Blindsmyth: I would describe my sound as very organic and dreamy but also with energy and groove in the right moments

Today we are pleased to welcome our next guest, Blindsmyth!

Blindsmyth is a musical globetrotter – always on the road searching for new musical ideas and sounds to inspire and get inspired. He is known for extraordinary live experiences that are said to be a of discovery between deep electronic soundscapes, house and pop music with his vocals and different instruments. These are partly designed and built by himself which allows him to immerse his audience into his music and enables him to bridge the gap between the inspiration, creation and his live performances.

We talked to the talent about his new album 'All That Fiberglass' released in February on Connaisseur and artistic experience in the industry. Read below to find out more!
Thanks for talking to us Simon. Congratulations on the new album 'All That Fiberglass'. It's out on Connaisseur in February, why this label? Do you have a background with them?
— For many German musicians and music lovers of my generation Kollektiv Turmstrasse's „Rebellion der Träumer" was an absolute milestone album. I remember hearing their sound very often on DIY events in the Netherlands during my study time and this was fueling into my first attempts at music production. Almost 10 Years later I was very happy and even honored when Connaisseur brought out my Grillydae EP and asked me to do a remix for the Rebellion der Träumer anniversary LP.
How can you describe the sound you are producing now, and is that what can be found on this album?
— I would describe my sound as very organic and dreamy but also with energy and groove in the right moments. While my previous releases were driven by field recordings from nature, you will find more technological sounds here, like electrostatic noises that I sampled or voices that are distorted and transformed with autotune and harmonizer effects.
How do you start your creative process when making an album – does this differ to making an EP?
— The process is very different. For an EP I would usually just start making tracks and then choose 2-3 that kind of fit together.

For this Album I started with the conceptual Idea first. I was writing songs and making the tracks fitting into this conceptual framework. An LP is also a much longer timeframe. You have to plan the dramaturgy, the red line, the tension building up, moments of rest, etc.
The concept of the album is said to be social criticism on the challenges an artist has nowadays in the digital world. Can you explain this more for is, and how this is something you can relate to?
— I realised for myself that in order to be a successful musician these days you have to be some kind of influencer. It seems that you can have the most fantastic concert moment in the analogue world, if it's not on social media it seems it has never happened. These Ideas brought me into thinking deeper on how we use digital communication and social media.

I started to wonder if we had lost the ability to live in the moment a little bit.
Is there a track in particular that you feel speaks the most to you on the album and why?
— You know, even if it's not one of the main tracks, and there are no vocals on it either, I would say „Überfahrt" as I like how warm, melancholic but yet hopeful at the same time it is. I put this track there to close the narrative of transformation that I open with „Transhuman" as first track. I wanted to express that even with all the technological dystopia, pandemic and environmental catastrophy there is still hope that we as mankind might transform into something better one day. Hence the title „Überfahrt" which means crossing in german.
We read that you are known for using field recordings in your tracks, what was taken and where for this album? Did you get to travel anywhere exciting during this process?
— Just right before the pandemic I've had gigs in Switzerland, Ukraine and Turkey. Some of the field recordings were taken at these places. This would be a mix of sounds from nature and of the cities I was in. Usually this could be percussions I get from drumming on everything in my way but also textures like waterfalls (on „digital waterfall") or rain („Remember the Days") Very often like in this track I would use these recordings to create a conceptual link between the music and the lyrics („When we danced in the rain and no-one took a photo")

My original plan was to continue this lifestyle of playing a gig somewhere and then take a couple of days to explore the place and make recordings, however we all now what happened in 2020. From then on my focus shifted: Since I was making an album about humans and technology I would start to record the electrostatic noise pollution of our everyday electronics with a special pickup: Laptops, phones, routers, printers, screens, fridges etc. You can hear these sounds quite prominently in „All that Fiberglass" and „Connection Error" but they are also hidden as Swooshy transition FX in other tracks.
Building your own hardware is a specialist task. We hear this is something you do. How did you learn how to do this, and what's the latest piece you have built?
— I got a bit sucked into this in the international and Berlin music tech community.

I would attend festivals and meet-ups like music tech fest and musical instrument makers Berlin and dive into DIY building culture and open source technology.

I've been using the Axoloti plattform, a tiny micro controller that lets you program your own hardware with visual programming similar to max/msp and pure data for many years now. I use several of these boards to do various tasks in my live and production setup: Granular shimmery reverbs and delays that I designed from scratch and that you can hear on almost all tracks on the record. A sampler that takes little fragments of audio and plays them back in polyrythms created with the euclidean algorithm (Acces Denied, Connection Error)

I built a loop station and a modular sound manipulator with filters, envelopes, lfos and a sequencer so that I can record myself on the fly and transform these audio recordings into something very electronic.

And last but not least a microtonal tuning interface that takes incoming midi notes and alters them with pitch bend messages for my synthesizer and my harmonizer to achieve Just Intonation temperaments (Just Intonation is an approach of tuning instruments based on natural harmonics, prominent in many musical cultures on the planet but contrary to 12tone equal temperament used in modern western music).
Finally, will you be looking to do an album tour, or any special live shows in 2022?
— We are in contact with some exciting venues and festivals but since things are getting very insecure once more with the approach of the omicron variant I feel it's not the right moment yet to announce any gigs that might have to be cancelled again.