Exclusive: BLOT! on the evolution of his sound, the decade that was in Indian electronica and his new record label
Anyone who’s experienced Delhi-based electronic music project BLOT!’s immersive audio-visual spectacles live, can vouch for the producer’s impressive, exploratory sound designs. The project which started in 2007 with Gaurav Malaker and Avinash Kumar, now only features Malaker after Kumar ventured out with his solo electronic music project Thiruda.
BLOT! who recently performed at the music, art and sustainability festival DGTL Bengaluru 2020 this month, tells us about the evolution of his soundscape, the decade that shaped Indian electronica and his new music label. Excerpts:
How has your sound changed in the last decade?
In the earlier part of the decade, I was influenced by rhythms and sound design more than melodies. This naturally inclined me towards more minimal, groovier and darker dance music. Soon after, I felt that it was getting repetitive and my sensibilities generally shifted to the warmer, slower and more melodic side of house and techno. It was a very natural transition.
Tell us about the vibe you're going for during one of your live sets.
I was a DJ before I started producing music and a DJ's priority is to hold the attention of the floor. The live set has tracks that span across a variety of moods, bpms, sub-genres and I'm hoping the way it's all strung together does exactly that. Of course, in this case, it is all originally composed music. That's what makes it challenging. There is no particular 'vibe' per se.
Can you tell us a little about how BLOT! began
It was a cold summer and we were bored so we started BLOT! The name came up in a conversation about how we all had a basic love for many different things. We discovered that the acronym made sense too, but that was later. Avinash has now branched off to explore his solo career as ‘Thiruda’ and I handle BLOT!
How would you define your sound?
Warm, Analog, Deep, Emotive and Melodic.
Can you tell us something about your foundational influences? Sounds that shaped your work.
I don't think there is only one influence. As a child, my mother used to listen to a lot of Giorgio Moroder and older disco stuff. This was my first exposure to 'electronic music' or music that was made with the help of electronic instruments.
Cher, for example, was where I heard the harmoniser or the autotune effect for the first time. Again because my mother was listening to it. Then, of course, the usual suspects like Kraftwerk, Vangelis, etc.
The 2010s was a big decade for Indian electronica. Do you like how the scene is shaping up in the country?
It has been an important decade for the country. The amount of International acts coming in, Indian artists now traveling internationally, local artists on international labels/platforms and just the general increase in venues, promoters, producers, DJs, and patrons is a wonderful thing. It was just a handful before 2010, so I think the growth is quite obvious.
Can you tell us what you're working on next?
No, but I have recently started my own record label called 'Of Another'. That should be an exciting journey.