I met Tor in Berlin when Mike and I went to catch him, Nym and a few other artists live back in 2018. Chillest guy ever and the creator of some of the most forward-thinking and calming electronic music out there.
When he reached out back in January to share with us the first single of Oasis Sky "Foglove" I felt beyond ecstatic. Rarely I find music that so perfectly resonated with me. The album is a wonderful selection of rich and lush sounds and it feels like a puzzle waiting to be revealed.
I am excited to share with you his new album and our interview we did last week. Stream Oasis Sky on all major platforms here.
Hi Tor, where do we find you today?
At my home here in Vancouver, where I always am!
Describe Oasis Sky in a sentence?
Nighttime driving music.
Where did you find the inspiration to built the storyline of the album?
I wanted the storyline to be simple and true. It’s just about me slowing down and taking time, removing distractions and enjoying the process of making music in a space that I really connect with, and creating an atmosphere around me that’s inspiring and conducive to that process.
If you could pick one setting/place to perform the album live for an intimate audience of your most dedicated fans where would that be?
Right now I am craving a good night out, I would choose a small club with low ceilings and a phenomenal sound system.
I love the visuals that come with the album. They feel both complex and minimal at the same time. Who created them and how do they enhance the album experience?
They are from my friend and incredible Oregon-based artist Slater Knight (@lazouli). When I first saw the main album flower it instantly connected with me and tied together the whole album concept about home, about creating your space and for me, having that space full of plants and flowers. I also worked with Adam Marshall who’s an amazing motion designer to create the movement of the flowers for social media.
What was the recording experience like? Did it take you a long time to put everything together?
Making albums always takes an exceptionally long time for me. It involved a lot of frustrating days and lots of good ones too, it was just about each day getting in the studio, being still, experimenting, playing with sounds, taking walks, and just putting in the time. I found if I’m doing those things, its all coming together, even when it seems like it’s not.
You mapped a pretty awesome release map with 4 singles prior Oasis Sky’s official drop. Why those tracks? Any particular reason?
Thanks! I watched a lot of album rollouts and came up with a strategy off what I liked. Those 4 tracks stood out to me as being able to stand on their own as well as within the album. "Foxglove" I thought was a bit bold, and a good introduction to a new sound. "Riverline" was a good follow-up with a bit of a deeper sound and my first time going with 4/4 drums. "Lens" continued the softer sounds with some synth work that I’m really proud of, and "Eleuthera" feels to me like a very emotional bookend to the singles, and the album.
Where are the chants on “Kanta” from?
They’re from an archival record of Rwandan field recordings from the 60s and 70s
“Riverline” is one of the most danceable tracks on the album. I definitely see this as a track on an open-air set. What’s the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to make a percussive track with 4/4 drums as I’ve never really gone there before and it opens up a whole different feeling and space for different patterns and rhythms. I had a lot of fun exploring all this and probably stopped overthinking things too much as a result. I can’t wait to play that one out to a room full of people!
I love the drums on your tracks (“City 66” is superb). They sound very organic - how do you go about that?
Lots of layers. I layer hits off old percussion records behind snares and one-hits, and add in bits of my own reverb. Sometimes a chopped up drum loop adds the ambiance underneath. For "City 66" that is actually a drum break from an old jazz record which I layered some percussion hits on top.
You are self-releasing the album. Do you think we’ve reached an age where artists truly gain more and more power and labels become less important when it comes to brand and be successful?
Its amazing the tools and services that are available to self-release now, and I think labels can also still be very important. If you are just starting out and don’t have the fan base yet, a label association and their infrastructure and experience can be invaluable to help get established, and of course labels are still useful for lots of artists at all levels. It really depends on what you want, how much work you want to do and what you want to learn, what kind of music you're making, and lots of other factors. For me, it felt like the time was right in my career to go out on my own, and so far it’s been great.
What’s one thing you want to learn next when it comes to the other side of music industry (besides making music)
There’s so much I want to learn! If I could pick one thing, I’d really like to learn more about the sync and licensing side of things as it’s pretty much it’s own industry in itself, and it’s something I’d like to get into more as I get a lot of feedback from people saying how well my music would fit in with film and TV.
Actually… how do you define success in music… what’s your personal vision of success?
To have the freedom to express myself authentically, to make the music I want to hear that doesn’t exist yet, and to find the people who are going to love it.
Who inspires you?
The friends and people I meet that are excited and passionate about things and the natural uninhibited interactions that come from those experiences.
What’s next for you post-album drop?
Shows are still not happening here in Canada, so I’m working on following the album up with remixes, alternate versions, new Origins mixes and more music making. I think I’ll take a vacation somewhere in there too, whenever things allow for it.
If you could ask yourself one question what would that be (and its answer)?
How much longer until I can visit friends and travel? Soon I hope