Tommy Four Seven: My music is dark, ominous, and primal
Tommy Four Seven
Courtesy of the artist
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.
Tommy Four Seven
Courtesy of the artist
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!
If you had to describe your music to a person who was physically unable to listen to it, what would you say?
Dark, ominous, primal, repetitive, hypnotic, disjointed, distorted, crunchy.
Please tell us about your most recent releases, and anything that is especially important to you that you have worked on.
Last year saw the debut album of These Hidden Hands, a collaborative project with an old friend and amazing mastering engineer, Alain (One Million Mangos). THH is something we set out to do since finishing university and it's great to be working together now.
We've also set up our label, Hidden Hundred, which will be releasing some solo works from myself and Alain under his new techno guise which is already doing serious damage, as well other artists I can't reveal.
You recently did a 12-hour set at Berghain. What was that experience like?
It was truly a memorable gig in my DJ career and an honor to close Berghain, as quite often it's given only to residents. 12 hours felt more like four, and it gave me opportunity to really stretch out the genres and of course being with the crowd for that amount of time builds up a trust allowing for me to go really in and explore.
What situation or environment do you see your music as describing or being well-suited for?
I envision industrial locations. Distressed concrete, rusting metallic textures and dull orange glows of the caged lights surrounded by shadows of constructions.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently finishing a remix for Luis Flores soon on CLR. This will be my second production for 2014 following a recent remix of Oscar Mulero. I can also reveal I'll be releasing a solo EP for CLR later this year as well as a release on Hidden Hundred.
What can we expect from your performance in Minneapolis on Friday?
It's my debut gig in Minneapolis so I'm keen to impress!
Tommy Four Seven is a headliner this Friday, March 21 at Bassgasm 10, which is taking over all of First Avenue. Party starts at 6 PM, $20 advance/$25 door, 18+
GIMME NOISE'S GREATEST HITS
Danny Brown's Triple Rock show sparks unseemly oral sex controversy
Brother Ali: My fans are kicking the sh*t out of me over Trayvon Martin
Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.