Honing his techniques across previous EP releases Alba (2016) and Bala (2017), through time on the road supporting The Japanese House & Shakey Graves and while co-producing Fenne Lily’s acclaimed debut album On Hold (2018) has proved fruitful for Bristol based songwriter and producer Tamu Massif. ‘Senses’ is the first single to come from his own debut album (due 2019).
The track was made in an unconventional manner, as with much of his work, and was built around samples chopped from a phone recording of a couple playing piano and singing. “The samples were reduced to their most basic form and the pitch altered so there’s no real sense of the original sound.” Tamu explains “I used the samples percussively and punctuated them with snippets of conversation. Again, the conversation was recorded on my phone. It was some Italian friends discussing Brexit. As often happens when talking about politics, things were getting a little heated and people were talking over each other.”
After layering up beats over these samples and putting some of the sounds through reverse reverb and other effects, there is this floating nostalgic feeling but also a sense of disorientation within the instrumental. “I’m out of my senses” is about being too fired up to think straight. I thought it was an interesting starting point – to write a song that sounds really chilled but is about being angry. I tried not to give too much away in the lyrics and to be reductive with every element of the song. It’s that feeling of being disconnected, pre-resolution, where your head is swimming and you’re trying to process things.”
Tamu Massif is headlining Zed Alley at Simple Things Festival this weekend as well as playing Gwdihŵ Café as part of Swn. More info on his forthcoming debut album to follow in due course.
20th October – CARDIFF – Swn Festival
20th October – BRISTOL – Simple Things
“too fired up to think straight…”