Karhide, AKA Tim Waterfield, has been programming beats for as long as DJ Shadow – but where Josh Davis came from a background of hip hop culture and breakbeats, Tim’s electronic upbringing in the East Midlands was through the industrial-strength beats of Godflesh and Frontline Assembly. Cutting his teeth in the now-legendary ‘Big Black-but-one-louder’ Nottingham duo Ann Arbor, Tim has been refining and distilling a long lineage of electronica and guitar music for more than a decade, reaching his purest statement of intent with Karhide, more than twenty years since he picked up his first drum machine.
Karhide records take a blowtorch to the heavyweight guitars of Jesu and Pelican and fuse them to crushing beats and drifting electronica that increasingly take their cue from the most out-there explorations of Four Tet as much as the devastating beatwork of Squarepusher. What’s even more remarkable is that every instrument on the record is played by Tim (who only brings in the best drummers he can find to attempt to match his devilish programming) – and that he can pull this stuff off live too, with the precision of Slint and the chest-quaking volume of Jesu.
Years of playing alongside bands including Pitchshifter, Refused, The Get Up Kids, Karate, Oxbow and Fudge Tunnel have turned Tim – and Karhide – into a seasoned live outfit, easily outmatching most bands’ volume and intensity with his one-man show. There’s no need for vocals to get in the way when there’s intensity, power and stately melody running through every moment of a Karhide set.
As well as performing with Karhide, Tim runs the peerless Field Records label, ploughing a similar furrow of the best fusions of math-rock, post-rock and electronica with releases from the likes of Maybeshewill, Lafaro, Alright The Captain, Upcdownc and What The Blood Revealed. He’s also a renowned engineer and remixer picking up a reputation as the Steve Albini of the south coast, whose mobile recording studio has seen him go as far as converting an entire RNLI lifeboat station into a studio for one album he recorded recently.
8. MT. Desert