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San Francisco-based producer Giraffage (Charlie Yin), whose dreamy synth-pop productions have appointed him as one of electronic music’s most refreshing and innovative producers among the landscape, takes a sonic leap forward with his forthcoming record Too Real, out this October on Counter Records.
Yin grew up in San Jose, California to two Taiwanese immigrants and was raised in a traditional Asian upbringing. A self described “music nerd since day one,” his initial interest grew into something larger after his parents bought him a drumset in eighth grade. “I was always the one passing music suggestions to my friends”, he says, “and the more time I spent working on music the more I knew that’s all I really wanted to do.” His wide range of musical knowledge acted as a launching pad for his own productions, which he began making on a now defunct software program called Tabit. From there he began posting songs online and started gaining traction among online music communities. He quickly advanced to more sophisticated programs and after a handful of releases under the moniker ‘Robot Science’, he introduced Giraffage midway through his final year in college with his self-released synth-pop debut mixtape, Comfort. By the time he graduated in 2012, he was regularly playing shows across the globe.
“I didn’t have any high hopes for the Giraffage project,” he recalls of his early days diving into music full time. Like many American kids born to immigrants, his parents disapproved of a career in music and hoped he would pursue a more auspicious path in law or medicine. “They told me I could give it a year after graduation and if nothing came of it then I needed to reassess my plans.” Lucky for Yin, his success raced ahead at lightspeed following his 2013 Needs mixtape, a release that showcased his versatility as a producer and “omnivorous music lover,” as noted by Pitchfork. It wasn’t until his world tour supporting Porter Robinson-- an experience he considers one of the most pivotal points in his career-- that he was able to see the panorama of his rapidly growing fan base. He continued touring with names like Phantogram, Flume, XXYYXX, and dropped his No Reason EP with Fool’s Gold in 2014-- his first release that featured all sample-free productions.
For the last year and a half, Giraffage has continued to tour and play major international festivals while writing his forthcoming LP Too Real. The album, which takes sonic and stylistic cues from such groundbreaking acts as Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono, Soichi Terada, Interpol, and Radiohead, “is a return to my musical interests and roots,” he explains. Indeed, Too Real, sounds like just that-- an authentic return to the music he’s believed in from the start.