Tousist

27/02/2021

A special two hour guest mix from Irish born, Melbourne based producer and DJ, Tousist. Harry aka Tousist reached out to me in January, presenting a mix which touches on experimental, dubby and downtempo percussive sounds, with a common atmospheric thread throughout. All the things we love on Passing Notes, it was hard for me to ignore this phenomenal “cold call”. This is the first time I’ve welcomed a guest that was not known to me previously – but I couldn’t ignore the work that had gone in to creating this stunning mix. Digging a little deeper, Tousist has a long history within the electronic music community in Ireland, first as a raver, second throwing intimate parties of his namesake and now curating his resident radio show on Dublin Digital Radio – ddr. and letting his productions slowly seep out into the world through tracks featured on Cork/London based label ‘Department of Energy”. Tousist was also kind enough to share some thoughts with me below.

 

Broadcast live on PBSfm 26th February for episode 104 of Passing Notes.

 

Tousist Interview 

 

Penny: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in electronic music…

Tousist:Hi Penny, first of all thanks very much for the opportunity to talk and share some music with you.  I relocated to Melbourne with my partner, Meadhbh, at the start of of 2020. Amongst other things, I am originally a raver and a dancer, I have been gathering music since my early teens. My friendships and social circles have always grown around dancefloors, djing, gathering and sharing music. I have been a fan of and been through the emotions of  hard dance, trance, the Minimal house bug, while loving a good jungle tear out. With age and less time being spent on dancefloors, I have gained a love for slower paced music, and taking influence from friends, I now use music to relax, daydream, explore and focus on a life outside of the mundanity which comes with my daily routine. 

 

Penny:  Whats in a name? Can you tell me about your alias “Tousist”?

Tousist: I used to run some small, 80 capacity, 2/3 day parties in the country side back home, which would compromise of djs followed by live electronic acts. One late morning I sat chatting with one particular guest, Damien Lynch, who has released some great music on Lunar Disko Records. He spoke of his idea of alias names influenced by small Irish towns or villages which kind of rolled off the tongue. It got me thinking of local place names where my family roots were, and Tousist, being a place where I love, a small town land in South West Ireland, also has a nice ring to it.

I had reached a point where I was comfortable with compiling music, after a few years of being in between styles and influences, it was time to reinvent my approach to music, it felt right to adopt the name.

Penny: You mentioned to me that you are new to Melbourne, which means unfortunately most of your time here has been spent in lockdown! Regardless, you already seem to have a great grasp of the local scene. How would you describe your experience of the Melbourne electronic music community so far?

Tousist: Even after such a year of extremes, I still consider myself lucky and grateful to still have a job and a home here. I have close friends living in Melbourne for a while, so I was always hearing stories and mixes from the city for a few years.I made sure to do my homework on the club nights and labels before I arrived I have tried to make a few connections in the brief time when social spaces were open, I contacted a few friends of friends when I arrived and gave met some great people. I’ve been lucky to play records once a month in Thank You Bar in Collingwood. It’s a great outlet for me to ask guests and get to know some more people. We are back in there on Saturday the 6th of March.

Penny: How does is compare or contrast to other places you’ve lived?

Tousist: The only comparison I can make with Melbourne is from my experience of electronic music in Ireland. Even compared to the UK and Europe, Ireland is a very different experience. Archaic licensing laws and unwilling venues mean many promoters take to DIY spaces, which are becoming more scarce. ‘Give us the night’ are doing some great work on trying to over turn the current licensing laws, in order to boost the night time economy. There is much more outlets here for people, the subcultures are naturally larger, an FM station like PBS would never be seen in Ireland. I have to say though, from my experience, we ‘get loose’ much more in the club, it’s quite common as we have limited closing times, and Ozzies just need to let go a bit more, maybe I’m biased though and I need to do more clubbing in Melbourne, excuse me (laughs).

Penny: You’ve a current resident of DDR, or Dublin Digital Radio, can you tell us about your relationship with DDR and how it came about?

Tousist: DDR is an answer to the lack of the media space available for sounds that aren’t exclusively commercial in Ireland. They do great work.and have built a large resident schedule, they’ve also released some great compilations available on their Bandcamp. My shows came about in a very similar fashion to this mix, by me chancing my arm. I had a monthly show a few years back, but I have been slacking the last while due to other commitments.i have a full set up at home now, so more regular shows should be in the pipeline.

Penny: What is your vision for your radio show?

Tousist: The reason I haven’t had such a regular show is that I can be over critical of my own mixes and I often struggle with a vision. I spent a few years away from recording mixes, as I wanted to from a confident approach to an hour show, sometimes it works and other times I end up sharing mixes that I don’t like. An hour of anything usually bores me, so a show which has many different styles but has a consistency and in a similar vein is what I love, for me the best DJs can do this effortlessly, whether I can do it is another thing.

Penny: You’ve put together a stunning genre spanning mix for Passing Notes – showcasing experimental, dubby and downtempo percussive sounds with a common atmospheric thread throughout. It’s expertly put together – what was your inspiration for this mix and how do you like to go about putting them together?

Tousist: Thank you. It means a lot. A friend of mine Morgan once told me, and thought me, one of the best skills of a dj, which is restraint. Friends and peers always educate me on finding and compiling music.  From home, those who inspire  me both past and present are the label ‘Wherethetimegoes’, the festival ‘Open Ear’ had a massive impact on me musically, also the ‘Repester Collective’ . Locally I certainly take inspiration from various Australian based mix platforms and the wealth of Melbourne based DJs creating outstanding mixes, (that Myles Mac -For Home Use Only springs to mind). 

I challenged myself to try and fit everything I wanted in, while also having a unique approach to the mix. I think its difficult to nail a consistent 2 hour mix, so I was preparing music for a while. I had a general idea, surprisingly it was finished on the first take. I often aim for a mixture of old and new records, with that common atmosphere you mentioned. Regards putting it together,  I’m constantly forming mental notes when commuting, from various influences and sources. When I do give myself time to record, I put aside 50 odd tracks and go from there.

Penny: It seems that your creativity also spans into the visual arts and photography, does the visual arts side of you inform your music at all? Or visa versa?

Tousist: I’m.going to channel my inner psy trance energy and say, yes, it’s all connected. I have a love of photography, among other things, it’s a hobby really, the same as collecting music.

My opinion on creativity comes from a DIY approach which my close friends thought me, that creativity is so vitally important in life, as much as exercise. We are not talking anything complex, but simply focusing on something and allowing your mind to have an impression on it, be it good, bad, shit or indifferent, it doesn’t matter as long as you allow that space for so many hours a week to take time away from common routines of working and sleeping. It doesn’t have to be public or promoted, it can be just for you. These routines, that we all have, can be very detrimental to our health. I for one would not know how to live through it without music and the connections it creates.

Penny: Have you got any creative or musical projects on the go or plans for the future?

Tousist: I had a track feature recently on a compilation by the Department of Energy, a great DIY label out of Cork/London, there is some great sounds on it. (Out to Dan).My friend asked me to send him more tracks after I sent him some demos about a year ago. Good old procrastination got in the way, some day. I have ideas so we will see how they turn out. I’m going to send a few more mixes to a few platforms I think. 

-END-

Tousist

27/02/2021

A special two hour guest mix from Irish born, Melbourne based producer and DJ, Tousist. Harry aka Tousist reached out to me in January, presenting a mix which touches on experimental, dubby and downtempo percussive sounds, with a common atmospheric thread throughout. All the things we love on Passing Notes, it was hard for me to ignore this phenomenal “cold call”. This is the first time I’ve welcomed a guest that was not known to me previously – but I couldn’t ignore the work that had gone in to creating this stunning mix. Digging a little deeper, Tousist has a long history within the electronic music community in Ireland, first as a raver, second throwing intimate parties of his namesake and now curating his resident radio show on Dublin Digital Radio – ddr. and letting his productions slowly seep out into the world through tracks featured on Cork/London based label ‘Department of Energy”. Tousist was also kind enough to share some thoughts with me below.

 

Broadcast live on PBSfm 26th February for episode 104 of Passing Notes.

 

Tousist Interview 

 

Penny: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in electronic music…

Tousist:Hi Penny, first of all thanks very much for the opportunity to talk and share some music with you.  I relocated to Melbourne with my partner, Meadhbh, at the start of of 2020. Amongst other things, I am originally a raver and a dancer, I have been gathering music since my early teens. My friendships and social circles have always grown around dancefloors, djing, gathering and sharing music. I have been a fan of and been through the emotions of  hard dance, trance, the Minimal house bug, while loving a good jungle tear out. With age and less time being spent on dancefloors, I have gained a love for slower paced music, and taking influence from friends, I now use music to relax, daydream, explore and focus on a life outside of the mundanity which comes with my daily routine. 

 

Penny:  Whats in a name? Can you tell me about your alias “Tousist”?

Tousist: I used to run some small, 80 capacity, 2/3 day parties in the country side back home, which would compromise of djs followed by live electronic acts. One late morning I sat chatting with one particular guest, Damien Lynch, who has released some great music on Lunar Disko Records. He spoke of his idea of alias names influenced by small Irish towns or villages which kind of rolled off the tongue. It got me thinking of local place names where my family roots were, and Tousist, being a place where I love, a small town land in South West Ireland, also has a nice ring to it.

I had reached a point where I was comfortable with compiling music, after a few years of being in between styles and influences, it was time to reinvent my approach to music, it felt right to adopt the name.

Penny: You mentioned to me that you are new to Melbourne, which means unfortunately most of your time here has been spent in lockdown! Regardless, you already seem to have a great grasp of the local scene. How would you describe your experience of the Melbourne electronic music community so far?

Tousist: Even after such a year of extremes, I still consider myself lucky and grateful to still have a job and a home here. I have close friends living in Melbourne for a while, so I was always hearing stories and mixes from the city for a few years.I made sure to do my homework on the club nights and labels before I arrived I have tried to make a few connections in the brief time when social spaces were open, I contacted a few friends of friends when I arrived and gave met some great people. I’ve been lucky to play records once a month in Thank You Bar in Collingwood. It’s a great outlet for me to ask guests and get to know some more people. We are back in there on Saturday the 6th of March.

Penny: How does is compare or contrast to other places you’ve lived?

Tousist: The only comparison I can make with Melbourne is from my experience of electronic music in Ireland. Even compared to the UK and Europe, Ireland is a very different experience. Archaic licensing laws and unwilling venues mean many promoters take to DIY spaces, which are becoming more scarce. ‘Give us the night’ are doing some great work on trying to over turn the current licensing laws, in order to boost the night time economy. There is much more outlets here for people, the subcultures are naturally larger, an FM station like PBS would never be seen in Ireland. I have to say though, from my experience, we ‘get loose’ much more in the club, it’s quite common as we have limited closing times, and Ozzies just need to let go a bit more, maybe I’m biased though and I need to do more clubbing in Melbourne, excuse me (laughs).

Penny: You’ve a current resident of DDR, or Dublin Digital Radio, can you tell us about your relationship with DDR and how it came about?

Tousist: DDR is an answer to the lack of the media space available for sounds that aren’t exclusively commercial in Ireland. They do great work.and have built a large resident schedule, they’ve also released some great compilations available on their Bandcamp. My shows came about in a very similar fashion to this mix, by me chancing my arm. I had a monthly show a few years back, but I have been slacking the last while due to other commitments.i have a full set up at home now, so more regular shows should be in the pipeline.

Penny: What is your vision for your radio show?

Tousist: The reason I haven’t had such a regular show is that I can be over critical of my own mixes and I often struggle with a vision. I spent a few years away from recording mixes, as I wanted to from a confident approach to an hour show, sometimes it works and other times I end up sharing mixes that I don’t like. An hour of anything usually bores me, so a show which has many different styles but has a consistency and in a similar vein is what I love, for me the best DJs can do this effortlessly, whether I can do it is another thing.

Penny: You’ve put together a stunning genre spanning mix for Passing Notes – showcasing experimental, dubby and downtempo percussive sounds with a common atmospheric thread throughout. It’s expertly put together – what was your inspiration for this mix and how do you like to go about putting them together?

Tousist: Thank you. It means a lot. A friend of mine Morgan once told me, and thought me, one of the best skills of a dj, which is restraint. Friends and peers always educate me on finding and compiling music.  From home, those who inspire  me both past and present are the label ‘Wherethetimegoes’, the festival ‘Open Ear’ had a massive impact on me musically, also the ‘Repester Collective’ . Locally I certainly take inspiration from various Australian based mix platforms and the wealth of Melbourne based DJs creating outstanding mixes, (that Myles Mac -For Home Use Only springs to mind). 

I challenged myself to try and fit everything I wanted in, while also having a unique approach to the mix. I think its difficult to nail a consistent 2 hour mix, so I was preparing music for a while. I had a general idea, surprisingly it was finished on the first take. I often aim for a mixture of old and new records, with that common atmosphere you mentioned. Regards putting it together,  I’m constantly forming mental notes when commuting, from various influences and sources. When I do give myself time to record, I put aside 50 odd tracks and go from there.

Penny: It seems that your creativity also spans into the visual arts and photography, does the visual arts side of you inform your music at all? Or visa versa?

Tousist: I’m.going to channel my inner psy trance energy and say, yes, it’s all connected. I have a love of photography, among other things, it’s a hobby really, the same as collecting music.

My opinion on creativity comes from a DIY approach which my close friends thought me, that creativity is so vitally important in life, as much as exercise. We are not talking anything complex, but simply focusing on something and allowing your mind to have an impression on it, be it good, bad, shit or indifferent, it doesn’t matter as long as you allow that space for so many hours a week to take time away from common routines of working and sleeping. It doesn’t have to be public or promoted, it can be just for you. These routines, that we all have, can be very detrimental to our health. I for one would not know how to live through it without music and the connections it creates.

Penny: Have you got any creative or musical projects on the go or plans for the future?

Tousist: I had a track feature recently on a compilation by the Department of Energy, a great DIY label out of Cork/London, there is some great sounds on it. (Out to Dan).My friend asked me to send him more tracks after I sent him some demos about a year ago. Good old procrastination got in the way, some day. I have ideas so we will see how they turn out. I’m going to send a few more mixes to a few platforms I think. 

-END-