Tim Green’s ability to effortlessly manoeuvre and experiment across the spectrum of electronic music has never been more evident than it is today when he is not only an artist that has found comfort in his own sound but he also delivers that sound with a consistent and devastating accuracy. Whether putting out reverberating house and techno that sends dance floors into a frenzy or writing radio-friendly alternative pop music under the moniker Invisible Minds, his work is always stamped with fearlessness and undeniable quality.
I was lucky enough to grab some time with Tim Green whilst he was on lockdown. When I spoke to Tim he had just finished cooking in the kitchen and informed me he was very far into a remix for Fur Coat which is something I know fans of Tim Green will be very happy to hear, me being one of those very fans. I asked Tim what was it that first got his attention in regards to electronic music? “Daft Punk! Their Discovery album had just come out and it completely blew me away. I was never listening to electronic music before this, mainly Rock, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Classical – but mostly guitar based music I suppose as I have played guitar most of my life. But within Daft Punk’s music, I recognised a lot of the samples they used and knew the original songs. So it got my mind completely intrigued and hooked on how they managed to sample music and make it their own in such interesting ways”. Whilst Tim tipped into the topic of music production I asked him about his approach to making a new track and asked if he had some kind of preferred workflow… “I treat every project differently really. But most of the time I will really think a lot about what I want a song or remix to achieve, plus the direction and sound I want it to go in. Usually, I do this before I even start the project or remix. Sometimes it goes in the direction I planned, but sometimes it doesn’t. With sometimes better or worst results”.
Tim and I went on to talk about his studio and I was intrigued to know if he what his preferred studio gear was, and if he had an “if all else fails” option? “It’s so hard to pick favourites, as I honestly don’t have a really huge amount of gear. I am very conservative in buying gear, I only buy exactly what I need or want. But I guess for hardware, my original MiniMoog Synthesiser from the ’70s is up there. Plus my compressor, the Looptrotter Monster Compressor is also a firm favourite I always use and love”. I asked Tim how has his studio evolved over the years and whether he was a software or a hardware man… “Yeah, its evolved, but slowly. I really use my equipment specifically. What I own is always for a certain purpose. For example, I don’t have hundreds of synths. I just own the ones I love and always can get good results from in many different applications. I think too many people just buy loads of gear and use it for one sound, or one type of thing. Whereas I prefer to really spend years getting the most out of my equipment and see how varied I can make it produce sounds”. It was really interesting to hear Tim’s opinions on buying hardware and is certainly a good way to work by getting the most out of very little but very good hardware.
For those of you who are followers of Tim Green and his music, you will know he is a man that likes a pseudonym. His Apir alias is a very different sound to that of his releases under Tim Green and I was keen to know if we see a few more tracks under the Apir name in the near future… “Yeah, I will definitely be doing some more music under this alias. It’s an avenue for when I’m wanting to write some darker or heavier music. I have a lot of unfinished music for this project, I just have to get round to finishing them”. Hopefully, we will be hearing some of those completed tracks in the not too distant future! Whilst on the subject of Tim’s other projects I had to ask about Invisible Minds and whether anything is in the pipeline… “This project I definitely will also be picking up again in the future. For now, nothing new will come out for a while though I’m afraid. It’s always a big project to jump into. As I write and record all of the music myself. So I need to block off a lot of time to do it. But I will definitely be doing a second album or something similar”.
Tim Green’s music has evolved considerably over the years as it does with any good producer. I was intrigued to know Tim’s thoughts on how his sound had changed and also what he had learned about himself as a producer throughout the years… “I think firstly my sound and music reflect me much more now than it used to…”
“I’ve finally found a sound I feel most comfortable with and I can be very expressive now within my music… very melodic, but not just for the sake of being melodic. Using melodic ideas to really convey different emotions and feelings. As for what I have learned, I think its that I have learned to only write music that I am really proud of…”
Tim continued… “This might sound strange, but it’s, I guess, similar to what I said before. I wasn’t always happy with the music I was writing many years ago. I was a good producer and I could finish songs no problem. But they weren’t really in a sound or style that worked for me. So I wasn’t always happy or proud of those songs. Whereas now I will only write music that I’m really proud to release and put out into the world”.
