Timo Garcia (Nolan/ T_Mo) Q&A

Your latest: Nolan feat. Forrest – C’EST LA VIE is out now on Kittball Records. Talk us through how you came up with the idea for the track, and how you teamed up with Forrest?

We’ve made about 15 songs together now but only a couple have been released so far, this one on Kittball and the first was on Mother Recordings. Quite a few labels have been interested in the others but we’re in talks with a label in the US about putting the rest out as an album later this year so will have to see how that pans out. We’ve been working in a variety of different ways together though, being as Forrest lives in Canada and so we’ve only met the once when he played for DPM here in Brighton one summer. Most of the time i upload a load of instrumentals and if he likes one he’ll record a vocal over it and send it back for me to work into the project. Other times he’s sent me a clean vocal for me to write something around or has recorded a vocal over someone’s released track he’s been vibing on and ill replace the music by writing my own piece in the same key.

You moved to Brighton from London a few years back. How is life there, how would you compare the plus/ minus points?

I LOVE Brighton and living by the sea. My studio is just one road away which means my productivity goes down in the summer months but at least I get to swim most lunch times! Having spent 10 years living in London it was time to settle down and start a family and (assuming the trains are running) London’s still only an hour away. Everyone is so friendly round here and people chat with strangers without being seen as crazy!

Please tell us about your studio set-up, in particular any favourite pieces of software/ hardware that you like to use?

I couldn’t do without my Roland Juno keyboard that’s for sure. The studio I was at in London had a grand piano and 2 uprights so I had to buy this to carry on playing keys when I moved to Brighton!
I use Logic X whose new Alchemy synth is superb! Also I love Omnisphere 2 and Trillian from Spectrasonics and couldn’t live without Geist from FXpansion for my drum programming. I also use Ozone 7 and Neutron from Izotope for mixing and mastering in the box.

As a seasoned producer with releases on the likes of Get Physical and Mobilee/Leena how would you describe the general quality of releases these days, both creatively and technically?

There’s just too much of it! But I guess with the advances in technology anyone can have a go and come up with some pretty decent sounding tracks. That coupled with how cheap and easy it is to set up a digital only label these days the market is flooded with pretty simple sounding loopy tracks which makes finding music with more substance that much harder these days!

You have recently signed up with the Flow DJ Agency. How did that come about?

I’ve not had much luck with agencies over the years so when James Trystan who used to release on my old Berwick Street Records label a few years ago as Filth & Splendour set up Flow I thought I’d give them a go.

How do you feel about the ‘Art’ of DJ’ing today? Has anything been lost in translation since the days of mixing with vinyl and residencies in Nightclubs?

Haha.. can of worms?!! As with production, technology has enabled anyone with even the vaguest interest in music to have a go at DJing! With the dreaded sync button it’s hard to screw a mix up (although some still manage to do so!). So now we see thousands of Z list celebs getting in on the club circuit taking the gigs that seasoned DJs once had! It seems now that if you have a famous face or can shift 50 tickets up front for an event you’re more likely to get a booking over a DJ who spent years learning how to beat match and how to fill and keep a dance floor full for the whole night!

You also run tutorials via your website. What is the first piece of advice that you would give to someone new to it all?

I do a lot of engineering for people and do offer one on one tuition at the studio for those who want it, (which is what I think you are referring to, since there’s no actual tutorials on my site). My main advice would be to be patient and learn as much as you can from as many sources as possible. It took me 6 years of learning how to use synths and the full hardware set up I created with Alvaro Garcia back in the day (yep.. it’s his surname I kept!) before I was ready to ever release any of my music, and even then I had to set up my own label to put it out on! Also patience is needed when you do finally sign your music because some labels take around a year to release your stuff (and some even longer.. 4 years was the longest I waited for one to come out!)

http://www.timogarcia.com/engineering

Tell us about your T_Mo alias and what you’re currently working on?

I do a lot of downtempo / chillout music being as I’m not in the mood for banging out house beats every day of the week. Some of the chillout stuff I made found its way onto Cafè del Mar, Mambo, Savannah and Hotel Es Vivé Ibiza compilation CDs as well as onto TV shows like Masterchef, The One Show, Watchdog, Sky News and even Blue Peter. So it’s a guise I use for anything that’s not House music basically.

What do you do to relax?

I wouldn’t say playing with my 3 year old boy is really relaxing but it’s what I love doing outside of the studio time. I also do a lot of walking, sea swimming in summer, hot yoga etc. Listen to records, eat late and binge watch box sets with my other half Katie when the little boy’s gone to bed!

And finally. What are your plans for 2017?

