Sam Willis, one half of Kompakt duo Walls, released his solo debut album ‘Winterval’ in November, and from that record comes Foxglissandero, a slow-building techno cut that swims in a splash of ambient chords. Displaying his skills at cultivating and stirring up sweet tensions, just enough to entice before leaving the grooves to propel for the rest of the track, it’s a mixture of rich and delightful sounds, allowing his love for stanch rhythms and eminent, sugar-coated melodies to effortlessly shimmer over the scanty, weightless percussion.
Hi, Sam! In what ways did you depart from, or draw from, your work with Walls when you wrote and recorded ‘Winterval’?
My work with Walls is essentially to collaborate with Alessio – everything we do is filtered through both of our tastes / ideas etc., until we both feel satisfied that it’s finished. It’s a very enjoyable process – almost like riding a bike with stabilisers on it – you don’t feel any danger of falling, so everything’s easier.. Working solo (as I was before we started Walls), it’s a lot more intense as you are responsible for everything, and sometimes it’s hard to keep perspective without an outside set of ears – I always still play stuff to him to get his opinion on whether it’s any good or not, and he always gives me an honest answer!
Is there a story behind ‘Winterval’; how did it come about?
One of my favourite parts of this album was assembling it as a cohesive whole from the various tracks that I’ve made recently and not so recently; the artwork, the title, the tracklisting… The cover image is from a 100 year (approx) old slide image and the beautiful caligraphy was done by my grandmother – so that all helped to build up the personality of the record in my mind, and hopefully give it some extra weight as an artifact that will enhance the listener’s enjoyment of the music. Having it on limited red vinyl is something else that I’m really pleased about!
What’s the best thing you’ve heard this year?
I finally got around to watching the Martin Scorsese Bob Dylan documentary which completely blew me away – getting to understand where he came from, the context of his music, and what a seismic impact he’s had on popular culture.
What are your plans for what’s left of 2012?
Hopefully passing my driving test! Also I’ll be playing a few solo live shows in the UK and abroad, so I’m excited to see how the album tracks evolve through that.