Blame is a name that has spanned several generations of drum & bass, from early releases on Moving Shadow, touring the world with Good Looking Records, and most recently remixing Get Loose by Mr & Mrs Smith.
Next up he’s supplying the debut release for Over/Shadow, a new label run by Si Colebrooke and Sean O’Keefe, better know as 2 Bad Mice. We spoke to Blame to find out more…
Let’s jump right into it, I’m guessing you’ve know Si & Sean for a few years having been label mates at Moving Shadow? Do you remember the first time you met them?
I remember meeting them at the Moving Shadow office (aka Rob Playford’s front room!)
But more importantly they played a big part in my career before I even met them, Rob played them my demo cassette of ‘Music Takes You’, and they pretty much told him that it was a hit and that he should sign it on the spot. So for that I’m forever grateful
Their anthem ‘Bombscare’ and your huge hit ‘Music Takes You’ both came out the same year in 1991. Could you have imagined you’d still be working with those guys almost 30 year later?
Never! But in a funny way I somehow knew that I was always going to be making music for the rest of my life, even back then
Thinking back to those early days, how did you learn your production skills? These were the days of hardware equipment, before YouTube tutorials
It was hard. It was about scouring through manuals, and trying to learn from other engineers in studios that you visited. It took years. There were no youtube tutorials, or Google. It was blood, sweat and tears!
Talking of production, we love the videos you post on your social media where you play the elements of your tracks & remixes. Most videos seem to focus around your keyboard, do you have a favourite piece of studio equipment?
I’m getting to a point where I just love the studio as a whole. I never wanted to rely one favourite piece of gear because there is the danger that it can make you sound samey over time. But for me I’d be lost without my keyboard, that’s how I play in all my elements and create
Hunting for the perfect vocals! Creating a brand new remix for ‘Karistocat’Posted by Conrad Blame on Friday, October 9, 2020
The new tracks, Lift Off & Star Traveller, are very reminiscent of those old feel good rave tunes. I heard these tracks were on some old DAT tapes you found, is that right?
I used to make tracks just to keep as exclusives in my DJ set, so I’d have something that none of the other DJs had. Over the years those DAT tapes got lost, and recently I went searching in the back of my garage (which has got out of control with junk over the years.) I found a dusty old record box, when I opened it I was surprised to find lots of DATs!
Will they ever see the light of day? Any more lined up for Over/Shadow? Perhaps drop them on your Bandcamp page?
I’ve decided that they are all going to see the light of day. And I’m going to start bringing them out on vinyl next year
As well at the obligatory streaming release, these tracks are being released on some great looking coloured vinyl. Did you think you’d ever have another vinyl release?
I wasn’t sure to be honest. The music world has changed at a rapid rate. But I’ve fallen back in love with having my music on vinyl, so it’s full steam ahead
Pressing up my brand new record! We chose ‘surface of the moon’ coloured vinyl for ‘Lift Off’ & ‘Star Traveller’ ???Posted by Conrad Blame on Saturday, November 14, 2020
The response to this new Over/Shadow label has, on the whole, been very positive. Not everyone was happy though. Rob Playford came out the shadows to show his disapproval of DJMag’s reporting of the announcement. I guess he’s not the most popular guy with the Over/Shadow camp right now?
I’ve got a lot of respect for Rob, without his label I wouldn’t have had a life changing record. And he’s always been a true professional when it comes to royalty payments, unlike lots of other labels I’ve since worked with. There are always going to be comparisons as Moving Shadow artists have joined forces for this new project, but from my position I’m cool with Rob and 2 Bad Mice
You’ve had an incredible career, from Moving Shadow, touring the world with LTJ Bukem & Good Looking Records, huge mix CD’s, anthems like Stay Forever, releases on Metalheadz & Hospital Records. Can you single out a career highlight?
For me the highlight was a moment in the studio. I wasn’t enjoying it for a long time, and nothing was sounding how I wanted it to. I was wondering if music was even my future. I told myself that if the next track doesn’t come together, I might do something else with my life. Luckily the track that came along that day was ‘Stay Forever’. It really kicked off the second half of my career and it showed me that I need to be making music for the rest of my life
Finally what does 2021 have in store for Blame?
Lots of brand new music, and lots of unreleased vinyl from the vaults, I can’t wait for it to finally be out in the world!
Lift Off & Star Traveller by Blame will be out on Over/Shadow at the end of this month
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