Audio maverick, technical genius and boundary pushing performer, Tim Shaw is not one for sitting still. From his early days of rocking small clubs and releasing on Planet Mu, to big stages around the world and an album on Warp Records, Tim likes to experiment, to try new things. For the last couple of years Tim has been working closely with software heavyweights Native Instruments to design his own ‘audio instruments’ which have proved very popular. Tim is more relaxed about music these days it seems, his recent shows have moved into deep improvised techno territory, still with all the fun and surprising moments, but somehow more refined. He comes across as a chap completely at ease with where he’s at and where he’s heading.
1: All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind
2: Speak or act with a corrupted mind and suffering follows
3: 140 years ago music was a social activity. Then Edison figured out how to record sound. 140 years later music has become a product.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Nature actually. Nothing makes me want to make music more than being in nature. Particularly the north of Norway in the artic circle. I try to get there twice a year now to reconnect with something I can’t describe. I think I may be a viking at heart. In terms of cultural inspirations – 90s rave, jungle, IDM, field recordings.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
Age 4, playing the violin, age 12 falling in love with rave, age 15 falling in love with DJing, age 17 falling in love with producing, age 19 falling in love with programming.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms
Aphex Twin – hard to choose which one
Visible Cloaks – Reassemblage
This is so hard!
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Living there for 3.5 years
Being carefree but a bit one-D
Plenty of time to hang
Late late nights
Late late mornings
More music and musicians than I could possibly appreciate at the time
Coming back to visit and let my hair down
Some very very dear friends indeed
Capitalism hasn’t taken over as much as it has in London
Cycling down Frankfurter Allee/Karl-Marx-Allee before all the new buildings had been built at Alex
Detroit – for some reason – can’t say why
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
My town? London? It has to be my flat in Bethnal Green. It’s incredibly peaceful here for somewhere so central in London. I can walk all the way to my next favourite place – Victoria Park – without going on any roads – just a canal. And Shoreditch is walking distance too.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’d work with live action moving image footage of nature and develop visual processing algorithms to analyse/resynthesise them.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
My Spotify monthly subscription (I not trolling, this is just the honest truth!). A couple of weeks ago I bought the digital download of Visible Cloaks’ new album from Bandcamp.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
There are lots of people whose music I like but I wouldn’t want to collaborate with them. Probably a good friend – like my friend Akashamitra whose music is so very good but he has no ambition so sadly very few people will ever hear it. We collaborate from time to time. I think it’s mainly an excuse to spend time together though.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Apex once did a secret show at Glastonbury pre-Drukqs and played a bunch of high-tempo super-edited break core stuff. I’d never heard anything like it at the time and it blew my poor little neurons apart. I remember my friend Jonny dancing impossibly low to the ground. More shapes were thrown that night than the rest of my life.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It is my creative process. As an improvisor playing on an instrument I built completely myself my creative process is codified into the machines themselves.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a lovely younger sister who is almost the exact opposite. I couldn’t wish for a greater blessing. She’s been so supportive of me right through my life – even when I’ve been an intolerable shit which happens from time to time.
Tim Exile will perform on Krake’s third festival day on Friday, 27th July 2018 at Urban Spree.
Photo © Tim Exile