Interview by Shannon Lawlor
Christian Tiger School are an electronic duo comprised of multi-instrumentalists and producers Luc Veermeer and Sebastiano Zanasi based in Cape Town, South Africa. To date the duo have released a number of singles, remixes, two full length albums and have collaborated with similarly like-minded artists and producers such as MNDSGN, Markus Wormstorm and Slugabed, to name a few.
Bridging the gap between experimental composition and electro leanings, Christian Tiger School’s music could be best described as an exploratory fusion of techno, instrumental hip-hop, chillwave and house to create their own distinct sound and unique vision. Both colorful and deep, the duo are also celebrated for their dynamically tireless live performances. On February 2nd, Christian Tiger School will celebrate the release of their latest single If You Want To via Berlin-based imprint Lissoms, with a vinyl-release party in Cape Town.
We caught up with Christian Tiger School on musical maturity and expanding live performances:
For anyone foreign to Christian Tiger School’s hypnotic luminance, how would you personally describe the music you create?
We think our music loosely fits within “left-field electronica”.
Your latest single ‘If You Want To’ sees a slight shift in direction, albeit drenched in burning nostalgia. Could you tell us about the inspiration behind this track?
We don’t normally set out to make a particular kind of track so like all of our music, ‘If You Want To’ came out of experimenting in studio and expanding on ideas we came up with. It’s definitely a direction we would like to continue with as we feel it encompasses where we are at musically at the moment.
Christian Tiger School’s latest album Chrome Tapes was released in 2015 via Tommy Boy. Could you detail this recording process and how it may have differed to 2012’s Third Floor?
They were very different albums with different functions. Third Floor was more of a homage to the music that was coming out of LA at the time and was heavily influenced by those artists. The idea behind Chrome Tapes was that we’d grown as musicians from the first album and wanted to show a more mature and unique body of work, where the progression of Christian Tiger School into a sound that was more ‘us’, was identifiable.
How does a typical Christian Tiger School performance differ to a day in the studio? Is there room for experimentation, and does it translate to performing live?
Days in the studio are spent twiddling with gear until something pops up that interests us. The live show is based around these ideas but in a more fluid way. There’s still improvisation to some degree but the backbone of the set gives us concrete parameters to play within.
If Christian Tiger School could collaborate with any artist on the planet, who would it be, and why?
Too many. Kaidi Tatham, Bjork, Nozinja, Chino Moreno, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Laurel Halo immediately come to mind.
With the recent addition of drummer Rueben Crowie during live performances, how do you feel your live show has now evolved?
We approach this type of show as a 3 piece and it allows for a lot more improvisation and deconstruction of the recorded tracks. It’s a very special show for us as we’ve been wanting to play in that way for many years. It’s also a nice option for bigger stages and festivals.
Christian Tiger School have had the pleasure of performing at internationally acclaimed festivals such as Primavera Sound and SXSW. What did you take from these experiences? And how did performing abroad compare to performing locally?
Certain festivals attract crowds that are willing to engage with music they have never heard before and that helps us as artists that aren’t from those territories. For the most part, things are the same but there happen to be more people over there that are into particular scenes or genres.
What piece of equipment, hardware or software do you feel is crucial to capturing Christian Tiger School’s signature sound?
At the moment the DSI Tetra, Addictive Drums and microKORG XL.
Christian Tiger School’s three favourite albums of 2017?
The Word is Uhh – Grosvenor Beach
Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy
Byron The Aquarius – Leaving This Planet
What does the future hold for Christian Tiger School?
More releases and a European Tour!
Order If You Want To by Christian Tiger School via Juno Records
For more information follow Christian Tiger School on Facebook