WHEN Fermanagh man Cormac O’Kane was asked to remaster all of Horslips’ music, he jumped at the chance, but it was no easy feat.
For the past two years, Cormac, who is originally from Irvinestown, has been working on the huge remastering project at his Redbox Recording studio in Belfast.
Now completed and called ‘More Than You Can Chew’, the new Horslips box set celebrates the band’s 50th anniversary and it turned out to be a labour of love for him.
“It was special to be part of it as I grew up listening to Horslips. Barry Devlin is from Ardboe in Tyrone, so they have a real connection to the North. They invented ‘Celtic Rock’,” Cormac said.
“I have been doing a lot of remastering work where I’d take a band’s career over the years and remaster everything they have put out.
“What record companies do is that they look at a band like Horslips and gather up everything they have done from rehearsal tapes to B sides and alternative versions of songs.”
In this particular case, well-renowned music author Colin Harper curated the project and found all of the Horslips audio to be used.
“He gave it to me and I had to make it sound like it all belongs on one collection. It ranged from songs from scratchy LPs to old demos,” Cormac said.
He opened Redbox Recording – a modern media studio with a focus on the use of technology in the creative arts – 10 years ago and clients include everybody from Ed Sheeran to acts like Horslips, as well as a variety of record companies, theatre companies, classical composers and all the major broadcasters.
There will be only so many of the boxset sold as it’ll be a collector’s item, aimed at Horslips devotees, but fans won’t be disappointed.
“Getting all this sounding right is like getting a picture into focus. It takes time, but Barry and Jim Lockhart [another Horslips band member] were very patient and also great to hang out with,” Cormac said.
“I did get a bit of Horslips poisoning as I worked on it for so long, but it was worth it in the end. They were great to work with.”
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