Dam Mantle - Interviews - Soundblab

Dam Mantle

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Take the intelligent dance music of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, add some tinny 8-bit madness and a big dollop of the inventively structured sounds coming from the more experimental end of the dubstep spectrum and you get something close Dam Mantle, the alias of Glasgow's Tom Marshallsay. His sound ranges from the deep synth bubble bath of 'Theatre' to the mixed-up electro-funk of 'Rebong'. Ethereal, spacey, yet always densely rhythmic - industrial even - it's some of the most dazzlingly inventive music Soundblab has heard so far this year.

Dam Mantle is you, Tom Marshallsay, right? How did Dam Mantle start and how long has it been going?

Dam mantle came into existence about half a year ago after an old solo project morphed into something more electronic and less autobiographical. I make all the music but I'm joined by Calum Cunneen ('Louts') to play live, which enables us to jam out the tracks so that no one show is the same.

Where does the name come from?

Well it works as an alias with no defined conceptual ties. Dam Mantle is my adult mask.

What's your background? How did you get into making this kind of music?

I play a lot of acoustic instruments; player of many, master of none. I finally taught myself to use new software and ended up buying a bunch of synths.

Calum Cunneen: Who he, what do and why?

I want the live set to have a sort of human dynamic to work against the rigidity of synthesized loops and samples; he plays a monome, sampler and some synth parts. He makes music under the name 'louts', which you should check out.

How would you describe the Dam Mantle sound?

I wouldn't describe it; it's an amalgamation of a lot of different things. It always comes down to projecting a feeling or emotion of some sort. The sound is not set, like life it fluctuates between a variety moods and feelings.

What and who are you influenced by?

The night, lack of sleep, irregular heart beats. Musically: gamelan, hip hop, Afrobeat, dub, Bach, funk, whatever seems fresh in electronic music.

What's pissing you off in music right now?

All-out aggressive dubstep clones

What new sounds are you into right now?

Dorian Concept, James Blake, mount kimbie, becoming real, fox gut data.

Have you got a favourite place to play live?

Somewhere remote, last year I convinced my self I was going to move to the Czech Mountains and build a house out of tires.

You're gigging a lot. Is it easy to do what you do live and what kind of reception do you usually get? What should someone expect from a Dam Mantle gig?

Every gig's different musically and in terms of response. Sometimes people go nuts and dance and other times people don't seem to understand or just stand and think which is cool. I am happy whatever the response. Expect it to not be overly polished and fairly spontaneous and jammed out. We've tried not to make it too easy for ourselves and try and make every show different from the last.

What's next for Dam Mantle?

Lots more shows, think we got another tour coming at some point and always recording new stuff. Should be another release coming at some point.

Dam Mantle are currently touring the UK. You can order a copy of their limited-edition Grey EP from http://dammantle.com/

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