I’ve always been impressed by musicians who do everything on their solo albums. The ability to envision, create and execute your ideas in sound is epic. What makes it even more epic is when this approach moves away from the normal Serj Tankian-style sound into the world of production. In a time when “hip-hop” albums have 6 producers, taking on the role yourself is worthy of respect.
We chatted to Watermark High, who has taken the plunge with epic results.
You do everything yourself – is this a case of wanting everything done “just so”?
Yeah, I won’t deny that I’m a bit of a control freak but I guess it’s also a case of “If I don’t do it, who will?”. I take my music very seriously so I guess it’s natural for me to be very hands on with it. I come from playing in punk bands back in the day and with that came this DIY ethic.
Your sound is personal and well crafted – how have you evolved as an artist?
Thank you. I guess over the last 3 and a half years, with every release I just honed my skills and also figured out who Watermark High was. I’ve been chasing a very specific sound in my head and I’m getting closer and closer to capturing it…
Who, or what, inspires you?
Because “electronic music producer” is such an all encompassing thing, different music inspires me for different reasons. It sometimes goes beyond “that’s such a cool song”, it’s like, “I really love how he made a percussion loop out of kitchen utensils” J. It gets very technical and nerdy sometimes but yeah, it can be many different things for different reasons, which is exciting.
Tell us a little bit about “Galocher”.
It’s the song that was the best representation of my overall sound I think, that’s why I released it first.
What do you do to unwind?
Music, pretty much. It relaxes me and it’s an escape for me like no other. Other than that, reading or playing games, to disconnect.
What’s the most irritating song you’ve ever heard?
“Boxes of Tigers” by Dance, You’re On Fire ;)
Where can we see you do you thing next?
I’m currently busy working on a new live set so I’m not playing any shows at the moment. I’m hoping to be out and playing again around July/August though. Will hopefully be doing some touring then as well.
Who is your favourite local performer?
I saw Card On Spokes live recently and thought, “Man, that’s a cool live electronic performance”. His new EP also rules, check it out – “Sunwalker”.
The rise of acts like PHFat and Bittereinder has brought beat-driven music to the forefront of the local scene – has this impacted on the way you are perceived at all?
I have no idea. I think my stuff is more of an acquired taste because it’s a bit more niche and doesn’t have vocals etc. But I’m a fan of both those bands and I’m down with any of the electronic local guys getting recognition.
Lastly, in what setting do you think people should listen to your new sounds?
Anywhere you can bop your head with a decent set of headphones.
Get your grubby paws on the record here: watermarkhigh.co.za
Photo and Album Cover: Hanro Havenga