Blende is back and we couldn’t be more excited.
How excited? This excited.
The Swede-via-London quickly became one of our favourite disco producers a few years ago thanks to his excellent edits and a series stellar singles on Eskimo Recordings.
Well, he’s back with a brand-new single on Eskimo that features the vocal delights of Mattie Safer, who was part of the now defunct The Rapture but has since been concentrating on his own creative output alongside Paul Epworth.
Combining on ‘Back To Summertime’, Blende’s and Safer’s collaboration is an outrageously funky slice of disco house that got us excited to hear the whole EP when it drops at the end of the month.
Now that Blende is back we thought it would be nice idea to catchup with him and ask him some hard hitting questions like what the view is like from his flat in London and what his favourite club is.
Can you please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Johan Blende.
Whereabouts are you today…?
At my flat in North London.
And what’s the view like…?
Pretty, isn’t it?
Gives us five words that best describes your new track…?
It’s bloody good, I think.
Who inspired you into a life of music…?
Don’t think there was ever anyone in particular, more just a general calling.
Do you ever regret it…?
No, but I do regret not starting earlier. I remember a friend at school played me Daft Punk’s Homework when it first came out and tried to convince me that we should start a similar band together. It took me another 6-7 years to actually do it, not sure what happened to him, though.
If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be and why…?
It would be nice if it could become a bit less shallow and more about music again. On the surface at least it seems increasingly to be mainly about selfie-ing, vlogging and bragging – you know, the best parts of mankind. And in pop music you can hear how it’s suffered. What can you do, eh?
Who is your favourite artist…?
I like Yue Minjun. And Jean-Michel Basquiat. It might be that I can relate to some of his drawings from barely being able to draw a stickman myself. I genuinely like him by the way and he definitely was massively talented, but, y’know…
What was the first record you bought…?
As in actually paid for with money myself as opposed to sponging off my parents as a kid? If my memory serves me well I think it was “The Latin Kings – Välkommen Till Förorten”. Great album that, by the way.
What was the last record you bought…?
I just bought two: “Ebba Grōn – Kärlek & Uppror” and the new Soulwax album. Can’t find a link to the Ebba Grön one so Soulwax it is.
What track do you wish you’d written…?
Maybe White Christmas..? I could hire Beyonce to do backing vocals on all my records from last December’s royalties alone, if I so wanted.
What track makes you happiest…?
Phil Collins – Sussudio
What track makes you saddest…?
Can’t say I get sad very often from music, more like despair then if anything; I remember a while ago I randomly saw a music video for a track from some unbelievably talentless bunch of people. Lowest common denominator setting the bar at a new low. Can’t believe I had to watch parts of it again just to find the link and I slightly hesitate to share it as I don’t really want to help promote any of this racket, but here you go:
What’s your favourite club…?
Oh man, I’ve no idea, my memory isn’t very good.. I think the government has shut down all the clubs now anyway, haven’t they?
What’s your favourite after party record…?
“Berlin – Take My Breath Away”. When you reach the ballad stage of the night you know it’s been decent. That wasn’t a sexual reference by the way, I just like playing ballads at after parties. Here’s a karaoke version, with out of tune backing harmony for added pleasure:
What track has had the most influence on you…?
Hard to pinpoint an exact track as I’m constantly influenced by lots of stuff, but the first record I ever owned (not bought, mind, my wealth creators at the time sorted that bit) was Michael Jackson’s Thriller and I’m fairly confident that has, immensely.
Which of your own tracks are you most proud of…?
I possibly spend as much time unsuccessfully trying to bury past gaffes as I do making new records, but most of the stuff I released through Eskimo I’m happy with. A bit sad “Sparkle” was perhaps slightly overlooked, though. Maybe that should have been the track that makes me sad, come to think of it.
What’s your current favourite record…?
Simple Minds’ “Celebration” album has been on rotation a bit lately. I travel and Changeling are standouts.
If your studio was one fire and you go back in to save one thing, what would it be and why…?
My (fairly humble amount of) studio gear is all a bit scattered at the moment, half of it is in a studio in Hackney which is also used for production courses. I’d like to think they’d rescue my synths first if ever there was a fire, but my bet would be the rug would come before it.