A Valley boy’s Euro vision
t can be tempting to draw parallels between a piece of music and the environment in which it was created. But Scott Gilmore, prisoner of LA’s endless suburban sprawl, suggests that approach can be misleading.
“I do not find this environment to be inspiring,” he states unequivocally, of his San Fernando Valley home. “Many days I’d like to go into the city and be stimulated by something unexpected, or go into nature to relax, but the sheer distance keeps me in the studio.”
There, he employs vintage synthesisers and gently twanged guitars to embark on voyages of the imagination. A key track on his debut album Subtle Vertigo is “Europe”, written before he’d ever visited that continent. “While recording it, my mind was filled with daydreams of rolling hills, rivers and a cabin off in the woods with electronic musical instruments.” Naturally, Cluster are a big influence, along with Eno, Kraftwerk, Stereolab and “Bach’s use of polyphony”.
Gilmore has since travelled to Iceland, Germany and Romania, although he’s returned to the Valley – a place he finds, if not inspirational, then at least motivational. “The title of the album refers to this sense of unease that I experience living in a vast suburb, and it is this experience that pushes me back to the studio where I find joy in the act of creation.”