Tropics – Home & Consonance

We haven’t posted anything from Tropics in a while, but the Brighton native going by the name of Christopher Ward hasn’t been sitting around since his two EPs on Svetlana came out. Lovely pop song recorded live at Music Rooms and it fits quite nicely into my new found love for bands such as Vondelpark, Darkstar, PVT or Egyptian Hip Hop.

You can download the song (and a second one) for free over at Music Room’s SoundCloud page.

Weekend Mixtapes #27

There haven’t been any weekend mixtapes in about a month, but this time we have enough to get you through a week – or even longer. The reason, of course, is Hyperdub founder Kode9 who uploaded about 30 mixtapes he made over the last decade.

Next up are Kutmah‘s last three Sketchbook radioshows, which he dedicated entirely to a certain J Dilla. Download one, two, three.

As I revisited his past podcast more recently, I got excited when Hamburg-based B-Ju announced a new mixtape, because he’s an ace DJ with great taste in music. If you tend to agree, check out the latest Origami Sound podcast.

Following the second single of his album Hardcourage, Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL does another mixtape, this time for the folks at The Fader.

Together with Paul Pre, RaminskiVast family, but he’s also running his own series of mixtapes. Check out the latest volume on his Mixcloud page.

And lastly, check out the second Tropics podcast for oki-ni and October‘s mix for Truants.

Tropics – Mouves (Dam Mantle Remix)

I’ve been a huge fan of Tropics for some time now, so I’m always happy when a new track pops up. About 10 months ago, the Brighton-based producer released the Mouves EP as a last taster for his album and it already came with two remixes of the title track.

So I’m not sure whether this is a leftover or a track that didn’t make it in time. It comes from Glasgow’s Dam Mantle and it’s a free download!

Tropics – Black Hole Surf

Only a few months after the release of his debut album Parodia Flare, Chris Ward returns with a new Tropics record called Nautical Clamor. The self-released album contains 10 tracks of unreleased music, including an alternate version from his debut and a new remix of Mouves by With Joyful Lips.

You can buy Nautical Clamor for only ₤3 on the Tropics Bandcamp page or listen to the full album before making any decisions.

Mixtape Monday #25

This was supposed to be a collection of mixes for the weekend, but since Ms Riot was in town over the weekend..

Just hot off the press is the latest Resident Advisor podcast mixed by Martyn. As you all know, his new album arrived today, so maybe you want to listen to this mix on your way to the shop.

The last couple of mixes by Tropics became all-time favourites in no time, so I’m really looking forward to this new one for oki-ni.

2000black founder Dego is currently on tour through Japan. I wonder if he really needs promo mixes to fill clubs over there, but he made one just in case (and for everybody outside of Japan.)

And from there it’s easy to draw a line to Eric Lau’s Last Night on Earth mix for Put Me On It, which went online a couple of days ago already.

Set The Tone is already one of the biggest dance tunes for me this year, so I’ve been following all of Ossie‘s activity since then. Last week he came up with a mix for the Hyponik podcast and it’s a good one.

Jacques Greene was on Rinse FM last week, Phon.o contributed a mix for Electronic Beats, and the Boiler Room‘s back to back from Quest and Silkie is online.

One of the most anticipated albums for this month should be Severant by Kuedo. The other week he guested on the FACT podcast and I think he also made a mix for Mary Anne Hobbs.

If the last one in this selection gets any extra attention, then it shall be Sotu the Traveller‘s mix for DJ Broadcast.

Update This one just came in, it’s an impressive 95 minutes mix by Bristol’s Appleblim for FACT Magazine

Tropics – Mouves

As mentioned in our previous interview with Tropics, his new EP on Planet Mu will be released later this month. The Fader has premiered a video for the title track Mouves.

The EP comes with Falty DL and Keep Shelly In Athens remixes, will be available on 12-inch vinyl and digital, and will be released on July 18, 2011.

You will find more previews on the Planet Mu website, where you can also pre-order the release.

Interview with Tropics

We’d really like to cover Brighton’s Tropics a little more, but with only one release, the massive Soft Vision EP, a video (or watch below) and a couple of mixtapes, there is little to cover. So we got in contact with Tropics via his SoundCloud page and did a little interview, our 1000th post!

I wonder myself how I first came across your music, so maybe you can start by introducing yourself. Who is Tropics and what does he do?

Tropics is me, Chris Ward. Im 23, in my final year at Southampton University studying Digital Music. I sing, play keys & guitar and produce my music.

Is Tropics your first musical project, have there been other projects before?

