From Tipperary to techno: An Irish woman DJ in New York

I keep a very close eye on the Irish techno scene and am very happy to see it is thriving

Fiona Walsh lives in Manhattan. From Tipperary, she is an actor, comic and DJ

I've always been a huge fan of dancing - and with every kind of music associated with that. Growing up, I pretty much only listened to disco and music from Detroit and Chicago. I moved to NYC in the late 1990s and worked in theatre off Broadway and also in comedy, which I still do.

In 2008 I was doing some freelance journalism for newspapers here and got press passes for a gig at NYC’s iconic Roseland Ballroom to hear German trance DJ Paul van Dyk. I walked in and was blown away by the lights, the lasers, the whole vibe. I had been to clubs before, but this was a different animal. It really was a life-altering moment for me.

I went on to organise groups that went out regularly to club gigs around the city. Eventually, through meeting and hearing other music suggested by friends, I left behind the world of trance and discovered techno. I was writing a small column for Clubbers Guide Ireland called View from the Bridge about gigs I was attending here in New York and my friend Gareth, who ran that, suggested I start a similar one in NYC. I did and was born.


I have now interviewed more than 270 top-name DJs from all over the world, basically going out every weekend for 10 years to experience all the fabulous music NYC has on offer.

I did radio and on-camera interviews at festivals here too, coming live from NYC on RTE Pulse. I suppose it was inevitable then that I would become interested in DJing, which led me to my current incarnation of Spin D.

I've been very fortunate to play all over the New York, Denver, Detroit (for Movement Festival) and played Basement in Galway a few years back, which was so much fun.

I became a resident DJ for one of the best underground parties in the city called Aphotic and I have shared the decks with some of the top techno DJs, so I am continuing to learn and grow as a performer and to hone my musical ear.

In 2018, the Irish government had their first float in Gay Pride here and I was selected to play for that and the following year for World Pride. What an amazing experience to hear thousands of people cheering and dancing as you play down 5th Avenue. Unforgettable. I have just been confirmed as the DJ for the float representing the Irish Government in Gay Pride 2022, so it's back on! See you there.

I have also been very fortunate to work with the legendary DJ record producer, and composer Jeff Mills, writing and acting in a short movie that he used for his Something in the Sky project. It was a perfect marriage of my love for techno and acting/writing.

During Covid, like many DJs I started to do livestreams and became a resident on Locked Down Radio with a weekly stream and contributed to femme DJ collective called Siren Project. Last year I got to play at Sun and Stone Festival, which is an event held at an amazing cement cave in upstate New York.

I keep a very close eye on the Irish techno scene and am very happy to see it is thriving - and not just in the capital

New York city is definitely my favourite city for techno music and clubbing. Always great crowds, fun vibes and providing lovely experiences meeting people from all over the world.

It’s hard to explain why I love this music so much, but I think ultimately, it is beautifully mathematical. Its clean, 4/4 beat just tickles my brain in a different way and I never get tired of listening to it.

I am very fortunate that many producers send me their tracks and mixes to listen to and I really appreciate it. I know the time and effort that goes into making music. Even though I don’t really dabble in production, I still have very good understanding of that work.

I have also brought my husband into the techno world and we often DJ together. An Irish/Algerian techno duo called ducttapedjs. Interesting.

I keep a very close eye on the Irish techno scene and am very happy to see it is thriving - and not just in the capital. The techno love is real in Ireland. As the only Irish female techno DJ working in NYC right now, it is so wonderful to see so many women everywhere embracing and thriving in this world. Long may it continue.

You can hear some Spin D mixes here and here

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