Many were introduced to Queensland musician and beatboxer Tom Thum when his TedX talk ‘Beatbox brilliance’ was uploaded back in 2013. The video, which sees Thum creating impressive beats and sounds with nothing more than a voice and a microphone, has been seen by around 70 million people (!) since it was first posted, and currently holds the record for the most viewed Tedx talk. Years on, it’s still a pretty wild clip, and strongly recommended watching whether or not you’re a fan of beatboxing.
Today, we’re premiering Thum’s new EP Rachet Face and, as you might expect, it’s made up entirely of the human voice (save for a few finger snaps here and there). Darting between aggressive, high-octane numbers such as the title track to soulful, chill beats on ‘Revelations’ and ‘Conceited’, Thum covers a pretty big range of musical territory, particularly considering the limited range of source materials, pairing inventive beats with crisp production.
“This EP was my first foray into fleshing out the sound of my all vocal production,” says Thum about making Rachet Face.
“Going from mostly raw, all-natural vocals and then experimenting with re-pitching and distorting certain frequencies opened my mind to just how much of a full sound I could achieve. I then gave everything to Cam Bluff, who did wonders in transforming my face noises into bass noises.”
To coincide with the release of Rachet Face, Thum has released ‘Crowd Sauce’, a social experiment in which 400 people submitted videos to Thum, who then played something of a mad scientist with the sounds sent in, producing a new track.
“‘Crowd Sauce’ was a six week, twelve-hour days type of experience and by far one of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever worked on. The song was crowdsourced from my Instagram followers and was open to absolutely anyone and everyone,” said Thum. “Stepping back from the creation, it was so nice to see my audience so engaged with something we are all part of and to have something we’ve all created together.”
Stream Ratchet Face below. Thum will be performing at Sprout Festival in Far North Queensland from this Friday, 30th August to Sunday, 1st September. Cop details and tickets here.