Our second instalment of The Listener brings us into conversation with Tiago De Almeida, who performs and records music under his own name. Tiago also runs the recently established Inner Space Travels record label, based in Berlin, Germany. Working as a musician and running a label smoothly is no easy task, so we’re very grateful to have Tiago in on our listener-focused features. Early ambient listening experiences, favourite recent releases, and keeping the DIY spirit alive are discussed.
How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?
It has sort of always been there since I started properly listening and collecting music. Be it in intros in early Napalm Death records to long ambient passages by The Young Gods, especially live. I studied film, so I was also always into soundtracks and sound design. It has been a more prominent presence in the last 10 years.
What is the one album that you can play over and over without it getting old?
Too many to mention… But I would have to state the obvious and I still listen to Eno’s “Music For Airports” quite regularly. I recently got the latest vinyl reissue and it had exactly that feeling of knowing it inside out but still finding a new thing here and there.
How do you seek out new music? Once you’ve found it, what is your perfect listening environment?
Same as I always did, but now more online than in record shops, unfortunately. These days it’s mostly through Bandcamp and just following artists and labels. I actually enjoy music on the go, while walking or travelling. Loud and through a nice set of headphones. But a perfect environment to me is a live show.
Can you tell us about your favourite new release from the last 12 months?
Mostly very gentle music and again, too many to mention… High on the list have been Norman Westberg ‘After Vacation’ (Room40), Hotel Neon ‘Means of Knowing’ (ARCHIVES), Ian Hawgood ‘光’ (Home Normal/Eilean Rec.).
As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?
I always loved tapes because it’s such a simple format. To me there’s a personal attachment as I used to spend hours on end recording and listening to tapes as a teenager. Now I also use them in my own music as loops or sound sources. There’s a certain disposable feel to it that I also enjoy. And it’s a super cheap medium, which is great. I’m loving this return to popularity of tapes as it helps to keep the DIY spirit alive.