Five years after the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album, Third Floor, Christian Tiger School have become one of the leading exporters of Cape Town-brewed electronica.
Already, Luc Veermeer and Sebastiano Zanasi have an appearance at Sónar, Barcelona lined up for 2017 (alongside synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, RP Boo, Anderson .Paak, and DJ Shadow) and the duo is also busy in studio, working on tracks for an EP to be released during the year.
A dominant presence on the South African music scene over the past five years, Christian Tiger School have effortlessly fashioned a sound and performance style that reflects Veermeer and Zanasi’s idiosyncratic tastes and personalities. Founded on a love of beats and experimentation, the duo’s recorded and live music takes its inspiration from the free-form approach that is most commonly aligned with jazz. Improvisation on drum pads, keyboards and controllers have seen the creation of an act that moves far beyond the confines of typical electronic performance – and in 2017 the duo will amplify an already acclaimed live show by touring with drummer Rueben Crowie.
In an interview with Red Bull Studio, Veermeer described the duo’s fluid songwriting style: “It depends how vivid the idea is – it starts from one idea or two and we just see where that idea takes us. It could be a melody with a certain drum pattern and we’ll be like ‘let’s see where this goes’. We won’t restrict ourselves to go a certain direction. So it’s good and bad, because sometimes it takes longer, but we just let it happen.”
The results of this can be heard on The Third Floor (Bombaada, 2012) and 2015’s Chrome Tapes which was released through Tommy Boy Entertainment. The American label also released the Chrome Tapes Premix EP featuring a trio of remixes by MNDSGN, Markus Wormstorm and Slugabed.
Veermeer and Zanasi’s signature genre-jumping electronica has earned the duo a slate of high-profile live performances over the past few years – including SXSW in Austin, Texas, Primavera in Spain, and CMJ in New York City – and support slots for Little Dragon, Hudson Mohawke, Daedelus and Young Fathers at home.
A growing number of collaborations include Okayplayer’s Player Xchange which saw Christian Tiger School matched with vocal veteran Bilal and Queen’s rap crew World’s Fair to create “Spanish Robin Williams”.
Flying Lotus, Black Coffee, Dorian Concept and Hudson Mohawke are just some of the artists who were selected to attend the annual Red Bull Music Academy. Every year, the academy chooses participants from over 50 countries to attend a two week workshop with some of the leading producers, musicians and music business personal. It is offered to emerging artists who show promise.
Veermeer and Zanasi are both RBMA alumni, with Zanasi attending in Paris 2015 and Veermeer in Montreal last year, making them the first act to attend.
2017 will see the duo perform a EU/UK tour surrounding Sonar as well as new music coming later this year.