The CLR stalwart techno artist eschews synths for field recordings on his debut LP.
Born in the UK and based in Berin, Tommy Four Seven takes an audiophile approach to making tough club techno. Much of his music draws from a raw, metallic aural palette, and in many cases this stems from his method of miking natural sounds and weaving them into his tracks. On Primate, he delves into this practice more than ever before, eschewing synths and conventional percussion sounds and using his own field recordings as source material. For vocals, he enlisted the help of Ema Jolly.
We recently caught up with Tommy Four Seven to talk about why he records the way he does, and what effect it had on his album:
Why did you choose the name primate?Tracklist
Primate was stolen from a label that introduced me to techno when I was 12 years old. Since then the primate and ape logo of Primevil have stayed with me and influenced an ideology of how I like techno to be served; strong, tribal (I'm not talking bongos) and raw.
What kind of tracks can we expect from the album? Is it a different style from what we hear on your 12-inches?
It follows from the last few releases, keeping the primitive roll and industrial tones but the album also explores avenues of techno I've not released, i.e. non four-to-the-floor.
In the past you've been known to use live instruments in your recordings. Is their much live instrumentation on your new album?
I had a concept of not using any generic percussion sounds such as claps, hi-hats etc, in fact there is no use of synthesizers either. I also worked with Emika who delivered incredible textured vocal recordings, which were sculptured around the beats, replacing the use of synths. After the vocal recordings I'd say around 90% of the other sounds were recorded with microphones before being manipulated beyond recognition. The remaining sounds were pretty much all kick drums Chris Liebing and myself added for low frequency density. I don't have anything against synths or hi-hats, I just wanted to see what I could create by deliberately not using them.
You've been quoted as saying "Digital music doesn't have to sound like a computer has made it." What exactly do you mean by that, and how does it affect the way you make music?
I like music that has a certain amount of organic feel and I think even electronic music can sound too digital. A lot of electronic music I hear today sounds like a computer preset. This feeling got me to ditch my plug-in instruments and grab my field recorder and microphone for this album and I think my music benefited from it.
What's next for you after the album?
A few remixes including one for Lucy's upcoming album on Stroboscopic Artefacts and also some new collab material I've been working on with Chris, perhaps Bauhaus 2.0.
05. Track 5
09. Armed 3
CLR will release Primate on March 28th, 2011.