It’s been just over five years since Christian Tiger School burst onto the scene with their memorable first single ‘Carlton Banks‘. Since then the duo have grown as musicians and producers, with their sound changing along with it, and their live show expanding to include Rueben Crowie on drums. Having played at Sónar in Barcelona, SXSW in Austin, Texas, Primavera in Spain, and CMJ in New York City, they’re making an impression both locally and abroad.
Over the years their sound has evolved from being rooted in beats and jazz to being more influenced by the likes of house and techno. This is especially evident on their latest release, ‘If You Want To‘. “We were definitely interested and intrigued by the length and structure of techno and house and not necessarily as much looking into hip hop or the beat scene,” explains one half of Christian Tiger School, Luc Veermeer,. “There are a lot of layers that go gradually in and out, it’s the same chord the whole time being held throughout the song and the same bassline. This is something we took from house and techno, filtering a pad or filtering the bassline, making it short or long or only the lows being played. To take away the repetitiveness of it and make it seem like a transition. We definitely tried to make it gritty.”
‘If You Want To’ is not only a step in a new direction for Christian Tiger School, but also their first physical release, with Berlin-based label Lissoms releasing it on vinyl. Featuring remixes by Lissoms label head Edmondson as well as Georgian producer Gacha Bakradze and artwork by Niall Greaves, putting together the release has been an easier process than expected for the duo. “It’s almost been too simple. Everything’s been presented and it’s worked out really easily. Given the fact that it is our first physical release it’s been great. We’ve had more trouble posting an EP online, never mind getting a 12” pressed,” says the other half of the duo, Sebastiano Zanasi.
Starting off 2018 with a physical release, Christian Tiger School are looking to follow it up with the release of an EP in the first quarter of the year, while their collaboration with the experimental British jazz drummer Moses Boyd is looking to be released in April. During the South African winter, Christian Tiger School will be in Europe on tour and looking to spend some time in London after their tour is complete to immerse themselves in the scene there. “We’re always really sad when we have to leave and things always seem to kind of happen before we get there or just after we leave so we want to try and take full advantage of being there and stay there for a while,” Luc states. “Yeah for sure, things usually tend to unfold or happen as we’re leaving so we definitely want to spend more time and network and spend some time immersed in the music we’re really into and try and build a bit of a reputation there,” adds Sebastiano.
Listen to and order ‘If You Want To’ on Bandcamp: