Little People shares what songs helped influence him [TMN EXCLUSIVE]

Most of the time, we can hear slight nuances of influences in an artist’s work, but we never really know the full breadth of what got them to where they are today. With that in mind, we’ve asked our Resident Artist to share five tracks that influenced him when he was just starting music, and five tracks that currently inspire him today.

What Inspired Me When I First Started Making Music

Method Man – “Bring the Pain”

This was my first Wu-Tang experience. I heard it in a skateboarding video. It just didn’t sound like the hip hop i’d been listening up til then. More than any other, the Wu-tang clan made me want to try and make my own hip hop beats.

Gangstarr – “Full Clip”

Dj Premier was and is a big influence as a hip hop producer. Just listen to his drums. I wish my drums hit like that. He got me into chopping up my samples and generally being more creative with my sampler.

DJ Krush – “Duality” (feat. DJ Shadow)

This is how i discovered DJ Shadow. I’d heard DJ krush on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide show and got the album. Duality is a peculiar collab. You can clearly hear the first part was made by DJ Krush and the second was DJ Shadow (those drums at the end are amazing). On the strength of that song i bought Endtroducing in the shop without even listening to it. Oh boy i still remember listening to ‘Building steam with a grain of salt’ for the first time… amazing.

Photek – Hidden Camera

I heard this in bed in the middle of the night on the radio… Blew my mind. Those drums are ridiculous. Even to this day. I never went on to make any drum and bass type music, but it was all around me when i went to University in Manchester in Enlgand. Some of that bled through into what i do i think.

Gwen McCrae – “All This Love I’m Giving”

One of the best things hip hop gave me, was the curiosity to dig up all the original samples used in all these great tracks i’d. I often found that the original songs were actually better! Gwen McCrae song wasn’t actually sampled by any hip hop i knew, but my french house outfit Cassius. Whilst French house had some influence on me, my dance music of choice when i was at university was Soul and Funk. This song is so good. It has the added bonus of having a synth bassline. I always drop this in DJ sets.

What Inspires Me Now

David Axelrod – “The Dr. And The Diamond”

David Axelrod’s catalogue is ridiculous. So many samples were lifted from his work. His sonic palette is great – its drums, piano, strings, horns etc – and can be very cinematic. I’ve taken a lot from his arrangements. My next album contains an homage of sorts to him.

Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
I’ve listened to a lot of Steve Reich over the past few years. It’s so compelling. I love the clinical nature of the performance. He’s my favourite minimalist composer for sure.

Floating points – “Sais”
Floating Points has been a huge influence over the past few years. I love his jittery drums and how the track builds and progresses. It’s brainy dance music at its best.

Four Tet – “Lion” (Jamie XX remix)
Since Jamie XX is all the rage these days, thought i should name drop him. The beauty in this track is the space he allows for all the elements. Nothing is rushed. It’s amazing.

Jon Hopkins – “Breathe This Air”
Graceful and beautiful yet gritty and muscular all at once. I want to make this music…

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Little People Discusses New Album, Working in Coffee Shops, and The Need for More Lasers [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Youth & Progress Pt. 2
Presented By Jiberish

As we wind down our month-long feature with Little People, we’re anxious to bring you an in-depth look at not only the moniker, but the man behind the rich, textural, electronic music that so many have come to know and love.

We know you’re probably at work right now, but we feel like you deserve a 10-minute break to get caught up on what’s around the corner for Mr. Laurent Clerc.

TMN: Hey Laurent. Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to answer some questions for us. We’re really excited to have you as our Resident Artist for June!

LP: Well I’m very excited too. Thanks for having me. I’ve had the pleasure to meet you guys in person several times whenever I’ve played in Colorado. It’s always great connecting with such genuine and nice people like yourselves.

TMN: Alright, it’s been nearly two years since we last spoke, back at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, Colorado. Back then, you were making the voyage to and from the UK to the states quite often. You’ve since moved, correct?

LP: That is indeed correct. I moved to Portland, OR in August last year – with my wife and my 4-year-old twins. The Pacific Northwest is a very special place – it’s been amazing so far.

TMN: What was it that finally made you pull the trigger on moving out here? Was it the touring schedule? The need to have your family closer? Combination of both?

