The Maker #38 – Tropic Noir

The latest instalment of The Maker brings the conversation to Bruno Pereira, an ambient artist from Lisbon, Portugal, creating and releasing music under name Tropic Noir. Before finding a home in ambient music, Bruno released music as over8, with a greater focus on beat-orientated electronic music. As Tropic Noir, Bruno has released via Fungo Label and delivered remixes for A L I E N A Ç Ã O. Bruno’s latest offering, ‘Bangalô’ (RTR050) is currently available for pre-order via RTR and will be released in full at the end of the month. ‘Bangalô’ marks the 50th tapes out on the label; a milestone release with artwork by Stephanie Touzet-Sallé and editing by Lucy Adlington.

In this feature, Bruno discusses journeying through electronic music, everyday inspiration, allowing ideas to evolve over time, and the return of the cassette tape.

Bruno Pereira – Tropic Noir

How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?

To answer this question, I have to go back a little. My journey through electronic music is a bit unusual (I think). In high school, at the end of the twentieth century, I was introduced to Trance music. Although it fascinated me at the time, I always felt that wasn’t really where my passion lied. So, I started listening to other genres in the electronic field, curious to find something that filled my interest. I explored House and Techno in the early twenty-first century. Worked my way through Minimal and Dub-Techno along several years. Until I hit Experimental music. This opened new horizons for me. All the textures and complexity of the sound, just spoke to me in a way that no other genre had before. By this point, I was exploring everything that was Ambient related. I knew then and there that this was my place.

What inspires you to create a new body of work?

Everything around me serves a purpose for inspiration.  A simple walk outside, being with family and friends, going to the beach, and especially, listening to the sounds that surround you on a daily basis. All these things, and more, help me get in the studio to experiment, record, and create new textures that open doors for new material.

Bruno’s studio space in Lisbon, Portugal

How do you approach working on a new release?

This all starts by exploring and experimenting synth pads with various effects and recordings made at home with a microphone, or even with my phone in the street. When all these elements align, and I have a track that fascinates me, I set it aside. Then, I continue working on new material (not really thinking of making an album), until I create that second track that fits perfectly with the first one. That gives me the legs to start trailing a story that could possibly become an album. This process takes months, sometimes years, to get the right order of tracks that translates the “narrative” I want to put out there.

Tropic Noir – ‘Bangalô’ (RTR050)

Can you tell us about your favourite new release from the last 12 months?

This is a very difficult question. There are so many good artists out there at the moment, making really good music, it’s hard to keep track sometimes. Especially during the confinement caused by the pandemic.  A lot of excellent music came out at this time. But there is always an album that comes to mind: ‘Milan’ by Alister Fawnwoda, Suzanne Ciani & Greg Leisz. This album, from start to finish, is just incredible.  So many nuances, that it’s difficult not to be amazed by their work.

As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?

As a kid, I always walked around with my Walkman, and was always recording albums to cassette tapes.  So, this is something that is a part of my life. There’s just something warm about listening to a cassette tape.  Nostalgia may play a big part in it as well. Obviously, when I started releasing music, nobody was putting out tapes anymore. Everything was on Vinyl, CD or Digital format. So, for the last few years, when labels asked me if I had interest in releasing my material on cassette tape, I was ecstatic, as you could imagine.


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