Interview: Blue Hour.

I came across Blue Hour through a recent podcast and was intrigued by his soundscapes: tribal yet futuristic, plane but nevertheless complex. A dialogue between the dark side of techno and a dawn of hope are woven into dancable but tranquilizing tracks. Much acclaimed by the reviewers, the self-titled label has put out four records by now and is about to release a new EP early this March. Reason enough to dig deeper and get in touch with the UK born and Berlin based DJ and producer.

Just to get some background information: How did you get into producing? Did you have any mentors? When did you come to Berlin?

I moved to Bristol for university and started a club night and dj’ing, during this time I was looking for more music to play and decided I would start making my own. There wasn’t any mentors involved in the process, I guess I just got on with it myself and occasionally bounced ideas off friends. Shortly after graduating I left and moved to Germany in 2011.

You recently announced the delay of your upcoming release on Facebook. How do you see the current state of vinyl? What’s the bias like for you: everybody wants to be pressed, but do enough people also buy vinyl?

I think everyone is experiencing minor delays/problems at the moment. Scheduling and manufacturing records demands a bit of tolerance right now especially if you are a smaller label. Vinyl is a popular format again as you’ve probably heard with the various reports in the news of sales increasing. This is really positive as it shows people have greater interests and care more about the music their buying however this also means theres a big influx of new ones starting (such as myself) as well as major labels producing on the format again too. This can put pressure on the plants, which unfortunately can lead to mistakes and delays which pushes things back. Fortunately I have not encountered any major fuck up (yet)…

Blue Hour is the project you’ve been releasing on recently. What about your other projects? And how does Blue Hour set itself apart?

Blue Hour is my only active project. Previously I released music under Furesshu and Esoteric but these projects are now in the past. I see them as testing grounds really, they have helped give me insight into the industry and I have learnt a lot from them. If you listen to music before Blue Hour you will find similarities of course however I feel my new project has a more cohesive structure and vision.

Your music combines a lot of things I like about techno: simplicity, depth and narration. But still you maintain a sound, that focuses on the dancefloor. How does, abstractly speaking, a good track work for you?

It has to represent something more than just ’a track’ it needs to have personality and leave an impression or communicate with it’s audience on a personal level. I’m always searching for this in music I play or listen to and try to express this with my own voice too.

Is there something that’s unplayable? Or does the context make the music?

Nothing is unplayable, everything has a context it just depends who connects with it or shares the understanding and motive.

Reading about you, the 90ies are mentioned as a reference in your music. Listening to your productions, the 90ies indeed resemble. What is this 90ies quote for you about: musically, emotionally and aesthetically?

I’m quite influenced by 90’s Techno, many of my favourite tracks are from this era. There are similar engineering techniques, types of equipment or sounds that are recognisable from this period I like to work with. The emotive presence and melodic elements tended to be more identifiable in the 90’s which is different to how we define it now.  I like to flirt with some of these nostalgic properties and find a contemporary balance, it’s important to push things forward though even if we reference the past.

What happened in the millenium years to techno? And why does it seem to get big again in the past few years?

There have been various changes in the industry and scenes over the years, it’s hard to pin point anything in particular. The world tends to move in cycles, I think the ‘dry’ period your referring to is of a time when there was a lack of change and progression that represented an underground culture and movement. This has started to change in recent years, the dry period is coming to an end, people are getting excited about techno again and I’m happy to be apart of it.


Introspective (BlueHour 005) will be out in March 2015.

005_Blue Hour_AW

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Images: Fredrik Altinell

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