Exclusive Interview: TMSV

Blessings, friends.  Welcome back.  We have a truly amazing feature today with, in my opinion, one of the greatest producers in the circuit right now.  Tomas Roels, aka TMSV, has been kind enough to give us a few words about his influences, his plans for 2012, and some thoughts on the US dubstep scene.  It is really an honor to have the opportunity to work with this guy as I’ve been a huge fan ever since I first heard his sounds on Box Clever in 2010.  Being creative as a youth with things such as painting and drawing acted as a catalyst into Roels’ adoption of music production.  The idea of “creating something out of nothing”, as he put it in his interview with FatKidOnFire/MakeItGood back in August of 2011 (Check it here). It wasn’t until he was around the age of 15 that he began the journey of forming his own ‘sound’.  While things didn’t necessarily take off in the beginning, as soon as he was introduced to jungle and drum and bass, things began to come together.  After gaining the satisfaction of creating his own music, “something from nothing”, his passion and dedication exploded.  After becoming bored with producing “hard and repetitive” dnb, he was introduced to dubstep by his cousin.  He was hooked on the space and endless amount of possibilities that the space provided for his compositional creativity.  The rest is history.

Fast-forward to 2012 and TMSV is receiving support from Mala, Youngsta, DJ Thinking, DJ Madd, J:Kenzo, and the list could go on for days.  It’s no surprise that this is the case with the sound versatility that he brings to the table.  There are purely meditative tracks like ‘Myth’, hard-hitting rollers like his recent collaboration ‘Difference’, and dub influenced jams such as his latest remix of “Lay Down My Burden’ which is set to release sometime soon on the label Foundation Sound.  Whatever the style is, he seems to be able to hit the nail on the head.  Since 2010 he has earned himself a number of top-notch releases on labels like Tube10, although the majority of his signings are by Black Box/Box Clever.  Releasing music almost exclusively with Black Box/Box Clever, label owner Thinking has got to be a pretty happy man!  2012 proves to be a very successful year for Tomas as he gives us news of many upcoming collaborations and new sounds to be conquered, so be sure that you keep your ears on this guy!  So, without any further introduction, let’s see what this true badman has to say:

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BWS: Quickly, can you give the readers a little back round information about yourself?  

TMSV: My name is Tomas, 23 years old and I’m from the Netherlands. I’ve been making electronic music for a couple of years, mainly dubstep.

BWS: Where did the moniker TMSV originate?

TMSV: When I first started making music I was really into jungle. One night a friend and I were joking around and he called me Tomassive (or at least that’s what I remember), so I just started to use that as a production alias. After a while I thought it was a bit gimmicky, so I changed it to TMSV. I guess it doesn’t mean anything anymore, but I urge people to have fun imagining what the letters could possibly stand for.

BWS: In your interview with Kmag last year, you stated that you think very highly of Mala because of his carelessness towards the expectations of others and money.  It’s really great to hear things like that.  What do you take away from your own music?  By that I mean what sorts of fulfillment do you get from it, psychologically or spiritually?

TMSV: Well, I’m not a spiritual person, but I guess I am emotional. I tend to use music as an outlet. I always feel the need to make music to express myself in a way. I’m not sure if the tunes themselves describe my emotions directly, but the way I feel definitely determines the way my tunes sound.

What I take away from my own music is more of a psychological fulfillment, as you put it. The fact that I can make the music I want to make, and the fact that people really seem to like it, is fantastic.

It’s been a bit tricky for a while. The more people liked and played my tunes, the more I felt pressured to make tunes that sound a certain way. I’ve made some pretty generic tunes recently (that probably nobody has heard), but I’ve realised that I should just keep making my music. It’s supposed to be fun.

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BWS: Sadly, I have never had to chance to visit the Netherlands.  The pictures I’ve seen of the geography are really astounding, though.  The amount of green in the countryside is magical.  The architecture of the cities is something to marvel over as well.  How much inspiration, if any, do you gather from your surroundings?

TMSV: I really like this country. There aren’t many exotic or amazing things to see nature-wise, but it’s never ugly. I like the cities as well, old Dutch architecture can be really beautiful, and luckily there are lots of old buildings that are still standing.

