In October 2020, Dutch artist, Eelco Topper, aka Felbm, released a fresh set of tape works, labelled 3 and 4, through Soundway. Working alone, with a quartet of instruments – acoustic guitar, electric piano, Mellotron flute, and vibraphone – plus a drum machine – he created a collection of perfect jazz / pop shorts, that had me citing the classy, classic, connoisseur beats of Blossom Dearie, Doris Svensson, Cortex and Air. Influences from Bruton, De Wolfe, KPM, Brazil and Africa, mixing in with local field recordings.
Could you please give me a few pieces of music, released or reissued this year, that have helped you make it through 2020?
Blake Mills – Mutable Set (album) / Mirror Box (song)
This will be hard to answer, but all being “well” what plans do you have for 2021?
It’s actually not so hard to answer since I have quite a concrete plan. End of January I will start working on a new project with the simple name “Elements of Nature”. The kick-off of this project will be a 10 days residency at Doornburgh, a former monastery near Utrecht (NL), where I live. The main idea of this project is to work with only acoustic instruments made from natural materials, like wooden and metal tuned percussion, acoustic guitar and piano, and to take inspiration from walks and observations in nature. The workflow will once again be around a 4-track-cassette recorder and my plan is to self-release any suitable results on cassette as well, later in 2021. I have no clear idea of what kind of music will come out, but I’m very much looking forward to working with these limitations and to create music without any electronic instruments for a change. I expect this project to have me occupied most part of the next year.
Is there any way that I, we, others, can help and assist you in achieving these goals? Are you looking for partners / collaborators – folks who might have access to resources that you currently don’t? – in that sense of “if we stand together then we will survive”?
This is such a nice idea. My project is relying on some government fundings, partly COVID-support, partly existing funds, and either way the costs are not very high. However, the most challenging and difficult aspect of self-releasing music is getting it out there, getting it seen and heard. So in that way, I could definitely use help for the promotional part of this release, as this is something still quite unaccessible for independent and “smaller” artists like me.
You can purchase Felbm`s Tape 3 / 4 directly from Soundway.