Dreamy Times with LomoAmigo Chad Valley

Dream-pop musician, Chad Valley, took some time to document a few moments out of his life with the La Sardina before checking in with us to tell uswhat he's been up to. Based in Oxford, he's unveiled several stunning releases over the past few years with a dreamy aesthetic sweeping over his sound and imagery. He will be playing live at our Live Friday event this Friday, July 26th at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Before checking him out there, check him out here...

A little bit dream-pop, a little bit throw-back, Hugo Manuel – alias Chad Valley- has tapped into a timeless style that has has me swooning and thinking about high school dances of yore. You know, like when they turn on the smoke machine and there are just a few couples on the dance floor because no one knows who to ask to dance, so you just sort of sway in your spot? Like that.

Maybe it’s best to let Chad Valley and his music speak for themselves…

Your name is Hugo Manuel and you work under the name Chad Valley—what do people call you? Is there a special significance to your Chad Valley alias?
People call me Hugo, its the name I’ve had for 27 years now, so its kinda stuck. The only people who call me Chad are people who think its my real name, and I’m down with this – its nice to take on a new identity and be this other person for a while. That was the main motivation for choosing an alias that sounded like a person’s name. I wanted to step out of being Hugo Manuel and be able to ignore myself as I made this music. I think it helped.

You have a very dreamy sound and aesthetic. What are some of your biggest visual/musical influences?
Dreamy is the best word. I love the idea that music can sound like a dream; that it can have that lucid, otherworldly feel to it. Visually I think its hard to really get influenced visually by music. Its pretty bullshit when someone says that they are. I sometimes have an image in my head, like say the image of a an 80s Madonna-type girl cutting a rug on the dance floor, but these images are informed by music firstly. So its not like a see a beautiful mountain and think to myself ‘I want to write a song now’. Musically, there is a huge list of influences. I’ve been a very fickle music fan throughout my life and I’ve gone through lots of different phases. So I could claim that Godspeed, Queen, Hall & Oates, Richie Hawtin and Terry Riley have all had a huge influence on my music, although it wouldn’t show.

A lot of your album art and press photos look like they were shot on film. Is that the case?
Yeah when the offer of being shot on film is offered to me I always jump at it. Its a lot like (well, exactly like) the battle between digital synthesis and analogue – the analogue always has a warm human connection that you lose with digital, but digital can do things that analogue can’t. When it comes to synths I always stand up for digital because that was the first synthesis I learnt and I love the tinny, crystal sound. But when it comes to photography I pretty much always opt for film

I’m probably going to embed a Soundcloud song around here—which song do you wish I’d feature from you and why?
I’d like to see Manimals. Its the last track on Young Hunger so I think it gets a little overlooked.

You have quite a few music projects going on at any one time (Jonquil, Chad Valley and Blessing Force). How does that affect your work and artistry?
I like to keep myself busy and I just hate saying no, so I’ve ended up with a lot on my plate! It means I have to constantly work and I don’t know whether that is detrimental, but I am happy with where I am at the moment. Jonquil is my baby that I’ve been with for 7 years now and everything that I’ve learnt about being in a band, being creative and being savvy with the music industry as stemmed from that.

Can you tell us a little bit about some of the things you photographed for us?
Its mostly stuff from tour in the USA a few months back and some from Japan earlier in the year. I have to be honest, I am a very shy photographer. i love to be inconspicuous when I’m abroad. I hate being a tourist. So walking around snapping things is not the most comfortable for me, so I usually go for the bleak and weird things. The kind of things that are very normal to a lot of people, but weird when you are on the road and seeing a ton of new shit day in day out.

Have you had much experience with film prior to this experience?
None whatsoever. It was actually a real headfuck, I kept looking at the camera after I’d taken a shot to see what it looked like. But its awesome seeing it all in one go, some time after the trip. I love that aspect of it. The suspense!

What’s next from you, sir?
Writing a lot over the summer from my sweltering room in North London. Then back on tour in the autumn. All will be revealed soon.

