We caught up with Melbourne based producer PANORAMA aka Tal Hurley Levin who has also put together Butter Mix 006. A 30 minute long ambient mix showcasing what the young beat-wiz has been diggin and also some new tunes from himself.
How and when did you start making beats? Tell us about the beginning of Panorama.
I started making beats a little over a year ago. Before that I was making more straightforward 4/4 electronic music. I was into techno at the time (Surgeon/ Mills/ Perc, all those guys) but I really wanted to go back to my hip hop roots, which came before all the electronic music i'd been playing/ listening to. So panorama came together as sort of a middle ground between my love for hip hop and electronic music.
It seems like like lately alot of people have been doing something similar with hybrid electronic beats. What sets you apart from the rest?
Yeah, It seems like everything really exploded after Flying Lotus and Brainfeeder really took off. But I think most people are really trying to replicate that sound rather than make their own. I feel that my music has a certain feeling that many people are lacking and im not trying to make anything thats super ground breaking, but just some stuff that'll make you turn your head.
You have a strong following and presence on soundcloud. How do you feel the internet has effected your career?
I feel like i'd be almost nowhere without the internet. It's crazy because I can make a beat one day and in that same day I can have it out for 1000 people to listen/ download/ share, plus since the beat scene in Melbourne, and even Australia is still very small its quite hard to have a phsyical presence, also because i'm still underage (laughs) but the internet has given myself and a lot of the other guys a chance to be heard by people that wouldn't noramlly hear our music.
Do you think this internet/ technology phenomena has also affected the quality in some music?
Anyone these days can make music with a minimal set up...I guess that has both positive and negative effects. It allows people who you'd never get the chance to see or hear to get some really quality music out but it also means theres a lot of crap you've gotta sift through before you find it.
So, tell us about your studio.
My setup consists of and MPD32, a CME UF5 keyboard, a monome, and a Roland SP404 running through a little behringer mixer. i've got a pair of alesis monitors, a guitar, and a rainstick and I recently moved from Logic to Ableton, which is the best decision Ive ever made.
What would say is the most important element in your tracks?
Ooh thats tough. Its hard to pick a specific one, but I really like to focus a lot on the synth elements of a track. Usually once I've got a drum pattern down i'll only change it slightly throughout the final track, but I like to focus on how the melodies layer and build up/break down, plus with a lot of the new stuff i'm working on I'm focusing on the textures and sounds a lot more.
Do you think Melbourne has an influence on your music?
I wouldn't say the city itself has too much effect on me. I've only been living here for 4 and a half years. But my main influence comes from myself...usually random stuff I'm thinking about, or what mood i'm in, or what i'm eating (laughs)
Where did you live before Melbourne?
California, San Francisco more specifically,amazing city, would love to go back to live there one day.
Your playing at the upcoming Ruler Launch Party on the 22nd July. What can we expect to hear in your set? are you playing live?
Sure am...pretty excited as its my first show! I am playing live although my final setup hasn't been fully worked out, what can you expect to hear, well...basically a lot of music that I've made up till this point, as well as some new stuff that hasn't been heard, with a selection of a few of my favorite tunes by other artists/producers. And everything will be live (hopefully!) except for the tunes by the other artists.
And whats been playing in your headphones lately?
Lets see, I've been listening to a lot of Quasimoto/Doom stuff as well as some older hip hop like the Fugees. Electronic wise a lot of ambient stuff and weird music from leaving records!
What can we expect from Panorama for the rest of 2011? We hear you've got a cassette tape coming out?
Yeah man, sure do. I'm looking to release that before the end of the year, probably around December. It's gonna be pretty different from the stuff you've heard, more ambient and textures stuff rather than straight out beats. Hopefully it'll have a few remixes as well from some Melbourne crew! Gonna be available for free download and around 40 limited edition cassettes with original artwork and the lot.
Tell us about the mix you have put together for us.
Its a selection of tracks that's quite different from what you'd find on my Soundcloud at the moment. Lately, I've been exploring sounds rather than just beats. A lot of ambient sounds (with a few exceptions!). I feel that the next step forward for me as an artist is to sort of, break away from the typical beats sound and make a lot more experimental music - which will hopefully all feature on my EP at the end of the year! (There's even some unreleased stuff in this mix that will very likely be on the EP)
Photo by Sinan Turan