Next June full moon will see a new UFO landing in the Hypnus Records discography: BLNDR’s debut album L’Observatoire [HYPNUS018]. With this release, the Sweden-based record label explores new fields of electronic music, opening its catalogue to a more wistful and emotional sound. In the words of Michel, Hypnus’ boss: “[the album] is a nostalgic overview of the producer’s past few years, which attempts to capture meaningful memories from travelling around the world. Shaped with a marking touch of melancholia laced through most of the tracks; it is a contemplative ambient journey recorded in a period where fantasy and memory met.”

With such an eloquent story, we wanted to know more about the creative process behind the album – before premiering the opening track: Mont Blanc.

 

 

Salut Tom! You started to release in 2014 (via Hypnus) and from then you were mostly producing deep techno. Atmospheric elements and deep rhythms have always played a major role in your music. However, your debut full length album is a full ambient release. How did you arrive there?

Hey! At that time, it was important to me to produce something different. I never had the ambition to be a ‘deep techno only’ producer. I started to make a few ambient tracks about a year ago, and I immediately felt that I had a lot to say in that field. It happens at a time where I wasn’t feeling inspired anymore by deep techno productions. I simply couldn’t make music as before.

From the very first notes of the album, this specific kind of ambient reminded me of Sweden and musicians like Isorinne or Acronym (in particular on his last album, Malm on Field Records), a music which evokes a lot of emotions. Where did you get your inspiration from?

Artists such as Acronym or Isorinne are indeed sources of inspirations, but for this album my influences were way larger: from Boards Of Canada to Aphex Twin or Autechre for instance. I know these artists for quite a long time now, but I felt suddenly inspired by them at the time of production.  I could also quote Air, Oneohtrix Point Never, Alan Hawkshaw, Actress. My influences are many and probably quite obvious in some of the tracks. As you said this type of ambient is a music of which come a lot of emotions, and it was also a time of my life where I needed to express this kind of emotions.

Hard to miss the fact that you have also been inspired by your travels and experiences around the world. Do you have precise memories from each places and moments who gave their names to the tracks of the album?

Some of the tracks are indeed references to very specific places and moments. The titles are pretty explicit and speak by themselves. All these memories have been a huge source of inspiration for me, and I wanted to talk about them with a nostalgic vision through this record.

It feels like you found a beautiful balance: your music makes you travel, and the travels inspire your music in return. I hope that you will keep touring around the world, the result is well worth the effort.

Speaking of nostalgia, we can hear (appreciable) analog crackles and textures in some of the tracks. What has been your creative process? And by the way, where did you compose the album?

I’m indeed very thankful to be able to travel that much thanks to my music. I don’t think I could have visited all these places in such a short time without it! It is a beautiful balance yes, and it pushes me to keep on producing.

About your questions: I have always been in love with textures. On the album, some crackles come directly from my synthesizers but I also sampled vinyl crackles to give a Burial-esque retro and warmth side to the music. I actually don’t produce a lot when I’m touring since I need to be well installed with my synthesizers and to have enough time in order to work properly on my track, so I composed the whole album at home, in Paris.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions, and thank you for the music. I’m looking forward to listen to it with the ‘real’ crackles of the vinyl.

L’Observatoire by BLNDR (2×12″) will be out next June full moon on Hypnus Records; previews and a pre-order phase being revealed under the moon before it (Tuesday, May 29th). Find all this on the label’s Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

 

While waiting for the release, you can go back to the early debuts of the Monument podcast with the mystical 31st episode by the man in question:

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