For this instalment of ‘The Listener’, we chat to Nicholas Turner about Post-Rock, discovering new music, and the importance of physical formats. Nick is a multi-instrumentalist from Chicago, Illinois, with recent cassette releases on Neologist Productions, Endangered Species Tapes, and Obsolete Staircase under the name of Tyresta. Our regular listeners will have heard the sounds of Tyresta on this year’s RTR sampler with the track ‘Blue Sunshine’.
Later in November 2019, Nick will be releasing the full-length album, ‘Zero Point’, on RTR. For now, enjoy learning a little more about this musician and listener, and do be sure to check out the recent Tyresta releases!
How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?
In my late teens and early 20’s, I started listening to bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and Sigur Ros. I feel like post-rock provided me with a nice gateway into ambient, drone, and experimental music. I was then introduced by a friend to Brian Eno’s music and labels like Kranky and Root Strata (RIP) and it expanded from there. Instrumental music gets at part of the human experience that transcends language, which I find to be really fulfilling both as a listener and as a musician.
What is the one album that you can play over and over without it getting old?
Stars of the Lid – ‘And Their Refinement of the Decline‘ (KRANK100) is an album I could listen to forever and still discover new things about it. That album came out over a decade ago and they haven’t really needed to provide a follow up since there is so much to take in.
How do you seek out new music?
I seek out new music in a variety of ways. I follow certain artists and labels pretty closely on social media (mainly Instagram and Twitter). Bandcamp and Spotify are also excellent sources for discovering new music. If I find an artist that I like on a digital/streaming platform, I will typically purchase their album and/or try to see them live, which in most cases leads me to discovering new music as well.
Once you’ve found it, what is your perfect listening environment?
I think it’s a tie between my living room and my car. I invested in my Hi-Fi set up a few years ago, which has been great for listening to vinyl at home. I’m currently researching tape decks to add to my home set up.
Can you tell us about your favourite new release from the last 12 months?
This is a really difficult question to answer! Recently I’ve been enjoying ‘Perpetulum’ (OMM0132) which is a collaborative album by Philip Glass, Gavin Bryars, and Third Coast Percussion. I’m also really digging the album ‘Moto Perpetuo’ (Marionette09) by Kilchhofer Anklin. The new Mary Lattimore and McCaughan album ‘New Rain Duets’ (TLR-127) is excellent as well.
As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?
Streaming and digital are great but I value physical mediums like cassette and vinyl. I am guilty at times of listening to an album on a platform like Spotify and then forgetting about it due to the sheer volume of releases at my disposal. Having something like a cassette allows you to periodically return to an album (since it is often displayed somewhere in your home), experience the album in its’ entirety, and get to know a little bit about the artist and label through the art and liner notes. I also think that tape adds an interesting character/quality to experimental music, which is not the case for all genres.