A talk with Tom Finster on his 'From Here On Blind' EP
Detailing a journey beyond loss in his latest release 'From Here On Blind' on DIVIDID, Tom Finster reprises compositional themes from his previous body of work, 'All Things Fall Apart' in 2019, whilst alluding to a deeper connection to his own conscious experience.
Previously releasing on UPSCALE, Neosignal/NËU and, Inspected, we caught up with one of the most exciting producers of the past few years to talk about the thought process behind his latest masterpiece.
Hey, man thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How and when did the project first commence, and what significance does the record hold to yourself?
Thank you for inviting me. Other than most of the concepts I have, this EP came together quite naturally. I only had one demo and DIVIDID liked it, which sparked a couple of new ideas one after the other. So the original plan of a two-track release spiralled into this full-fledged EP. To me, it feels like a middle ground between all the other songs from All Things Fall Apart and it is indeed an encore to it. I wanted to revisit some technical themes of the older songs and ended up continuing the story with it. The first song that came together was the one with Echo Map - “Eyes Closed''. Which must be more than a year ago.
How did you meet with Echo Map, and how did the production process differ from your own?
He is one of the few German artists on Upscale, so it was easy to get in touch and also into the studio together. The intro chords was one of the ideas he had prepared for the session and so we could start directly diving into the atmosphere of the song. We also made “Eden Falls“ in this session. He’s a super talented jazz pianist and I’m more of a sound boy so we balanced us out I guess. When I’m alone I often get stuck in the middle of a song and have to let them lie for a bit. It was much fun with him and wasn’t it for the pandemic, we already would’ve been in the studio again.
The entirety of the EP is an intricate blending of sublime melodic arrangement and detailed sound design. Is there a particular track that you are most proud of? What did you learn from making it?
My favourite track is “We’re Friends, Right?“, even though it seems a little boring compared to the others, but I think it is a grower. I like it’s lightness, that it doesn’t try to be too much, like not trying to cross the border of friendship. I can’t say I learned much from it in a musical sense other than it did remind me to keep it easy and don’t overproduce every song, but I learned a new technique to refine my kick drums with it. Even though that’s something very technical, I used it on every song since then and so I guess it had quite an impact on me. I’m more proud of the fact that the whole EP felt so coherent in the end.
Releasing on Netherlands based label DIVIDID, which seems like a perfect fit, how did the link come to be?
Just like with Upscale, we got in touch because I simply sent them a demo. So labels do listen to your submissions. I think many upcoming producers can be frustrated, because they never hear back from their favourite label and I’ve been there too and it still happens from time to time, so don’t be discouraged. If the music is good, it will find a nice home. I dug DIVIDID from the get-go, they caught my eye with their artwork, which was mainly created by uno_design_ I think, but all their releases are super cool and I’m proud to be seen amongst those ranks now. If you like my music and don’t know much of the new DnB, you should also check The Caracal Project, Buunshin and MISSIN.
I'm intrigued to talk about the artwork and accompanying press shots. A beautiful pairing to the music, can you tell us a bit about the process behind those?
The idea of blindfolding came with “Eyes Closed“ and with that came the title of the EP. I do most of my artworks, so I looked up many photos of blindfolded people and different fabrics until I had a fitting vision. I wanted to take a boy for the cover photo to visualize the innocence we all have when treading into unknown territory. Just as important are the moody colours. It’s not sure what lays ahead, it’s a toxic twilight. After I knew how it should look, I took the cover photo myself in an old barn of my grandparents, which has this high hanging strip light. This gives it that moody look. I couldn’t take the press shot of myself but my cousin did a great job there. I enjoy creating the visual content for my projects, but I would also love to work with more experienced artists in the future, especially for videos.
Who or what inspires your sound?
It’s much more inspired from other genres than DnB itself. Over the last years, I listened to many ambient and electronica albums. Tim Hecker - Virgins and Rival Consoles - Howl struck me heavily. But to say there’s no connection to Camo & Krooked and Imanu in here as well, would be a lie I guess. I try to avoid sounding like them, though. Thys has a great Spotify list, that has many artists in it I also enjoy and it’s a great starting point if you want to broaden your horizon with different electronic music.
What can we expect from you in the coming months?
There will be something coming on VALE. But that’s the only thing set in stone at the moment. I have a collaboration with Rohaan nearly done and we’ll try to work on another one as soon as possible, but there’s no release date for it yet.
Other than that I also have a couple of concepts for EPs or albums I’m already working on but it’s a slow process and there’s nothing more I can share about it at this point, but I hope to return to the labels I’ve already released on.
Thanks once again, is there anything you would like to add?
I want to thank all the people sending me messages about the songs. It’s the first time in my life that my music really connects with people and I’m super thankful for every comment and word you send in my direction. Also, I want to give a shout out to False Noise. He created a beautiful album called Floral Strobe and it needs much more attention in my opinion.
You can Buy/Stream 'From Here On Blind’ via the link below: