It's been a couple of months that I've now been following the works of young producer Tropics, after I luckily discovered his work on myspace. One of his earlier tracks, 'Melorr', instantly caught my attention, with its slow drum beat, brilliantly arranged synths and percussion and the wonderfully looped vocals almost therapeutically chanting the word "happy". The sound he creates is so unique as well, it was something which stood out as it was very experimental, a sound I had never really heard before, shown in the fact the only artist I could even draw the slightest comparison with is Boards Of Canada, which is a good direction to be moving in for any artist.
Tropics also has a new album which will be released in the near future on the excellent Planet Mu label, which releases some of the best material from the experimental artists working within the electronic genre (e.g. FaltyDL, Boxcutter, Brackles, Floating Points, Shortstuff etc...). This is an album I'm really anticipating to be a big release, especially after hearing a couple of new tracks over the past few days which could potentially feature on the album. The first of these is 'Swallow', which is actually quite dark and has a really atmospheric buzz to it, with distorted vocals fluently making there way in and out of the track. It's a nice progressive track, and if this is the sort of line the album will follow then we're in for a treat. My favourite of his new stuff is without doubt 'Broken 1-2', which is really well produced. The track is quite dark, yet uplifting in its own way, with the 7 minute track acting almost as a journey. The beat is really well constructed, a perfect IDM track in my opinion, one that is both suited to the dancefloor and for listening pleasure in the comfort of your headphones. You must check these great tracks out, and you can do so by visiting his soundcloud page at http://soundcloud.com/tropics. You can also visit his myspace page by clicking here.
I contacted tropics a few days ago, and he kindly agreed to give an interview, which you can all find below.
Hi. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into producing?
"My name is Chris and I produce electronic music. I'm 22 and first got into making music when I was about 15. My older brother introduced me to a lot of records as I was growing up in the 90's such as Chemical Brothers, Leftfield and when I wasn't listening to this it was mostly 80's stuff I was mesmerized by, pretty much everything from the pop to post-punk. When I reached college I started to take my production a bit more seriously and began producing 80's influenced jams on keyboards/synths. I guess its been one progressive development from there to get to the sound I am now."
How would you describe the style/sound of the music you produce?
"The sound and style I produce now depends on what I'm feeling, sometimes I want to produce the darkest, most atmospheric track I possibly can, with heavy reverb on industrial noises. This kind of sound I heard hints of in electronic music when I was younger and have always been inspired by it. I like music to not always come from an instrument, especially drums which is why I'll record hits from any items I like the sound of, even if its literally pots and pans. Its usually more crisp and sweet for the ears. However, other times I'll like to make something very mellow, yet uplifting but always trying to keep depth and some sort of atmosphere."
How is work on your album coming along?
"I've just finished university for the summer so I'll be spending a lot of time on my first album which is to be released on Planet Mu. I've made a lot of tracks this year, a few of which I would like for the album, one or two are fairly old though so I may revisit them."
Where do you take your musical influences from, and who are your favourite artists/tracks at the minute?
"At the moment I take influence from all sorts, but I'm into band music mainly. Right now I'm liking experimental artists such as These New Puritans and Bear In Heaven (who I was lucky enough to remix a couple of months ago)."
"Caribou's new record has been on repeat, along with Onra 'Long Distance'. If I can give a track right now it'd be Onra - High Hopes, perfect summer track."
What are your hopes/plans for the rest of the year? Where do you see yourself in the future?
"For the rest of the year, get my album out there, hopefully people will like it and I can get some gigs. I like traveling, and especially when it's music orientated. I've never been able to do this enough so once the album's out I think I'll focus on that. I've also been working on a project, quite similar to Tropics with two friends, but using more live instruments, so that's been pretty interesting. In the future I'd like to produce music for film."
I would like to say a massive thanks to Chris for the interview. This is a man I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from, so make sure you look out for him in the near future. The new album is one I cannot wait to hear, I have a feeling its going to be great, and I will be keeping you updated on its release as well and any other works Tropics produces.