Dam Mantle - Interviews - Soundblab

Dam Mantle

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Glasgow's Dam Mantle, aka Tom Marshallsay, has fast become one of Soundblab's favourite artists. His dubstep-influenced beats and warped, always inventive ambient soundscapes, captured on First Wave, a compilation of EPs released earlier this year, feel like places you can visit for hours on end. His new EP, WE, is just as brilliant but in a different way, marking an evolution of the Dam Mantle sound. We caught up with Tom to talk about inspirations, touring and the end of days...

Has your sound evolved between your first album and the new We EP? If so, how?

Well, the First Wave EP compilation didn't really feel like an album, more a collection of separate works but yeah It's evident that it's changed or evolved since then. I don't feel as close to this EP now that it's sunny outside, it was all made around the same time, with different gear and using different processes to the other work you're talking about.

The music on We is quite downbeat and tense (but still beautiful). Does that reflect your own feelings?

It just comes out, putting yourself through these feelings as a means to get somewhere else psychologically. I try not to attach politics to this stuff but there's definitely a pessimistic undertone aimed at a world based on the idea of perpetual growth and pollution. I truly believe we are in our last days here as we know it, I'm trying to soundtrack that.

Who/what are your musical inspirations? To what degree are you inspired by other artists?

I'm influenced by everything, while writing this thing I've listened to Wiley, Harmonic 313, John Maus, William Borroughs, Health and Paul White. All of which are of some influence. While making this EP I was definitely craving faster music on the dance-floor, I was listening to grime, ghettotech and jungle a lot.

Do you visualise anything while making music, such as film scenes or landscapes?

I was thinking about the first three tracks at least as a continued journey over a post-apocalyptic landscape.

How have you found touring? What has the reaction been like?

I love touring, I don't really look up so I'm not always that aware of what the response is. Sometimes you can feel that it is being absorbed, you get hairs on the back of your neck standing up, other times it feels like its fallen on dead ears. I really don't mind how people react. Of course I'd like people to get something from it, but it isn't necessarily easy music to get into. It might take a few listens.

How much are you consciously influenced by current genres such as dubstep and 2-step? Do you try to keep up with new music?

I don't really listen to 'dubstep' or whatever that aggressive testosterone pumping shit is they play on the radio in the evening sometimes. I'm definitely influenced a lot by dub and what people were doing at 140bpm a few years ago and indeed what is going on now, I wouldn't ever tie that to the aforementioned genres although they definitely birthed an open attitude to making beats.

Dubstep for me is Big Apple and DMZ, that was when I first started buying 12s.

What music are you into right now? What would you recommend Soundblab readers check out?

Leaving Records, vlek, Ghettophiles, Becoming Real's gonna drop some new shit pretty soon, Spoek Mathambo, Koreless, Fox Gut Daata, Serengeti.

How did you get started making music and what were your first musical loves?

My first musical loves? Hahaa, bought a Mr Oizo tape when I saw the Levis advert, probably wasn't even a teen then. I used to make stuff with whatever was to hand, which I guess I still do, it was more lo-fi and more song-based. I played drums and bass in a couple of bands when I was still In school, I was always pretty serious about it.

What's your idea of music hell?

I try to embrace everything. Blatant copying is a shitter.

Where would you like to take your music in the future?

Been playing my drum kit a lot more, maybe some more breaks. I can't say, its changing course from this EP already.

WE, featuring 'Not a Word', is out now on Get Me

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet