Crash Course: Wooden Tape
Wooden Tape is the artistic alter ego of Merseyside musician Tim Maycox, whose new album ‘Music From Another Place’ is due out later this month and is a beguiling blend of folk, ambient, hauntology and library sounds. His artist biography describes the album as ‘a timeless collecton of music that recalls pastoral lands, summer months and folk rituals’.
LF: Which bands and artists would you call your favourites and how has that list changed over the years, if at all?
WT: Early on I fell in love with that late 60’s/early 70’s sound. I love the first 5 Procol Harum albums, they never get enough credit for me, and I think that’s where I discovered the sound of a keyboard and guitar. Also really liked Traffic adding flute to the mix! Then it was Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Incredible String Band and on and on. I love that mid-period Floyd era and early Genesis too. I still go back to all those albums but discovering the world was going through a musical evolution at the same time and stuff was going on in Turkey, Italy, Germany, Sweden etc. has meant that the list keeps on expanding because then you get great artists like Altin Gun being influenced by the sound of Turkish psych and giving it a modern twist. That’s all I hope to achieve.
LF: Which artists do you think have influenced you the most as a musician?
WT: The John’s! Renbourn, Carpenter, Barry. Also, Morricone and lots of library music recently. Library music is like falling down a never-ending rabbit hole, with all these little sub chambers going off in different directions! I was lucky enough to see Renbourn and Jansch several times over the years, with the likes of Robin Williamson and Wizz Jones-I love that baroque style. I think the acoustic guitar goes so well with a keyboard. Carpenter has the opposite feel cool, detached, minimal but dense at the same time. Popol Vuh are a big influence as well. Bob Stanley and Peter Wiggs, did a brilliant compilation called ‘English Weather’, I picked it up saw it referenced guitar, flute and mellotron and I was at the till! People like them, Jonny Trunk, Jim Jupp/Ghostbox and Andy Votel have been just as influential.
LF: You accurately describe your new album as a blend of folk, ambient, hauntology and library sounds, and as suggesting lost soundtracks or memories of forgotten TV themes. What are your favourite TV themes, which TV programme from your youth do you remember most fondly, and, apologies if this is too harrowing, which one(s) gave you nightmares?
WT: One which has always haunted me (in a good way!) is the theme tune to the Television for Schools & Colleges program, ‘My World’ It is actually called, ‘The Free Life B’ and is by the mighty KPM stalwart, Alan Parker. We considered doing it live but it has about 4000 chord changes in it! I hope to do it someday. If you listen to it, you can see where (I hope) I am coming from.
Nightmares? Is even easier. The theme tune to ‘Armchair Thriller.’ My older siblings used to say it was coming on the TV just to get me out of the room!
LF: Which album by another artist do you wish you had recorded yourself?
WT: Wow! That is a tough one, ‘Liege & Lief’ by Fairport Convention really jumps out for me, it was brave, innovative, old & modern and played by masters of their craft. The artwork is great and you had Joe Boyd at the helm. But imagine creating ‘Tubular Bells’ it is perfect in every single way and was one, very young man’s vision and sound.
LF: And finally, which tracks both past and present, would you recommend as an introduction to your music?
As this is a debut I would say ‘Geodesic Eric’ as a starter and for some balance ‘Broken Tapestry’, I really like the way that piece came out.
‘Music From Another Place’ is released on 26th May on God Unknown Records.