Kicking off our new PBLA playlist series is long-time LA beat scene contributor and Point Blank instructor, Sweatson Klank. As well as teaching Music Production at Point Blank, Sweatson Klank, AKA Tom Wilson, has worked with the likes of Nike, Puma, Reebok and Ableton and the incredible artists Just Blaze, Flying Lotus, Kode9 and Little Dragon. Earlier this year the LA-native dropped his Fine Lines LP via the recently signed to Friends of Friends Music label. The record arrived as the final instalment of a year-long trilogy project which saw the artist delve into his personal life using a blend of moody soundscapes and giddy club tracks. Listen to Fine Lines and read our previous interview with Sweaston here.
In addition to curating an excellent playlist for us, the FoF’s affiliate spoke to us about his new imprint, Tone and Manor, the label’s most recently released PBLA student-featuring compilation, his playlist which includes gorgeous cuts from Ross From Friends, Mo Kolours, Phairo, and more. If you like curating playlists and showing off your secret dancefloor gems why not try one of our Radio or DJ courses.
Hit play to listen to part 1 of our PBLA Playlist and read on below to find out more about Sweatson Klank.
Could you tell us a little bit about the tracks on your PBLA playlist and why they made your selection?
The first 6 tracks on the playlist are on my label Tone and Manor and from our recently released All Over The Place Vol. 1 & 2 compilations. All 6 of them are past students of mine at PBLA and are now signed to the label. Really proud of these artists and how far they have come. The other 6 tracks are both old and new songs I’m currently listening to. I think when you listen to the playlist you can get a vibe for where my head is at musically. I like music that evokes emotion and soul.
How’s 2018 been going so far?
Its been a great and very busy year! I released a full length on Friends of Friends Music, did some touring, launched my label Tone & Manor and dropped our first 2 releases. All this while still managing to teach at Point Blank LA.
We saw you’ve been working with Friends of Friends Music. Could you tell us a bit about how you hooked up with them?
Leeor who runs the label and I go way back. He’s been releasing incredible forward-thinking music since the early days of the LA beat scene. He has always been releasing music that stands out and is honest. No gimmicks. To be honest, it was a perfect fit for me label wise. We have similar ideas and we completely vibe. In fact, he’s been a mentor to me in helping me launch my own label. Friends of Friends is like family and I am grateful to release music on what I consider a legendary imprint.
Earlier this year you released your Fine Lines LP and announced plans for a new beat tape. How is that coming along?
The beat tape has turned into an album! I’m beyond excited to share it. It’s me going back to the roots of why I started making music. I think it will be my most honest, mature and understated musical statement to date. The record is very warm and mostly analog and is filled with samples, live instruments, analog synths and drum machines. It should be out early 2019. I’ll keep everyone posted on that!
You just dropped the first compilation on your new Tone and Manor imprint. How did this come together? All the tracks are ultra-woozy, was there a concept behind the record?
Tone and Manor has been in the works for over a year now. In fact, we just dropped our compilations All Over The Place Vol. 1 & 2. The mission is just to release great music, regardless of genre. The idea was to start the label off by releasing a set of compilations by various artists who we plan to work with over the next year. I curated the compilations and wanted them to play through like albums so there is a really consistent vibe throughout both volumes. The tempos and styles vary but it all feels very consistent to me.
Could you tell us a little bit about how the new label came to fruition?
Being a music lover, producer and an instructor I hear so much great music. I started the label as a way to release some of this incredible music I am continuously exposed to, whether it’s by friends or by students. It’s really a natural next step for me – DJ/producer and now label owner. It feels right to take charge and start releasing music I love, curate a brand and build a catalog.
Has working at Point Blank, and collaborating with students, had an impact on the direction the label is headed, the music it’s likely to release and the label itself?
Working at Point Blank I mentor many students. Every term I get to help students learn production and it’s fascinating to see where they go musically from there. I’m not sure that it’s influenced the sound of the label but I would say that it has influenced the way I listen to music. I keep an open mind. I hear a student who has some great ideas and I help them express themselves musically, It’s a symbiotic relationship and has been quite rewarding. When I started out, I didn’t have too many people showing me the ropes. It feels nice to be able to help guide upcoming artists in a good direction and watch them grow.
For more from Tone and Manor, follow their socials below.
If you want to hear more from the Tone and Manor label honcho he will be proving a beat-making Q&A at our December PBLA Open House. This will give you the chance to explore the facilities the school has to offer, get some tips and tricks from a beat-scene veteran and be in for a chance to win a free copy of Komplete 12. Be sure to RSVP here to reserve your spot!
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