Tommy Four Seven: My music is dark, ominous, and primal

Categories: Q&A
Courtesy of the artist
Tommy Four Seven

All hail the almighty techno gods: Tommy Four Seven is coming to Minneapolis. The British-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer is a prolific force, carving his own distrinctive niche out of the electronic music topography. The sound he creates is acutely visceral. He has established himself as a core member of Chris Liebing's renowned label CLR, contributed to Stroboscopic Artefacts' distinguished Monad series, and partnered with Alain to create their own label, Hidden Hundred, and collaborate under the moniker These Hidden Hands.

Technoheads will tell you, these accomplishments are great for a career that spans just shy of a decade. Gimme Noise had the opportunity to ask Tommy some questions before his first ever performance in Minneapolis at Bassgasm 10 this Friday.

Courtesy of the artist
Tommy Four Seven

Gimme Noise: How did you first become interested in music production? What are your earliest memories of creating and connecting to music?

Since a young age I've been interested in electronic music. Friends and I would share jungle, drum 'n' bass, house and techno mix tapes around school. I'd use my parents old dual tape deck to try and mix the tracks. I could just about blend riding the pause button but soon I learned to mix at my local youth club on turntables and began DJing at small parties. It was at the same time I discovered basic music production programs such as EJAY and MUSIC 2000. Even from then I knew this was something I wanted to do for life; I'd found my passion. This led me to study music technology at university.

Tell us about your work with Chris Liebing.

Not long after moving to Berlin in 2009, Chris got in touch and asked for some material for CLR. We began to hang out at his studio in Frankfurt and soon our first collab was born, Bauhaus. By this time I had joined the team and felt a part of the family.

Chris has always been open to what I could release and really lets me do my thing. Core influences such as the sounds I discovered via mix tapes at school will always remain; for example, the D'n'B intro, broken cut up rhythms and raw distorted beats combined with primal loopy techno found on labels such as Prime Evil.

Can you tell us about your creative process and the use of field recordings and manipulated vocals in your work?

This was really a process/rule set I designed for my album, Primate. It's not something I strictly adhere to now but I always find a recording of some sort is a great catalyst to build a track. My studio is located in an old aluminum warehouse, over-looking an industrial metal scrap yard so I'm never far from industrial clangs and booms. It's quite handy!

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