We caught up with Marlborough (UK) based producer Tom Jarmey for an interview. The young talented musician started uploading his first hip-hop as well as deep house mixes a few years ago and got deeper into producing his own tones and beats recently.
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hi! I’m very good. I’m currently on my gap year doing the classic pilgrimage across South East Asia for 3 months! So as of right now I’m writing these answers on a cosy, overnight bus to Siem Reap.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I wouldn’t say I’ve really got a sound just yet (still working on that). I’ve played around with a few different styles, but at the moment I enjoy producing pretty slow, melodic house and breakbeat.
What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
In terms of albums I’d have to start off with Promised Land by Joe Smooth. 80’s house is what I was into when I started collecting records and this one will always stand out as one of my favourite albums of the era.
Second of all would be Da Posse – Don’t Try To Fight It, it’s not an album but a track I have on a Dance Mania compilation. Would put it up there as one of my all time favourite house tracks.
Another influential album would be Jazz Liberatorz – Clin D’Oeil, jazzy hip hop doesn’t get much better.
I would also say Oriol – Night And Day was very influential to me. I bought this record for £1 a few years back and had on it repeat for weeks – the tracks remind me of driving a car late at night with a crazy star display above.
Last of all, Anything by Larry Heard. This first record I ever bought was an acid compilation with Mr Fingers – Can You Feel It on it, so I would say that started my record collecting! Also Missing You (Jazz Cafe Mix) and Let Me In are again some of my favourite house tunes.
What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
At the moment I’m really digging stuff by Meowsn’ – crazy sample work! School Days is a nice catchy one.
I’m also loving Djrum’s stuff – every track seems to have its own unique style so I can’t imagine ever getting bored of it. I can also hear hints of Burial in some of the tracks, which is always a good thing.
Ann Peebles has also been on repeat recently – ‘Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness’ pulls on my heartstrings.
Another current favourite is Nohelani Cypriano – her track Lihue has been stuck in my head for days.
Also Archie Bell & The Drells – Don’t Let Love Get You Down and Tom Browne – Funkin’ For Jamaica. Bangers.
What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug ins?
I’ve used a combination of hardware and software to make tracks. I bought an Electribe 2 a year or so back and really enjoyed that for a while, I made some earlier stuff on that like Frettin’ Hard and Someday. I then also purchased a Minilogue to teach myself synthesis, but I’m yet to get seriously involved in that, I’ll definitely get stuck into the synth when I’m back from travelling. So recently I’ve swayed to using purely Ableton with a few plugins and samples. But I still have mountains to learn so the setup will always be changing.
Give a listen to ‘Coconut Jam’ on ChillGROUND:
Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio?
Both would be the answer. I’ve only played at a few events, twice at Take5 in Bristol for my mates night ‘Brief Encounters’ and then the odd local house party. But DJing is definitely something I want to do more of in the future – I’m currently planning my own night with two friends which should be great fun.
Alongside this, I also love the production side of things and I’m excited to get home and start producing new material for a few releases that are in the works.
If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini-fest, who would you book and where would you play?
For the daytime and evening, I’d book Hiatus Kaiyote, Little Dragon and Fatima as well as some live electronic stuff like Cobblestone Jazz.
I’d also let Rhythm Section and Shall Not Fade have free-reign over their own tents as well as Brilliant Corners’ Giant Steps sound system.
For the nighttime, I’d have to book some of the classic house legends, maybe Kerri Chandler, Terrence Parker and Todd Terry.
I’d also add some smaller artists like Bellaire and Tech Support.
Finally, I’d add DJ Sneak, Mr Scruff, or:la and Mr G!
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I’m doing a geography degree at uni, so probably something linked to that.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I have a couple of releases planned this year – three tracks that I’ve already uploaded to my SoundCloud (Fiji, Beach Jazz and What Does Honey Taste Like) will be getting released on a digital label as my first EP.
Later in the year will be my first vinyl release on an exciting new NYC vinyl-only label! I won’t say anymore though until things are really set in stone.
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