Tam Ferrans is a producer that we’ve been keen on here at the Skirmish blog for a while, having first posted about him last year. As Nonima his productions have always been nothing but quality and along with his other projects Mitoma and Altered Carbon, the Scottish producer has been responsible for releasing some of the best I.D.M. around. There’s always a certain precision to his productions that is evident in each project and merely than just meandering to an off kilter beat without thought, it flows in such a lucid manner that he makes it seems effortless. He also runs the consistently diverse and wicked Scottish label Section 27, that offers all it’s releases for free and has two of Ireland’s finest Jimmy The Hideous Penguin and Ventolyn and Becotyde also on their roster. I personally love anything he’s been involved in and am delighted he answered some questions I sent his way. The guy knows his stuff.
What was it that sparked your interest in music and why do you find electronic music so appealing?
I have always been a fan of electronic music because of the fascinating amount of different styles and sounds it encompasses. There’s been a lot of territory covered within it and there’s more still to be discovered. A lot of room for experimentation.
How would you describe your music?
An organism created by someone having fun with sounds.
You also run the brilliant Section 27 Label. What’s the ethos behind it?
Andy (Paterson – co-founder and co-conspirator) and I wanted to start Section 27 as a platform to release our own musical nonsense along with stuff we liked the sound of, having been inspired by DIY netlabels such as the sadly now defunct Monotonik. Over time it’s became a bit bigger than it we originally set out to be, and sometimes we take much longer (than we would like to) to release music because of our wish to give each release a fair amount of promo and sharing around, but all the people involved on it are brilliant folks and I personally am happy to have met them via that medium. It’s become like a little “community” of musicians and collaborators all doing their own thing.
All the Section 27 releases are available for free. Is this how you feel all music should be?
The way that music is acquired nowadays has changed considerably and downloads have become an everyday thing. The free releases format (to be honest) was because of us being skint and not being able to afford pressing up CD’s or whatever, but people like free music and its never been about making money off it. We would like to get into limited physical releases down the line somehow if we keep receiving music to put out and the means to produce a run.Everything on S27 is released on a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 License, which is the strictest one there is so we are always retain and defend the rights for artists involved. The artists can still upload their music to sites like Bandcamp should they want to sell higher quality versions, special editions with bonus material, even sell physical copies for a price on there as well. We encourage them to spread their music wherever they can.
How do you feel your sound has evolved since you first stated out?
Um… I don’t really know. Sometimes I do incorporate elements of what I have been listening to into tracks but there’s no real “process” to it apart from open up my DAW and start messing around with looping pieces of “lego”. It’s a kind of subconscious mindset that kicks in and the tracks I make are the result of what was going on in the brain at the time.
Is Scotland a good place to be based? How is the scene there?
I live in a shitty part of Ayrshire where experimental ideas aren’t readily accepted into the popular opinion, this I suppose feeds the drive to be creative because there’s bugger all going on here. Glasgow has much more going on than my hometown that’s for sure. I get things done much quicker because of it, probably.
You’re also one half of Altered Carbon and Mitoma. How does each project differ from one another?
Altered:Carbon is an alias Andy and I started using to differentiate the music from the previous “Nonima & theAudiologist” alias. We made 3 albums and an EP under that one and it had taken on a mellow but glitchy form, whereas the Altered:Carbon stuff was straying into glitch-hop(ish) territory, so we just went with that and left N&ta where it was…. Plus the N&tA name was a mouthful.
As for Mitoma, (anyone that’s read the book “Altered Carbon” will see the connection) that material is separate from Altered:Carbon because it’s a bit more hectic and experimental. We both produce a lot of stuff on our own too so having aliases helps to separate it out a bit and keep it tidy.
What gear is an absolute must when making a tune?
Tea and a computer.
What does 2012 hold?
We have our first physical release under the Mitoma alias coming out on UK based label Daddy Tank Records. It’s called “Satellite Hive” and it’s quite a contorted and heady sort of album and a little bit different from the first Mitoma release. The release date for that one has been aimed for February 20th and will; be on limited edition CD and a digital MP3, FLAC etc. There’s also a free bonus album bundled with it called “Interstellar:Remixes” – a remixed version of the first album by some excellent producers.
Big Up to Tam Ferrans for the interview and keep an eye out for more of his stuff. Guaranteed to be quality 🙂