Since a load of my T_Mo material got used on TV I’ve been focussing a lot at the studio on making music for sync/tv/films etc. It wont be coming under any of my Nolan/T_Mo or Timo Garcia guises but I’ve written a 14 track Electro Swing album for Sony/BMG’s production music arm.. and I’m half way through a Tropical House /  Pop album for them too, after which Im probably going to do a D&B album on that pop/crossover kind of tip… as i say, it’s not music i would put my name to commercially but it’s fun making it all the same and i get to work with some amazing singers too. I have a load of new Timo Garcia material coming on some very tasty labels in 2017 as well as the new Nolan fodder too. Some big collaborations to watch out for too and I’m also now ready to get back on the road and start gigging again.. so promoters.. get in touch hey 😉

http://www.timogarcia.com

https://www.facebook.com/DJ.NolanUK

https://www.facebook.com/T.Mo.Chill

 

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Reviews:35

Gavin Herlihy
‘Endless Feeling EP’
Culprit

It’s hard to top the Larse reworking of Endless Feeling from the tail end of last year’s E.P from Gavin Herily. I mean not that the original was more than good enough (it was after all excellent) but this new version adds some extra fizz to the production for 2012. The array of impressive vocal treatments remains intact as indeed do the tension building guitar/ synth licks but Larse re-tweaks it all supplying energetic, shuffling hats and a choice pounding beat. Inxec and Shaun Reeves then replay Tell Me What You Need by perking up the drums and evolving the sounds into a blissful climax, while Geddes hits home with a heavy-duty bass driven 928 version that shimmers distinctively with funky percussion and emotive electronics. 8

http://www.beatport.com/#release/endless-feeling-ep-re-loaded/858877

https://www.facebook.com/CulpritLA#!/CulpritLA

 

Lawnchair Generals
’Don’t Stop’
Lazy Days Recordings

Not only does this reference a personal Disco favourite but also screams syncopation is King and/ or indeed Queen. Produced by Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza this Hi-Nrg trip down memory lane is nothing less than excitement personified, although this time with added punch, fresh synth and a faster tempo. Try the Original or the Dub which has extra chords and drums for satisfaction most definitely guaranteed. Rob Mello’s No Ears Mix reconstructs everything bar a touch of voice and neatly transforms it into deeper tech styled intrigue. 8

release: 14 February 2012

http://lazydaysrecordings.com/

http://www.lawnchairgenerals.com/main.html

 

Pulp Disco & The Outcasts
‘Witches’
Legendary Sound Research

Following on from Overnight To Dusseldorf on Ashley Beedle’s  Out Hear Audio comes this smoothly pulsating and rather fabulous exercise in Cosmic/ Disco/ House (definitely not a genre but certainly a cool clash of ideas). Sensibly paced and augmented by tasty percussion throughout this blends together sassy euro-syncopation with a timely House chord sequence and breathy voices impressively, leaving The Legendary 1979 Orchestra to rework the elements with hats to the fore and additional off-kilter keys. Second track Rimini (Estasi Dell Amore) feels even better getting sleazy with nasty synths and a climatic arrangement that oozes European appeal, and then some more… 8

http://www.junodownload.com/products/witches/1900935-02/?ref=4e6116a603e9b

 

Sandman & Riverside feat ft. Kymberli Wright
‘It’s Too Late’
Fast FWD Records

The Original version of It’s Too Late combines a powerful sparing of percussion played intently with Jazz in mind alongside heavy Rhodes and notable scat vocals. And as truly impressive as it that all sounds (and is), for me Ron Trent once again provides the icing to the cake. Intensity is the middle name here as an array of rhythms envelope you in a series of dance reference points that score equally high on passion and imagination. The Dub proceeds to play around with the gorgeous instrumentation paying perfect compliment. KZR then strip it all back to highlight more voice on their Late Night Dub with a neat Reprise taking care of the rest. 9

release 21 February 2012

http://www.traxsource.com/index.php?act=show&fc=tpage&cr=titles&cv=136597

www.fastfwdmusic.com

 

Nolan
‘Thief’
Nurvous Records

Alter Ego Nolan’s instantly appealing production sounds like it was recorded in the hot sunshine on a sandy beach somewhere in the Med. I know it’s only February but who’s counting. Out soon on NYC’s sister label to the seminal Nurvous imprint this is based around a familiar, though not obvious, party-time piano loop with competing vocal edits and thumping beats all vying for your attention. However the HXU aka Huxley vs Timo Garcia remix is an altogether more sober affair: dropping the mood, feeling deeper, more soulful and is sublimely fine. Cocktails at dawn. 8

http://soundcloud.com/n-lan

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nolan/308232542555564

 

Jon Sweetname
‘Dulce Amor’ (Remixes)
Loco Records Supreme

Love the Touchan remix of this track from Barcelona’s Jon Sweetname precisely because it delivers the unexpected. Which in this case is a slightly sinister bassline aided by a whirring vocal loop and creative electronics all of which create an unsettling, though thoroughly enticing mood. The Martin Nowakowski follows with yet more imaginative touches and treatments on his slightly more ‘up’ feeling version. Something a bit different and therefore clearly worth your time. 8

release: 6 February 2012 on Beatport

www.loco-records.com

 Inspiration: Goody Goody ‘It Looks Like Love’ (1978)

