I usually just start with any small noise and manipulate it beyond recognition and work from there…
How did you get the name Tommy Tempa? You seem so nice, do you loose your rag often?
Hehe, well yeah people have wondered that before, and I must say I wouldn’t consider myself an angry kind of guy! Its actually tricky to remember when it stuck, but it definitely came from my teen years when I was big into break-dancing – and if you want to be a proper B-boy you’ve got to have your name right? Somehow ended up with Tempa – think perhaps it was my battle style? Hehe its just like a second name to me now.
Can you describe your creative process? Judging by the music I always imagine you begin by going for a quick jaunt through the rainforest with a tape recorder and spear.
If I lived in Brazil then you’re pretty much spot on! I actually definitely do like to start with recording sounds I can find. Outdoors and indoors – kitchen utensils is always a favorite. I’ve got a tape recorder and a dictaphone which add nice character to field recordings, street recordings etc… plus I like to multi-sample instruments. The thumb piano on ‘Fragments’ for instance, that way I can play it on the keys and twist it up with effects or pitch it etc quite easily. I’ve got things like a beautiful hissy recording of a grand piano, and a spinet from a museum all mapped out on a sampler which is great to use. Sampling from records I don’t really do so much in a direct sense. I usually just start with any small noise and manipulate it beyond recognition and work from there.
Are you a particularly quixotic person or is it just the EP?
Well as far as I understand the meaning of the word I would say when I was making the EP it definitely came from that quite idealistic, romantic train of thought – when you can just be lost in your own little musical world and not care about who or what scene is gonna like it and how to sell it etc. So yeah its a quixotic EP! And perhaps it sums up my general attitude towards the music industry and my part in it…
Whilst we’re on the subject of idealism, what is the optimum situation for this EP to be listened to in? If I had my way I’d go for a swimming pool in Plastic People.
I love it! This is gonna have to happen for the release party. It wouldn’t be too hard to sort right? (Actually we are having one but not sure of details yet – will keep you posted). Well I would say ideally not skipped through on laptop speakers hehe, and all in order – the tracks are intended to lead on to each other. But however people are comfortable I guess… Just with open ears.
You have a habit of remixing that which should never be touched (Micachu, Caribou etc) and somehow pulling it off with great success – any collaborations in the pipeline? [If not who would you like to work with?]
Ha! Thanks! Yeah you mentioned two of my wishes right there… Well I actually live with some very musical people; Raisa from Micachu and The Shapes, and Olly from another band The Laurel Collective, plus a girl who’s a classical double bassist. Theres definite passing of ideas going on – watch this space! Got one or two other people there’s ideas forming with as well… Animal Collective would definitely be another on the wishlist, I love the kind of free-wheeling nature of their music. Maybe one day!
Free Download: “Fragments”
Purchase: Tommy Tempa “The Quixotic” EP