Aussie electronic music is definitely having its moment right now. Between Flume, Alison Wonderland and RUFUS DU SOL dominating festival stages abroad and acts like Willaris. K and Kllo making waves at home, it seems the world is catching onto the way we approach things down south. If all goes to plan, it looks like London Topaz could be the next name to keep your eyes on, with the Melbourne-based producer racking up massive streaming numbers and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with through his hard-hitting house grooves. With the release of his new single 'Drown', we caught up with the rising artist to find out more about his creative process and what's in store for him in 2020.
Hey London! Tell us about how you were first introduced to producing music. What were your musical origins and influences?
Hey! Thanks for having me. I was heavily influenced by the likes of AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses growing up, I think I was around 13 when I was introduced to electronic music, I was more engaged in the actual synthesis rather than the track itself. I remember my Dad had an old stereo and I used to listen to the Ministry of Sound compilations on repeat and flick this old graphic equaliser which allowed me to drop and boost out certain frequencies, so I guess in someway a lot of what I know stems back to that old EQ & Ministry of Sound compilations.
You recently released ‘Drown’ with Blush-ko. How did that track come about? Can you walk us through the production process?
Blush’ko & I have been really good mates for years. When we write I usually just flick through some really rough demos/chord ideas and Blush instantly fell for the chords for 'Drown'. My production intent for that single was to represent solace and agony, if you strip away the vocal you can hear that the verses are quite bare, where the chorus has an aggressive nature. It’s one of my favourite productions yet.
What’s your go-to tools when creating? Are you working in the box, or do you use hardware for your tracks?
I’m mainly in the box … for now. I use a Korg Minilogue XD which is a powerful hardware synth, although majority of the hard synths I want are super expensive. In the box, I use Arturia’s Analog Lab 4 and Serum. Analog Lab emulates a lot of the hardware synths I like which is helping me understand their layout/sound before I delve into the hardware world.
Your music is sometimes compared to that of fellow Aussie group RUFUS DU SOL. Do you think there’s a particular sound or style of electronica that tends to resonate more with Australian audiences?
I’ve always felt music that fits in a niche pocket, has the ability to ebb and flow, create tension and ignite energy resonates with me. As artists, we take influence from everywhere, cross pollinate and create new things, so I guess as an Aussie in the electronic realm we’re on the right track.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had playing a club or festival? Any horror stories?
I sold out The Evelyn Hotel last year which was the proudest moment of my life, also BTV last year was pretty special too. I have a horror story, just before I was about to jump on stage at BTV last year my whole show re-mapped itself. I spent over 30 minutes on stage trying to get it working, luckily I had my tech friend with me who got me running, luckily I was able to play a reduced set.
If you could only choose between a sample pack of 808 or 909 sounds, which one would you pick and why?
They are both so iconic. I would go the 808 just as you could use more of the sounds across genres, the 909 catered more for techno I believe. Depends how I wake up really!
Finally, what can we expect next from London Topaz?
I have a new new single in June called ‘Be Mine’ which I’m really excited about and I’m knee deep in writing an EP right now, so expect something toward the back end of the year!
Stream London Topaz’s new single 'Drown' on Spotify.