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'Smooth whisper music, perfect to fall asleep or wake up to'
- LiveXS

'Makes the world seem like a movie'
- 3voor12

basics band name sound scattered recording band history

Low Tide Island is whisper pop from Berlin. They continue where Nick Drake, Kings of Convenience, Belle and Sebastian, Feist, and Jose Gonzales stop. Deep, gentle sounds, easy on the ear and on the troubled mind.

Low Tide Island was founded in 2011 by Raafberg (NL 1988). He writes the words and the music. He also writes the arrangements for the four gifted musicians who joined the group in 2013. Together, they play the guitar, the chello, the viola, the piano, the trumpet, the bugel and the drums.

Low Tide Island record every song in a different place, in people's living rooms and bedrooms all across Europe, from Zürich to Stockholm, from Paris to Oslo, and from Krakow to Edinburgh. A first collection of these recordings were released as a limited edition album in 2012. The next album will be released in 2014.

basics band name sound scattered recording band history

Tidal islands are pieces of beach that are entirely surrounded by sea water. They usually only appear at the part of low tide (ebb) when the sea has sunken to its deepest point. After this point, also known as the Tidal Turning Point, the sea level slowly rises again, and the tidal islands disappear under water. Sea currents adjust the shape of the beach, and the next time the low tide islands are visible again, they will have changed shape.

So that's what low tide islands are: islands that exist for a while, after which they disappear and return in a changed form, a process that repeats itself forever. This makes low tide islands the perfect metaphor for music. Like tidal islands, music starts, exists for a while, and stops. But as soon as it stops, you know for sure that it will come back at some point. But it will have changed: every time music is being performed, it changes a little. It's a unique moment. It's a particular number of people in a room, with a particular sound, particular lights, on a particular date, during a particular time. These things together create a unique moment, an island of experience, different from anything anybody will ever experience again.

Wanna try? Put on your headphones and listen to your favorite track. You will have your own moment, separated from the normal flow of the day. It's like a film shot of somebody standing still in the middle of a square while everybody else is walking past, in one mass of continuous movement. Played back in fast foward, you'll identify not with the people roaring past, distracted by their everyday obsessions, but by the person remaining still in the middle. Music is a reaccuring pause from everyday speed, an island of slow in the everyday fast, regularly returning like the tides. Music is a Low Tide Island.

basics band name sound scattered recording band history

Silence is perfect. It's like white: all possible colours are assembled in it, but you don't really notice it's there until it's broken and put in some other direction, like green, yellow, or brown. A big white canvas is considered blank, but a big white canvas with a small blue dot is considered to be white (with a small blue dot).

The same goes for music. You don't really hear silence, until it's being disturbed. In an hour where no sound is made, nothing happens. No attention goes to sound at all, or to the lack of it. But if suddenly a door is slammed, all the time after the sound is silence. The sudden presence of sound put the attention on the presence of silence afterwards.

This is what the music of Low Tide Island tries to do. By keeping it low, quiet, and convenient, it suggests silence in the most subtle way possible.

The same goes for text, by the way. If you dramatically focus on the heaviness of an emotional experience, you'll forget about the rest. But if you point out the double-sidedness, the paradox in everyday situations, like the Low Tide Island lyrics aim to do, you'll see that there's always a way out of the crap everybody finds themselves in from time to time.

Oh yeah, and we really like some people from Glasgow, Bergen, London, Kopenhagen, Montreal, Sao Paolo, Goteborg, and Paris. You may hear some of their musical elements in the Low Tide island sound.

basics band name sound scattered recording band history

Low Tide Island is partly called like this because of the uniqueness of every time music is being performed, as you can read above. The same goes for recordings, of course. A recording is a unique performance as well, even though it's often presented as being the perfect version of the music an artist may perfom thousands of times. Recording something takes place in a room, with it's unique sound, in a town, during a season, and during a particular time of day. These are all elements people normally try to polish away in audio production in an attempt to make that one perfect version of the music.

Low Tide Island doesn't. We try to incorporate as many elements from the surroundings as possible, because it explains why the music sounds the way it does. You can hear the room the record was made in, the season, the time of day, and the physical state of the musicians, for instance. To make all this easier to hear, every song by Low Tide Island is being recorded in a different town. In the cntinious present tense - the process never stops. As you read this, we might be in Japan doing some recordings in some Tokyo apartment, who knows. Anyway, to make it even easier to follow, a small documentary is made every time a new town is visited, to capture the way the neighbourhood looked and sounded like at that particular time. This allows you to go back in time and audiovisually relive the Low Tide Island recording tours.

basics band name sound scattered recording band history

Raafberg (1988) thought up the recording philosophy you can read in the above two paragraphs in 2011. Living in Amsterdam at the time, he built a portable studio and started doing the first few small recording tours in early 2012. After visiting Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Nijmegen, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, and Katwijk, and also recording one song at home in Amsterdam, he had to admit the music wasn't complete. He started arranging for a small ensemble. Having recorded their parts to the first ten songs as well, the first Low Tide Island album was published in Belgium and the Netherlands in October 2012.

Then, he had to choose between Amsterdam and Berlin. The former being really expensive and the latter being really cheap (and arguably also far more exiting), the choice was made, and the Low Tide Island music got Berlin as a new home base in early 2013. The new Berlin based quintet contained some new, highly inspiring souls, pushing Peter Toon to rearrange the Low Tide Island music into the increasingly layered whisper pop it is today. This new sound is being recorded accross Europe as you read this, and will be released released worldwide in 2014.