Pandemonium, Timestalker‘s second album and interview.
Like it or hate it, #synthwave is catching on around the world. Continuing on with our trend of interviewing these musicians, this week we spoke with Timestalker. The newest album is his second and composed, produced and mixed by Timestalker, mastered by Volkor X, guitar solo on “Pandemonium” by Dimi Kaye, and finally, the album artwork was created by Bo Bradshaw.
What advice would you like to share with young musicians?
Well, I’m a young myself and not too experienced yet either. But, I noticed that I write far better music when I listen to a broad variation of styles. I write better when I didn’t limit myself to one particular genre. There’s always something interesting to find in all styles of music that can inspire you to try a different approach to your songs, to push the boundaries of the genre. Usually the best songs I wrote was when I wasn’t listening to other synthwave artists, but something totally different.
You are based out of St. Gallen, Switzerland. We have interviewed many sythwave musicians from around the world and now have included Switzerland. It truly seems that this rising musical genre is spreading around the world and is not constrained by any physical boundaries. How can you explain this global phenomenon?
The internet. It’s responsible for everything, either good or bad. It’s now possible to reach out to artists all over the world. Everyone has access to music online and can download the songs practically everywhere, illegally or by supporting an artist. But in general, underground genres wouldn’t be where they are now without the internet. Maybe people would have found the music via Drive or Hotline Miami, as many people have done now, but they wouldn’t have discovered that there’s a whole scene behind it.
On your Facebook page, you list your style of music as “Synthwave / Darksynth / Electronic / Soundtrack”. Most of these are self explanatory, except ‘soundtrack’. Why did you chose to include this description in your profile? Have you composed music for film, video, or games before?
As a movie geek, I am always inspired by movie soundtracks as well. So, I mostly have a vision when I write music. “The Beyond” for example starts with a chordless, windy synthpad. I could imagine myself standing alone on a foggy pathway. Then there’s a single melody played over it; That could be when you discover a pair of red eyes in the distance, glowing eerily through the fog. Then suddenly there are dozens of eyes and they’re coming closer … that’s when the soundscape explodes and the song starts off. I try to create music that provokes imagination and pictures in the mind of the listener. Also for my future live performances, I wanna work closely with video animations that fit my songs.
How important is H.P. Lovecraft to your music?
My favorite movie for a looong time was Re-Animator from 1985, based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. After that I began sucking in all I could find about him! His sheer productivity (it is said he wrote about 100’000 letters in his lifetime) was always a great motivation to keep me going and his creations like the monster from “Call of Cthulhu” or the “Necronomicon” also inspired me.
Can you give us a quick list of your preferred hardware, DAW, software and some of your favorite synth patches and drum kits.
I’m really no expert in this aspect, so to avoid any laughter, I will pass on this question.
Currently, Pandemonium is your second release. Can you share a few ways in which you have grown as a composer over the course of these albums?
As with everything, you gain experience over time. You get better at things. I always thought, first you have to master the basics, after that you can start with the experimentation. I started out pretty basic and a bit faint-hearted, but over time my music grew more interesting and with more influences outside the synthwave genre. I found my own sound, and it’s possible that this will show even more on future releases.
Do you ever find the genre of Synthwave restrictive, and if so, how do you keep the music sounding fresh and interesting?
As already mentioned above, I listen to a broad palette of different music styles. Lately, I discovered the Asian scene and was astonished by the sheer quality output there is. For example there was a genre called City Pop, which was popular in Japan during the 80s. It had everything the new wave-sound from Europe or the United States had, and they seemed to adapt it even better. If you wanna jump into that style of music I suggest to start with the 1987-record “Sea Is A Lady” or “On The City Shore” from Toshiki Kadomatsu and “Fuyü Kukan” by Tomoko Aran from 1983, really funky and uplifting stuff.
He’s one of the nicest guy I’ve met in the scene so far. He always asked for improvements to his work and did a splendid job in the end. He definitely improved the song and I am proud to have him on “Pandemonium”.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with Slickster Magazine and good luck on all of your musical endeavors. How can fans best support you and your music?
On Bandcamp you will find my two EPs for reasonable prices. It would mean a lot to me if you guys would stop by and have a listen. (https://timestalker.bandcamp.com) And my music can also be found on Itunes, Spotify and all other platforms.
Top five 80’s movies. GO!
That’s a tough one, there’s so many. But… Re-Animator, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Back To The Future I and/or II, The Burning, Aliens. (will probably change the next day.. lol)