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American EDM Producer David Tops Cites Australia’s Flume As “Exemplary”

Emerging New Jersey EDM producer David Tops says Australia’s Harley Streten (aka Flume) is an “exemplary” example of where EDM is positioned today.

Flume, who now spends a lot of time growing vegetables on his New South Wales property, reached no. 8 on the Billboard Album Chart in the USA with his 2016 release ‘Skin’. He also had a Top 20 hit song with ‘Never Be Like You’ in the USA and has had 23 US hits on the Billboard Dance Chart.

David Tops (Topchishvili) draws on his own background as a Classical Pianist to create what he does through EDM. He calls EDM “modern classical music”.

Noise11.com’s Chief Operation Officer Nick Kontonicolas is a close friend of the Topchishvili family and has been watching the career of David Tops develop over the years. Nick says, “I am very happy to introduce David to the music world. I am very proud of him and his work. We will be following his budding career very closely. I welcome comments from our music followers”.

Noise11.com spoke to David Tops, the New Jersey based EDM producer. David has just recently released his new collaborative album by him, and we asked him a few questions about his genre by him and how it has changed over the years.

Noise11: How would you define EDM? Bring up a few examples of successful and unsuccessful projects in this space.

David Tops: As an avid listener and fan of electronic music, it is rather difficult to ascribe a concrete definition to “EDM.” Electronic dance music can range from beatless synth-infused ambient tunes as per the likes of Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works series, to aggressive bro- and dub-step bass music—ie Skrillex. Simply put, EDM is modern classical music, as it can in fact be both a therapeutic and meditative listening experience, as well as trigger an uncontrollable release of endorphins. Over the past three decades, the music industry has uncovered a vast umbrella of countless alternatives and/or ‘subgenres’ of electronic music that ultimately makes it nearly impossible for one to say, “I hate EDM,” as the space offers more niche- based variety than even I can fathom. Although there aren’t exactly any “unsuccessful projects” in the EDM space, since seemingly all subgenres have some sort of fan bases and support groups, there are certainly some projects that stand out amongst most; my personal favorite example, and one that I would deem as exemplary EDM, is Flume’s 2019 mixtape, Hi, This is Flume, a record that will surely never fail to impress and inspire me.

Noise11: What drove you to EDM and what attracts you most about this genre?

David Tops: The determining factor that ultimately geared me towards EDM and keeps me on the tips of my toes is the endless stream of musical and technical creativity that electronic music enables producers to exude without failure. This sort of creative freedom is what I believe the music industry needs more of in order to stimulate and advance the minds and ears of young aspiring producers, as well as help blend, innovate, and expand multiple musical styles. Having originally been a hip-hop and RnB producer for the first several years of my career, I have grown acutely aware of the repeating intricacies and techniques that are, to a certain degree, required and/or expected by those who swear by the “ industry standard” in those respective playing fields. Now, having engulfed myself wholeheartedly into electronic music, I no longer feel that lingering sense of creative restriction, and will often find myself resorting to absurdly unconventional means of sampling, drum programming, and sound design to achieve my desired results. To me, EDM is just like every other form of music… only jailbroken!

Noise11: How would you explain EDM popularity? Do you see it actively growing? If so, in what countries?

David Tops: The simplest and most statistically accurate way to depict the growth in popularity of EDM is that it is one of, if not the, fastest growing mainstream genre on the entire planet. Electronic music has always had a firm position in the music industry, but it seems that only within the last decade it has found a way to break through the mainstream and attract people from virtually all countries around the world. As it currently stands, the US, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK have some of the strongest EDM fan bases and communities, though the music space is growing universally and at an extreme rate.

Noise11: How much do fast-developing software and hardware technologies contribute to EDM? Can you bring up some examples from your upcoming album?

David Tops: Modern software technologies have contributed a great deal to the evolution of electronic music. It was not too long ago that the use of analog synthesizers was considered a norm, and to many, ‘industry standard,’ for the making of radio-ready electronic music. However, all current DAWs (digital audio workstations) offer multiple sound-shaping and mixing tools that, alongside the countless analog emulation plugins and VSTs actively available on the market, can fool any set of ears into believing that more than just a laptop was needed. to create a modern EDM track. As a matter of fact, the only gear that was used in the making of my new project was my MacBook Pro and a MIDI keyboard; all the magic was done through processing and digital sound synthesis, with effects such as tape saturation, reverberation, and distortion at the forefront of every mix to emulate the classic sound of 90s dance music.

Noise11: What trends do you see EDM following in the next 3-5 years?

David Tops: I feel that EDM will only continue to grow and expand throughout the next several years. Millions of people are already on the hunt for the next best pop and/or hip-hop remix that will take over every club around the world. Due to the fact that most underlying EDM target audiences consist of mainly younger, more festive individuals, EDM music has notably followed the trajectory of societal and internet-based trends over the years, and will supposedly continue to do so. Although I wouldn’t say electronic music will become the new ‘pop’ anytime soon, I am certain that many more people will begin to appreciate and enjoy EDM as it quickly takes over the mainstream.

Noise11: Let’s talk about your new album. What inspired you to create it and what is the main idea behind it?

David Tops: “Dirty Archives 2020-2021.wav” is me and Ryan Tapalaga’s very own rendition of classic 90s-infused underground rave music. The project features six tracks that we made throughout the last two years, along with two visualizers. The genres of this project are predominantly lo-fi house with hints of breakcore and jungle, and a uniquely psychedelic beat as the outro. This is our first collaborative project that is strictly electronic, and is essentially a personification and homage to some of the underground legends that we listened to and studied during our early years in college. The main thematic element that is consistent throughout this tape is the infusion of old television, which is also a key point of inspiration for the overall project (as per the album cover). As for the rest… I’ll leave that up for interpretation!

To check out David’s new project with Ryan Tapalaga & Belik use the link below to stream it on your platform of choice:

linktr.ee/belikmusic

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