Following releases on imprints such as Bosh Recordings and Nervous Records, PaperMacheTiger end what has been a difficult year for everyone with their new Luna EP. Coming on Triangle Records, a label that has previously released tracks from Chymera and Alexi Delano, the EP also includes remixes from Triangle boss Orlando Voorn and Eviltron. We had a brief chat with the UK-based duo, asking them about the Luna EP as part of our Introducing series.
What was your first encounter with electronic music? And when did you see it being a career choice?
It was quite a while back I always had a fascination with sound since I was young, and this continued to evolve as I got older. I was playing piano and studying music from a very early age and was always exploring the other side of the classical approach. As I got older, I started to put music together and create mixtapes, from this the DJing side started to develop which also flowed into the production side of things, so I would guess that being involved in music and pursuing it as a career was something that I was always going to do from a very early age.
How and when did you meet? And when did you decide to start working together?
I met Dylan a few years ago here in Ibiza, he was making some good music working out of his studio, I had just started a collaboration project (PaperMacheTiger) with the idea of working with my friends and other great producers, so we got together to work on some tracks. We both clicked in the studio and our workflow was fast, by the first week we had already created four to five tracks! This is when the project took a turn in direction and we just continued to work on more music together as one entity.
What artists have truly inspired you and help create the sound you now produce?
I get inspiration from across the board young and old, Beatrice Dillon is making some great music right now that inspires me, then you have the likes of Four Tet and further back experimental artists like Silver Apples, the acid house sound, techno Detroit, Berlin, the UK scene from the start has always been so pioneering and forward-thinking, house music, disco, hip hop, indie electronica out of these movements there have been a lot of artists that have given me great inspiration, too many to name but so many to be inspired from.
What has been your greatest life achievement so far?
In terms of career-wise, this is always a difficult sort of question to answer as I am not one to brag or sing my own praises, (even if I do think my own tracks are amazing!!! Ha) I’ve played on some of the biggest stages in the world, worked with some fabulous people, released some great music, but I think being able to give back and help others on all levels, be it with the music, or with life is something that resonates highly with me and being in a position to do this from being a part of this scene is very humbling.
What do you see as the biggest challenge now for artists trying to break through and make a name in this industry?
It is a tougher situation now as there are so many artists trying to be heard and there is a lot of noise out there. The avenues for coming through are smaller. Social media whilst being a great tool and when used correctly can be beneficial is also a pariah as it has flooded the scene making it hard for some to be noticed. Some people look upon a profile and if it hasn’t got a million followers dismiss the artist(s). This in itself creates a problem as some will cheat their way through to make it look as if they have got a higher profile, but are really not deserving, it is tricky. It is also then difficult to try and get the spots in terms of the gigs or releases on labels. Some venues/promoters push a pay to play mentality, or even look at how many supporters you’ve got on a medium, how is this meant to nurture and realize the next generation of artists? The industry has to look at the grassroots and bring these artists through, development needs to be pushed as the number one agenda which takes time and not just the focus on immediate short-term gratification.
The big players can have a helping hand in this, but some are all taken, take, take recently Spotify turned around and stated that it would give an artist a bigger push on their platform as long as they are prepared to take a smaller royalty cut, the royalties are minuscule as it is, it is forcing people to create/work for free basically and this isn’t justifiable.
Trying to break through and also then make a living from this industry is difficult as for most the money isn’t there to sustain a living from music. Whilst following your passion isn’t all about making money, the bills have to be paid, you’ve got to put food on the table. This is a real-world situation, the reality is that a lot of artists trying to break through can’t dedicate 100% of their time to their craft and this is part of the struggle. There has to be a system in place for an artist to get support to be able to break through and feel like they are not out there on their own, a small fish in an overpopulated lake. Artist guidance and emotional investment is a key factor in this. However, don’t let the above deter you, if this is your calling you have to just follow the path and keep pushing through. Consistency and perseverance will help you breakthrough and also working on a signature sound so that your music does get you noticed. It isn’t going to be easy but doing something you love isn’t necessarily about the easy options.
What has been the most difficult moment of your career so far?
There have been many but what defines someone is how they come through these moments and keep on keeping on. There has never been a moment when I have thought that’s it enough is enough, I’ve always taken it as part of the journey something to be overcome and make you stronger, the path will never be straight and there will be deviations along the way but if this life is something that you truly really want you will find a way to make it happen. Look at Covid, this has knocked the industry completely for six, it has been very damaging, but as a community, we are not going to let that hold us back, new opportunities will arise, it is a phoenix moment, and as difficult as it is, we’ll just come back stronger.
If you could produce a track with any artist past or present, who would it be and why?
A great question, Tom Yorke, Radiohead, (love that band) I go back to the thing about sounds, hearing what he does with his voice and the music that they make, really resonates with me, this is more about the technical and sonic aspect of music, of course, I could give a different answer if it was, say about someone more dancefloor focused in the electronic music scene. I’ve been lucky to work with so many great producers and artists and this is the holy grail of development, learning from others, this is the way to truly develop your craft and take your music-making to another level, and to be honest it doesn’t matter if who it has already had an amazing career or is someone who is just coming through, there is always something to experience and learn from which you can apply to your own self.