Chime is music producer and DJ, Harvey Thompson from Leeds, England. Originally producing the UK’s heavily preferred drum & bass genre, Chime gradually came to adopt dubstep as his primary genre for production – in particular the melodic style popularised by artists such as Xilent, Seven Lions, Virtual Riot and others. A great deal of influence from video games’ music and worlds complete the Chime sound as it is today. Read the interview below!
Hi Chime! How are you doing?
Great! Very excited to release a new EP!
Take us back to the beginning, how did you found your passion into producing electronic music?
I would definitely say I “stumbled” into making music really. After catching the music video for “The Prodigy – Omen” on TV and diving into drum & bass via Pendulum, I opened Garageband on my old, hand-me-down Mac laptop to see if I could put anything together. My excitement for music production really flourished from there as it consumed most of my free time at school, quickly overtaking my other passions for drama, trampolining and other creative stuff.
The rumour tells you’re into video games. Has the gaming music with its sounds effects and such played a role in finding your personal sound or inspiration some way?
Of course! This is actually the perfect question to ask right after that last one as – if we go further back – I sort of unknowingly started my musical journey through my abundant experience of video game music during childhood. Video games were a deeply important part of my life as a kid that found it easier get sucked into a game than to associate with my real life for the most part. The melodies and harmony featured in some of my favourite OSTs still influence me greatly and this explains why – they’ve been ingrained in my mind from an early age.
In the case of early video games, the musicians working on them had very limited options for instrumentation. In the case of “Pokémon Yellow” – what I’d call my first video game experience – they only had a few channels of simple waveforms and white noise with which to create the soundtrack. The incredible emotion that can be conveyed simply from the use of these basic tools and the power of melody/harmony will always inspire me. I’ll always remember hearing the gym leader battle theme from the game for the first time and getting so hyped.
The electronic basis of most video game music from the 90s and 00s also explains my conversion to dance music. Dubstep and other bass music sub-genres feel to me like the most energy you can generate with music that contains the same feel and appeal of video game music. As I’ve developed my music as Chime, I’ve been progressively leaning closer into this influence from video games and my experience with them as I feel it’s what makes my production more unique and personal.
You released an EP called “Our Flame” through Disciple records. Could you share the creative process behind about this EP?
The EP takes inspiration from a bit of the old style of dubstep and combines it with more future-focused elements. “Queasy” and “Our Flame” are both designed to feel like throwbacks to a couple different eras of UK dubstep while giving them a fresh coat of 2020 paint. “Unicorn Blood” and “Gamebreak” have more of a modern approach; they both delve into the “melodic/future riddim” sub-genre I’m trying to play a part in cultivating at the moment. I’m seeing a growing hype for it with more artists picking it up and allowing it to influence their music. I’m very excited to be at the forefront of something so new, a sub-genre people scoffed at a few years ago and one I’ve been trying to nail since tracks like “Featherweight” back in 2018. Admittedly that was quite a primitive example of the combination but special shoutout to Ace Aura who I believe is leading the charge on this stuff!
The EP’s title “Our Flame” alongside the awesome artwork from Solid Soul act as a metaphor for the abandoned and under-appreciated elements of dubstep that a lot of modern producers forget or overlook – referring to the classic UK vibes and the new sounds that are being slept on. I will always be an advocate for keeping these alive and so, within the analogy of the EP’s theme, I’m constantly working to keep the flame alive for future listeners.
What is your favorite song from the EP?
Definitely “Unicorn Blood“! I’m generally proudest of the tracks that feel most unique to me and my style. I mean I haven’t heard anyone make a vibrant, kawaii, riddim-inspired drop like this before. The second drop is also one I’m deeply eager to play live to see people’s reactions.
Miss Lina did a great job on the vocals too! I asked fans on Twitter for a sample of them saying “Unicorn” to put into the tune and she went all out with the perfect kawaii style and a number of different takes. We eventually decided to make a full feature.
The lyrics are about being comfortable in your own skin. I’ve noticed that in the dubstep scene there are a number of people that find it difficult to enjoy anything too melodic or “girly” – this is often in men where their masculinity blocks their ability to show appreciation for things that a man “shouldn’t“. As a guy who doesn’t feel really any connection to the male gender I love to challenge listeners with these tunes that are both soft/bubbly + gritty and dark. Combining the familiar with something new is a great way to get people excited about something they might not have before so in a way the tune acts as soft introduction to more harmonic that ridden-heads might often avoid.
This quarantine period has been hard for music industry so now it’s time to support and support, any interesting new producers you would recommend to follow?
Of course! I’m trying to continuously push smaller deserving artists and get them in front of important folks in the industry. As I mentioned before Ace Aura is really paving the way for the new wave of melodic and harmony-based dubstep alongside producers on my label “Rushdown” like Millennial Trash, Kaval, Asteroid Afterparty, Skybreak, Killin’ Void, Papa Khan, Famous Spear, Sharks, Modus and many other criminally underrated artists. I’d strongly recommend checking them all out!
Any advise for up & coming producers?
I’d say think about what your signature style could be from the very beginning. I’ve seen producers put less focus on this recently but it’s something I really appreciate – when an artist can draw you into their own unique world with their music. Pick a handful of artists who you like and start by imitating them. Along the way you can discover pieces of your musical journey that resonate with you; embrace them! They’ll eventually lead to what makes you different and interesting in the long-run.
Would you like to share something with the followers of Let the Bass Get You?
I recently created a new “Melodic Riddim” Spotify playlist featuring a bunch of artists trying out some brand-new sound design techniques to infuse tonality into riddim-influenced dubstep. It’s a bit of a renaissance of older dubstep ideas with a fresh coat of (very colourful) paint. You can check it out here: https://bitly.com/MelodicRiddim
More info on Chime:
More info on Let The Bass Get You: