Tagged with " tomemitsu"
m_o_d_e_s or “modes” is an anagram of “demos” and was originally supposed to be just that; a bundle of orphan, rough-cut outtakes. Instead, Marten Roork (a.k.a. Tomemitsu) decided to run with them, reshaping the tracks until they had some noticeable cohesion. And with the help of mother nature and a number of random occurrences, he was able to do just that. What’s left in its wake is a timeless 8-track album that shape-shifts and transforms with each and every listen.
Stream m_o_d_e_s, and read Tomemitsu‘s breakdown of said release below:
About two years ago I moved to Echo Park in Los Angeles and started playing in a band called Basement Babies and another, now defunct, band called Free Camp. I had also been doing cello drones with my friend Tim aka Tenstairs in a project called EagleScouts. All the while I had been writing some solo stuff on the side for myself and would give songs to my close friends for their thoughts. My buddy Andy, who used to play guitar for Basement Babies, was always really enthusiastic about me doing something with the songs. I had sent him “Thinkin’ Bout the Word” and he told me he made out with a hot girl to it, that was really funny and cool.
In the spring of 2011 I wrote “In Dreams” one day after coming home from work, feeling pretty melancholy about a recent failed relationship and exasperated from LA traffic. I laid down a very simple beat and recorded some guitar over it. I remember making an effort to keep the music simple—I mean it’s only 3 chords, so that when I wrote the lyrics they would have more freedom to roam. They ended up being pretty personal. I guess many of my songs are, but this had much more readable lyrical content than songs that I had written previously. I wanted the lyrics to be something that stuck in your head, so I tried just repeating one line like thirty times and changing the lyrical responses. It was a really fun and fruitful exercise.
That coming summer I came across the post for the PORTALS Summer Mixtape and decided to give submitting a shot. After the very positive feedback I received from Tripp (PORTALS) I became more confident with the idea of releasing my solo work. I wrote a few more songs that were like weird keyboardy pop songs and at the same time was also making weird beats because I also love house music. I had chosen the name “modes” because it is an anagram of “demos” and I thought that would be neat to have all these different ideas grouped together, but I was wrong haha. Originally I had intended for ‘m_o_d_e_s’ to be kind of like a sampler of the things I was doing, but after careful consideration I decided to go back and make something more cohesive where the songs had similar elements rather than many different styles mushed together.
To achieve this cohesion I listened back to “In Dreams” and tried to think about the things that really clicked for me when writing that song. Aside from being purposefully simple and catchy, one thing that I was proud of from that session was the amount of ambient and environmental sounds that you can hear on the recording. I was reading a biography on Brian Eno at the time (on some faraway beach) and was really into the idea of using random processes to come about with answers to my problems.
I became enamored with this method of recording with the doors and windows open, hoping to pick up any outsider sound. I would do things like turn up the input volume on my Macbook to the the max and whisper the words into the mic, or go outdoors and sit on my stoop to record guitar parts. Just a lot of counter-intuitive things and people would say “that’s a no-no” if you were trying to record correctly. It was a blast and really liberating actually. Doing things like that gave me inspiration every time I would sit down to record. There was this element of chance during recording that made every take exciting. Like, oh I can hit record and all these other elements besides my music will have their place, even if I have no control over those elements. One instance of this is when you hear the sound of an airplane in “In Dreams”, and I’m singing, “I only want to feel the flight before the fall.” Things like that are magical and give me goosebumps. You can’t plan that.
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from California bedroom pop maestro Tomemitsu (aka Martin Roark). The introspective croon and subtle acoustic melody of “In Dreams” was a highlight for all of my summer playlists.
Tomemitsu is now gearing up for an exciting couple of months while preparing his debut release, M_O_D_E_S. Halloween has come and gone, but Roark still wanted to celebrate. He sent over this fantastic collection of B-sides and instrumentals to help keep his production mind sharp. Here is what he had to say about the 2xRnB: Dubble Dat RnB Misstape.
Some things take forever… like mixing Tomemitsu tracks. Here are some fun things I’ve been doing the past year to keep myself entertained in other genres of music. Pure fun, experimentation, and zoneage. Everyone gots to smile sometimes.
This is a for-fun collection of house/hip-hop/drone beats that I did. All tracks were done with garageband midi keys except for #1 “GLZDRMZ” was done using my Casio. All singing done by me, especially the low Barry White voice and the alien rappers.
You can stream Roark’s entire release up top, or grab the tracks individually from his SoundCloud. Be on the lookout for more exciting things from Tomemitsu over the upcoming winter months.
WHOA! Summer 2012 is here, and it got here FAST! Hard to believe we’ve been going crazy over here at PORTALS for nearly five months! We wanted to set the summer off right, so we’ve been cooked up something really special for you guys. Not only is this going to stand as our June installment of the Monthly Mixtape Series, but we are going so far as to give this particular mixtape a living breathing physical body. We’re teaming up with our beyond-righteous bros over at Chill Mega Chill Records to produce some of the sexiest cassettes ever conceived. All thanks to you guys and your incredible submissions, we ended up with an amazing companion for all your summer activities. We challenge you to find a summer movement these sounds don’t accompany.
We hope this super special tape not only makes it’s way into your ears, but your hands, cassette players, and eventually your hearts as well. Enjoy!
01. Bayatas — “aa”
02. Observer Drift — “Warm Waves”
03. World’s Most — “Tall Shadows”
04. Those Lavender Whales — “Buckling”
05. Miró Belle — “In Fielder”
06. Bermuda Bonnie — “Shimmer”
07. Datahowler — “Crystal Gazers (feat. Colin Beams and Chris Semmelbeck)”
08. Golden Curls — “Your Girl”
09. Tomemitsu — “In Dreams (Bedroom Verson)”
10. Cliff Dweller — “Just Like A Fool”
11. Caandides — “Sun Way Too Low”
12. Thee Holy Ghosts — “Sand In My Beer”
13. Koko Beware — “Beach Babe”
14. Pussy Wizard — “Fazzzze It Out”
15. No Magnets —”Spatial”
16. Western Walk — “Swim”
17. Palomiiino — “Do U”
18. Day Joy — ”New Ordinary”
19. Spectral Park — “Pale Glistens”
20. Wizard Oz — “What Are They”
21. Bedroom — “You’ll See”
22. Tropical Popsicle — “Havana”
23. Ben Varian & Jacob Lee — “Diagonal View”
24. High Pop — “I Like The Smell”
25. Maston — “Young Hearts”
Artwork by Laurent Hrybyk (Pasta Primavera)
Without further ado, we present you the May PORTALS Mixtape, featuring unreleased tracks as well as personal favorites from some of our favorite artists, many of whom we had the pleasure of enjoying at this year’s Total Bummer Fest in Florida. Hope it tickles your fancy!
01. Birkwin Jersey — “Her Favourite Song”
02. Mean Lady — “Daisies”
03. The Hiya Dunes — “Your Swell”
04. Levek — “Dream Entry No. 1″
05. b.u.i.l.t. — ”Summer Wine”
06. Marble Lion — ”Old Man”
07. Tomemitsu — “In Dreams”
08. Kuhrye-oo — “Give In (For The Fame)”
09. Waskerley Way — “ṩ_r__ȿ ☣decay”
10. Quam — “Blank”
11. Minoo — “All The World (Pixelord Remix)”
12. Subvader — “Lazer Temple”
13. Trap Arnold — ”HaLongBay”
14. fthrsn — “On Our Way”
15. Praything — “The Fetter”
Artwork by Laurent Hrybyk (Pasta Primavera)
Tomemitsu is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with a deft ability to build gentle, nylon-plucked bedroom pop. His songs slowly expand and billow like long plumes of smoke across empty hardwood floors. ”In Dreams” is a dark 4 chord progression with some incredibly introverted vocal hooks. You can read what Tomemitsu had to say about the provenance of the track below.
What prompted you to write “In Dreams”?
I wrote this one last summer right after a really tough break up from a 4 year relationship. It basically just flowed out of me after coming home from work the day after shit ended. I sat down on my couch, made a beat on my laptop, then recorded two tracks of nylon guitar, and put it on loop. I probably wrote the lyrics in the next five minutes just writing down what felt natural, i don’t think that I had to revise them or anything. So I guess that song helped me release a lot of the pain and confusion from moving past something that was big in my life, and just the whole wondering about the ephemeral nature of love.
Any artists that helped influence your sound?
My strongest influences are Thelonious Monk, Brian Eno, Joao Gilberto, Sonic Youth, and of course The Beatles and The Beach Boys, but I grew up enjoying singing the old hymns at church – not in a choir or anything… but I think that the melancholy and simplicity, though not necessarily the content, of old church hymns is something that resonates with me whenever I write music.
There seems to be a big Elliott Smith circa “Between The Bars” vibe within “In Dreams”—care to comment?
I never knew how much of an influence Elliot Smith must be for me until listening to that song, sooo beautiful, but can’t say I’ve heard it before now. I borrowed New Moon from my ex to check more of him out just before we broke up actually, so that must be it. I’m really into his production style on those discs because they are mostly demos, just a couple tracks of guitar, doubled vocals, kept it simple. Kind of embarrassed now, I really owe a lot to him and I didn’t even know it… haha.
Tomemitsu‘s “In Dreams” will be pro-dubbed to tape on this year’s PORTALS Summer Mixtape… stay tuned for more info!