Tim has just released a superb new EP on Sébastien Léger’s label, Lost Miracle. I asked Tim to tell me a little about the release and how the tracks on the EP came about… “So as you might know, I remixed Sébastien’s first release on his label Lost Miracle. He spoke to me before the label launched and wanted me to get involved on the label, for some original music and/or a remix. I didn’t have any new music to send him at that time, so I was very happy to remix the first release and help start the label with him”. Tim continued… “So I’m happy now to release some original music with him also. The a-side track is called ‘Moho’, which I wrote myself. Sebastien heard me play this in Ibiza when we were together and asked me to send it to him. He really loved it and I was more than happy for him to release it. The b-side is a collaboration we did together, called ‘Embre’. This track started with maybe a 3 min unfinished song I wrote initially, which had the main synth line lead hook you hear in the song, plus some of the drum patterns. Seb and I were sending back and forth unfinished ideas like this, so the other could maybe write other ideas to it. Then one day Seb came back to me and had basically finished the rest of the song! It was so great, as I was stuck on my original idea, and he completely filled out the song and make it a dancefloor machine”.
Over the years every producer has those tracks that are just a nightmare to complete. I asked Tim if there was any track he really struggled to complete… “Wow there were a lot of hard ones to finish over the years, to be honest, but I try to forget the hard parts and move on! I think though, recently a lot of the songs on my album ‘Her Future Ghost’ were hard to finish. I had very specific ideas and directions for the songs, so it was hard to execute them correctly. In the end, I was really happy, but it took a lot of work!”
During these lockdown times (whatever stage your country is at now) I always feel it is right to ask artists how they and their family are coping with things… so I did just that and asked Tim… “For me, it’s totally fine. I live with my girlfriend and our cat! We are both used to working from home all the time anyway. So it’s not a big shift for me. I just miss friends and family. Plus the weekends of touring and playing gigs. Its the longest I haven’t been on a plane in so many years now”. I went on to ask Tim if lockdown is helping him to write a lot more music or if he is just enjoying some nice downtime to relax… “Yeah, I’m getting loads of music finished. I really love to have time on my side. I don’t like deadlines or other things getting in the way. Sometimes the weekends and traveling for gigs gets in the way of me writing in the studio, as every weekend it breaks up the momentum of just day after day doing music. So right now I like being a mad scientist locked in my studio”. I am sure there are some monstrous creations in development in that laboratory!!!
Tim recently compiled a rather delightful mix for “ADID with Deeper Sounds / BA In-Flight Radio Show”. I asked Tim, when asked to compile the mix, what did he try to capture in the mix in terms of journey and sound… “Mainly something for people to relax to and have on in the background if they like. But equally to have playing loud and get the rhythm flowing through them! I really did intend for people to enjoy it whilst up in the air traveling somewhere. I like to have that perspective in mind whilst doing the mix”. You can check out the mix below…
Those of you that have listened to the mix about will have heard a track Tim played which is a collaboration with Gorje Hewek & Izhevski. I asked Tim when we can expect to see this track released… “It will be out a little later this year! It will be released with another song and collaboration between the three of us also. Not sure of the specific date yet, but it will be out on their wonderful new label called Ruvenzori”. Keep your eye out for this release folks, it is a stunner! If we include this and a few that we have not mentioned, Tim has a number of collabs due out over 2020. I asked Tim if collaborations are something he loves to do? “Yeah, I love doing this! Now more than ever, because I’m collaborating now with people who’s music inspires me and makes my music better! It’s also a lovely blend of sounds when different styles and moods go together and blend into something new and original”.
As I drew the interview to a close with Tim I asked him about what he is most looking forward to when this lockdown ends and his answer is one I think we can all relate to… “Drinking outside with my friends again!!”
Before we parted ways Tim left me with a little gem of a quote from Stewart Copland of The Police… “When you get where you are going, the ride is over”. Tim added, “so remember to enjoy the ride. For me, it is some great advice which I always try to remember for myself and to give to others as well”.
For now, this ride with Tim has come to an end and it certainly was great to chat with him about his music. I would like to wish Tim all the best for 2020 and I cannot wait to hear lots more music from the Tim Green studio.
I hope you all enjoyed the interview and I would like to thank you for taking to time to read it.
You can buy Sébastien Léger & Tim Green’s ‘Moho’ EP on Lost Miracle here.