Premiere: Tropics – Invitation The London producer shares an exclusive clip for the sparkling disco vibes of his recent EP track, and explains the process behind it.
Tropics likes to mix things up, at some points calling on cosmic funk grooves, and at others taming his sonic density into something that flirts with traditional pop sounds. His work, though, is often united by a richness and vibrancy in tone, worthy of lashings of technicolour and sparkling midday light.
So this new video, offering a more fluid and organic take on the “visualiser” aesthetic (yes, like the one on your iTunes), is a worthy visual accompaniment. Invitation was the lead track on Tropics’ Popup Cinema EP, and calls on his love of artists like Change to translate progressive ’80s disco into current trends in electronic music. This week we had a chat with Tropics about the video, among other things, which you can read below.
Hi, Tropics! Could you tell us a bit about how this video was put together, did you do it yourself?
I can’t take any credit really! I’ve been working with Davy Evans and Hannah Temple on visuals for my live show. Davy is the man behind the xx’s recent psychedelic video treatments and I thought his work would suit my sound as a visual element at our shows.
The colours, textures and movement in the video are closely linked with the track as it builds and progresses. Do you often visualize your music while you’re writing or producing it?
I do visualize colour a lot of the time. I think this is called synesthesia, I should know really as I did my dissertation at university on it, but synesthesia is such a broad spectrum, not exclusive to sound and there are many different explanations for it. Certain moods and chords are associated with specific colours when I hear them. I’ve always used synesthesia as a tool in writing music; it certainly manipulates the creative flow, in a good way!
Is this your first foray into collaborating on videos, and is it something you’d like to do more of?
I’d like to release a little visual something for each track I put out from now on but I’m not sure if the next ones will be as ‘visualizer’ as this one. I think this has such awesome texture and colour though, I guess it’s a bit of a teaser for those who haven’t seen us live. These visuals bleed over us on stage at recent shows, adding a great, interesting atmosphere.
Your music veers extremely close to traditional pop, and then comes screeching back with its experimental touches. Is that a conscious effect in the evolution of your songs?
Yeah, I try to make tracks that grow on people. And keep growing. I think this is present with some of my tracks, not all. I do like the thought that they might be strange and different sounding to the listener at first but then the more they explore it, the more at home they are with it.
What’s the best thing you’ve heard this year?
That’s a tough question because 2012 has been an amazing year for music! Holy Other and Dam Mantle’s LP’s are some new faves, as well as Daphni, Chelsea Wolfe, Chet Faker, an interesting Feist remix from Ambassadeurs and fLako’s enchanting new EP ‘Eclosure’, all of which have been on constant repeat whilst travelling.