Marley Carroll is on an electronic theme of his own.
His passion for nature and the universe runs beyond track titles; interweaving his physical environment with this spiritual thought process.
Where did all this passion to connect to nature and music derive from?
My personality really. I’m an introspective person. I’m fascinated by the natural world. Nature is always humming in the background and it keeps me connected to the world; not feeling so isolated all the time. Living in Western North Carolina, I love the forest/mountain region. Nature landscape feeds the soul. It’s good for music making even though sometimes it works against me via isolation. My first album is named after a breed of jellyfish, Melanaster. My third album is about birds Flight Patterns. The bird theme started out of my home studio where crow hang out outside of my studio and cause a racket. I noticed that they recognize me, coming and going. I want to learn all the birdcalls within my neighborhood. I’m fascinated with them. Being in nature has a lot to do with awareness of things that happen all around you all the time. You don’t have to see them behind a cage or glass. The ocean was my first inspiration. I remember going to the aquarium with my mother and grandmother and seeing jellyfish for the first time. The ocean is still mostly unexplored and is the biggest domain on our planet. We have no idea what’s down there
How do you capture these sounds?
Field recording with iPhone 7. Nothing too tech about it. The iPhone does really well for capturing ambient recordings. I’ll be anywhere and find inspiration. A few days ago, this Mockingbird was alone in this Maple tree just going on and on. He was like ‘check out what I can do’ because that’s what Mockingbirds do. I’m big on capturing these moments, within the moment.
Were you always interested in electronic music?
My journey probably started with turntables and drums back in school. I fell in love with hip-hop and that lead me into electronic music. When I was 15, I saw the Beat Junkies perform a 5 man turntable sort of assembly. That lit a spark in me and I was rhythmically minded. Not many people can scratch and that’s how I can stand apart as a performer. My live rig is a turntable, a mixer, and Serato. Now it’s common to have the light laptop but turntables are iconic and don’t break. Essentially, [the turntable] is my instrument.
How did you become part of the Loci Records family
I worked with a manager that moved to Portland where Loci is headquartered. She played my music and Doug (Emancipator/Loci Records Founder) loved it. Loci is Doug’s passion project and he’s the biggest name on the label. Yet he has the resources to provide others a platform. As a label it is well curated. This is the first time I’ve put out a full length album through curation and developed trust. We’ve become really good friends and I’m grateful for it. He brought me on my first tours and I’ve learned a lot through him. I’m accustomed to a 400 venue capacity. Compared to style, I’m a bit mellower. Performing at bigger venues and festivals has given me an opportunity to scale up my music and become more confident. Now I’m excited to play shows and it’s something I enjoy doing.
What brought you to Asheville?
My older sister went to school here and growing up I would visit her. Right around the time Band of Horses’ album Cease to Begin came outI was living in Los Angeles. I had read that it was recorded in Echo Mountain. I had a degree in Music Technology from CalArts and I wasn’t really feeling L.A.I love Asheville, I don’t really know what to say about the influx here. It’s a bit of a struggle. it happens to any place that is cool and artsy that people want to come to. I’m trying to figure out how to live in harmony with the way things are here. But I’m not ready to move yet.
Do you plan on combining your awareness of the environment through your music?
There are some organizations that I want to work with in the future. However, right now my role is to get people to think about the connection of the natural world with the modern world and what it is going to look in the future. It’s an uncertain future and those themes are engrained in Flight Patterns. One way of reacting to an uncertain future idea is to zoom out and try to get a perspective of the history of the planet as a whole. It helps to interrupt the constant state of anxiety and not fear the future. Even with music making, this is a role that I can play and it’s not harmful. It’s really hard to find a calling in life that is not contributing to the problem. I recognize that this is a serious time but I still believe that music is compatible enough to share what kind of experiences I want in the world. Zoom out to remember that you’re apart of a much bigger story.
What does music mean to you?
Music gives a shape in my life. I can do it professionally and, more importantly that fulfills a deep meaning in life. I’ve held so many jobs; therefore, I’m mindful of the privilege of being able to do music as a career. The reason I fell in love with music in the first place is because of its real profound experiences. I’m glad that I can give me something that I can pour my life into, I have a purpose. My story is having early opportunities and questioning if I could have the resources. Getting hooked up with Loci gave me a second stage. Now I can do it right and apply all the lessons I’ve learned and make the most out of the opportunities.