March 3, 2024

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

What inspired you to start the Tidal Charm?

I started a different net label/platform during Covid that was meaning to combine house music and vaporwave. I came in touch with other genres such as dungeon synth and new age, I felt that releasing this all on the same label would not be a good fit. With the encouragement of some friends, I decided to create a different label for this all together. Hence, the Tidal Charm was born. The name refers to the pirate ship that scours the oceans of the earth, sailing through its most mysterious waters and exploring its most desolate corners.

LoreFun Fact: The name is ambiguous. While it mostly refers to a "generic" pirate ship, it can also refer to a pirate radio ship as those that were sailing in international waters around Europe in the '60s. When, in these prudent times, rock'n'roll music was considered heretical and was hence forbidden, young men converted fishing boats to floating radio stations and anchored in international waters to broadcast this "vulgar" music over the airwaves. This explanation of the label theme is a wink to the house label that I run: in this universe, the Tidal Charm is a punk radio station that broadcasts this obscenity in an otherwise comely world.

What is the Tidal Charm looking to achieve with each release?

My main goal is to immerse the listener in a historic world full of wonder and adventure. I aim to do so by not only releasing a wide variety of genres that all are connected through the mystery or adventure that is evident in the sound, but also by carefully working on the label theme through gimmicks such as the treasure map. I want each release to feel like a small experience in a grand scheme of voyages that the Tidal Charm has undertaken.

The Tidal Charm's Season 1 treasure map

Can you explain us more about the treasure map idea?

Certainly! People can collect a complete treasure map for the duration of a season. Each Tidal Charm season consists of 11 tapes and is kicked off with the Chronicles of the Tidal Charm' compilation series. These compilation projects consist of 22 artists from a wide variety of genres that all encompass the Tidal Charm, with 11 artists making up the day side and another 11 making up the night side of the voyage.

Chronicles of the Tidal Charm Vol.1

With every tape purchased during a season, you get a different piece to the treasure map. By collecting all four quarters of the Season 1 map and solving the accompanying puzzle, you unlock the treasure album TCX01; a private album on Bandcamp that will be exclusively available only to the treasure hunters for the duration of the following Tidal Charm season. Furthermore, these albums will have a never-to-be-repressed tape available for these treasure hunters as well. We have actually just distributed these tapes among the successful treasure seekers of Season 1, of which the mocks are showcased below. August River, from the label Fantasy Legend, did an amazing job putting together the J Card and Tape artwork. Definitely check out their label, the catalogue is incredibly curated and the physicals are impeccably designed. They have the highest standard in adhering to world-building overarching themes which I absolutely love. This album will become digitally available to the public after Season 2 ends.

The mock-ups of secret tapes available to the most dedicated treasure hunters

For the upcoming seasons we will continue to feature hidden treasure albums, but the next maps will have different themes. For example in Season 2, the map will be an old cutaway map of the ship that is the Tidal Charm. Also, that map will have not 4, but 5 pieces. I cannot thank my friend Liminal Garden enough for helping me design these and come up with awesome ways to keep these interesting!

A preview of Season 2's map, a cross section of the Tidal Charm ship

What is one thing that no one ever talks about when it comes to managing an independent record label?

I feel like people who just start to collect from underground labels don’t realise that often they are one-man practices instead of companies. Hence, I think people underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to only release a tape per month. Especially because the feedback loops between the artists and label can be more time consuming than one would initially expect. We have been fortunate as the talented designer 私__バッグ (Ibags) has come to our aid and is helping us tremendously with designing the physical TC releases. Check out their marvellous work (both their work as a musician and as a graphic designer)!

Your location seems to be in Haiti? Is this true? If not, what is the connection with the location?

This is the home base of the Tidal Charm for the duration of the second season. During the first season the Tidal Charm’s home base were the Galapagos islands and during other seasons, the Tidal Charm will set sail and anchor down at other places.

What is your hope for the label looking to the future?

I have two main goals for the label. The first is to create a label that feels more immersive than any other label that people have experienced. The second is to be accepted in many different musical scenes. Whereas my house label is really dance music-oriented, this label gives me the creative freedom to release anything that I like, as long as it has these mysterious and adventurous qualities. That is something that I enjoy the most about the Tidal Charm, and that is also something that I aim to do very well. Bring all these different genres together that seem different at first, but in many respects are very similar in the feelings they invoke.

What sort of releases have been your latest, and what do you have lined up?

Season 2 got kicked off with The Chronicles of the Tidal Charm Vol 2, followed by the fresh and innovative sample free barber beats album Lucky Tiger by Telenights. TC012 is a charming and wintery dungeon synth tape by Criecziel. Furthermore, a year after our Illusionary ドリーミング release, we finally returned to slushwave with the sophomore album 幻 の そ の 他 by you still feel them out there, don't you. Lastly, we just released a collection of wonderful piano compositions by 粉forestry.

As for what's coming: we continue our reunion with slushwave with another heavyweight in the genre: Our first impending release will be by days of blue, by one of our favorite albums by him. I don’t want to spoil all upcoming artists, but expect delicate ambient, floating 90s jungle/dnb and whimsical comfy synth in the nearby future.

Illusionary ドリーミング's album, released on the Tidal Charm

The 早 安 中 国 release seems one of the more illusive in the label's back catalogue, what do you know about the creation of it and the artist who made it?

I found this release on Bandcamp and just contacted them through there. The artist would rather remain anonymous for the mystery, but what I can say is that they have other projects releasing to this date in broken transmission/signalwave.

Your Seim release was a genre yet to be seen on The Tidal Charm, a fairly fast-paced dnb EP. Do you plan to branch out into any other genres in the future?

I aim to release one dnb/jungle tape per season, but I am specifically interested in releasing more dungeon synth on the label. Artists like Keys to Oneiria, Sunken Grove and Aindulmedir have been on repeat heavily for me during the past few months, and this sound is something that I would love to feature more on the Tidal Charm. The genre often has the same qualities that I enjoy in vaporwave: electronic, melancholic and hypnagogic.

One of the last TC releases as mentioned is a stellar release by Criecziel, who is a magnificent dungeon synth producer that already had a release on the mighty Dungeons Deep Records. Definitely check out his album Boreal Dusk out if you haven't already! I also have some interest in doing acoustic guitar releases at some point, but that may be far off in the future.

Any final words?

For people that have 2 or 3 out of 4 pieces of the Season 1 treasure map: There will be a few spare copies of TCX01, so if you are interested in those obtain the final map piece(s) through the final first season tapes (TC009 & TC010) that are still available: TC009 is a beautiful ambient piece with impeccable design by Ibags – both sonically as visually inspired by Takashi Kokubo’s Ion Series. TC010 is a video game-oriented debut release by Daniel Borkan, which is a collection of MIDI lullabies portraying the 3 biodomes that a ship wrecker would confront when stranding on an uninhabited island.

We have recently created an Instagram page, so be sure to follow us on our journeys across the world's oceans there as well as on Bandcamp and Twitter. Finally, special thanks go to 私__バッグ (Ibags), Liminal Garden, August River & OmniLimbO for their help in bringing this project to life.

Explore the Tidal Charm's back catalogue

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