I guess I gather inspiration from the relative serenity of the area where I live. One of the best things about this place is that you can almost always escape from the chaos of modern city life. I live in a quiet neighborhood as well, and it’s a 15 minutes’ walk to the centre of the city, so if I want to see friends and have a drink, I can choose to leave my quiet house and go to the slightly more busy city. I think the fact that going out doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re jumping into a city full of chaos and noise is calming in a way.

BWS: Furthering on influences and inspiration, how did the track ‘Myth’ come about?  Hands down one of the best tunes that was released last year.  I listen to the tune almost everyday when I get off work and every time it sounds fresh.  Seriously, big up for that production.

TMSV: Thank you very much! It’s actually very reliant on samples, as you can hear from the lead sound. After using the sample(s) I made a bassline and a beat, added some atmospheres and other sounds, and that’s all there was to it, really. I have to say that the tune was already at least 2 years old when it was released, so I can’t really remember too much about how I made it.

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BWS: Do you see yourself going in any specific direction with your productions in 2012?

TMSV: Definitely. As I said, I’m focusing on making music right now. I’m trying to avoid being boring and predictable, to a certain extent of course. At the moment I’m making more than just 140 BPM music: I’m working on dub, house, garage, hip-hop, downtempo, all kinds of stuff.

BWS: What are your feelings on the 140 jungle tunes that have been getting hype lately?

TMSV: There’s definitely some great 140 jungle around at the moment, in fact I just got some today that sounded sick.

It seems to be difficult (for me as well as for other producers) to really ‘get it right’ and not sounding like a parody of the typical jungle sound. Jungle was never about quantising and getting your samples to sound just right; it was about the groove of the breaks you used, the simple but effective basslines and the vibes of the blatantly sampled sounds that were scattered around the tune. Modern music production software makes it much easier to make a really well-produced tune than the old samplers the jungle guys used to have, and I think nowadays you actually have to put effort into balancing a nice mixdown with getting an ‘authentic’ sound.

BWS: You have been collaborating with some really sick artists recently, like DJ Madd and June Miller.  Can we expect a lot more collaborations to come?

TMSV: Yes, definitely. I’m working with loads of people right now, but I’m not going to tell you who they are, because you never know if a collab is going to work or not.

I’m also looking for vocalists to work with me. I’ve had some responses already, but I’m always open to singers and MCs who would like to work with me. Please don’t hesitate to send me a message through Soundcloud or Facebook.

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BWS: What are your views on the US dubstep scene, as a whole?  Do you see yourself making it out this way anytime soon?

TMSV: Hopefully, yes. I’ve only been to the US once, about 9 years ago. I’d really love to visit again at some point. You can count on me flooding Facebook with spam when someone books me to come play in the US.

I don’t know much about your dubstep scene, but I do know that the deeper sound has gained popularity recently, which is great. It’s a huge country and very musically diverse, so I can’t see why the dubstep scene couldn’t be great.

BWS: If you could collaborate with any US based producer, who would it be, and why?

TMSV: When it comes to dubstep (and related genres), DJG (Grenier) or Matty G. Their tunes are very musical and diverse and the production is always sick, so collaborating with either of them would be cool. I’m probably missing ten thousand other American producers in my head right now. Sorry, you know how it is.

There are so many US based producers of other styles, it would be impossible to choose one or even ten. I do think I should name Dr. Dre and RZA just in case they Google themselves while looking for Dutch producers to work with.

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Serious amount of respect out to TMSV for doing this feature for us, it was truly an honor.  All the heads reading this that are new to his sounds, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do!  Be sure to stop by his Soundcloud and Facebook page and show him some love and support if you’re feeling his vibes.  You can find links to both below.

TMSV Facebook Page

TMSV Soundcloud Page

Alright people, that’s it for today.  Now I’m off to Coachella with the homie Lowkey to check out some very diverse musicians/bands out in Indio, CA.  Really stoked to see Machinedrum and Sbtrkt, among many many others.  Pretty stoked to see Sub Focus’s new “live” set as well.  Anyways, hope everybody has a great weekend filled with good vibes, good people, and good music.  One love.

To the gods.

-Kinman

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