What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I’ve been pretty musically inclined since I was young. When I was 13 or 14, I was really into classic rock and I started playing the guitar. At the time Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Cream were definitely some of my biggest influences. As I got older and discovered more music, my style changed a lot. A friend of mine introduced me to Radiohead and Moby, and that was my first exposure to any sort of really electronic-influenced music. Late in high school I also discovered jam music and got hooked on The Grateful Dead. My college roommate introduced me to dubstep and that sent me on a deep dive into a whole new world of electronic music. I wasn’t doing much writing during that time, but I started writing again after I graduated, this time experimenting with incorporating electronic sounds into my guitar-driven music. I gradually got more into house and techno, and that became the backbone for the music I’m making now. I still play guitar and try to reference my earlier influences, but my current Wicker in the Wind project has definitely leaned more towards dance music.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
The Polar Vortex EP is a selection of three tracks that I put together over the winter. It was an uncomfortably cold, windy, icy winter, and I spent a lot of time bundled up with just a laptop and headphones to compose these tunes. They also incorporate a lot of processed field recordings that I took while on a trip to Europe – in particular, the title track has an assortment of animal sounds collected from the zoo in Amsterdam, and blowing gusts of wind from the Black Sand Beach in Iceland. For me, the EP was a push to make some more dancefloor-friendly music as my previous stuff had been more electronica.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I try to listen to a pretty wide range of stuff. On the electronic side, I love the way guys like Jon Hopkins and Max Cooper blend organic elements with really sharp, futuristic sound design and bridge the gap between really artistic work and functional dance tracks. Lately I’ve been really into a lot of the people making really deep, trippy tech stuff like Donato Dozzy, Takaaki Itoh, and Lewis Fautzi. I’ve also really been digging the burner-tech style of Oona Dahl. In the less-electronic realm, I’ve always been a huge fan of jam music (I absolutely love the Grateful Dead), and I try to bring some of that influence to my work.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I don’t come from a house/techno background, so I think a lot of my music is pretty accessible to people that don’t listen to a lot of electronic music while being functional in a club setting. I also spend a significant portion of my composition time working with field recordings and thinking about how textures play off of one another and evolve throughout a track, and I think that lends a unique quality to my music. One of my favorite parts of field recording is giving the listener just a hint of something recognizable. Even if you can’t exactly pick out a layer of “walking on leaves”, you’re able to recognize that there is some familiar element there and it draws you in. I think this is especially apparent with any sort of vocal element because humans are so tuned to pick out voices. If you can obscure a vocal layer in a song, it makes people really want to listen closely to figure out what might be said, even if they are not searching for that element consciously.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Yikes, this is always a tough question. I feel like I’d need a case of albums, but if I had to pick 3 right now it would probably be Let My Children Hear Music by Charles Mingus, Simmerkane II by Chadwick Stokes, and Forward Escape by Tipper.
Books is another really tough one. I try to read a lot, but 3 that have really stuck with me are East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, and The Foundation by Isaac Asimov.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Both are awesome in their own way. I probably prefer working in the studio because there is absolutely no pressure and the environment always makes me feel like I have unlimited time to explore sonic space . I love tinkering and stumbling upon happy accidents that emerge as complete ideas, and the feeling that you get when you first stumble upon a motif that you realize has a lot of potential.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
The first music that I recorded was for a fake punk band with a friend of mine. We wrote terrible songs with terrible lyrics, recorded them in one take with a terrible microphone, and then put terrible Garageband drum loops behind the recordings and uploaded the terrible music to Myspace. I’m not going to share the name of the project, but there is a record of it on the internet somewhere…
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Probably Vortex Incoming, the first track on my new EP. I think it really captured a lot of different artists that have been influential to me, as well as some of my best field recordings and audio manipulation techniques that I’ve been working on for years.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
My goal for 2019 is to release as much music as I can – I have a second EP in the works for later this year and hopefully a few singles as well. Beyond that, we’ll see what happens 🙂
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Who has the best bagels in NYC?
Tompkin Square Bagels on Avenue A. You will not be disappointed.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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