Sunday, 23 August 2009

TROPICS...Smoke and Shoot

We get to know up and coming experimental and ambient techno producer Chris Ward...

HYH: How would you describe your sound?
I make all sorts of music. When producing I like to create distorted drones and melodies against quite an atmospheric and dusty soundscape, with tight drums breaking their way through. I use keyboards and guitars and have most recently started singing over tracks.

How long have you been making music for?
Ive been making music all my life, one way or another. As soon as I got my first computer and the internet my older brother hooked me up with some bookshelf speakers and a midi keyboard and it took off from there. I never had a microphone but when I figured out that you can record on headphones I’d have loads of fun capturing lo-fi sounds of myself drumming and background noises and put that against loops and running basslines using early versions of cubase. As I got older and the internet developed into one huge free downloading shop I’d get my hands on cracks of the latest fruity loops and ableton live and started to develop more of my own sound and progress creatively with help from a vast array of VST synths. After a couple of years developing skills and releasing bootleg remixes I managed to get myself a macbook/logic and have never looked back. I started recording more melodies using bizarre chords and guitar drones against many atmospheric, background samples.

HYH: What are your musical influences?
I get very influenced by hearing cutting edge sounds and styles, I seem to pick up on these. There’s many modern electronic artists who have always played a big part of my influence and inspiration, like Apparat, M83, Telefon Tel Aviv but of-course there was the classics like Hendrix, Beach boys, so many. I’m also inspired by a lot of art, mainly photography, which I like to get involved in from time to time, it sparks creativity that I can channel into making music.

What’s your favourite band of the moment?
CW: Im not sure what bands are ‘of the moment’, but Im really enjoying listening to Grizzly Bears latest album and lots of experimental, melodic IDM.

HYH: Where do you see your sound going from here?
Well its hard to tell really as I don’t think enough about getting somewhere and spend so much time enjoying it. Right now I’m working with two close friends (also musicians), experimenting with how to create a live/gig-friendly performance with instruments and vocalists, turning tropics into more of a band. That the next step I think.

HYH: Who would you most like to work with?
CW: There’s just so many people. I like a lot of music, and take notice of so many amazing artists. If I said a name, it would probably change next week.. but right now maybe Natasha Khan or Anthony Gonzalez.

HYH: What gigs have you got lined up?

CW: DJ sets, which will be listed on myspace sometime soon I guess… I’ve forgotten my password.

words & styling Hannah Al-Shemmeri
photographer James Pinkie Terry

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