A few months ago, we met BLNDR during its visit in Brussels for the Initiate event at Fuse. On a sunny terrace of a small Brussels café, the Parisian artist answered our questions and shared his experience with us. From the Parisian scene to the underground clubs of Tokyo, the 25-year-old artist, who signed on Hypnus and Semantica among others, is clearly a great musical revelation whose universe expands between deep-techno and ambient.
You have a solid experience as a producer. When did you begin to play and produce music?
I have been making electronic music for a very long time, and before that I used to play guitar with a group of friends. I guess I really started making electronic music when I was 14 or 15. That said, it had nothing to do with what I am now doing. It ranged from rap beats to Ed Banger-like electro. My first true crush in electronic music was Justice, after that I became passionate about this music and bought my first synthesizer.
Have any artists influenced you in creating your universe?
I would say that at first it is the French electro scene which influenced me, with labels such as Ed Banger, Institudes and Marble. In the end, I really went towards techno after discovering the label Ostgut Ton.
Dj and producer have become you full time occupation?
No. I make a lot of music and it takes quite much time, but there is a rent to pay. So I have a side job in Paris. It makes it possible to live properly and have time enough to make music and tour on the weekend.
As you were saying, your universe has evolved quite much. How would you describe your present musical universe?
I have never really set any barriers for myself nor have I ever liked to define myself in a particular style. Though it is true that most of the parties I went to are in an oriented style, I don’t want to be categorised in a so-called “techno” style.
For example, my first album with Hypnus, which has just been released, is no other than ambient.
At home, I make house music as well. Perhaps some day people will hear it but it won’t be under another alias. It will still be under my BLNBR project. I don’t want to categorise myself in a particular style. I like to many things to limit myself.
Between lives and dj sets, which do you prefer?
I have been a strong live fan for several years. At first it was truly a challenge. As soon as I began to understand how it worked and to see that I was capable of producing something coherent during an hour, I didn’t want to stop anymore. The aim was to have the most coherent live possible.
After having performed live for several years, I think that I also like something lighter, more improvised, as we can do with a dj set. Live doesn’t make much room for improvisations since it needs to be well prepared beforehand.
You have travelled quite a bit to perform in different cities and clubs. Have certain places marked you more than others?
I recently performed twice in Tbilisi in Georgia, at the club Khidi. It is a city that really marked me, as well as de club. The city is gorgeous and the welcome I received was wonderful. They truly have a high sense of hospitality, the organisation is great and the club is installed in a really epic setting. I was lucky enough to perform live and to do a dj set, both were wonderful experiences. Usually all my dates are awesome though, rare were the moments when I was not well received.
The Paris techno scene is buzzing. Things seem to move quite a bit lately. What do you make of that?
I find that what is going on in Paris these days is quite unbelievable. There is a genuine development with new collectives and parties that pop up every day. Also, authorities are becoming more tolerant which allows a greater number of alternative events to be organised in suburbs and venues that are not necessarily clubs.
To mention the techno scene strictly speaking, and the Parisian artists, I would say that, for the moment, the finest French producers are there. There is a wonderful scene with very creative people. I am glad and proud of it.
You are signed on several internationally renowned labels. Is it you who makes the step towards them or the other way around?
It depends. Most of the time it works through a system where I send a demo to the labels I like. I find some labels more appealing than others. They have a sound which I like and makes me want to share something with them. It is rather in this perspective that I send demos.
Then, there are some labels, like Hypnus, with which I have been working for years. I released most of my records with them and there has been no demo system. I knew Ntogn before the label was created, via the internet. As soon as he decided to create his label he directly offered me to join it. That is when I released my first record. It happened in a natural fashion.
Do you work often with other artists on your productions?
It happened several times to collaborate and produce tracks with friends. It didn’t always work out. Sometimes I didn’t find that it was worth releasing it. The only collaboration that, in my view, has been successful is the record I released with Luigi Tozzi. He was extremely fast and efficient. I had no doubt about releasing this track.
You have released an ambient album called “L’observatoire” on Hypnus lately. What is the story behind this name?
The observatory is a park in the town where I lived during several years – Meudon, in the Paris suburbs. I used to wander around there, thus I am very nostalgic about this place. When I was producing this album, I had moved and I was often thinking about it. It is the place that represented all this gloom that enables me to produce rapidly the tracks of the album. If there were a place to describe the album, it is definitely this one. This is why I decided to name it “L’observatoire.”
English translation by Raphaël Rozenberg.