Hi Jörgen! How are you doing?
JK: I'm well, thanks! The sun is out, and I have some time to chill and do a bit of reading. I kind of overdid it with my pre-vacation book shopping this year, and now I'm struggling to keep up :)
You live in Sweden, how is life over there at the moment? Did your summer change because of the Covid-19 situation?
JK: We had plans to go to Portugal this summer, originally. But when Covid-19 hit, we quickly decided to stay in Sweden. Which, as it turned out, was what the government decided we should do also. I've had a great summer with my family, staying close to the ocean and just kicking back.
Speaking of summer, congrats on the new album' Invincible Summer'! It's a powerful name if we consider these strange and difficult times around the world. In the album description you shared that it came from a quote by Albert Camus, please tell us more about that!
JK: Thanks! The quote from Camus is, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." I've carried it round in my head for a few years. To me, it describes what happened inside of me when I met my wife, and we later turned our two small families into a more regular sized one. Like, there was a thawing happening. In the context of Covid-19, I think the quote speaks of hope and perseverance. Things can seem very bleak, and there's so much heartbreak, loss, and fear. But even this is not forever.
What was your process and influences for writing this album?
JK: The album is made up of tracks I've collected over maybe six months or so. They are meant to capture memories or remembered emotions and moods from time spent with my family traveling in the summer. The track titles are places we've been to, mostly. In a way, the album is a love letter to my family, as cheesy as that may sound. Gear wise, it's mostly my OP-1 and a few guitar pedals. I've been making stuff on the fly, on trains, in summer cabins, wherever. Then I've resampled things through pedals, slowed them down, things like that.
There's so much music I listen to all the time. I don't think I had any specific artists that I tried to emulate on this album. But I've been listening to a lot of H. Takahashi, Federico Durand, Green-House, Laraaji, Josh Mason, Senoy, Julia Bloop, Lungfulls, and xJK. lately. Currently, I'm on a bit of a lofi tangent. We'll see how that affects upcoming projects.
This album feels deeply meditative. How do you approach making this type of music?
JK: First of all, that's a great compliment to me. Thanks! I don't know that it's something I do on purpose, that meditative thing. I do try to "do less" when I work on a track and just let it happen. I guess you could say I try to discover tracks rather than make them if that makes any sense. Also, the whole meditative thing could just be a reflection of my inner tempo.
What would you say are the ideal listening conditions for this album?
JK: Probably when you're moving. Train rides should be good, but also walks along water or in the forest. And maybe early in the morning?
Do you have a personal favorite track on the record? Which one would it be and why?
JK: Evening Lul, I think. Such a banger!
You have a track on the PITP comp "Healing Sounds II", how do you see music and charity work fitting together? What are your thoughts on helping people in need through art?
JK: I was very honored to be asked to contribute a track on that comp. As an artist, I think there are a few good things about projects like that. You get to help to raise money and help people in need, and at the same time, your music may offer some solace to the listener. In times like these, when the world seems filled to the brim with worry, I hope ambient music can have a function beyond your average "work focus" playlist scenario.
You are part of a music duo called Little Boxes. How do you approach working in a pop duo compared to your solo ambient project?
JK: Little Boxes is the band I have with my wife, and it's completely different than my ambient stuff. We do a more electronic pop kind of a thing, where I get to sing harmony and play guitar and stuff in a more structured setting. My wife is a great singer and producer and writes great lyrics. The original idea was to see how much of a ruckus we could make between the two of us. Quite a bit, it turns out. It is also an awesome way to spend time with someone you love. You just open a bottle of red, fire up the gear, and make an evening out of it. Then there's the collaborative aspect, where the end result is something that we'd never had come up with on our own.
What are you listening to lately? Do you have any recommendations for us?
JK: I've been going back to what got me into electronic music in the first place. So Teebs and Evenings have been getting some airtime this summer. Also, the new Duelling Ants release is great. Then there's Meitei, Khotin, Ulla Straus, Golden Retriever, Josh Mason again...
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Congrats again on the wonderful album. Any last words for people out there?
JK: My pleasure! I hope people enjoy the album, and I also hope people try to find a moment every day to just let go of whatever is going on currently (I know there's a lot) and enjoy a little peace.
Three Things that Inspired the release of 'Air'; by Sean Evans
I got married last august to the most amazing person. My wife, Klee Larsen-Crawford is an amazing visual artist (www.Kleelarsen.com) and is constantly inspiring me to do new things. When we moved in together a few years back, she pushed me to finally get out of my home studio method and invest in a proper studio to make music in. The effect on my output has been immense and really leveled up my writing and mixing techniques. She's the most supportive person i've ever met and none of this would be possible without her. She is the coolest.
With all the streaming services available to us, We're really spoilt for choice when it comes to playing whatever music we'd like to. For the past few years, I've been luky enough to be involved with a few great internet radio stations in the likes of NTS in London where i was lucky enough to do a few shows, and No Fun Radio in Vancouver where I had the pleasure of producing my show MELT for 2 years. I've discovered so much music simply by diving deep into other peoples shows, which is initially how I discovered PITP and HSP. After buying a record from PITP and sending some emails, I was lucky enough to end up with a release on the label. Everyone who works there is so nice and welcoming. It's enough to give you faith that the music industry still has some good people in it.
