Andrew G. Thompson a.k.a. AyGeeTee is a solo electronic musician from London whose albums are available through the AmDiscs Label.
Self Portrait by AyGeeTee
When did you get started writing and playing your own music?
I always loved music although I’m not from a particularly musical family. I learnt guitar when I was a kid but gave up formal lessons and then just taught myself. Then, I didn’t play again until very recently. I was making music with samples, beats, and synths and figured I should really add the one instrument I actually knew how to play. So, I used to play guitar live along with keyboard and sample pads, etc., but it was just too much to do, too much like a one-man band thing. So, at the moment, I am freed up without it.
Overall, do you prefer writing music or performing live?
I definitely prefer writing and producing (the two kind of happen simultaneously) to performing live but I’m getting more into it. It’s just that rehearsing takes up time that I’d much rather use for creating.
How many releases do you have available now?
I have three releases through Amdiscs (amdiscs.com/ ) and one other as Actress Pets. I also have one released through Sweat Lodge Guru and a number of other things on my bandcamp page (http://aygeetee.bandcamp.com/). I’m always releasing tests, demos, sketches and other stuff on my soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/agt01). I have lots of other projects on the horizon. Next up is a release as AyGeeTee and another alter-ego ‘Turner Tina’ through a new label Suji.co, plus possibly something with new UK label WoeTone (subsidiary of Svetlana Industries) but that’s been in the pipeline for long time and I’m not sure if it will ever see the light of day.
What were and are some of your musical inspirations?
As a kid I got really obsessed with things like New Order, something like Power, Corruption and Lies. I still love it, it has an incredibly innocent feel to it. But I was and always have been/will be into a huge array of different things from classical to afrobeat, ambient to funk, etc. I don’t see the point in narrowing it down. There are different things for different times. Although sometimes I focus on one thing. For instance at the beginning of the summer I didn’t want to listen to anything but house orientated stuff, and though I am still into it I have eased up a little.
What inspires your music currently?
I made a few films when I was younger and that was originally the direction I wanted to go, but it didn’t really work out and the whole thing ended up being more like a terrible chore. But films have a huge influence on my music. It’s not just the film soundtracks but more the whole sound design of films that I love. I love the abrupt cutting and abstract, almost comical, chopping (kind of like proto hip-hop!) of French New Wave films, Godard in particular. But my favorite use of sound is by Nic Roeg. In almost all his films, Don’t Look Now, Walkabout, and Eureka in particular, he uses sound in incredibly disconcerting and unsettling ways, which really adds to the haunting feel of these films.
All time, all place is potentially relevant and inspirational to me. I guess the landscape that is the inside of my mind is probably the most prevalent to my music.
For this issue I’m asking a lot of people if they have had any experiences with ghosts. Have you ever encountered something that you thought was a ghost?
I’ve had a number of experiences of ghosts or supernatural experiences, whatever you want to call them. The purest physical manifestation I encountered would have been when I was studying the writings of Virginia Woolf at college, a brilliant but actually kind of scary lady. I loved her work and was talking about her depression and eventual suicide with a friend when the hands of the clock in my room started spinning rapidly and totally out of control. It went on for about thirty seconds and then, abruptly, the clock stopped. There was a definite and strong presence of something else there in the room long after that, and I was very reluctant to sleep there for a while but it never happened again (or anything similar—I guess she’d done her bit).
Exclusive new track “The Rules of Truth” by AyGeeTee.
To hear AyGeeTee:
Interview by Emma Kathan