Swedish producer Blende, now a London resident, brings the launch party of his brand new EP, Fake Love, to Superstore this Sunday. His nu-disco and indie sounds will sure to be tempting plenty of you to get your dancing shoes on and come to Dalston. We caught up with him to find out about his diverse remixes and re-edits, his disco tastes and other random facts about the strikingly honest Blende...
In your own words Who Is Blende?
Blende is the alias I use to release music under, although my friends and family know me best as Johan. Originally I'm from Sweden but nowadays living in London. I started out making electronic music pretty much 10 years ago now, with no real knowledge of how to even play an instrument prior to that. I managed to teach myself though. Eventually I learnt how to use a computer in order to create tracks, and even though it sounded horrific at first I started getting better. And these days it's what I do for a living.
If you were a cocktail what kind of cocktail would you be and why?
No idea, as I don't really drink cocktails anymore... can't even remember what they're called, haha. These days I pretty much only drink white wine, could I be that? It seems like it's not socially acceptable in London though, if you're a man. I really can't see what's wrong with it (other than being ghastly in most pubs).
What's the disco scene like in your native Stockholm and how does it compare to your current home of London?
In so many words - it's shit. There used to be quite a cool place back in the ‘90s and early 2000s that played old northern soul tracks and disco, but they stopped that night unfortunately. Having said that though, I don't really follow much what is going on in Stockholm anymore; I've been in London for over ten years now and only go back sporadically.
Who are you disco heroes?
Apart from Disco Stu, I'd say mainly Quincy Jones, The System and Shalamar. And Moroder. And Chic. This could go on, is that enough?
You've remixed Korn feat Skrillex- what is your take on the increasingly controversial and mainstream EDM scene?
I'm not a follower of it, to be honest. Skrillex is a friend of mine from the past, although we've only actually ever met once face to face - friendships are mostly maintained through the internet these days I guess.
I did that remix purely for money though, to put it blatantly.
The problem for me is that I just don't find most of today's mainstream electronic dance music (or EDM) very interesting to listen to. It's either too formulaic, too noisy, too cheesy, or just too confusing, for me… The hooks that makes pop and disco so great is just completely gone, replaced by about 1000 hooks, playing all at once, that develops into another 1000 hooks, all within the space of 30 seconds. I just don't get it. I think it's a sign of the times though, with people being so impatient these days, partially thanks to the internet I reckon.
There must be a counter reaction sooner or later; I can't see it continuing like this much longer, people must start questioning eventually what it is they are listening to…
Which remix or re-edit of your own are you most proud of or like the best?
I'm quite proud of one of the more recent ones I’ve done, of this band, or whatever you would call it, called Chinese Flash Mob. I very quickly get bored of my own remixes, which I suppose helps me in the creative process to develop, but that one still I feel is quite special, even though it didn't get that much attention when it eventually came out.
Tell us a secret about yourself!
I absolutely love Phil Collins. Funny thing is that people seem to hate him here, I don't get it at all, he's a bloody genius!
What record hasn't left your stereo of late?
My friend's Stubborn Heart's debut album has been on repeat quite a lot, although I don't actually have the full album yet. They're a name to look out for in the future I'd say, they just signed to One Little Indian.
Other than that I've had the Cherokee remix of Didgikid84's track 'Anything' on repeat for a few days. The track isn't particularly new, but somehow it went under my radar until recently even though I used to play another track from the same EP.
Which one track ever recorded do you wish you'd written?
I think I'll go for something very commercially successful, as there are too many songs I wish I'd written but that never really got anywhere, so it'd be easier to stick to something commercial. Something from Jacko's Thriller would have been nice. The title track probably, taking the financial success into account, haha!
And finally what can Superstore expect from the launch party for your brand new EP Fake Love?
A fun night with a brilliant line up that once you're in you should easily be able to forget about the fact it's a school night. And also you can expect a lot of love from us all involved. And I mean real love, not the fake kind.
The launch party for Blende's brand new EP Fake Love with Villa, Phonat, Birdee, 5eya and Ali Jamieson is here at Dalston Superstore this Sunday 30th September from 9pm - 2:30am.