Don’t forget you can catch Chad Valley live on Friday, July 26th at the Ashmolean Museum for our Lomography Live Friday spectacular.

written by ferren on 2013-07-22 in #people #lomoamigos #analogue-photography #london-east #lomo-amigo #london #uk #london-soho #lomoamigo #soho #features #music

More Interesting Articles

  • Music Madness: Santiago Felipe and the Petzval

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-10-27 in #people #lomoamigos
    Music Madness: Santiago Felipe and the Petzval

    Santiago Felipe is a Brooklyn-based music visual artist who found purpose in helping artists gain recognition through his photography. His love of music has driven him to be an active member of the NYC music community. Check out his beautiful photographs of famous musicians taken with the Petzval lens.

  • Going Post Tropical with our LomoAmigo James Vincent McMorrow and the La Sardina

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-09-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Going Post Tropical with our LomoAmigo James Vincent McMorrow and the La Sardina

    It's a huge pleasure to introduce our latest LomoAmigo, the fantastically gifted musician James Vincent McMorrow. This year, James launched his new album 'Post Tropical' and we couldn't wait to put a La Sardina camera in hands to play with for the Summer. He took the camera with him on his tour and snapped some truly cool shots. Check them out and read our interview with James below!

  • Petzval Amigo Joel Byron: Videos of The London Eye

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-05-25 in #people #lomoamigos #videos
    Petzval Amigo Joel Byron: Videos of The London Eye

    Joel Byron is a long-time fan of Lomography and uses analog methods in his work at his video and film production agency BigPlus. Back in 2010 he painstakingly put together the Lomography Caterpillar Matrix video which had over 60,000 hits! We lent Joel a Petzval lens and asked him to capture some video footage of London. The results were pretty stunning.

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss and LomoChrome Purple

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-11-07 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss and LomoChrome Purple

    Our LomoAmigo, Asher Moss, shows us his best photographs from a week with other creatives to explore photography, filmmaking, modeling, and music. He escaped to Joshua Tree for three days with the LomoChrome Purple and a few other artists. Check out the vibrant purples and blues that make the LomoChrome Purple, as shown in the Asher Moss' photographs.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Buraco (A Tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-09-21 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Buraco (A Tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt)

    Alfred Eisenstaedt was one of Life Magazine's greatest photographers, known for his ability to immortalize the storytelling moment of many public events in history. To write this tribute to him, I chose a subject that he photographed in different places and times: card players in public places. The photos in this article were taken at the Patronal Feast of my city Como, during a series of buraco's lessons held by a local card players club.

  • Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.

  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • Giles Clement: The Wayfaring Tintyper

    written by jacobs on 2015-08-27 in #people #lifestyle
    Giles Clement: The Wayfaring Tintyper

    Reminiscent of traveling photographers of the 19th century, Giles Clement tours through the country with his assistant, Zeiss (an Irish Terrier), offering everything from portrait sessions to wildly creative photographic projects for magazines and companies. And although his mode of transportation may have evolved with the times, his photographic method and gear have changed very little compared to the photographers of days past. Now, with over 3 years of tintyping experience under his belt and an impressive list of clients, he's carved a name out for himself as an accomplished tintyper and continues to spread his passion for this ages-old technique everywhere he goes.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Fashion Photographer Joe Prileszky

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-03 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Fashion Photographer Joe Prileszky

    Joe Prileszky is a 21-year-old fashion and portrait photographer based in London. He jumped at the opportunity to shoot with the New Petzval Lens and absolutely went to town with it! Check out our exclusive interview with Joe and his Petzval shots after the jump.

  • Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    written by efrost on 2014-09-29 in #people #events
    Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    Photographer Florian Reischauer is no stranger to the Lomography community. In 2013, our LomoAmigo took a Lubitel 166+ out for a spin and told us about his famous blog, "Pieces of Berlin". A few years earlier, he took time to take part in the 5 Questions on Analogue Photographyseries. Now, we’re here to give you the latest scoop on Florian Reischauer and his next appearance in NYC to present his new book which was based off of his blog, "Pieces of Berlin 2009-2013".

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • Nadindra is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-29 in #world #news
    Nadindra is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to nadindra for winning Home of the Day!

  • Mallorynox and her Weapon of Choice: Diana F+

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-29 in #gear #lifestyle
    Mallorynox and her Weapon of Choice: Diana F+

    Barbora Smoláková's first brush with lomography started with a Diana F+ Deluxe Kit. With its variety of accessories, the Diana F+ allowed her to explore the endless possibilities of creative photography. In this interview, she opens up about her experience shooting with this versatile camera and how it helped her appreciate the beauty of ordinary things.