LP: Me coming over to the US to play shows – and staying here for extended periods – has not been easy on all of us. So moving to the US was a means of all of us being closer together whilst I play shows in the US. It also meant that it made it possible for me to play one-off shows and festivals throughout the year – so it has given me more opportunities to play live. If you are coming over from the UK, the onus is on cramming as many dates in a short period of time. I wanted to get away from that for a little bit.

Continue reading

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Emancipator – Afterglow (Little People Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

Afterglow (Little People Remix)

As we continue our month-long highlight on Little People, we’ve come to what we’ve been anxious about since we first landed him as our Resident Artist. That’s right, we’re simply beaming to bring you an exclusive first listen to his contribution to Emancipator’s Dusk To Dawn Remix LP. That LP name may already ring a bell for you, as we just posted Odesza’s interpretation of “Eve II” last week. Today though, it’s all about this take of the sublimely rich and textural “Afterglow.”

Once again focused around a break beat backbone, Little People walks us into a layered and luscious downtempo remix. With alternating chimes, bells, and clicking hands of a clock, we’re submerged into an enveloping soundscape which is all too easy to get helplessly and blissfully lost within.

Dusk To Dawn Remixes is out via Emancipator’s own Loci Records on July 8th. Aside from our main man Little People, you can also find 10 more new interpretations, including one from the virtually unknown NKLA, who was hand-picked in Emancipator’s contest last month.

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Introducing our Resident Artist for June: Little People

little people
Start Shootin'

It’s safe to say that we’re full-on Little People fanboys and girls over here at TMN. Our first listen through Mickey Mouse Operation all those years ago lead us down a path filled with glee-filled, full-album sessions, stopping only when someone painfully interrupted that start-to-finish experience.

If you’re not familiar with this inventive artist, we’re going to do our damnedest to try and get you acquainted over the next month, starting with today.

People are often surprised when they find out Laurent Clerc, aka Little People, grew up in the Swiss Alps. With a style stemming from an early adoration of hip hop, it’s not easy to fathom a vast selection being available in that part of the world. No matter how it happened though, it did, and it laid the foundation for the glorious instrumental electronic music we’ve come to know and love from him.

Now focused on organic instrumentation, Clerc’s music has come to be an ingenious combination of warm synths, intricate melodies, string arrangements, and well-articulated samples.

We don’t want to lead you too far in today though. We’re planning on saving some of our insight for our upcoming interview with him. Until then, start by watching one of our favorite videos of all time, followed by a deep dive into his SoundCloud.

Little People – Aldgate Patterns (official video) from littlepeoplemusic on Vimeo.

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[Concert Review] Little People-The Larimer Lounge, Denver

little people
For Rosie DJ mix

I’ve been a fan of Little People for quite some time now: readers may remember my review of the artist’s latest album We Are But Hunks of Wood (

I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to do a live performance write up of the artist, but to be fair to the reader, I’m not a huge fan of the proverbial on-stage DJ. It’s not really my scene as I tend to prefer the more head banging, guitar slamming variety of on-stage performance. I typically save my electronica for home.

It was with this sensibility in mind that I donned my Neurosis band tee shirt before heading to the show: an invitation for Little People to impress a diehard metal fan. In the few DJ shows I’ve seen, I’ve never spontaneously started dancing. I’m adverse to even the thought of it.

I spontaneously started dancing at this performance. I just couldn’t help it.

Little People took the stage in an unassuming tee shirt and jeans and promptly got to work. And it was work. This guy is one of the hardest working DJs out there, I’m convinced. He immediately dropped some up-tempo beats, faster than his albums it seemed, and began weaving some of his signature piano licks from Basique, Moon and Start Shootin’ into the faster tunes. I was impressed at the following he had there and the hoots of pleasure as each piano lick trickled over the speakers.

His new album made some appearances as well, Marzipan Children, Aldgate Patterns, and Eminence Grise were present along with others, sometimes tweaked and often juxtaposed between other songs. At one point, Little People was flipping back and forth between four songs, matching beats perfectly, never losing any of the impact of the songs. How could you not dance to that!? It was a great show and a great time.

On a side note, I had the great privilege of sitting in on the interview between the Little People (Laurent Clerk) and The Music Ninja. Not only did I like the Clerc’s reverence for the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, I enjoyed the artist’s down to earth, shy and somewhat overwhelmed responses to his own popularity. The indie music industry is full of prima donnas, appropriately! It’s nice to see someone who is aware of his talent but isn’t personally defined by it. Check out Little People. Very worth it!

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