Artist To Artist – Jordan & Tin Man
Rolling Ones is a collaborative effort between two American producers, Tin Man & Jordan. The pair have dabbled in independent production for years, Tin Man is renowned for his deep and emotive take on acid and techno whilst Jordan has released music for the likes of Soul People. The pair play live and their latest ep is described as a reflection on old cars, it's driving music, in the best sense. We caught up with the pair to challenge them to interview one another. Here are the results which include crazy jobs, trailer park boys and more…
(Tin Man Interviewing Jordan)
What kind of Jobs have you had outside of music?
I wonder all the time how I get the jobs that I have had. I was an adolescent drug counsellor, I used to replace light bulbs as a subcontractor for Sylvania, waiter, sold jewellery, and most recently and most consistently I have been a makeup artist. That’s the one that confuses me the most though. I have had some crazy shit go down at that job.
Crazy as in what?
Like, the other week a woman told me I should come to her house in California. She said the only thing sexier than a man who wears my brands perfume is a man who wears a fur. When I told her I should probably get a fur, she told me to come to California, she has like 30. I don’t know if it was the fur she was interested in giving me.
Can you tell me about your relationship with music when you were working the light bulb stuff? Were you collecting music and going to clubs?
I had run a venue in Cincinnati when I was 18. 3 floors warehouse candy kid rave type shit. I had a falling out with my partner and I decided I wanted to quit electronic music. I started listening to bluegrass and folk music and got a guitar. We would go on the road up to a week and a half replacing light bulbs up to 22 hours a day – usually in total silence. Our boss would play pop music and Glenn Beck in the truck. It wasn’t really until I moved to New York and started working at halcyon that I started to do the dance music thing again.
How did halcyon influence you?
Halcyon was basically my music college. I learned things about Chicago new york and Detroit that I had no idea about. I was able to play records all day and talk to people about music all day as well. It helped me technically and inspired me to do different things. I also met a lot of people who were coming up at the time and got a lot of great advice and direction from them. Now, 5 or 6 years later, I still am connected to the people that I met through the shop and it’s a really special thing to me to be part of a musical community. Especially when things in New York have blown up so much. It feels like there’s always a new promoter or venue or label and I can’t keep up with it all, but the community that I met through halcyon is always consistently a part of my musical life.
Could you explain what a rolling sound is in music? I guess that’s kind of our main thing.
I love drum and bass. The way some of the liquid stuff shuffles with the kicks and shakers and high hats has always stuck with me. Calibre’s ‘Drop It Down’ w/ DRS is one of my favourites. I think ‘93 Mustang’ really kind of captures the feeling of drum and bass between the baseline and the drum work. I would describe the opposite as a sort of chunky dance track like Levon’s remix of Party People Clap, it’s more like a stomper. I don’t have a favourite, its nice to go between both to feel something different and refresh the dance floor.
What is DPI?
DPI is a place for me and my friends to do whatever we want as a party and a label. I am lucky to have some very talented people in my life; Cory James, Soramimi, yourself, Natan H, Mickey and any combination of us together as well. The name can have several different meanings, but I think about politics, and business, and religion when I think about the name the most. These things that seem as if their purpose can sometimes be to deliberately divide us. So its kind of ironic, as I believe dance music brings us together.
(Jordan Interviewing Tin Man)
What kinds of jobs have you had outside of music?
I did some museum and gallery work when I was in school studying art. I worked freelance seven years for Mattel Toys, aka Barbie, designing and building sets for advertising. I also co-ran a summer restaurant in Switzerland three years, mostly cooking. Working for Barbie, of course was odd at points. I can whip up a paint mix of any shade of pink, warm lilac, or periwinkle quite quickly and did spend many days painting things pink. Some of corporate meetings about creative subjects were absurd; i.e. deciding what colours the apples on the trees should be or trying to imagine the perspective of a seven-year-old girl. Those moments were interesting to see how a creative process happens that is outside my own personal whimsy.
How did this inform your music productions?
It is the same large task to make something that has a complete form out of thin air. I could see how taking an idea from start to finish parallels music production. In both you need to see the bigger picture whilst making sure every details and tiny decision is under control. Both start with concepts and end with shapes and color.
How did the television show Trailer Park Boys fit into your life at this time?
The work I was doing was very demanding. I was injured a number of times and also hurt my back very badly. Nights, I often found some relief getting drunk and laughing at the mishaps of doomed dreamers. I felt close to those idiots and admired the magic of their character. If I did not have energy for music nights, I would watch that.
Can you make Acid without a 303?
Sure. When we say something is “Acid” we can mean to say it is abstract, slippery, hypnotic, ungraspable, psychedelic, odd, ecstatic, or perspective distorting. While the 303 oozes those qualities, we could say an “Acid” attitude could be achieved by other means. So, like everything, it’s not really about a synthesizer, but an attitude.
How have your numerous recent collaborations affected your Tin Man solo work?
The last years have been a very intense collaboration period. It was not the plan for it to be this way, but it has been something of a schooling for me for my own work. Definitely one of the most interesting aspects of a collaboration is when you start to understand how other people hear things and the hierarchy of interest they have in what they hear. Once you learn how other people hear things you can take that with you in the studio. So, its like I have my friends with me now when I work on my stuff.
What does “rolling sound” mean to you?
I think it is a nicely ambiguous idea. I suppose “rolling” is also an attitude as “acid” is. For me it implies a perpetual forward tumbling motion with emphasis on the perpetual aspect. When I say a DJ is playing a “rolling” set I mean to say that I feel like I am floating while being sucked forward.
The EP is forthcoming on Division Point Records. Buy it HERE.