Widely respected for his interesting and experimental side projects, The Horrors synthesist Tom Furse has today released an album of instrumentals, recorded entirely on the Teenage Engineering OP-1 synthesiser - only the second album of its kind in existence. Created in just one week, Tom Furse's 'Interludes' is a fun snapshot of his exploration of this technology, capturing the results how and when they happened, and presented in the order they were made.
'Interludes' began as an experiment in producing short pieces of music for use on his NTS radio show, but Tom soon realised he'd inadvertently crafted an album's worth of work. Created between 9th-16th July of this year, the 16 track album was recorded in the order of the final track-listing, with each piece informing the next. It is intended to be enjoyed as a whole, a reaction against the idea of the 'dying album'.
All music was improvised and recorded using only an OP-1 synthesiser - a newly acquired piece of music-technology esoterica that works more like a video game that a recording device. On the process, Tom comments:
"In many ways my unfamiliarity with the OP-1 was key, I had no ingrained habits and a decades worth of experience with synthesisers was somewhat irrelevant in front of a device that used, for instance, physical models of a tombola as a sequencer, or a driving game as a filter. This was not familiar territory, but simultaneously the whole process was very intuitive."
The pieces of music on 'Interludes' are not songs - they are part of a continuing investigation into alternative musical form and a dissolution of preconceived notions of genre, style and structure. Tom explains, "This is the musical area that intrigues me the most, and it's more recent creep into the mainstream has been both fascinating and inspiring to watch. Due to the primitive, 4 track cassette-like interface of the recording section of the OP-1, complicated arrangements were not really possible, so instead I committed to simple loops and keyboard passages, just trying to capture a moment. Without the luxury of careful editing, this meant getting it right first time or starting again all over - a far cry from my previous decade of experience using Ableton, with its many modern conveniences".
To partner with ‘Interludes’, Tom has created visuals for the entire album. Again using unfamiliar technology, Tom spent a week experimenting with video synthesisers and animation, an entirely new field for him. The result is a lo-fi visual trip, matching perfectly the grainy sound of the album.
'Interludes' is out now digitally via Kaya Kaya Records, and will be available on vinyl on 18th November via Tom Furse's own label, Mind Meld Recordings. There will be a release party held at Brilliant Corners in Dalston, London on 22nd November, with DJ sets from Tom Furse, Pete Fowler and Cherish Kaya - all welcome.
Published: 2nd November 2016