Few names have garnered as much attention in the scene in the past decade and a half as organic house pioneer Tim Green. With a constant flux of top-notch releases on some of the biggest labels in the game, such as All Day I Dream and Sébastien Léger’s Lost Miracle, he’s now sure to make head turns wherever he pleases to go. A testament to this prime position and of respect from his peer is the lineup which will remix classics from his back-catalog on his remix LP ‘In New Light’ which is set to drop on November 26th, marking the first release on his new label ‘For a Memory’. We caught up with Tim ahead of the release of the third single of the LP ‘Over the Water’, in which he himself reimagines one of his record accompanied by Izhevski. We talked about the process leading up to the remix album, where he sees organic house going in the coming years, the recipe for longevity as an artist and more… Enjoy!
WWD: Hey Tim! We’re glad to have you for this interview! Where are you in the world right now and what have you been up to lately?
I’m in London, I just played at All Day I Dream at Studio 338 with Lee Burridge, the show was fantastic and it was so great to be around so many friends.
WWD: On November 26th, you will be dropping an 8-track remix album celebrating your 15 years(!) of releasing music, with stellar artists such as Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and Izhevski to name a few, giving their takes on classics from your discography. First of all, how was it going back to all these tunes you’ve made over the years? Quite a journey isn’t it?
It’s really nice even for myself to remember all of the songs I’ve done over the years. It’s quite a lot now! It surprises me how many I’ve done and how my sound has changed. It was nice to then also send all those songs to every artist. I offered all the songs available and then said ‘you guys can pick.’ It was very interesting to get the choices back and the songs they chose, I was quite surprised at their picks as well. It became even harder when I had to open my old computers and get all the original samples, that was tricky as some of them are quite old! I keep all my old computers for this reason, they’re like a frozen moment in time, I can just go back to them and they’re exactly as they were.
WWD: And what about the star-studded lineup? How was it choosing who would be remixing which tracks? Did you have any difficult decisions to make in that regard?
It wasn’t difficult. I’m very lucky and fortunate to be really close friends with everyone on the album, all my peers and artists that I love I’m also friends with so I was able to just speak to them and ask if they would be interested in being a part of it – thankfully everyone said yes and were more than happy to be involved. I tried to choose a wide array of artists so I could get a diverse mix of sounds.
WWD: Kind of putting you on the spot here, but is there one record in particular that you think personifies what ‘Tim Green’ has been doing in the last 15 years? One track that you would put as an introduction to someone who’s never heard your music?
There isn’t really one record that I could pick as I think I’ve regularly changed my sound and direction. But the one track as an intro, or at least one that I still hold dear as one of my favourites, is my track For a Memory which I named the label after too. That track is still one of my favourites, means a lot to me emotionally as well. I think it was a nice turning point for me musically. It was a song I just did without giving a shit about what would happen to the song afterwards, where it would be released, if it fitted anywhere, I just did what I wanted and didn’t overthink it. Since then I‘ve kept that ethos; before I wrote that, I think subconsciously I always had in the back of my mind, where is this going to go, where will it fit etc, but I was being a lot freer when I wrote this.
WWD: The release of that compilation also marks the launch of your own label ‘For a Memory’. What can you tell us about the concept, the idea behind the imprint?
Really the label and concept are a platform for my back catalogue. My old music contracts naturally expire, mostly after 10 years, and the rights essentially revert back to me, and I thought there’s still a lot of songs there I really like that I’d love to re-release, or essentially just host somewhere. That’s where we came up with the idea to do the remix album as we thought it would be great to highlight the back catalogue and get some modern spins on it. The idea is that it’s always going to be my own music, and I do plan to do something original on there myself too and maybe a collaboration. But I don’t plan to release music from other artists, there are amazing labels out there already and I don’t think I need to add another label into the mix.
WWD: The broad ‘Organic House’ brand, of which you’ve been at the forefront for some time now, has been established as one of the most popular and accessible genres in underground electronic music in the past decade. How do you see that sound moving forward in the coming years? Any artists that are, in your opinion, pushing the envelope?
We don’t know how these things are going to move forward but in my personal opinion, I naturally have gravitated towards this sort of a sound because it aligns with what I want to do when I’m writing music and the sound I want to release. It gives me a platform, a space to put what I want into my music from an instrumentation point of view. I can throw in all these different amazing sounds and lots of melodic content, and all of these different things are possible in this genre of music and celebrated as well. With other genres, something could be quite heavily electronic based and you’re cutting out possibilities of adding more organic sounds. I think this is why I’ve graduated into this sound as it just works for me. In my last All Day I Dream release, my song ‘Moss’, I can’t remember exactly how many instruments are in there, but there’s a harmonica, a harp, strings, voices, a jaw harp, bass guitar, live drums… So many different instruments I was able to put in there and you just can’t do that in many dance genres. I love how this is an open palette. Sebastien Leger, Izhevski, Volen Sentir, Amonita… these artists are all contributing to the sounds that are happening right now. Lost Desert, Roy Rosenfeld as well. Everyone has their own sound and direction pushing the envelope in this scene.
WWD: You’ve previously stated that you think ‘Diversity in music is the most important thing. The more colours you have in your palette, the more creative and interesting the results can be’. With the variety of records you’ve put out throughout your career, whether they be under ‘Tim Green’ or your alias ‘Apir’ for heavier stuff, it’s easy to see how you embody that philosophy. Is there one sound, or colour, you are particularly looking to add to your palette in the future?
I think I’ve found a sound now where I can finally tick all the boxes. It’s not to say it will be like this forever, things change, I might want to try something different, but at the moment this sound is just allowing me to really get out all my different musical desires and I can just experiment and do what I want.
WWD: That ties into something which is really interesting with longstanding artists of your kind. How has your relationship with creating and listening to music been impacted by such a thorough dedication to your craft? Have you ever felt at some point like you’ve reached the end of the road creatively? How did you manage to overcome such hurdles?
That’s a great question, there’s always been points when I feel like I’ve reached the end of the road creatively. In the past there were more of those moments, it happens less and less now thankfully, but in the past I’ve had moments where I’ve been trying to find my place and be consistently happy with it. At the same time you don’t ever want to be too complacent and happy; it’s like if you wrote the perfect song, well then where do you go? So really you never want to write the perfect song, you always want to be striving and pushing to make the next one better. It’s a hard thing to do but if I do hit those hurdles and feel I can’t do any more music, sometimes it’s just a case of taking a break, even for a month or something, just forget about it and do something different for a bit. I’ve just become a father and when you have a kid you realize nothing’s as important as being a dad and your child, and it puts everything into perspective. I feel much more relaxed writing music now than I did before. It’s probably always the best thing to just have fun with it, stop overthinking it and do what you want to do, write for yourself, don’t think about how many people are going to like this song. Write the music you want to do and that will naturally come through in your music.
WWD: Thank you for answering our questions Tim! Aside from the LP releasing at the end of November, any other news you’re excited about? What’s on the radar for the months to come?
I’m going back to the States soon, I’ve got 2 weekends of shows that I can’t wait to do. I love spending time over there and have lots of friends there I can’t wait to catch up with.
The ‘A New Light’ remix LP is out November 26th on ‘For a Memory’. You can pre-save it here: https://orcd.co/innewlight