I count it as my first as what came before was pretty dire in my eyes, Ive been producing as Tropics for about three or four years. It started out as a bedroom project and over those years evolved all the way to me producing my first debut album and performing a live show with a band.

There’s a lot of space in your music. How are you working, are you a hardware or a software guy? How do you achieve your sound?

Software for synths always. Id love to buy a hardware synth one day. I use all hardware for bass guitar and electric guitar instruments though. And I also have a drum kit i record hits or loops from. I’ve played the drums since I was about 10, I love it and get a bit jealous of Morgan’s job when we play live!

Your music awakens memories of the stuff I listened to as a child, yet I can’t figure out what it reminds me of. Something between Kate Bush, Vangelis and Steve Reich maybe, but it could also be on a Sophia Coppola soundtrack. What are your influences?

Yeah the tracks on the ep were very 70’s and 80’s sampled-based music apart from Soft Vision, they were a few early demos Id be working on over the last couple of years. Around the time of release I knew I wanted to go down the Soft Vision route for an album, I picked up the singing and use of more live instruments so that’s what Ive been working on over the last year. Mainly taking the inspiration from the kind of artists I’ve previously sampled and performing an ensemble how they would, rather than just sample them!

I’m feeling a bit unpleasant about the next question, but would you describe your music like? I’ve seen the word “chillwave” here and there, but I can’t really make anything out of it. What do you think about it (I think I’ve seen you using it yourself) and can you explain it to us? Just a another word?

I really don’t mind what people call it, genre definitions I always find tricky with my music. I’d describe it as quite emotional, hot and atmospheric. Very nostalgic in places, and soulful?

Is that why you’ve chosen to call yourself Tropics? I think of certain colors and your music is bringing those colors on my mind.

I chose the name Tropics when I started the project out about three or four years ago, at that time I wanted something that gave hot and colourful imagery, which is the vision I had for the music.. I was making a mixture of sounds, most very ‘tropical’ so the name’s always fitted.

How’s the work on the album progressing? Can you share any details with us yet?

It’s very nearly finished, however I say that a lot and continue to make new tracks haha. I believe It will be out in September.

And is there any other music coming from you before that?

Yep, look out for an EP prior to the album in summer. It is finished and the album’s nearly there. The EP is called ‘Mouves’ and will be released early July, it will be showcasing my new style with my vocals and more matured approach to Tropics that I’ve developed since gigging with my band, and the album will follow it up in September.

You’re playing a wide selection of styles in your DJ mixes, are you interested in doing side projects where you go in a different direction or maybe collaborations?

Sure, after this album finishes I have a couple potential collabs and as for side projects I’d like to produce some film music or bands/other artists.

Already got any projects in sight? Do you consider yourself being a movie guy? What are you into?

There’s nothing much on the film horizon yet, i do have a friend making films so may try to get some experience working with him there. I love all sorts of movies but im real big on my old school style gangster flicks!

What new music have you been feeling in the last year?

Keep Shelly In Athens who are currently remixing a track of mine, great music. Bibio’s new album is also a winner. So many debut albums to come out this year, very exciting!

Let’s sum up those links one more time, so you can listen or buy some of Chris’ music. Planet Mu is the label that puts his music out, he blogs on Tumblr and uploads new tracks and mixtapes on SoundCloud. Please check him out!

Tropics – Soft Vision

I remember mentioning this video in a side note some months ago, probably because I didn’t dare to give it a post of its own. Now that Planet Mu released the Soft Visions EP, I came across the video again – and changed my mind.

The video was shot by Anna Dobos on location in Hawaii, the music should be available now. For more music by Tropics, check him out on SoundCloud and Tumblr.

Tropics – Distractions

Thanks to XLR8R for writing about the latest video of Planet Mu signed Tropics, otherwise I wouldn’t have come across this mixtape posted on SoundCloud a while ago.

01. Actress – Futureproofin
02. O.M.D. – Of All The Things We’ve Made
03. Baths – Maximalist
04. Patten – This Sharpened Mist (Slow Turn Version)
05. Chad Valley – Shapeless
06. Tycho – Coastal Brake (Lusine Remix)
07. Fur – Polybreak
08. Abacus – Feeling Today
09. Andras Fox & Sui Zhen – Petit Morte
10. Cloud Nothings – Hey Cool Kid (Memoryhouse Remix)
11. Comanechi – Close Enough To Kiss (Blondes Pebble Beach Mix)
12. Belong – A Sunny Place For Shady People
13. Tropics – Telassar (Instrumental)

Thought I’d just share this nice selection of dreamlike music (download here.) Make sure to check out more of Tropics on SoundCloud or the label website.