Interview with Tzusan

Written on November 27, 2019 by Anonymous

Following today’s release of Babau, by Scottish rapper and true entrepreneur, Tzusan, we’re excited to host an interview with the lyrical magician. The album is an idiosyncratic journey to say the least!

Buy Babau on Bandcamp

Tzusan, introduce yourself in 5 words.
Hello, my name is Tzusan.

In general, I love when samples are well placed. But In hip hop, it has an all other meaning. Tell me how you integrated samples in this album. Do they have an aesthetic reason only?
I wanted the album to have a kinda cinematic aesthetic to it yeah, definitely. A lot of the samples themselves are from dystopian sci-fi film soundtracks so I guess what you get out depends on what you put in.

What about this LCD screen you mention to be in the shed. A lot of samples seem old TV or radio recordings.
Haha, that shed was a grim place. I loved it though. Unfortunately, it’s no longer with us. When I first started making the blueprints for the album
that was the nerve center of the whole operation. Nae windows, just the laptop I would be making beats at and a rusty old lamp.
The samples are from all over the shop but yeah, lots of film soundtracks and old ambient stuff along with strange little noises cherry-picked from wherever I could find them.

If you had to mention one electronic-only work that influenced somehow Babau, what would it be?
Tough one. I used to be (Still am) into a lot of early dubstep stuff like DMZ, Benga, etc but I wouldn’t say that side of things really had too much influence on this project. I suppose the concepts and words came first and the beats were built around the feel and atmosphere I wanted to create.

Some tracks are almost sleep-inducing, narcotizing. I kinda like it when a song doesn’t sound like “HEY, LISTEN TO ME!”. Tell me something about this low-key approach to this release.
Ehm, yeah I guess it’s just how I write and wanting the delivery to reflect that. There are a few more energetic, angry ones on there as well like Freezer Section, No Brainer, Holograms. But then when I want the mood to be a little more reflective I like to tone it down a bit haha

What about your production processes. Lots of weed and other life things getting in the way or is somewhat structured?
It’s a kinda like an ever-shifting landscape. I definitely wouldn’t call it structured but that’s the way I like it. Rough and ready.

The production felt like home from the very first listen – it’s dusty, ghostly but with very defined sounds. It reminds me of Posh Isolations and other experimental electronics and techno from Copenhagen. Did you visit there influence anyhow this release?
I actually did visit Copenhagen how did you know? I wouldn’t say that influenced the sound as I’m not a huuuge techno fan and most of the album was basically wrapped up by then but I definitely love the whole Scandinavian vibe. That sort of ice-cold eerie-ness is something I love in music. Tbh man Copenhagen was a bit of a blur to me, I met up with some music heads and ended absolutely fucked out my nut geein it yaldi on the dancefloor in this amazing wee nightclub called Bakken in the meatpacking district. Spent most of the next day hurling up fernet. I would still do it all again tho it was wild haha.

A pervasive sense of melancholia transpires from basically every track. You might be thinking, but you don’t look like a melancholic guy. Why this touch?
Happy music is straight-up fucking depressing man.

Tell me about this shed you say inspired your work. To me, it sounds like the classic place you end up playing PlayStation and smoke too many Js with your mates on a cold Wednesday night.
Nah hahaha not quite. It was baltic out there, I remember in February having to wade through 3ft of snow and vault over a disused washing machine just to get out there and sit in the cold all day with my 2 bar heater perfecting some track that never even made the final cut.

Who are your mates? In general, how is the grime scene doing in Edinburgh and how you and SKOOP place within it.
Shout-outs? OK. First and foremost all the SKOOP family, Cleaverhype, CRPNTR, Papillon, Gaffa, PATA, Dearly Beloved, Dadai Beatnik, Foula, Teknique, 2 2 D o l p h i n s, Turkish, Yung Face, Baux Cat, Skillin, Kami-O, Laigo (R.I.P) our little family of MC’s, producers, DJ’s etc. In terms of the Grime scene in Edinburgh specifically there’s not much to go off but still more than you might think. I rate folk like Poczy, 2t & Hass very highly. Check them out.

Whosafraidofthebigbabau is my favorite, what is your big Babau?
I am the Big Babau… Actually the whole “babau” thing started as a joke in the kitchen I was working in, supposedly it’s Romanian for some kinda ghostly spirit. It lurks in the forests around the castle and if you fuck up during dinner service it will catch you after work and I quote “cut your balls”.