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reviews:32

X-Press 2
‘The House Of Xpress 2’
Skint Records

If the title: The House Of… transports you back to New York in the early nineties then the music plays every bit for 2012. I like/ love this album in the same way I do the new Azari & III and for the very same reasons too – you can spot the influences and reference points yet relish in just how contemporary and fabulous it all is – and it certainly doesn’t sound like a revival.  From the big room beats of Opulence to Roland Clark featured on Million Miles Away the productions sizzle with ideas and moods with a series of collaborations that pull in the calibre of Timo Garcia to Tim Deluxe: who’s Lost the Feelin’ takes tension to an impressive extreme. Other highlights are undoubtedly the opening This Is War with Doll – not least of all because of the ecstasy inducing E2-E4 sequence – and the extra squelchy funk of Dark Matar. In ways this album could have been recorded at anytime over the past couple of decades but the fact that it feels this exciting says all that needs saying. 8

release: 23 Jan 2012

listen to album minimix  http://soundcloud.com/skintrecords/the-house-of-x-press-2-album

http://www.skintentertainment.com/skint

 

James Mile
‘Ease The Pain’
Kaluki Musik

More records like this one and someone will be suggesting the return of House Music’s golden era.  The strongest release on Kaluki so far – could be, if that is you like moody European electronics crossed with Chicago via Detroit (ish). What’s more Italian producer has added a totally succinct vocal refrain giving the track all the soul required against the backdrop of sinister synths and euro-beat references. The first remix is from Luca Bear and Romano Alfieri who add yet more haunting qualities coupled with a fierce bassline, the final from Marco Effe is simply outstanding as it deepens the mood and draws you into a life all of its own. 9

release: 17 Jan 2012

https://www.facebook.com/KalukiMusik

 

Spellband
‘The Dogz Family EP’
Madhouse Records

Italy’s magical combination of Dj/ producers Giuseppe, Andrea and Vins deliver four equally dazzling cuts for Kerri Chandler’s Madhouse. Dogzmatic starts with a high octane sequence of hypnotic synth and piano rushing headlong into oblivion, or there abouts. The excellent Euphoria follows with one of those irresistiblly in-vogue organ led basslines played off crunchy handclaps and intense atmospherics. New Era gets moodier with yet more organ and drum machines invoking the past on this cool number, leaving the stunning Powerplant Powered feeling heavenly with its hands-in-air marimba vibes shouting sunshine all the way…
Release: 16 January 2012 on Beatport. General from 30 Jan.

http://www.spellband.com/

 

Duckbeats
‘I Really Do Believe’
(Jet Project Remix)
Extended Play

Initially released last October Chris Duckenfield’s effervescent combination of legend Etta James and an assortment of Disco beats and House attitude (see killer bassline) now gets the Jet Project treatment – not forgetting the heavy duty Chicago Damn version which accompanied the original of course. Their Believe In Dub version again hits the spot with carefully crafted bass notes and shuffling rhythms offset against delays’ galore and a smart arrangement of sounds set to stun. Head-nodding, soulful and to the point. 8

release: 16 Jan 2012

http://soundcloud.com/chris-duckenfield/cdvscd_i-really-do-believe-1

http://jetproject-inflightentertainment.blogspot.com/

http://www.chrisduckenfield.com/ 

 

Inspiration: Manuel Göttsching ‘E2-E4’ (1984)

 

 

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Reviews: 10

Timo Garcia
‘Digitalism’
303 Lovers

Always exciting to hear from Timo Garcia and as this is delivered by 303 Lovers you can guess just what means! Based loosely around Sly Dunbar talking about the switch from analog to digital drum programming in Jamaica this splices the dividing line between melody and rhythm together perfectly. After lulling you into a false sense of security with its bass throbbing rhythm section warm yet off-set stabs are added to heighten the sense of occasion on the original version. The Kingston Mix then steps it up a gear, while DZeta N’ Basile provide a stunning remix by twisting the elements over a feverish House groove. 8

Available Beatport 16 Sept 11

 

Psychemagik
‘Like Valley of Paradise / Star Lazer’
(Psychemagik)

Heard this again one morning, as its just reappeared, and have to say it still sounds exceptional this afternoon. You may already be familiar with their excellent series of re-edits such as Talking Heads ‘This must be the place’ however this is the first single to be lifted from the imminent album – and if this is anything to go by, well you know the cliché by now. Stirring strings, mellow Rhodes and hallowed vocals elevate this to somewhere far beyond and I really can’t recommend it highly enough – certainly if you’re of a Balearic disposition. Meanwhile, Star Lazer sparkles spectacularly with euro-disco flair: think Koto and Cerrone and you’ll be in the right location. 9 
http://www.piccadillyrecords.com/shop/product.php?pid=76603

 

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