15 Mar 2015

Nine Questions with Torpa

Nine Questions is a new regular feature on the Active Listener, where we ask our favourite artists nine simple questions and get all sorts of answers....

Today.....Steve and Pete Dandy from Torpa.

What was the first record you bought?
Steve: I didn't get in to music seriously until I was about 17. Before that I was one of the non musical, 'music' loving public getting by on 'Now That's What I Call Music 8'. The first album I bought around that time was Kylie's début on cassette. Suffice to say I didn't buy another until some years later when I started listening to Mark Goodier's Evening Session on Radio 1 and finally saw the light. After that my first purchase was Sugar's 'Beaster' mini-album with the same band's 'Tilted' being my first 7 inch single. I never looked back.
Pete: Madness 'The Rise & Fall' on cassette. Swiftly followed by the other early Madness albums. When I received my first CD player and became obsessed with music, my first significantly important purchase was the first Suede album, along with 'I Nearly Lost You' by The Screaming Trees, purchased from Our Price in Chester on the same epochal day.

What was the last record you bought? 
Steve: Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack to 'Inherent Vice', the new Aphex Twin EP and a couple of Conrad Schnitzler's early 70s synth albums. All of them are fantastic.
Pete: I am a big fan of the band Women, so I am currently digging the début album by Viet Cong.

What's one thing about you that very few people know? 
Steve: I was a total Lost obsessive back in the day and am quoted on the back cover of Nikki Stafford's 'Finding Lost: Season 5' book. For the record, I understood the ending and will happily explain the polar bears to anyone who didn't get it.
Pete: An early band of ours had a cursed demo tape that when passed onto various musicians made bad things happened. Shortly after sending a tape to Mansun, they split up and after personally handing a tape to Bernard Butler, his solo career came to an abrupt halt. We even took one to the offices of Creation Records...

If you could record with any one artist who would it be and why? 
Steve: Definitely Bjork. She is someone who is never happy to stand still creatively; always experimenting and trying to push the boundaries of her music. She is also someone for whom the recording process is as important as the music itself, which is something we strongly believe in.
Pete: Dead - Miles Davis. Alive - Goat.

Who should we be listening to right now? 
Steve: Death & Vanilla, Not Waving, Bing & Ruth. Jane Weaver.
Pete: King Crimson. Moon Wiring Club. Kreidler. Secret Pyramid.

Vinyl, CD or digital? 
Steve: The majority of music I own is on cd, although I do love a bit of limited edition vinyl. I'm not too much of an audiophile so you won't catch me going on about compression and brick-walling on internet forums.Having the physical artefact; the artwork, the packaging; has always been a big part of collecting and listening music. I've lost count of the number of times I've checked out a band purely based on their cover art.
Pete: I personally prefer CDs but the ease by which you can now distribute music digitally is invaluable for us to get our music directly to our listeners. Because the majority of our releases are free to download and everything is done in-house, there is no one in the chain who is screwing us over. We know our musical history.

Tell us about your latest release. 
Our latest release came out March 1st and is called 'I Watched Her Melt Away'. It started life as a piano led ambient piece which mutated into something with a more soulful, orchestral vibe with a hint of gospel. Both versions are included on the e.p. The second track, 'Lionel Mogwai', was named by Pete due to his disdain for the first take we recorded which sounded like Mogwai covered by Lionel Richie.

What's next for you, musically? 
We are due to support Jane Weaver at Central Station in Wrexham, UK on 6th March which is shaping up to be a great night. After that we'll be working on material for our second album. The first, 'Modern Ruins' (which made Shoegazer Alive's Top 10 Best Post Rock / Experimental / Ambient Albums of 2014 list) was a mix of melodic electronica and subtle beats with a late night road trip vibe. The new record was recorded with a new batch of synths we bought at the tail end of last year, which give the tracks a more abrasive, dynamic and richer feel.

What's for dinner? 
Sausages (again).


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