TF Spotlight: Tom Finster’s ‘Year Of I’ Album

We had a chat with the prodigious German producer about his journey so far, his debut album, his hometown’s influence on his music, and much more.

Drum & Bass as a genre has contrasting sides; one is the hard-hitting, in-your-face DnB, the other is the soothing and breezing form that is Liquid Drum & Bass. Some artists find the perfect balance between the sinister and the delicate, and Tom Finster is one of them. Growing up in a town close to the German- Czech border, Tom Finster would often be drawn to the dark and gloomy settings of the place. Eventually, his surroundings influenced him to make music to escape the doom and gloom.

This resulted in the producer dabbling around a number of styles before making drum & bass and halftime his primary genres. He made his first release in 2018, and after self-releasing music for a year, Tom Finster made his official debut a year later. Since then, the German producer has appeared on labels like NËU, VALE, Neosignal, Inspected, and DIVIDID. Along with originals, his remixing game includes remixes for Camo & Krooked, Apashe, and Rohaan.

Three years since his debut, Tom Finster has released his debut album called ‘Year of I’ on ABIS, IMANU’s & Lars Dingeman’s futuristic bass imprint, DIVIDID. The album is an introspective look at what Tom Finster has achieved so far as an artist, and we spoke with the man himself about the album, his journey, and lots more.

How and when did the Tom Finster journey begin?

Tom Finster: It began around my 30th birthday – a bit before, but the first important single was released on that day – “Let Me Have A Crisis“ – which was a reminder to myself to take some time off, when you need it. Tom Finster as a project that is very close to me personally. It’s my outlet for what moves me as a human being.

You’ve dabbled around a number of styles but what was the moment when you decided that Drum & Bass and halftime are your stand-out genres?

Tom Finster: Actually it was sort of a fuck you moment, like f*ck the mainstream, f*ck success, f*ck all of you. It was a weird time for me in life. And then it became fun and I really loved it. The rhythm of DnB is what drives me the most at the moment, but on my forthcoming album there’s quite a bit of non-DnB material.

You mentioned that the town that you grew up in had a huge influence on your music. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Tom Finster: I grew up in a small village surrounded by many trees and creeks and a lake and the feel of walking through that nature on your own, without anyone near, is what still holds an important space inside of me. To me it feels like a never ending chord and it’s what I chase many times, when I start writing a new song.

A debut album just 3 years after your debut on DIVIDID. What are your thoughts on the final outcome?

Tom Finster: Couldn’t have done it without the support of DIVIDID. And I don’t mean the music itself, but everything around it. They pushed me to deliver the best I can and I’m super proud of what we did, especially the Limited Edition, which will hold a 60 page book full of background information to the songs and lyrics and it’s beautifully designed. Can’t wait to show it to you, I will actually finish it today.

How long was the album in the works?

Tom Finster: Around 1.5 years of music, half a year the visual side. But many ideas for the songs are older than this and stuff I couldn’t let go of, but it took me a while to puzzle them all together and to find the courage to sing on them myself.

What are the genres you would like to make other than DnB and halftime?

Tom Finster: I would still love to do a pure ambient album, but there is no hurry. In general, I would describe my works as electronic urban. Since that has all the elements I have in my music.

What does your studio downtime look like?

Tom Finster: At the moment I don’t spend much time in the studio. I moved to a new city and was working  on all the visuals and that took much of my time – literally every free minute. So no hobbies this year. But I love to read and watch movies, or go for a walk. I stopped playing chess, since I couldn’t beat my buddy barking continues anymore.

5 tunes you are digging at the moment?

Tom Finster: Es brennt – so naiv sind wir nicht
Buunshin – I’m Okay
The Upbeats – We Don’t Lie
Hudson Lee – Blank Walls (Echo Map Remix)
IMANU- Pillow Talk

Listen to Tom Finster’s ‘Year Of I’ here:

Buy your copy of the album – HERE

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