Five Queries with… Halftribe
Recently we took some time to chat to UK Ambient artist Halftribe:
IC: For a listener who is unfamiliar with Halftribe, how would you best describe your own music?
HT: I would say my own music is usually ambient, pretty laid back with warm tones and often a hazy nostalgic feel.
IC: We here at Irregular Crates had the privilege of reviewing you latest album, ‘Daydreams In Low Fidelity’. Can you talk us through any standout moments for you during the creative process of putting the album together?
HT: I’m glad you liked the album and thanks for the review. My first album, Luxia (also Archives) was never meant to be an album. It was meant to be 2 EPs for 2 different labels, but due to circumstances they were grouped on one release and fleshed out with a couple of remixes. My approach to Daydreams In Low Fidelity was to create an series of tracks that matched the brief of the title. I gave myself most of 2016 to write enough suitable tracks. Anything that I wrote that didn’t fit I gave away or released elsewhere. I would say that with each of the tracks that made it on the album, they were the standout moments of the creation process. When making a track, I need it to give me a special feeling, a self-satisfaction that its good and that others will like it. I experiment a lot with delays, reverb, fx, sampling and re-sampling so the best bits of any track may be just a little accident that I have converted into something more pronounced. In fact I have a track on another release called Beautiful Accidents which sums this process up. From a technical and personal point I would say that I have become quite proficient at tidying up audio and EQ’ing. Delays and reverbs can generate a lot of unwanted noise and unpleasant frequencies. I think I have improved the final product I now produce.
IC: Having talked to you previously about your music making process and some of the tools you use, can you tell us your ‘desert island’ instrument/plugin/effect? Also, if there is one piece of equipment you’d really like to add to your set up, what would it be and why?
HT: My go to effect at the minute is actually a freebie but I love playing around with it. It’s called Guitar Gadgets by Musical Entropy. I particularly like the massive reverb created in the Niagara Falls preset which you can play around with. I don’t do much with guitars but fire all sorts of different sounds through this VST and really mess them up, playing with LFOs, slicing stuff up, whatever. Again just trying to create the beautiful accidents I mentioned before.
IC: Over the years, you output on Mixcloud has been frequent and detailed. You’ve produced a phenomenal amount of mixes across a variety of styles, including some of our favourite artists. How do you go about discovering and listening to such a vast range of new music, and, how do you select the tracks that make it into a mix?
HT: I find in periods when I’m not writing music I’m probably doing mixes. It’s like a continual creative flow that takes one form or the other. I’ve been putting mixes together for a long time now and am fortunate enough to get sent a lot of great music from labels that I really like. I usually skim listen to a lot of stuff. If it has something about it that I like it will get put in my ‘future mixes’ file. In that regard I don’t really have much work to do. I play stuff on Soundcloud too. Again, just skimming. If it has quality, it’ll get played longer. If it’s really good and will fit with the style of my mixes then great, it’ll get selected. The mixes are usually ambient themed but it’s amazing at how ambient can cross over or overlap with other genres like dub-techno or modern classical. Hopefully that helps the mix flow rather than being too monotonous.
IC: If you could choose to collaborate within anyone, not limited only to musicians, who would it be?
HT: There are many amazing people out there that would be great to collaborate with so I just picked the first one that came to mind: Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon. Quirky and interesting and I love the tone of her voice.
To find out more around Halftribe, you can click HERE or on the image above to be directed to the artist’s Bandcamp page. To check out ‘Daydreams In Low Fidelity’ you can hit play below to stream tracks from this release on Archives: