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Tropics, aka Southampton producer Chris Ward, makes chime-filled, warm-blooded synth music with its eyes transfixed by the horizon. He released his brooding debut single Soft Vision on Planet Mu back in October last year, and in the time since has finished both university (where he studied and shared digs with fellow Dummy favourite Gang Colours, fact fans) and, more to the point, his forthcoming debut album ‘Parodia Flare’. It’s a confident record, full of intricate percussion, catch-the-light synth waves and his sighing, almost whispered, vocals. Instrumental title track Parodia Flare (stream on the right) is a particular joy to immerse your ears in. All in all, high time to say a quick “hello”.
Southampton, United Kingdom. But I’m actually in Croatia right now at Outlook festival!
It fluctuates, depending on my mood. I consider it experimental, hazy and maybe psychedelic?
How do you record?
I record all the instruments, vocals and production. Mainly using laptop, soundcards, Logic etc!
Sometimes I’ll record the electronic stuff out onto tape cassette to get that dusty vintage sound then record it back in!
I’ve never had any releases before Tropics but I’ve produced on old computers etc since I was about 16. I had a drum kit when I was younger, at the time it was the only instrument I could really play well so I hooked up cheap microphones and recorded myself playing alongside weird samples and cuts from other music. Guess it started there!
Family, my best friends, The Animals and Paul Newman! There are many more musicians though.
This was the Mouves single/EP in July on Planet Mu.
‘Parodia Flare’, my first album also being released with Mu on the 19th Sept. Getting very excited about this.
A few weeks from now we’re going on the road doing a few shows around the UK. I play live with two of my close friends, one’s a guitarist and the other a drummer. Its starting to work really well as a live show and its been fun.
Could you tell us a bit about how and when you started making music as Tropics?
I’ve been producing as Tropics for nearly four years. It mainly started out as a bedroom project and I continued doing it parallel to studying digital music and sound engineering at university. It’s just progressed from there to what it is now and I’d love for it to keep evolving!
What do you do when you’re not making music?
Now that I’ve just finished university I’m not sure! I’ve been spending a lot of time with the guys working on the live show recently.
What’s your favourite climate?
The one I’m in now. Hot, sunny, with the ocean in walking distance!