The players: Carlos Ernest Moreno
Hometown: Carpinteria, CA
Sounds like: Wistfully naturalistic beats
Kindred spirits: Clams Casino, Dntel, Balam Acab
Did you have other project names before you settled on swordthrume? I had plenty of other project names before I came up with the one I have now. I don’t want to name them, though — they were all really bad.
If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be? I don’t think I have my own sound yet. A lot of my beats are sonically all over the place because I like experimenting with different sounds, and I’ve only been making music for two years.
What was the first album you purchased? The first CD I purchased was Monk. by Thelonious Monk. I was just starting to get into jazz, and I liked the album cover, so I bought it.
What was the first concert you attended? My parents brought me and my brother to a concert in Hawai‘i when we were like 4 or 5. My dad was friends with an artist called Willie K at the time, so we went to go see him when he played.
Was there a band/artist that made you want to pursue music? There really wasn’t really one single artist that inspired me to want to make music. I can say that when I first started making beats, I kept Nujabes in mind because he did a lot of sampled stuff, and most of the tracks I initially made were sample-based. I wanted to re-create that feeling that he captured through his music.
What’s the last song that made you cry? “Lift Him Up” by Washington Phillips.
If we went through your music collection, what’s the strangest thing we’d find? Probably this album called COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres by a jazz musician named Matana Roberts. It’s a really jarring record, but it’s very rewarding if you’re patient with it.
If you could write a song with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Jun Seba aka Nujabes
What’s one song you wish you had written? “Avril 14th” by Aphex Twin
Favorite album of 2014 (so far)? My favorite album so far is Niggas on the Moon by Death Grips.
Listen now: “The Tangerine Tree”