by Ric Taylor | originally published at View Magazine
The question of identity for 20–year–old, Mississauga born and Hamilton based music producer, Sean Thompson will probably always be at the forefront since he adopted the name ttwwrrss (pronounced towers) but under the intriguing moniker, Thompson has been developing an international name under for his dark electronic synth pop. He’s proud to take influence and be a part of a growing local community that has gained international acclaim — with the likes of Caribou, Junior Boys, Motem and more recently Jessy Lanza — and his new Maisonneuve release, ttwwrrss_2, being officially released in his hometown this weekend, Thompson takes time to reflect on how it all began.
“I went to Cardinal Newman Secondary School in Stoney Creek and I took music classes but I think it was in Grade 11 or 12 that I got a computer and downloaded a program and actually started to make songs and music,” offers Thompson. “It started off me recording myself playing guitar and then it went to me trying to be Nine Inch Nails and throwing in a synthesized bass or drum. I got serious with ttwwrrss after I graduated high school though.”
During high school, Thompson would intern at Catherine North Studios being the first of his friends to make the foray into Hamilton’s scary downtown core and the experience would perhaps change his life forever. Now studying radio and television broadcasting at Sheridan College, Thompson’s love for the core and the music scene it fosters is reverberating well beyond Hamilton’s borders for the stand out, inventive electronic musician.
“When I started making more electronic based music, it was in an EDM (electronic dance music) style but then my tastes changed and I started getting involved in these small internet scenes where these people were making electronic music but more moody, combining down tempo, hip hop and these other cool things,” notes Thompson. “I’m into a lot of different music and that’s when the ttwwrrss thing became more serious. I felt there was this community that I could make these weird electronic dance tracks with. I felt drawn to that type of music.
Influenced early on by diverse sounds from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Kanye West, ttwwrrss is neither industrial nor hip hop and yet takes from both to create more novel future beats. With his first live show back in December of 2012, Thompson was inspired and prolific enough to release a half dozen EPs of music on line over the course of a year. Now with his third release, Thompson is making ttwwrrss an influence in the real world with a live showcase for the new collection of songs.
“The scenes are all over the world now,” says Thompson. “In the ’90s, local scenes meant something, they still mean something now in individual cities — but now everything is on the Internet and in the making beat culture it’s all on the Internet and everyone kind of follows each other. It’s a strong, healthy and growing community.
“But I’m looking forward to doing a live show here in Hamilton,” adds Thompson. “I’ve done a lot of deejay sets but my last live show was last year. My show is run from my lap top, I’ve got a drum machine and keyboard synth but I’m excited to be performing it live for an audience. My first instrument was drums and my music is very percussion based so I want to incorporate some live drums. My music is getting more into hip hop so you’ll hear that more with the beats. You’re going to hear a lot of industrial dark sounds but I’m also trying to be more melodic as well. I am trying to create more of a vibe than anything else. I feel the dance community is merging with and being more accepting of the more weird electronic sounds.”
ttwwrrss performs this Friday, January 23 at the Baltimore House with SINS, Soft Features and VIRE. Doors are at 9pm and $5 gets you in. Click on ttwwrrss.bandcamp.com