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Visceral, densely textured, and intricately programmed, Swarm Intelligence’s distinctive sound comes from almost a decade of releases, spanning multiple genres and tempos. His non-conformist approach to music has earned him a solid reputation worldwide.
Born in Dublin, Simon Hayes found a home in the city’s thriving bass and techno scene in the early 2000s. He became a regular attendee at nights run by the likes of !Kaboogie and Electric City, and later went on to DJ and host events.
A student of computer and electronic engineering, he later focussed his studies on artificial intelligence and began to apply learned concepts to music. He graduated in 2009 and moved to Berlin shortly thereafter, where he founded his Swarm Intelligence project. Initially intended as an antidote to the city’s then monotone four-to-the-floor offerings, his sound was raw, high tempo and distortion-laden, and better suited to illegal raves and squat parties.
It was this abrasive tone that led him to the doors of the seminal Ad Noiseam label, with whom he went on to release two rhythmic noise albums: “Faction” (2014) and “Rust” (2015). He also began touring extensively, including an AV performance at the infamous Maschinenfest. His hefty live sets later drew the attention of the Boiler Room crew, who invited him to perform at a Berlin edition of their show at the end of 2015.
Drawn to the emerging bleak and brutalist techno sound at the time, Hayes returned to his roots. His debut EP “The Lighthouse” (2016) on the then up-and-coming label Voitax was widely supported on floors across the continent. This was followed by releases on Instruments of Discipline (“Home Recordings”, 2017) and Earwiggle (“Flatlands”, 2017).
Propelled by this momentum, he went on to release his widely-acclaimed fourth album. “Against the Dying Light” (2018), released on Voitax, was written as a reaction to the shift in global politics towards fear and oppression. "If Industrial Techno is a sewer – flowing under the infrastructure of club culture, always there, hardly changing – then this is a horrific eruption from those subterranean depths, impossible to ignore or forget once exposed to it" – The Wire. Swarm Intelligence debuted this album during a memorable live set on Berghain’s Säule floor, and proceeded to tour across Europe.
This year has seen Hayes return to his rave beginnings with a drum-machine focussed EP on New York Trax Imports, as well as a cutting-edge technoid release on the renowned 47 label. His upcoming “Ultraware” EP on Voitax utilizes experimental DSP and modular synthesis to reimagine classic rave foundations for dancefloors of the future.
Releases on VOITAX:
VOI 005 — The LighthouseVOI X — CoiledVOI LP01 — Against The Dying LightVOI DC01 — CumulusVOI 018 — Ultraware (upcoming)
Releases on other Labels:
Swarm Intelligence — Black Iron Prison (ACRELP1)Swarm Intelligence — Faction (ADN183)Swarm Intelligence — Rust (adn189lp)Swarm Intelligence — Home Recordings (IOD016)Swarm Intelligence — Flatlands (EAR017)Swarm Intelligence — 47022 (47022)Swarm Intelligence — New York Trax Imports 04 (NYTI04)
Find Swarm Intelligence on: Discogs I Facebook I Resident Advisor I Soundcloud