Like many home producing artists British musician Tom Chaplin has a multiple personality. On one hand he IS Tim Chaplin, avant rocker strumming the guitar, adding Sonic Youth style feedback and drenching it all in reverb…and then he is also Luminous, an experimental project with touches of electronica and noise. One might say us home tapers would need help and we are getting it…it’s called music therapy.
Tape recorders, boom boxes, Walkmen/mans, 4-tracks, 8-track, PC, laptops. Mostly in that order, but sometimes backtracking just for the hell of it, and often more than one at a time. I’m more of an audio than a visual person. All about the noise. The first thing I put out was a promo CD-R with four of my solo numbers on. Not too longer after that, a Luminous track came out on a compilation CD on an actual label. Then the floodgates opened… Vinyl, cassettes, CD-Rs, CDs and downloads on labels such as Best Kept Secret, Bliss, Fi-Sci, Plastic Pancake, Golden Pathway, Clinical Archives and my own label Tara Records.
There’s something to be said for doing things your own way. You remain closer to the original spirit of the music. Take it to a studio and there’s always the risk of it getting away. Careful not to distance yourself from what you first heard in your head. Unless, that is, you actually want to get away from it. Not to do studios and producers down at all, though. There’s a place for everything. I do things the way I do mostly because I have very little choice. Same goes for most people, I imagine.
As a musician, downloads are a very handy way to get the music out there into the world. However, as a music fan, I hardly ever download anything, although I appreciate it is popular and convenient. MP3s also don’t take over your house. The loss in sound quality never fails to bug me, but kids are growing up not knowing any better. I’m too set in my ways – I find it hard to sit through an entire song or video on a computer.
Let’s not end on a low note, though. It seems like physical releases aren’t going anywhere any time soon. My name is only one of many on this page here. Just a drop in the ocean…