Tours – In The Mind Of (Interview)
Tours made a really pretty music, halfway between hip-hop beats and shoegaze. He is one of these kind of bedroom beatmaker, who could restore your faith into the other young internet producer music.
He’s working with the guys from the new net-label Young Latitudes, they only release a few tracks so far, but they are all coming from very talented bands. Next thursday night we will be premiering a Mix they nicely done for us on www.bananarec.com.
Hello can you present yourself.
Hey! My name is Dylan Sieh and I produce under the moniker, Tours.
With which words (not especially related to music) would you describe your sound.
Ambient, electronic, hip-hop, experimental… Some sort of eclectic style I suppose.
When and how do you start composing your own music ?
I’ve begun making beats in a pretty routine style. First I’ll find a song with a part I want to sample, then I’ll cut it up, rearrange the pieces, change the pitch and maybe mess a bit with Ableton’s beat repeat until I get something I like. From there, I take out my synths, drums and bass and really start constructing the overall song.
So you both use hardware and software instruments ?
Yes, I use mostly Ableton and a few plug-ins but nothing can emulate the sound of real instruments. I really like the combination of electronic and live sounds put into a song.
You describe your music as « Shoegaze », tell us what shoegaze as a musical genre and as a subculture means to you, and how you think your music relate to it ?
Shoegaze has been around since the 1990s. Traditionally, it has been a tag used mainly for Alternative rock bands. I came across it in electronic music about two years ago and it really inspired me to get into the whole “chillwave” scene. Though, the overall reason why I tag my music with shoegaze is because as a genre, chillwave seems to receive a lot of backlash.
Why are you afraid to be labelled as a chillwave artist ?
I think the biggest issue with the chillwave tag is that people think it will never become a real genre. It’s very undefined. Personally, I agree that you’ll probably never see the chillwave under itunes’ genre list but it definitely helps artist get their name out to people who specifically want to hear that bedroom sound. Plus with the help of Washed Out‘s Within and Without, I think chillwave as a genre will gain much more respect from the naysayers. That album does a great job of manipulating the bedroom sound into something bigger and more likable for the indie music scene.
Bedroom producer is now quoted as a quality seal for a newcomer. Do you think an amateur approach gave you more freedom to write music ?
I think there have been a lot of top-notch producers who have proven that recording studios aren’t as necessary as they used to be (Maybe except for mixing purposes). But with that said, they’re definitely needed and will never become obsolete. Recently I have been looking into getting studio time for my next project.
What do you search by going to a studio recording. You want to try new things, do you think it could change your sound ?
The recording studio will help me for another project. I’m perfectly content with Tours’ sound as of now but I have some demos I made that I think will be better off with professional studio recording. We’ll see how it goes.
You release a first EP on tape and digital. Do you see tapes as the new vynil of the internet generation, are you nostalgic of the walkmen era ?
I’m only 21. The times of tapes are beyond my generation (Or at least from where I grew up). I think when I started listening to music CDs are what I used. I can definitely see why tapes have become popular again. Despite their low quality sound, they do hold a very retro, stylistic feel to them, which seems perfect for the whole indie-music scene. I’d still like to get my music on vinyl one day but truth-be-said; someone who liked my music made the tapes for free so it wasn’t really a choice. I still love them nonetheless.
You have another moniker « Tumblewoof« , dedicated to mashup and club music. What did you learn of mash-up for you own creative process ?
I started releasing mash-ups as Tumblewoof because at the time I wasn’t comfortable releasing my own self-produced music… Which is sort of funny because technically all the tracks on Stay were made before the Phoenix & Lil’ Wayne mash-ups. I have to say though, as far as my production goes now, sampling has become much more fluent within my workflow. My project as Tumblewoof also gained me a lot of recognition in the electronic music scene, which really helped once I started releasing music as Tours.
How did you think of the Lil Wayne X Phoenix mash-up EP. what do you like about these two music and what could links them ?
One day, I was looking through multi-tracks of different artist and I discovered that Phoenix put out all of their stems from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I asked my friend what he’d like to hear mashed up with 1901 and he said “Birdman and Lil’ Wayne’s Stuntin’ Like my Daddy”. That’s generally how the mash up came to be. A lot of people really liked the track so eventually I just made an entire EP and put it online. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what links these two artists. I’ll admit it’s a pretty obscure combination.
Work Drugs use a song as an instrumental for one of their sounds. Are you connected to the Philadelphia music scene and do you plan for other collaborations ?
Work Drugs is one of the very few bands from Philadelphia who tags their music as chillwave. I figured I wanted vocals for IJS and since they were willing, the collaboration set off!
I think it’s safe to say a lot of my music is influenced by the West Coast beat scene. Unfortunately, you don’t find a lot of indie-beat producers from around here. Hopefully I’m just looking in the wrong places because I’d love to work on some more Philly-locals!
As far as collaborations go elsewhere, I have a Tough Lately remix coming out soon by Eboshi and a track I’m working on with Steffaloo. Both of which, I’m really excited to release! Hopefully there will be many more collaborations to come!
What music acts inspire you the most today ?
I find my music is really inspired from electronic artists such as Baths, Star Slinger, James Blake and so forth. I think the electronic music-making scene has changed a lot because of them, which is something I really admire.