Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Retro Culture releases ‘Fading’ – a slice of thoughtfully curious and hazy pop. Brought to life by a kaleidoscope of inspirations and experiments with live-recorded drums, guitar, bass and synths, the new single finally took form as an ode to the nostalgic and 80-gazing soundtrack to Netflix TV hit ‘Stranger Things’.
Hey Retro Culture, how did you first begin producing music, do you remember the first loop/song you created?
When I was about 14 I used to have this guitar amp that had an in-built drum machine and a record function. I’d record these 10-second loops and just jam out to these funny beats. I guess that’s where it started.
Then I ended up buying this 8 track recorder and started trying to record full songs. I was just doing covers at first and then I started to write my own stuff. It was really basic and probably wasn’t very good. But it was a lot of fun!
And now with the release of Fading, what was it about the show Stranger Things that motivated you to finish the record?
That show has an amazing soundtrack. I remember hearing the synths and wanting to make music like that. So I pulled up Fading, which was a work in progress at the time and started adding these small synth lines. All of the sudden it just started to fall together and it gave me that extra push to finish the record.
What was your creative process on Fading when you first began writing the record over a year ago?
Fading started off with a simple melody and some keys. I remember liking the idea at the time, putting it away and thinking that I’d come back to it. I would visit it every now and then and try to finish it off but just never knew what direction to take it in. There’s a lot of versions of that song. But that’s how most of my songs start, melody and keys.
Does your surrounding or the shows you were watching often influence your music
Yea definitely. It just happens. It seems to be whenever I sit down to write the first thing I draw from is what’s happening immediately around me.
Having just played on the rooftop of Joyluck Studio and a few gigs in Sydney what were the highlights of them?
Playing on a rooftop was a highlight in itself! It was also our first show where we hit capacity too. The crowd that night was a lot of fun and we had a lot of fun. I remember in the last song our bass player Danny had disappeared from the stage and then I noticed him in the middle of the crowd just casually dancing with everyone whilst still playing.
Sydney was a highlight in itself as well. We hadn’t played outside of Melbourne before so it was really cool to play in another city and actually have people show up. There was a moment there where I was worried we’d be playing to no one!
How has growing up in the music scene influenced your taste and style as an artist?
I guess the biggest thing I’ve noticed is how much ones taste can change over time. I used to go through phases with artists where I’d be obsessed with one particular sound/style at a time and I would think ‘this is the type of music I’m going to listen to forever’. Now I realise that my taste is going to change and I’m much more open to other styles and I listen to a broader range now.
And lastly what does the rest of 2016 hold for an artist like Retro Culture?
New music and more shows!