16 Jul Interview: Kid-Friendly Drum & Bass in ‘Catching’ by Intriguant
‘Tigers in Tampines’ is a new EP from Singaporean indie label Syndicate SG. It’s a loving tribute to one of the most populated new towns on the tropical island. The title of this EP is an evocative reference to Tampines’ previous life as a tropical jungle where tigers used to prowl. With the town’s heritage and community as a backdrop, the EP is a diverse showcase packed with quirky found sounds and quality beats by some of Singapore’s biggest names in electronic music.
We interviewed electronic music producer Louis a.k.a. Intriguant, who produced the track ‘Catching’ and also mastered the EP. This standout track has popped up on Sounds Supreme PULS by Jay Scarlett, alongside hits by Jorge Degas and Maryanne Ito.
‘Catching’ is an unusual drum and bass track that starts off with joyful laughs from the children of Tampines themselves. It’s hard not to catch the infectious energy and childhood exuberance that bursts out of the intro. The drum and bass beats go on to move us further and further away from the children’s voices, which blend into the electronic beats to create a surreal yet sombre soundscape.
At the end, the voices disappear altogether, then silence. The playground has emptied, and we’re standing alone in the dark.
In our interview, Louis said “he wanted to know how it feels like being in a kid’s shoes again… running around and having fun, with no worries at all”. That’s a bittersweet sentiment we grown-ups all know too well. At least now ‘Catching’ has turned it into something we can dance to (with an adult drink or two).
Have a listen and read on below for more thoughts from producer-DJ Intriguant.
Q: What’s the story behind ‘Catching’?
A: For ‘Catching’, I wanted to know how it feels being in a kid’s shoes again. Playgrounds were my main focus for this project. I wanted to portray the energy of kids running around and having fun, with no worries at all. I guess that was the sound I heard in my head while thinking of the concept. Producers that influenced me on this track would be Photek, Kidsuke (Kidkanevil + Daisuke Tanabe) and Kiat.
Q: How was it producing the Tigers in Tampines EP?
It was very organic and seamless. It’s always a joy and challenge working with the Syndicate SG crew. For Catching, the track was made in two days after the recording session with the kids at Club Yeah.
Q: Are you a Tampines kid?
Unfortunately, no, but I live relatively close to Tampines and it was a good part of my teenage years.
Q: You worked with kids from Club Yeah!’s after school programme. How was that like?
A: I was lucky when Cherry from Syndicate SG arranged a session for me with the kids at Club Yeah!. I was pretty nervous leading up to it as I kept thinking of how to keep their attention. They were around the age of 9-12 years and that made me more anxious. However, it turned out pretty well! I brought a couple of toys and percussions that I use for my music to let them play around with. I also prepared a PowerPoint slide of one-liners(inspired by Hip-hop scratch records) which I made them repeat. That’s how I created the sound library for ‘Catching’.
Q: Any exciting news listeners should look out for?
Yes, Syndicate has stuff planned for the couple of months but I can’t really say yet! I have a new record coming out soon too. It’s pretty different from the previous album, something new that I’ve been trying out and I’m pretty excited for the release. I’ll also be announcing some future plans in June. So keep a lookout!
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?