Hyponik

T_A_M

Meet Coyote Records’ latest signing, T_A_M

T_A_M (aka Thomas Emslie) is a producer from Aberdeen who tends to get lumped in with the instrumental grime scene, but really that’s just one facet of the music he makes.

He’s put out a bunch of stuff over the last few years, on a host of labels including Tuff Wax, Hot Mom and Apothecary Compositions.

Now T_A_M is gearing up to release the Watty 12″ on the ever-reliable Coyote Records, riding high off the back of Tom E. Vercetti’s Future Perfect EP.

‘Watty’ is a a real gem, a rush of splattering drums and rude seesaw bass. It’s accompanied by Tarquin’s ‘Don’t Get Lemon’ Edit on the flip, which scrambles the transmission and gets even more unstable.

You can pre-order Watty on vinyl or digital, and also grab T_A_M’s There All Is Aching EP for free. Done? Now read on for our Q&A…

On his new Coyote Records single…

I liked the stuff Tomas who runs the label was putting out, so I started sending him some tunes about two years ago. He picked one of them up for the second Coyote Kings compilation at the end of 2014. Then I sent him this track ‘Watty’ as soon as I finished it, and he picked up on it straight away.

On discovering electronic music…

I used to play in bands and stuff a lot when I was younger – actually I still do play in bands. Warp Records was probably my first introduction to electronic music – Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada. When I was old enough to go to clubs I started getting more into grime and stuff like that. Then I started making tracks about four or five years ago.

On the scene in Aberdeen…

It’s pretty shit to be honest! Lots of clubs closed down. Because we’re so far up northeast, not a whole lot of people make the journey. With the music scene in Scotland people tend to look to Glasgow and no further. There’s a few people that are still putting on decent nights, but it’s mainly house and techno which isn’t really what I’m into, so there’s not an awful lot I enjoy going to these days. There’s a night called Bake Haus which I play at every now and again, run by a few of my mates, they’ve got a good eclectic taste in music.

On getting lumped in with the instrumental grime scene…

I don’t begrudge it. There’s some truth to it, but I don’t think I fit in with it perfectly. Obviously I make music that’s roughly in that sort of sphere, and I guess the stuff that’s actually been released so far does warrant that comparison. But over the course of this year there’ll be stuff that shows I also make music that’s totally unrelated to it, which I’m looking forward to. ‘Watty’ is probably the most grime-related tune that I’ve put out and probably will put out, I’d imagine.

On other producers we should be keeping an eye on…

Well first of all, Tarquin. I’ve been a fan of his for quite a while, and we’ve got a few things planned for this year after the Coyote release. Another guy I’ve been listening to a lot is Samoyed, he put out a really good album at the end of last year which I’ve had on repeat ever since then. I think he’s actually from Scotland as well, from the Highlands? Oh yeah, that new Maxsta EP on Rinse [100 Problems] was really good, some of it was produced by Boothroyd. I really like his productions, and I think he’s got an album coming out this year as well which I’ll be looking forward to.

On working with MCs…

If I thought I had some music that’d fit, I guess it’d be quite interesting, although at the moment I don’t feel much of the stuff I’ve made would be very MC friendly. At the moment I’ve only really been making tunes with Tarquin, and his influence is much more in line with grime than my normal sort of music. So if I were to work with any MCs it’d probably be the stuff we were making together.

On other music…

I’m a really big fan of Nick Drake’s music, and the whole story behind him. There’s no recorded video of him, he’s just this total enigma. All you’ve got is those three albums. I’ve also got really into Arthur Russell the last couple of years. I think he’s made some of the best pop songs I’ve ever heard, and then to go from doing that to avant-garde distorted cello recordings… it’s such a difference in music over such a small amount of albums. It took me a wee while to get into the more abstract end of it, but there’s always a little bit of melody that’s worth listening for, a five second stretch that feels like a payoff for the whole song.

On forthcoming T_A_M material…

Other than the Coyote single, there’s an album coming out some time early this year on Apothecary Compositions. None of that’s club based at all, it’s pretty mellow. Headphone music I guess. Joseph who runs the label asked me if I wanted to work on an album in summer 2014, and I finished it around September last year. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. It’s not like anything I’ve put out so far.

I’ve also got an EP coming out on Local Action. I sent Tom from the label a bunch of beats last year, then I got an email from him saying he’d played like six or seven tracks in one of his Radar Radio mixes, and did I want to work on a release? It came as a bit of a surprise to be honest. Two of the tracks are pretty 4/4, they basically started off as edits of disco tracks I was listening to. Then there’s a couple of 140-ish beats that are a wee bit more grime related. I was worried it might be slightly jarring because there’s a few different styles, but I think we’ve worked out a rough tracklist that’ll avoid that.

Watty is out 4th March on Coyote Records, pre-order here.

Words: Cosmo Godfree