at Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Johan K is a young Swedish electro and techno producer and DJ working under the name of Blende whose career started in late 2006 when his first EP was released on German label Plasmapool. Since then he has gone from strength to strength gaining support from the likes of Klaxons, MSTRKRFT, Justice, Alan Braxe, D.I.M, LA Riots, Laurent Garnier, Punks Jump up, James Zabiela and DJ AM.
So how long have you been Djing?
On and off for about 10 years. I started out back in 97 playing music for myself, and consequently my mother, in my old boy room growing up in Stockholm, although I don’t think she was ever that impressed with it, haha. My friends and I also used to put on small private events and run clubs at small bars around Stockholm, but they were all pretty big failures come to think of it. However since moving for the third time to London in 2005 I’ve been pretty much doing it non-stop.
Where did your DJ name come from?
Blende comes from the name Blende Music, which I invented together with a friend of mine whom I used to make music together with when I first started out. It was literally the two of us just trying to come up with a bunch of names and choosing the one that sounded the least corny. And clearly we failed, haha.. But when he lost interest in the whole thing a few years ago I continued on my own and just removed the “music” part. I hate the name though to be honest, but it’s too late now anyway.
Can you name a record that first sparked your interest in dance music?
Oh, that was probably back in 94 when I first heard Prodigy’s second album ‘Music for the jilted generation’, it was different from anything else I had heard but I was very into bands like Rancid and NOFX back in those days, so it still felt quite natural to listen to at the time.. Back then Adam Beyer and Cari Lekebush pretty much set the bar for the Swedish techno scene, so that’s what got me completely into dance music. Although when Daft Punk came around in 96 that was also something that blew me completely away, like for any other kid at the time I guess.
How/when did you first begin making music?
Well, as anyone else who has tried can relate to more or less, it’s very hard to get gigs just being a DJ. So, fed up with it and realizing you need to release some music to get any gigs, in early 2003 I bought myself a copy of Propellerhead’s Reason and sat down with a friend and started making beats. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but somehow managed to get a few songs onto compilations and a few remixes straight away almost. But admittedly it sounded horrible back then, we wanted to do house music but could only make chill out beats. It’s amazing I didn’t just give up the whole thing, haha. Eventually I got bored of the down-tempo stuff and tried making a bit more energy filled music. It took me a few years though to actually come up with something I was happy with and that sounded even remotely what I wanted it to sound like.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Not. Fucking. Breaks.
Do you prefer to remix other artists tracks or produce original material?
Remix other artists. By a mile. It’s so much easier to complete a remix for some reason rather than an original production, even if you in the end only use a hi-hat or something from the original. I have no idea why. I guess it might have to do with that you are under a certain amount of pressure working with a deadline. Completing an original song that you are happy with is ten times more pleasurable though!
Who would you most like to work with on a track and why?
I actually have a friend of mine who is about to become part of Blende, or unofficially for now anyway. The plan is for us to set up a live show together and also he will co-write a lot of the music in the future. I think we complete each other very well so it’s kind of a win-win situation for the both of us. But that’s not the answer you wanted I’m sure, haha. So – Prince anno -87, if he could do a falsetto type vocal for me.
What are your opinions on the Swedish music scene?
Err, maybe a lot of people from Sweden would disagree, but absolutely horrible! It’s too one-sided the way I see it. I really don’t get it. There is far too much minimal in the clubs, it’s beyond me that people haven’t gotten bored of that yet. And the people who used to write such nice music just a few years ago have now also gotten into minimal, more or less. But I’m sure something will come up sooner or later though that is a bit more interesting, it has to!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Still making music but hopefully not having to dj that much. I like it, but not a big fan of traveling so I would like it if I could survive on production solely. So hopefully that, and if not I’ll just have to think of something else I guess. Chef!
What was your highlight of 2008?
It hasn’t had anything to do with music I’d say. Not to say there haven’t been great times though in regards to DJing this year. Playing in one of Seoul’s biggest venues would have been quite a nice experience I reckon, but I missed a connecting flight and subsequently the whole thing.. bah
What are your plans for 2009?
I have lots of plans actually, but nothing is completely set yet. But it looks like I will be going to the US for a tour and then off to Australia, and that’s just within the first two months of the year. And also I might be writing an album for a label that is a bit bigger compared to the ones I’ve done original work for in the past. So 2009 is so far looking pretty good I’d say
Blende - November Mixtape.mp3 (sendspace)
Tracklisting in comments
Those Dancing Days - Strawberry (Blende Remix).mp3 (Mediafire)
Dylan Rhymes - Do Me (Blende Remix).mp3 (Mediafire)
Green Velvet - Destination Unknown (Blende ReWork).mp3 (Mediafire)
Blende - Untitled.mp3 (Mediafire)
Blende - Breaking Bones.mp3 (Mediafire)