Here's a link to all my old shows:
I've got a really great group of friends that keep an awesome messenger thread called "JAM ALERT" as a way to keep each other up on all the great new music we find day-to-day (two of those pals, Will and Danny actually have songs featured on this mix, they rule) Through that group, i've been going deeper and deeper into the world of spiritual jazz via some amazing artists like Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders. The use of cascading piano, heavy drums and percussion and sublime horn parts have really re-shaped what I used to love about jazz. and there is no doubt that so much of it informs the music that I make. It can be really easy to get stuck into listening to drone/ambient all day long and I find that this music keeps me searching for new ideas and techniques.
Current Listening & Digital Mix
Dan Blackburn - September 20th
Contours - Keld ft Abel Selaocoe & Callum Connell
Will McFarland - Melbday2017
Blod & Arv & Miljö - Untitled
Sister Bernice Dobson - If I Can Just Make It In
Forest Management - Following, Forming
Anne Annie - さまよう
Pharaoh Sanders - Greeting To Saud
Sean Evans - Repetition
Fresh Bread - estate_eternal_loop
Bobby Caldwell - My Flame (Sean Evans Slo-Mo Edit)
Bobby Hamilton Quintet - Dream Queen
Ana Roxanne - Nocturne
Hi Todd! Glad to talk to you today. How are you doing?
TT: I am well, thanks. Working on the next record at the moment.
For people who might not be familiar with your work, please tell us a bit about yourself and the origins of Tapes and Topographies?
TT: I first began releasing ambient music as Tear Ceremony many years ago. I then detoured into downtempo for a while with Sonogram then in 2014 I returned to ambient with Tapes and Topographies. A Pulse of Durations is the 8th Tapes and Topographies release.
You also run a label Simulacre Records, could you tell us a little about how that came to be? What other labels have you worked with and how did you come to work with PITP?
TT: After releasing the first Tear Ceremony record on Germany’s Machinery Records, I started Simulacra primarily to release my own work and that of a few close friends. This was manageable when I was doing one release per year but lately I’ve been doing 3 or 4 releases per year which left little time for label duties. I decided it would be better to seek the help of a label. PITP was familiar with my work and they had an impressive roster so I reached out to
see if they would be interested in doing the new record.
The new album is wonderful, congratulations! What is this album about and what does it mean to you?
TT: Most of my work explores similar themes of dreams, memory, time, loss. I suppose It’s an attempt to document the human condition or at times just to comfort myself.
In the description that accompanies the album you said that the album was influenced by the films of Tarkovsky and Resnais, please tell us more about this!
TT: I’ve always been influenced by the likes of Bergman and Cocteau. For this record, I absorbed other cinematic influences particularly Resnais’ Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Louis Malle’s The Lovers and Antonioni’s La Notte. In these films, time seems suspended as in a dream and there is such poetry in the journey of the protagonist. An underlying despair which is unresolvable. I try to capture some of those feelings in miniature in my music.
The title ‘A Pulse of Durations’ is taken from Scott Walker’s song ‘Angel of Ashes’. Scott Walker was truly a one of a kind artist and his passing last year was a great loss. Did he have a big impact on your musical journey and this release in particular? What other artists have had a big influence on your work?
TT: I don’t know that his sound had an influence on mine but I find his trajectory inspiring.
He was always pushing the envelope. Many found his last couple of records impenetrable. Even I sometimes secretly hoped he would return to his majestic croon before he left us.
I first discovered him many years ago, long before the 4AD resurgence and even then there was so much of interest in his catalog to explore. He was certainly ahead of his time. I was astonished he had escaped my gaze for so many years. But his records were extremely difficult to find in the US at that time.
The music on this album is ethereal, dreamy, powerful and (at times) dark. What was your approach and process in writing, composing, and recording this record?
TT: I normally focus on a limited palette for each release and then try to remove something and add something new for the next one to keep it interesting. This might be adding new gear or changing the workflow, usually a bit of both. Once I have a couple of tracks, the rest tend to come quickly. Sometimes there’s a vague theme guiding it all for inspiration, but usually nothing too explicit or restrictive.
What gear did you use on this album? And what is your thought process in regards to gear selection in general?
TT: I recently started using a hardware looper more often than software along with more effects pedals over plugins. I find these tactile differences lead to more spontaneity. The new record is primarily sample-based, I don’t think there any actual synths on this one. There are a few heavily processed guitars. The Avalanche Run and Electro-Harmonix Super Ego Plus are good for smearing the attack away so you end up with more of a soundscape. I am using the Electro-Harmonix 95000 looper which is more than I need but it’s very intuitive with few menus and little scrolling required.
I’ve recently become more adventurous with trying different gear and if it doesn’t work for me just getting rid of it and trying something else. On the next record I’m working on now, I am using a couple of analog synths (Model D and Minilogue) and experimenting more with microloops. I prefer to accidentally stumble on inspiring sounds than to spend too much time programming. I have not yet ventured into modular synths.
What is your favorite track on the album and why?
TT: It changes often but perhaps the title track, it best encapsulates the feel of the record as a whole.
Thank you for talking with us today. Any last words you want to share with people out there?
TT: Thanks to everyone for listening.
'A Pulse of Durations'
by Tapes and Topographies
LP // Digital
'With "A Pulse of Durations" I found myself attempting to strip things down to find the beauty of each core idea instead of hoping to find it through further embellishment.
During this period, the films of Tarkovsky and Resnais were influential for their atmosphere and dreamlike qualities. The title is taken from Scott Walker's "Angels of Ashes". I've always found it to be a lovely and undefinable phrase.' -TG
Written, Recorded & Mixed by Todd Gautreau
Mastered at SDS Studio (WA) by Drew Sullivan
Photography by Isaac Helsen
Artwork, design & assemblage by zakè
© Past Inside the Present
This is PITP-V024 | MMXX