UK inspired electronic music has changed significantly over the past twenty years, mutating between elements of bass, house music, techno and back again. The sounds are often intertwined and linked by creative dj's and producers who aren't keen to be pigeonholed or bound by the limitations of genre or style.
Tom VR is a perfect example of one such artist, an emerging producer who has risen to prominence with an array of eclectic, thoughtful releases on the likes of All My Thoughts, Lionoil Industries and his own imprint Valby Rotary which he runs alongside Louf. His most accomplished work perhaps has come on a new EP for Midland's record label, Intergraded. A pensive, bass inspired affair which also features beautiful ambient textures and delicate, precise sound design built to immerse dancers in the clubs.
Tom's own musical tastes are rooted in the more pensive undertones of electronic music, there is a tonal undercurrent which runs throughout his work and sound. That's not to call it 'deep' but it is.
We invited him to record a mix and spoke below:
Please introduce yourself...Who are you, where are you and what are you?
Hi I’m Tom. Currently I live in London. I’ve only just moved here from the North West. I’m a musician-ish / producer, and I run Valby Rotary with Louf. I also have a full-time job in customer service.
What does your music sound like?
I think it’s kind of glittery, and a bit of a patchwork. Like happy recycled electronica.
Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Where was the mix recorded?
In my front room and bedroom.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Out in the fresh air.
What should we be wearing?
Something comfortable and headphones.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I’m not sure where exactly, but somewhere warm, with a gentle breeze. Maybe I’d just play all ambient as well and just zone out.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Kareem Ali - I Love You So Much (Mirror, Mirror Flip). I’m such a huge fan of Kareem’s music and have been listening to this on repeat.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
The Rinse 15: Roska Mix CD, was huge for me and some of my friends. Also I remember in 2010 there was a Hotflush dubstep takeover on Radio1xtra, that seriously made an impact on me. Unfortunately it seems to have disappeared from the internet though. You can still find the track list on the 1xtra website though. So sick.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Right now, I would go b2b with my friends because I miss them.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
When I first started collecting records I bought a Panasonic turntable that I used to plug into the TV and listen out of the TV speakers. It was stupid haha. To this day I still don’t have my own setup so I have to rely on the kindness of those around me if I want to play records. My current housemate has 2 x Technics and a Xone 23. Big up Antoni!
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Maybe the track you end on.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first record I bought was Machinedrum - Vapor City I think. I haven’t actually bought a record in ages, but the last album I got was FAUZIA - flashes in time (highly recommend).
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Oolong tea or chocolate (I’ve been somewhat addicted to both over the last month while working on the mix).
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Over the years I’ve never been able to mix ‘DJ Koze - Burn With Me’ for some reason. I can’t work out what it is either haha! I feel like I can never get the Hi Hats right and I always overthink it.
Upcoming in the world of...Anything else we need to discuss?
I have new music being announced in April! Something I’ve been working on for years. Apart from that, thank you so much to anyone who takes the time to listen to the mix.
Buy the new EP on Intergraded HERE.
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