Thomas Azier is the fast-rising Dutch electro-pop artist, with a fascinating story of moving to Berlin at the age of 19 in order to learn his craft, as well aiding his habit of playing gigs at 4am. His debut album 'Hylas' was five years in the making but is finally out via Polydor Records and he is currently on tour playing European festivals. The hard work has paid off, and these are exciting times for Thomas Azier. Thomas took some time to talk to Contactmusic about his experiences.
Contactmusic: Hello, how are you doing?
Thomas Azier: I'm good, how are you?
CM: We're great! You've been to many European cities on tour over the past couple of weeks, how are things going?
Thomas: We've just played three sold-out dates in Holland, which was amazing. After five years, I'm just really excited to get out of the factory and show it to the people. I'm happy playing in the more unknown cities that I haven't been to like Bucharest, or even the more Eastern Europe cities have been quite interesting to play. I was in the UK the other week; Brighton was really nice, we had a good time!
Continue reading: Thomas Azier - May 2014 Interview
Having released his debut E.P 'Hylas 001' in early 2012, twenty four year old Thomas Azier offers the next stage in his trilogy of E.Ps. 'Hylas 002', like its predecessor, is solely written and produced by Azier. It is evident that he knows what he wants his music to sound like and is willing to spend time in production to achieve this.
Azier describes his music as compact pop, but, although the pop sensibility is immediately apparent, there is definitely an avant garde feel to the music. Opening track 'Fire Arrow' is a prime example of this, an initial drone is introduced before wild, haunting screeches are added to the mix. After the experimental introduction, we get a taste of Azier's impressive vocal range. Particularly within 'Fire Arrow' the style of singing brings to mind Yannis Philippakis of 'Foals'; Azier's delicate yet powerful delivery compliments the deep synths and ambient pads perfectly.
Second track 'Angelene' builds up steadily as additional synths, vocal effects and percussion are added to the initial ambient drone. The production is immaculate as each instrument and effect is combined perfectly with the surrounding mix. The wild arpeggios and compelling noises are often reminiscent of the experimental electronica of 'Crystal Castles'. Final track 'Shade of Black' sees a change in style and mood as a soft piano forms the basis of the track and Azier's vocals, whilst still impressive, take up a more melancholic tone. The track as a whole has little glimmers which bring to mind the likes of 'Bon Iver' and 'How To Dress Well' but, in general, the downbeat approach doesn't seem to work as well as the electronic energy offered in the previous two tracks.
Continue reading: Thomas Azier - Hylas 002 EP Review