Blanke is an artist that you should most definitely have on your radar for 2017.
The Australian-born DJ/producer has recently performed alongside bass music heavyweights, such as Zomboy, Kill The Noise, Yellow Claw, Jauz, and more. His new Curiosity EP is like something we have never heard before; one part experimental and all parts heavy. Title track “Curiosity” offers obscure sound design, cutting-edge creativity, and a full-fledged journey into electro darkness. The second, and final track, off of Curiosity offers Porter Robinson-like vocals, REZZ-like contrasts, and a heavy-hitting drop all his own.
We sit down with Blanke to discuss the brand new EP, his inspirations, what it’s like performing alongside some of dance music’s biggest names, and more.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us today! Where in Australia are you based?
Thank for having me on! I’m currently based in Canberra, but will be moving over to Sydney in a couple of months!
You were initially inspired by heavy metal and rock. Are there some bands or songs in specific that molded your taste and/or production style to this day?
Metallica is an obvious one for me. Their guitars were mixed with barely any mid’s so I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of crispy, bass heavy sound. Though I’ve always been a huge admirer of Rob Swire and the way he mixed his records. The fusion of electronic and live production is fascinating as hell and I’ve always had Pendulum on repeat ever since i found them ten years ago, and now Knife Party, so I’m going to assume that has moulded me pretty significantly over the years!
Congratulations on your recent performances with Zomboy, Yellow Claw, JAUZ, Slushii and Kill The Noise. How did you manage to find yourself on the same stage as numerous industry heavyweights?
Australia is great in the sense that we have a pretty tight electronic dance community/industry. We get amazing opportunities when these guys come around and I managed to catch the eye of the promoters at the right time. It’s so cool to meet these guys too. They are always such normal, humble people which is super inspiring.
From an outside perspective, it seems like the Australian scene is all about future bass and big room. Is that true? If so, what led you to being so inclined towards bass music?
The aussie scene can be pretty scattered in terms of genre and it has some pretty strong cliques depending on what city you’re in. I’d say we have fairly strong followings for bass music in general and lots of house heads. Flume has obviously made a huge impact with the future bass “movement”, if you will. But I got heavily into electronic music back when Skrillex, Porter and KTN were blowing up, so dubstep was a huge thing for me. To me it was like a harder hitting metal genre that had some crazy ass DnB sounds. Sign me up! And these days, bass music is so experimental and exciting, you have so much creative freedom and theres so much acceptance for it. Now is an awesome time for Electronic music generally.
Your upcoming EP on Downright, is seriously heavy. Why did you decide to go with that label for the release?
Downright have always been so supportive of me ever since my first demo with them. I’ve built a really strong relationship with them, and in particular, one of their head A&R’s, so it just felt natural to have them look after my music. I know they have my best interests in mind.
What does a day in the life of Blanke look like?
It’s pretty much a daily experiment of how much coffee i can ingest. And not heaps of sunlight. Though sometimes i go and play sport which is rad.
It seems like you venture between various genres within bass music, from trap, to dubstep to now, your experimental Curiosity EP. Do you enjoy exploring the different realms or do you plan to lean towards one genre?
The whole idea behind “Blanke” isn’t to withhold to any certain genre. Which is super fun for me and i hope super interesting for anyone who listens to my music. I hate the idea of making two records that sound similar. So i need that freedom to venture into whatever the f*ck my brain is excited to make at any certain time. It’s cool. Also means my sets can be wild.
Who would you love to collaborate with one day? Or do you have any collaborations in the works?
There’s heaps of local dudes who are absolute guns that i cant wait to get in the studio with. But I’d love to work with Kill the Noise one day, his mixing is insane. Virtual Riot has an awesome creative and musical mind that I’d love to experience first hand. Bauuer is crazy cool. Rob Swire obviously. but only to watch from the corner of the room. Though I’ve always wanted to talk shit with deadmau5 one day. I love that guy and all of his outrageous tendencies.
How long have you been producing? And do you have any production tips for artists that work within a similar soundscape as you?
I’ve been producing for about 6 years now. I’d say do as many collaborations as you can. That’s one thing I feel like i lacked during the early stages. Sitting in the same room as other like-minded producers is such a good way to learn new tricks and find out what’s worked for them and what hasn’t without having to go through it yourself. One thing i learnt from Slumberjack is; don’t be afraid to push it. Mess around with sounds as much as you can and don’t be scared to red line in the box (but make sure you’ve got a limiter on the master!) There are literally no rules. Think of it that way. I was super safe with my production for a while because that’s what your taught from engineers (which is totally fine!), but when i started going crazy with stuff i found a lot of cool techniques. Don’t compress too much though. Especially on group busses. That shit always ruins me.
Any last words?
Something I leant recently though this quote, “In paradise, there is no curiosity.” Don’t stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never want to expand.
Listen to Blanke’s brand new Curiosity EP, out now on Downright Records, below. Download here.