Andrew Tuttle is a best-kept secret of the Australian underground. A composer, improviser and collaborator who has shared stages with Matmos, Julia Holter, Forest Swords, Steve Gunn, OM, Deradoorian and many others, a world traveler and artist in residence, his third, self-titled album, is an expression of his life in music and a reflection of life in his home city of Brisbane.
Primarily developed in a Brisbane bedroom, home to a banjo, acoustic guitar and synthesiser; Andrew Tuttle is lilting, elegant and delicate – the sound of joy and imagination. There’s a wide-eyed sense of positivity and discovery throughout the album, inspired by dream-like states, considerations of what it means to grow as an artist and as a person – and of a more considered understanding of how the passage of time impacts on both.
Tuttle’s music meanders, swings, and sometimes soars like birds across a radiant sunset. Each note on the album feels alive, with harmonics stretching out to meet the neighbouring notes, much as the Brisbane River winds and the eucalypts and palm trees of Tuttle’s home suburb of New Farm intersect with a constant vibrant hum of humanity.
His first two solo albums (Slowcation – 2015; Fantasy League – 2016) heavily played on inherent tension between Tuttle’s primary musical interests of acoustic instrumentation and digital synthesis. For his third, eponymous album, released on 25 May 2018 on Room40’s Someone Good imprint (Haco, Ytamo), Tuttle has endeavoured to further bring his musical worlds together, to build a musical universe where sparse decayed banjo and fragile guitar motifs are at one with shimmering filtered delays and bubbling electronics.
Andrew Tuttle‘s work maintains a sharp creative focus and a wide-eyed spirit of exploration. Like time-lapse photography, it unfolds its colours and textures with an astonishing gracefulness and wonderment. Born of reflection rather than of nostalgia, it is the sound of re-discovering one’s local natural and urban environments – and the importance of embracing love, family and friendship in a turbulent world.
For his third album, a fortnight residency at Stockholm’s EMS Elektronmusikstudion and collaborations with Charlie Parr (electric guitar), Dina Maccabee (viola), Kris Keogh (harp), Chris Rainier (prepared guitar) and Joel Saunders (trumpet) were an initial creative impetus; however these seemingly disparate explorations have manifested themselves into Tuttle’s most cohesive work to date. The final album, a result of several careful revisions, born of humid river walks and deliberations during turbulent thunderstorms over an eighteen-month period; reflects Tuttle’s belief in this work as a major personal and creative statement. In Andrew Tuttle’s world, folk and bluegrass rituals, ragas and drones cozy up to electronic technology like they’ve known each other their whole lives.
Tuttle dwells in a between world of ambient and folk genre that feels like a community all of its own. Holding a space that is abundant and generous, Andrew Tuttle makes outsider music that turns its listeners into insiders — beckoning a journey inwards which unfolds many heart-opening moments along the way.
Selected performance history: Dark MOFO (Hobart, AU), Cafe OTO (London, UK), Paradiso Noord (Amsterdam, NL), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU), MONA (Hobart, AU), Botanique (Bruxelles, BE), Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU), Le Bourg (Lausanne, CH), Galeria ZDB (Lisboa, PT), HeK (Basel, CH), St Jerome’s Laneway Festival (Brisbane, AU), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Melbourne, AU), BIGSOUND Festival, (Brisbane, AU), OtherFilm Festival (Brisbane, AU), Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane, AU), The Old Museum (Brisbane, AU), Monash University Museum of Art (Melbourne, AU).
Collaborations: Matmos, Lawrence English, Mike Cooper, Blank Realm, Cornel Wilczek (Qua), Heinz Riegler, Charlie Parr, Dina Maccabee, Chris Rainier, Smoke Bellow, Seaworthy, Kris Keogh, Joel Stern, Feet Teeth.
- AllMusic: “His tones are sharp but rarely abrasive, and he applies a stunning array of effects and filters while retaining the music’s earthly, human qualities.”
- Sonic Masala: “…on Slowcation there is a innate confidence in his efforts to splice and reorder sonic structures entwined with a subversive joy in overlaying bucolic whimsy and happenstance over synthetic currents that sets this above and beyond what he has put to tape in the past.”
- Cyclic Defrost: “It is as close to an electronic ideal as you can one might expect.”
- Decoder: “…plums a particularly rewarding blend of tone experimentation and occasionally more earthy electroacoustics.”
- ATTN: “15 seconds into Fantasy League – the latest album by Australian composer Andrew Tuttle – a banjo springs into the frame, dancing jubilantly atop a slow-swelling drone, swaying over the synthesiser haze like plant life indulging a summer breeze.”
- Flush The Fashion: “Andrew’s album is one of these creative passports that will take you to new places that you never knew existed. That’s not a bad start to the week, or the rest of your life.”
- Tome To The Weather Machine: “In this synchronized swim between electronic and acoustic instrumentation, Andrew Tuttle is able to coax out the most sonorous elements of both – riding that golden mean where the two become indistinguishable.”
- Textura: “…the meeting between analog and digital worlds: acoustic folk, in the form of picking, strums, and tremolo-laden shudder, and kosmische psychedelia, in the form of synthesizer burble that flows constantly through Tuttle’s tracks.”
- Boomkat: “Curious mixture of dusty country banjo twang, drone and creamy kosmische with a sun-baked antipodean sensibility.”
- Sound Doctrine “Whorls of guitar are overcome by droning rhythms, to be overtaken by thundering organs or fluttering electronic blips.”
- TheMusic: “With washed-out sonic hums, episodes of spritely electronic melodies and even a banjo that gracefully alludes to Deep South bluesy folk without sticking out like the sore-thumb instrument it can often be, the Brisbane muso has created a lovely, wandering guide for contemplation.”
- 4ZZZ: “Andrew Tuttle may have retired the Anonymeye moniker, but he’s still rocking that mix of ambient electronics and …banjo. As always, like a Blade-Runner / Deliverance double feature…”
- Aural Aggravation: “the resultant output sounds like country music from another dimension.”
- Dying For Bad Music: “I never thought there is something cosmic in banjo based music, but Andrew Tuttle proved me wrong. When I skipped through Brisbane I fell immediately in love with the frenetic banjo playing. But when those synthie sounds whooshing across the picture like little ufos, I felt the warm fuzz of the former days of knob twiddling, that got lost with all the rush of so called “Kosmisches Gedudel”.
- Tone Deaf: ““Fantasy League is the new album from Brisbane-based producer Andrew Tuttle and it’s his best realisation yet for his intoxicating blend of modular synth melodies, folk guitar and banjo.”
- Vital Weekly: “…He doesn’t do this at random, but carefully selected sounds that work well, either in the background or more upfront. It may seem, written down like a duo of weird analogue synth sounds and warm guitar picking, an odd combination, but it works well in the ten pieces here. An excellent release.”
- Selected radio broadcast + non-English press: BBC, ABC, Rockerilla, AllMusic, Decoder, Amusio, Textura, Cyclic Defrost, A-Musik, Boomkat, 2SER, RTR, 3PBS, KAOS, WXYC, WFMU, RAI and NOK.