For those looking for creative inspiration during lockdown, London based recording artist Third Son, aka Joseph Thomas Price has just unveiled his debut album, 20 Days, recorded and mastered in, yes, you guessed it, 20 days.
Put together at his home studio and released on the Polymath label, the first note of the album was laid down on the first day of May and the creative process behind the album was documented extensively throughout.
Utilising a range of equipment, including an Elektron Octatrack MK II, Pioneer Toraiz Squid, Arturia Beatstep Pro and a custom modular synth – the resulting project demonstrates Third Son’s range of influences, from ambient electronica to straight-up 4/4 beats.
909originals caught up with him to discover how the project came together.
Hi, thanks for talking to us. What prompted you to embark on the 20 Days project?
It was time for me to make an album. In a strange way I’ve always felt I was an album artist, but it was never quite the right time. As soon as I discussed the concept with my management, I was hooked on it, and that was that.
As with every project there are going to be peaks of creativity and ‘writer’s block’ moments – how have you found the experience?
It generally flowed nicely. There was difficulty with balancing social media bits with actually making the music, but I ended up making 18 tracks in 15 days. I’d say 14 of those were good.
Do you think that this enforced period of lockdown is leading to greater creativity among musicians, artists etc?
I think it can have that effect, but for some in certain situations it can unfortunately have the opposite result. Social media certainly doesn’t help that.
Your releases have spanned multiple genres, from ambient electronica to straight up techno. Is there an overall thread that connects your productions?
My thing is themes. If the track has a strong theme and some unique, uncommon sounds I’m happy. Not to say that’s what always comes out, but that’s the goal.
What’s the most essential piece of kit in your studio, and why?
My modular synth. It’s custom built and it is my little baby.
Your most recent release, The Brain Named Itself, was released on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jr – and this 20 Days project sounds like something Herbert himself would have come up with. He must be a big influence on your work?
He certainly is. I like doing things differently, and also a project like this is a total challenge. I also feel you have to play to your strengths, and I think being able to work swiftly is one of mine.
What would be your advice for bedroom producers looking for inspiration during lockdown?
Work hard, but don’t be tough on yourself. If it’s not coming out, give it a break and listen to some of your favourite artists. Mixes are a good way to understand how DJ’s like to play certain tracks, what works and what doesn’t. Oh and go check out my new album, of course.
[Thanks to Third Son for chatting to us. All pictures by Sandra Seaton. Third Son’s new album, 20 Days, can be purchased by clicking here.]