We heard some of the older kids at school bandying about the term ‘Chillwave’. So in the spirit of curious youth we asked Oxford based Chad Valley what exactly a chillwave is and where we could score some. He wasn’t too sure about it either; which is appropriate because he is far too nice to be selling drugs to children – economic sense as it does make. However he is taking his dreamy pop up and around the country with The Mountain Goats amongst others. We caught him (and washed our garmz) before he played little shingdig at a Hackney launderette. FYI for any promoters out there, my nan’s garage is going too if you are running out of places for gigs. One catch though – it’s proper shit.
London’s the greatest city in the world right?
I ask that to everyone they always say no.
Well, yeah… to be fair I have not been to a lot cities, so I don’t know. I have been to the continent but not much elsewhere. Actually I have been to Istanbul, I liked that.
Yeah I was going to say, big in Turkey, what music do they listen to?
They have a great music scene there! They love their psychedelic music. In Turkey generally, there’s a culture for really weird music.
And now you’re playing a launderette, thoughts?
I like it a lot, I have heard of a few other things happening. I think it’s a great idea, I love the idea of gigs in different venues because most venues are really shit. Most small venues are just shit (laughs). I like medium sized venues. I don’t know, the whole small sized venue circuit is just really…bad.
Well your playing the Kentish Town Forum for new years, that’s pretty big.
That’s a whole different story as well, because they are like so cavernous. You play a note and it lasts for thirty seconds.
You’re playing that with Foals too, old friends?
Yeah there’s a whole Oxford scene happening with them, myself and my other band Jonquil (they’re good, truss’) it’s an exciting time for the Oxford music scene. It’s strange, because it’s so small. It’s definitely smaller then Hackney, it’s like a really small place in London. And people don’t really partake that much, they just tend to get on with their lives.
I see everyone is calling you Chillwave, what is this. What are you?
(laughs) Well it’s a pretty silly term itself, in terms of what it means. It’s like any term you put on on music – it’s completely redundant. Especially chillwave because they apply to it everywhere in the world. People in America, people in the Far East, as if it’s a movement, when it isn’t.
It’s just people making music.
Yeah, definitely. People just sound like others coincidently. I don’t know what it is to be honest, personally I’m getting into 80’s music, like funk though, in what I’m sampling. That lo-fi sound.
Is that the new sound then, lo fi? You’re pretty lo fi as it is.
I’m trying to up the fi. I think guitar bands should be recording well, you shouldn’t record guitars with a fucking desk mic. I think you should get a fucking awesome studio for guitar bands. It’s really interesting, that when I was starting it off, it was focused towards the techie side, like Warp records with Apex Twin. I would have never guessed that it would curve towards the other extreme, of making it sound old.
It’s a trend thing. You seem to be quite detached from all that. You’re your own man.
I think that’s what I like about coming from Oxford, that you are detached. I think London is amazing, but it’s nice to have that outside perspective.
By the way, is you’re real name Hugo Manuel?
That’s a fucking awesome name.You sound like a bad guy from Lethal Weapon, why didn’t you keep that?
(laughs) It’s because no-one ever pronounces the Manuel bit right, people pronounce it MAN-WELL, and also it’s a really popular Portuguese name. When I played Portugal, people kept asking if I was…but I might have to anyway. It’s (Chad Valley) the name of a toy company, that started in Victorian times.
Yeah but if you do then some Columbian Drug Lord might come out of the woodworks and sue.
DUN NOE BAAT’ THE IMAGES/PHOTOS BY: CURTLY THOMAS