and cavernous bass. The young composer and producer describes his music as having no sense of history:
“When I make music I communicate atmospheres. I’m not a storyteller, more a reporter of moods.”
So far, Sheridan’s musical reportage is primarily known in Denmark, although on several occasions – including in the company of Trentemøller – he has guest DJ’ed at Berlin nightclubs, most recently during PopKomm 2008.
“Of course, I’d like to get my music out into the world, and I am focusing right now on Germany and the UK,” says Sheridan, who is releasing his music on his own label, in collaboration with the Scandinavian distributors Playground Music.
But even though he is doing well in his native country, it’s difficult to break through the Danish border. “The electronic music industry works on very anarchistic principles,” says Sheridan.
Given the choice, he would love his records to be released by the influential independent record company XL Recordings, which has the likes of Thom Yorke, the Cool Kids, Basement Jaxx and Sigur Rós on its rooster.
“It takes great insight and maturity to make it out there in the big world. I am in no rush to trip over my own feet. Not for the next year, at any rate. But after that I’d like things to start to happen,” he explains, with an ambitious glint in his eye.
BONUS: Trentemøller on Sheridan
Even though there’s an age difference of 15 years between Sheridan and Trentemøller, they share many of the same tastes, not to mention knowledge, experience and equipment.
“Mike has regularly asked for my advice, borrowed gear from me and played me his demos,” says Trentemøller. “It’s a great pleasure to be able to inspire a new and very young generation of producers.”
“Mike Sheridan is a major talent. He creates a good sound and is very open to influences from other genres. His debut is well executed, and I look forward to his future work, as he will undoubtedly get even better.”
Trentemøller is currently working on material for the follow-up to 2006s ‘The Last Resort’, which helped make him an international techno superstar.
Brought to you in collaboration with:
Boom Boom Magazine – The Sounds & Visions of Denmark