- Being a musician and a part of an industry comes with complying to a certain playground, right? With electronic music becoming more and more popular in the past years, with social media having a major influence on who gets booked and so on, I think it has become more and more apparent that music often follows trends and the demand by the average consumer in result producing a very saturated field that often lacks authenticity. I would go as far to say that it slows down the development of sound by reproducing what sells.
BR: I think it's really dependent on what you want to do. Like, if you want to make a lot of money and make a product that sells to people, then chasing trends is probably a good route. But if you're trying to make a unique artistic vision, then it's a waste of time. I respect my fans a lot. I think they expect me to try and go the distance and present them something cool. If I were to chase trends, I would be doing them and myself a disservice. So whatever effect it might have on my career, positive or negative, I have to do things my way.
- Do you completely reject making a compromise between staying authentic to your artistic vision and decisions that might make your career more financially sustainable?
BR: It is definitely a hard balance. That's why I do a lot of other stuff like sound design, and my YouTube channel to diversify my portfolio. I really like dance music. I also like making really weird music. So the way I look at it is like, why can't I do both? Maybe one release might be super weird and another release might be 20 tracks of straight techno. It's fun to do both. I have no aversion to pop. As long as I feel that the output is true to me in some way, I'm okay with it. One day, I might be in the mood to make a piece that is 30 minutes of harsh noise, another day I might want to make a funky bassline and a really easy dance track. It's okay to do both. I don't understand the pretense of only doing one thing over another. With all that said, though, I try to make something that's completely my own. As I said before, that's what I expect of myself. I still haven't completely figured this out.
- What is your experience on dealing with promoters, agents, and labels and parts of the industry that aren't always a positive creative force but an inevitable part of it ?
BR: I've definitely had experiences with record labels telling me my music is too strange or too weird, and trying to change it, trying to get me to change it really aggressively. And I did not respond well to that. So I don't work with those people anymore. I definitely feel that my recent output has been maybe a bit stranger than what's acceptable in the techno scene. So it might have affected me. Probably. Definitely. It remains to be seen what happens next, I guess, but I have to follow the path that I'm on and what feels natural at the moment.
I did compromise listening to these labels, following their advice, which then became demands. Once they became demands, I understood it was never advice. By giving in, and I'm still happy with those releases, I realized that I was giving away my own expression in favor of a rubric. You know, for the club or one person's taste. And that's not at all what I want to do. Even if I ended up with no one ever listening to me ever again. I don't want to do that.
I think if you sign an artist, that means you want them and you have to be ready for whatever they bring to you. And it's okay as a label to not like it and say - this is not for me, that's fine. But if you say this is not for me, change it - now that is a problem. Some artists are willing to do this. And I don't understand it. I always see complaints about how music is becoming more and more boring. It doesn't try as hard, techno is so boring and formulaic. And a lot of that is because the techno artists and labels put pressure on each other to make it that way. It's so formulaic because they want it to be.
- And why do you think that is? Do you think that's the demand from the audience? Is the listener becoming less advanced and a certain formula / familiar simplicity is required in order to sell records?
BR: I think it's a bit of fear and maybe a bit of laziness. People are afraid to take chances because the gig economy is so fragile, as we’ve seen with covid. Also, I've heard puzzling statements that certain tracks of mine are hard to mix, because they might have something weird happening in the intro, or other reasons. But I have no problem mixing them. So I wonder, is it just because people are lazy? Maybe they are afraid to play something that will throw them off a little, but isn’t it exciting for things to go a bit haywire? I like things to be a bit unpredictable.
Asked to give an example of music from his discgraphy that would fit on the stranger side, BLUSH_RESPONSE names his NEUROSCAPE LP