Altvater is a downtempo electronica music producer from Columbia, South Carolina who fuses electronica, cinematic trip hop, and hip hop to craft his unique sound. He’s been making original music since 2018, releasing two collections of tracks including the Walking Creatures EP. Since then he’s been dropping a string of singles, most recently the new track This Pertains to Solitude, which builds on his percussion driven style and blends Eastern instrumentation with delicate vocal samples and piano arrangement.
We got a chance to catch up with Altvater to find out more about his music, his creative process and what he’s got lined up for the future. Check out his new track This Pertains to Solitude and read the interview below.
How did you first get into producing music?
My iPhone actually. So my wife tried to get me to buy an iPhone and I kept putting it off, like 3 years or something, and then finally one day I gave up and just got one. And like a week after I got it, I saw the garageband app on there and was like, “I’m bored, why not give this a shot?” And so, in about 2 weeks, I had made like 6 songs, staying up all night and just loved it. So I downloaded Logic a few nights later, watched a ton of Youtube videos on how to produce and I haven’t stopped since.
As a relatively new artist, how has your sound progressed?
Hopefully?!? my sound is getting better with every track that I make. I listened to my Alpine Nights EP the other day, and was horrified, “Like really!! My music sounded this bad.” I have definitely progressed into the more organic, downtempo realm as I have went along and hopefully the songs have gotten better as a result.
Your latest track is titled “This Pertains To Solitude” – Do you feel that isolation helps with your creative process?
It’s funny you ask that, because isolation is probably the most important aspect to my creative process. It is an absolute must. I only produce at night, alone, and I guess it shows in the kind of songs I am putting out. I have always gravitated towards the more pensive/thoughtful bands, books, art (Radiohead, Haruki Murakami, Egon Shiele) and so it has just been natural for me to produce music with that same sense of isolation/meditation.
Which artist do you draw most inspiration from?
NYM. He just has this really organic natural sound and he doesn’t do a lot of the current “flashy” type of producing thats popular right now. He keeps it relatively simple and that’s what I like that about his work. He has a lot of beautiful songs, but especially when I heard “Cedar Stone” the first time, I knew that this was the direction I wanted to take my sound.
What is the perfect setting for listeners to enjoy your sound?
One of my roommates from college told me, “Every night this week, before I went to bed, I would put on my headphones and put your music on and go to sleep.” And so that idea has always stuck with me, so I tend to think of people listening to my music at night on headphones, just sitting in their room or parents basement, chilling out.
Who would be 3 artists to headline your dream festival? And where would it be?
Led Zeppelin, DJ Shadow, and Emancipator at Red Rocks Amphitheater. I have always wondered what John Bonham’s snare drum would sound like in person. That immense “POP” like on the intro of “When the Levee Breaks”. Like to experience it in person would be a dream come true (I am a drummer by trade). DJ Shadow was the first electronic music producer I ever heard, so he would have to be there. maybe he could close with “Midnight In A Perfect World”? And Emancipator just played red rocks like a year ago and would have loved to hear that. So yeah, probably my dream festival.
What artist have you been listening to most recently?
Sal Dulu. His music is really, really, I mean really good!!!
What’s the main thing you want people to get out of listening to your music?
As long as the listener “feels” something, anything, by my music, I have accomplished my goal.
What do you have lined up for the near future?
Hoping to keep putting out some solid tracks, so I can continue having these wonderful conversations, like the one we are having now.
Finally, would you rather fight one bear-sized duck, or ten duck-sized bears? Why?
Love this question by the way. I have it all planned out. Definitely “one bear sized duck”. I would do like a low roundhouse/sweep kick, take its legs out, then maybe a “judo chop” or two to the head. Piece of cake really… The “ten ducks sized bears” would be a different matter though. That would be really bad for me