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The Deli's Featured Artist of the Month: Tadoma

- by The Deli Staff

The first time that we crossed paths with Tadoma a.k.a. Joe Patitucci was when he became the last minute addition to Arc In Round’s Diagonal Fields EP Release Party (a show that The Deli happened to be presenting). He replaced Post Post who were originally scheduled on the bill, but abruptly broke up. As you’ll read in this interview, Patitucci shares his most memorable show which was a performance at Johnny Brenda’s on more of a rock lineup where he won over the crowd with his ambient electronica. “At the end when I was fading out the last note, I looked up to see everyone in the house focused on the stage. When I faded out, you could hear a pin drop in the place until I raised my hand to say thanks at which point there was a rush of cheering.” That was pretty much our reaction and what happened in the room on the night of the release party which is partly why we nominated him for our poll. Check out our interview with Patitucci below where we learn a lot of interesting things about the man and his music as well as his ability to sing Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” word for word - really.

The Deli: What made you start producing music?

Joe Patitucci: I grew up in a musical family and played in bands around Philly forever so producing my own music was just a natural progression. In 2006, I bought a house at which point having neighbors hate me for kick drums knocking picture frames off their walls wasn't an option. Producing my own music allows me to keep control of the volume and do things on my own terms without having to worry about other people's schedules. It's pretty liberating.

TD: Where did the moniker Tadoma come from?

JP: Tadoma is a form of communication whereby a deaf-blind person feels the movement of lips and vibrations in the vocal cords of someone who is speaking. That idea really struck me in terms of it being so hands-on with sound. Music is a form of communication and while nobody's holding my face to hear my ideas, I am producing electronic music in [a] way that's very hands-on. It's important to me that electronic music be performed live and if you see my show there's no doubt that I'm active. The idea of Tadoma, in my mind, just kind of fits what I do and having that name on my music helps keep me true to the idea of actually performing electronic music live with my hands.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

JP: A lot of the music I find myself most influenced by are bands my friends introduced me to after hearing commonalities with my music, so at a certain point I have no idea. I'm really into a lot of the spacier end of 70s krautrock. The first two Kraftwerk albums, Harmonia, Cluster, Popol Vuh. I also really like music that communicates a sense of place, space and time. Bands like Labradford, Stars of the Lid, Oneohtrix Point Never, late 70s-early 80s Brian Eno, Boards of Canada and the first two Bibio albums do that really well. And in terms of production techniques, I'm really interested in what people like Flying Lotus, Four Tet and Gold Panda are doing right now.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

JP: I've been listening to this guy, Lone, constantly for the last three years or so. His stuff just never gets old. He could take a 3 second Marvin Gaye sample and warp it into a really soulful fuzzy Boards of Canada sounding track forever and I'd never complain. Locally, I've been listening to a lot of Buffalo Stance. There's so much feeling that comes through that music, and they're just incredible live. I've had a sneak peek at Arc In Round's soon to be released album too, and it sounds huge so I'm digging on that. Also, Cheap Dinosaurs have been blowing my mind since I first heard them about a year ago.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

JP: It's tough to say the first concert I attended because when I was little, my dad was big on the jazz scene in NYC, and I'd always be the 2 year old at the club falling asleep on my mom's lap while dudes were blaring the jams. I remember seeing a 90 year old Art Blakey at one point, maybe Herbie Hancock or Dizzy Gillespie? It's all a blur.

The first concert I chose to go to on my own was Radiohead in 1995 on The Bends tour at the TLA. That was a total spiritual experience for me being in high school, obsessed with that band and getting to meet them afterwards.

The first album I ever bought is a little more embarrassing, but I'll totally own up to it. Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl. The sounds on that album are horrendous, but the catchiness of the pop holds up. I can still sing "Straight Up" word for word beginning to end, and I'll never be able to erase that from my memory. Gotta admire that on a certain level.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

JP: It's really walkable and on a human scale. It's pretty easy to get around, and I can't go anywhere without running into people I love. Also, every time I start feeling like I've been here too long and it's starting to get small, I find a new group of people that I never knew existed doing awesome things. In that way, I feel like it's the perfect size.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

JP: Sweatpants, littering, and poor pedestrian etiquette.

TD: What are your plans for 2011?

JP: 2011 has a lot going on. I'm currently finishing up a remix of an Arc in Round track that will be ready for when their album comes out. Later in the month, I'm flying out to Portland and doing some shows in the Pacific Northwest through the first week in May. After that, I'll be focusing a little more on this label I'm starting with my good friend Alex Tyson, called DataGarden. That will be launching late Spring to early Summer with the release of Alex's first Ray and the Prisms album. While all of that's happening, I have about three more EPs that I need to finish up, so hopefully I'll find time to finish them this summer and then play some more shows.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

JP: It’s hard to say. I think the first time I played Johnny Brenda's on a show with more of a rock lineup. My music is really chill and develops pretty slowly, so I was kind of expecting people to be filing in talking at the bar and what not. I played the whole show with my eyes focused on my instruments and didn't look up. At the end when I was fading out the last note, I looked up to see everyone in the house focused on the stage. When I faded out, you could hear a pin drop in the place until I raised my hand to say thanks at which point there was a rush of cheering. I wasn't expecting that at all but it's turned out to be par for the course. Lesson learned. People want to chill the fuck out.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

JP: Pickles.

 

 

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