Wave Racer is 19 year old Sydney producer Thomas Purcell. His music is all sunshine and synthesizers and 90s gaming systems.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
I've been making dance music for a few years actually, but I only put my first Wave Racer tunes up online about a month ago. After making primarily sample-based house music for a long time, I became more interested in synths and sound design and decided to go in that direction with my production. I'm interested in lots of different styles of electronic music and I think my tunes reflect that. But this kind of sound is still quite new to me and it's definitely still developing.
What’s a Wave Racer live show like?
I haven't done many Wave Racer gigs yet, but I like to keep my sets pretty upbeat. I use Ableton and a couple of MIDI controllers and basically DJ using that, but it's not really the same as a normal DJ set. Ableton allows me to be a bit more flexible and I do a lot of looping/mashing/glitchy effects and stuff like that. I also change tempo a lot and try to find interesting ways to mix between styles. It's good fun, haha! I'm really looking forward to doing more shows soon.
You’re into dolphins huh? Cool! Why's that?
Yeah I like dolphins, they're cool. I don't really know why, there's just something about them I guess. They're just really majestic and graceful, haha.
Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your music and why?
Artists like Rustie, Cashmere Cat, Hudson Mohawke and Girl Unit are all massive influences because they each have such a unique approach to their production and sound design. They sound like themselves and it's hard to compare their sounds to anything else, which is refreshing. But I also draw a lot of inspiration from lesser-known producers who are making amazing music – LiL TExAS, Mr. Carmack, 813, Djemba Djemba, just to name a few. I'm also really into 70's and 80's disco and soul music. I listen to a lot of bands like Shalamar, Luther Vandross, L.T.D, The Whispers, etc – the chord progressions and melodies in that stuff, it's so feel-good, haha, I love it.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
Loads of exciting things coming up this year – I'm already working on remixes for some awesome artists that should be coming out later this year. I've also locked in a few gigs in August that I'm really looking forward to. I should hopefully be making some new originals soon too, maybe even get an EP together. Some labels have expressed interest so we might see some official Wave Racer releases, who knows!
Australian music is…?
…taking over. Watch out!View Profile Hide Interview
Perth 4-piece Tired Lion make excellent grungy rock'n'roll. We like them. A lot.
Montaigne is the stage name of 2012 Unearthed High finalist Jessica Cerro. Since impressing us with her Unearthed High entry 'Anyone But Me' she has taken a couple of years to refine and develop her sound - and boy oh boy was it worth the wait! The first offerings from her forthcoming EP are big and bold and beautiful, and available here on Unearthed.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
My sound is rather intertwined with my subconscious so however I feel as a human being mentally, intellectually and spiritually shapes the kind of sound that manifests in my mind and which I seek to give substance to. I have very few production skills and play only two instruments, one (the piano) at a very basic level, so the way the songs ended up on the EP was shaped largely by the big conceptual ideas I was throwing at Tony who produced it and the way that Tony understood them. And of course by the references I gave, such as M83, Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Björk, Sigur Rós etc. I think the greatest influences in the development of my sound were the sounds of other artists, my own holistic self-development and of course the second party (Tony) involved (when someone else is involved, they’re always going to imbue a small piece of themselves). I do a lot of humming, too, and have a penchant for harmonies.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Life, I suppose. Things as they happen to me. Anything which elicits a creative reaction from me. I don’t like to force the process of making music, music for me is like something that’s always happening in my body and every now and again it seeks outlet. When I sit down and say, okay, I’m going to write a song now, whatever I write is crap. It’s when I surprise myself with a line or a quick melody that I write my best songs, they develop from there. Spontaneity is key.
What can punters expect from a Montaigne live show?
Some pretty loud vocals and some pretty wild gesticulation. Something you should engross yourself in and join. Whatever joining means to you.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I get this advice from many people, amongst them my parents and even John Watson, one of Australia’s most successful managers: don’t underestimate yourself. Or further than that, trust yourself. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I get told that a lot with regards to my songwriting and my voice. And it’s important that I hold to that because I get frustrated easily if what’s in my head just won’t come out of me in exact form.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Rock It by Little Red. Always.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Providence by Lisa Mitchell. Wouldn’t be tears of sadness though, more tears of wonder.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
My People by The Presets. Ooft.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
The last gig I went to was Big Scary at Manning Bar. The band was freaking great, just their presence was enough to satisfy me I love Big Scary so much.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
I have a good friend who’s soon to put out a first single under the artist name Dead Language who constantly impresses me with his ability to balance uni, music and work. He’s got a really strong voice too, his growl power is crazy. He’s someone I can talk to about all the music stuff which I really appreciate, and he’s really passionate about it which I also really admire.
What are your plans for Montaigne in 2014?
In the immediate future, I’ll be on a panel for ABC Splash & Unearthed High in June where I’ll be performing a couple of songs acoustically. In the more distant future, there’ll be gigs coming up and I’ll be starting a new record…
Jess Kent has dropped one of the most infectious tracks of 2015, 'Get Down', and won herself a spot on the lineup for Sydney's Field Day festival, alongside Disclosure, Flight Facilities, The Wombats and more. Catch them all in The Domain on New Years Day.