After releasing his stunning EP 'Soft Vision', the 24-year-old producer Tropics has since gone on to make his debut album 'Parodia Flare' featuring all his lush electronic melodies layered with intricate vocal samples. This May, he'll be playing at cult electronic label Planet Mu's showcase at Shoreditch's XOYO, presenting all live sets from their covetable roster - including Machinedrum (one half of duo Sepalcure), Kuedo (making his UK live debut), The Host (aka Boxcutter) playing new material debuting under his new production alias, and Berlin's Rudi Zygalo.
Expect a night of unexpected experimental electronica moving between dubstep, IDM, percussive juke, brooding techno, and breaks, influenced by US hip hop to 80s sci-fi funk courtesy of label founder Mike Paradinas; whilst Room Two will be run by THEM known for their nights at Corsica Studios bringing down the likes of Sduk & Cntrst, Tripper, Bagheera and Vortex SG. Here we meet Tropics ahead of the night who makes us an exclusive mix featuring...
...your secret talent?
If it's not being able to charm, it's being able to stick a two pence piece up my nose... But it can rarely be both of those simultaneously.
...the story behind your name?
I was trying to get people interested in my music when I started the project about four years ago. Back then that meant peacocking the hell out of your Myspace page. The bright colours, the flashy GIFs and the title just sprang to mind alongside all of that, and even though my sound has evolved and fluctuated over the years, it's always seemed to reflect it well.
...your worst vice?
I think I'd have to say alcohol. It's a key distraction, but mostly in a good way!
... your favourite sound?
When you hear loud music from a distance, from a balcony in a city at night, or a festival you're walking towards, where it has that great echo and you can't actually make out who or what it is, you just know it's music. I love that. Also, me and my friend were walking home from a party in Croatia last summer, it must have been around 4am and there was this incredible bleeping/whaling bird sound echoing from some passing woods. We got our phones out to record it, I've been meaning to sample it, whatever it was.
...your favourite website?
Possibly Cargocollective.com right now - a great community of artists, videos, photography, design and music. If I ever need a burst of inspiration I'll peruse the archives there. Asides from that I recently got asked to be part of a new site called 'Phonoblaster', where fans and artists can sort of exchange music, and fans can see what their favourite musicians are listening to, it's a nice concept.
...your favourite label?
Musical label? I'd have to say Hemlock is currently my dark, guilty pleasure! If you're talking fashion, I've always been quite loyal to APC and styles along the lines of what those guys do. Although I'm liking Christopher Shannon stuff at the moment, maybe I could afford it some day!
...your worst fashion secret?
I once dated a girl who was a bit taller than me and she would have been even taller if she wore heels. I felt kind of self-conscious about this fact, I've never gone for someone taller than me, so to prepare for the first 'date' occasion where she could possibly be wearing stilettos, I lined the inside of my desert boots with about three socks each to make me look taller. It was a bit of a squeeze but actually added a couple of inches to my height! I know this is usually the bit in the story where something goes wrong on our date, like, she accidentally cuts her finger open with a meat clever in the kitchen, there isn't a towel in sight, and the only way to stop the heavy outpour of blood is by me donating one of the many socks I had upon my person that night - but it all went smoothly. I have to say though, I would rarely bother to go to those kind of lengths to impress these days!
...are you listening to now?
Shigeto - Lineage EP. I think it's my favourite release so far this year. Reminds me of early Four Tet with a Chic Corea vibe.
How would you describe your work?
I'd say I've aways gone for very cinematic and moody soundscapes. (I love film music and I'd love to create it some day). But I also like to think I bring some uplifting feeling of resolution and warmth close to the listener. Adding my own vocals to my tracks is something still very new to me, but I think it works well on some songs. Others I don't like to touch with my voice and try my best to take you on a journey through layers of synth and textured sound.
If in doubt, play ____?
Well, right now I'm in this old family house which belonged to my grandmother, it's about 30 minutes out from where I live, it's been recently renovated and nobody's moved in. It's a great place to get away and work peacefully, so myself and Morgan, the drummer from my live show are spending the week writing new material and throwing ideas at one another. I'll be announcing a new signing and releases very soon but right now it's all about writing a bunch of new songs!
Broken & Uneven presents Planet Mu label showcase: Friday 11th May at XOYO, 32-37 Cowper Street, London, EC2A 4AP
Follow Flora Yin-Wong on Twitter here @petitflo