Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing.
tangerine beams is a Toronto-based synthwave/synth-funk band. They create a unique sound blending all of their influences and in an email, they told me about those influences as well as the genesis of the project and where they plan to take it in the future, their creative process and their views on the Twitter #synthfam.
KM: How did tangerine beams get started?
tangerine beams: It grew out of our Audio Insurgency project (2014). We spent four years developing our craft, worked on a few video games, released a few albums, and worked on a film. The main issue we found was: not having a unified sound or brand caused issues with promoting our music. We also didn't know how to effectively market ourselves and put ourselves out there, so we decided to create a project that would focus on making something with a solid vision, a strong brand identity, and a more or less singular sound. This led to starting tangerine beams, with the focus being on synth-pop. We love the sound of it, have a blast making it, and it has a fairly large audience that's always growing.
KM: Who are your musical influences?
Alon: I like pop art and manga influenced drawings. I gravtiate toward sci-fi movies such as Edge of Tomorrow and District 9. Also films that Edgar Wright directed such as Scott Pilgrim and Hot Fuzz. In terms of music, bands that I keep coming back to blend genres and have ambitious productions such as Linkin Park, Destiny Potato, Metric, and Muse. Game series that have influenced my music include: Half-Life, Psychonauts, Sonic Adventure, and Final Fantasy.
Ivan: I've played lots and lots of games: Warcraft to Counter-Strike and everything in between. Musically I like bands with a unique and coherent sound such as Pendulum, Prodigy, 65Daysofstatic, Grayceon, Adibisi Shank, and some other even more obscure bands. I'm not a big movie person but Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' have an amazing combination of cinematography, direction, music, and humour.
KM: Tell me about how you go about making new tracks?
tb: Usually it starts with a groove or lyrics by Alon. He works on producing for a few days until it's about 60% done. Ivan has a listen to it and lends some ideas in terms of production to fill up the sound, then it gets iterated upon a few more times until it's ready for mixing. Ivan mixes it over the course of a day or two.
After that, we consult people who are close to us and ask their opinion on the production and the mix. We listen to it many times, then Ivan masters it. We listen to it many more times, in the car, on earbuds, and on various speakers. If everything seems at this point then we release it into the world and the promotion begins.
KM: Talk about the different projects that you've been working on and what your plans are with them?
tangerine beams: Remix album: We've been working on remixes from artists such as CZARINA, Millenium Falck, Gryff and many more. The plan is to release a lot of them as singles and then finally release the whole album once that round is complete.We also have the next album in production. We're waiting on the vocalists to be available to record vocals mostly. Some songs are fairly done.
All the while we're still keeping Audio Insurgency running and we're looking for video games and films to work on there. On October 18, 2019 we'll participate in a 48 hour movie challenge.
KM: Where do you want to go with tangerine beams music in the future?
tb: If everything goes well, we'll try to think of ideas of how to perform this music live on tour. Though it will be challenging with this style of music and we wanna do it right. We'd also like to release more remixes in a couple of years once we release some original content. Collaborating with people in the community is something that we're excited to do. We believe that collaboration is also beneficial to everyone so we'd like to spread the joy.
KM: Give me your thoughts on the Twitter #synthfam.
tb: Synthfam is awesome! Even though we didn't have any music released we were accepted with warmth and enthusiasm. It's a great way to build up a following that support each other and collaborate with each other. It's where we met a lot of the people that we're making remixes for such as the songs Halcyon by Griff and Gravity by CZARINA. The opportunities have been great and the continued evolution of people in the community is encouraging to watch. We hope that we can contribute a lot to the community and make it grow.