Call & Response: TMDP
TMDP might well be the next big thing to come out of Toronto's electronic scene. The main reason why? Jeffrey Addison and Gavin Rough have crafted an amazing self-titled debut album that straddles line between electro, disco, progressive house and 80's pop.
It's the first album in a while that made me listen to it a second time through as soon as it finished. Analog synths and live guitars blend in perfectly with contemporary cut edit techniques that make it sound just as timeless as it does cutting edge. The album covers a lot of emotional ground across its nine tracks and it's exciting to know that it was made by two virtually unknown hometown boys.
"The guys were really eager to release this record so we all agreed that instead of getting into the politics and waiting games of the music industry, we'd release it independently", says Craig Hill - their manager and founder of their new label YYZ Records. He saw them play live at his Rollin' and Scratchin' monthly at the Boat and immediately offered to manage them.
TMDP's album will be released very soon and they are performing live this Saturday at Wrongbar. I chatted with them about their new record, the exciting future of electronic music in Toronto and how we should all leave the guns at home.
blogTO: How did you guys hook up and how long have you been working together?
TMDP: We went to the same high school but mostly avoided each other. We ended up working in a hotel together and became friends. We've probably been working together for about ten years.
Have you made music before this project came about?
We made a bunch of weird tracks for art projects and stuff. This album is the first thing we'd really admit to making other than the vitaminsforyou remix. We were pretty aimless until February of this year.
Listening to your album, I hear an even mix of retro and modern styles. I hear bits of Prince and Tears for Fears mixed in with progressive house and electro. How would you describe the sound of your new album?
It's a little more laid back than what's going on right now, as far as we can tell. We've been focusing on hooks and melodies, trying to keep the tracks dynamic - not strictly for clubs, but for living rooms and headphones too.
It sounds like you've used a lot of analog synths and live guitars on some tracks. Did you set out to use these ingredients or did it make sense to include them as you got deeper into the project?
We started out with synths. The guitars just happened - not something we expected, or have done much of before. We knew roughly what we wanted the album to be, but didn't have much of a plan for instrumentation.
It feels like an "album" with the down-tempo songs at the end. Was this a conscious decision: to make it feel like a true album?
Definitely. We wanted a well-rounded experience. Though we didn't plan to have slow songs, it just worked out that way.
How did you approach your remix for vitaminsforyou's "B4U"?
That was our first remix. We had five days to do it, and basically treated it like a cover. It seems to have been well received despite being one of the lower profile tracks on the release.
A lot of quality electronic releases came out of Toronto this year. More so than last year I would say. Do you think this is a sign of more to come from local producers? Will 2009 be even bigger and better for Toronto producers?
Everybody is looking for the new thing, the move from bangers. The more people stop worrying about that and focus on doing their own thing, the better music will get. So yes, we hope 2009 will be big.
Who are your favourite local DJs/producers/bands?
84.85, Golden Girls, Barletta, vitaminsforyou, and Vaneska.
What are your five favourite songs right now?
Kathy Diamond - The Moment
Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Alan Braxe Remix)
Chaz Jankel - You're My Occupation
Robert Babicz - Krystaline
Bryan Ferry - Which Way To Turn
What do you like best and least about living in Toronto?
Everybody seems willing to dance, the crowds are really fun in general. The guns should be kept at home though.
Do you prefer to DJ or perform live at shows? Would you ever play live guitars on stage?
A lot of people probably perceive our live performance as a DJ set. We've actually had requests while playing...but we bring all our gear to the stage. We're open to anything.
What can people expect at your CD release party this Saturday?
TMDP w/ Barletta, Cobra Cut, Dopplehertz DJs
Saturday, November 1
1279 Queen Street West
Call & Response is a series of Q&A's featuring artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Michell Belsky.
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