Jamie Blanco: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
From London to Sydney, Jamie Blanco is not your stereotypical Brit abroad. The producer and disc jockey relocated across the globe with a vision of a new life beneath the sun, bringing with him a bag full of music and a dream.
As one half of Ess O Ess and a producer in his own right he has released music across a wide variety of record labels which includes the likes of Futureboogie, Love On The Rocks, London Housing Trust and Not An Animal. His sound draws upon the outskirts of eclecticism and sees him blend balearic infusions alongside heavy hitting dance cuts. We asked Jamie to take a detour away from what me might stereotypically play in the club as he steps up to deliver a mix packed full with ambient goodness, dreamy pads and music perfect for soothing the pain of a Monday morning.
A dreamy hour of bliss, perfect for the beach or the office, no matter where you might find yourself this February. Listen and download below…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I'm a half Spanish, half Irish, one foot in Oz, one foot in it English man
How would you describe your musical taste?
Confusion – New Order
Your sound has evolved over time, has this been a reflection of experience or other reasoning?
Both I'd say. I spoke a bit about my musical upbringing in our last chat so initially certainly the experience of being immersed in the music of the 80's as a child and through the being fortunate enough to have older sibling at that time playing those sounds at home or them going raving in the acid house years etc. There is nothing better than 80's pop or dance music, for me that's the high water mark! This definitey influenced my own musical taste for good or bad and is or was reflected in the sound of the bands I was in, (Roland Shanks – Moshi Moshi records) Roland Shanks / tarantula or any of the records I've made since. That old school approach of plugging an instrument in and recording is something I've used or followed throughout making any of the types of music I have done so far. It can be clearly heard in the Ess o Ess project with I'm one of half with Tarquin Stoker, the use of organic and instruments recorded though a jack lead.
I'd have to say moving about and meeting new people has also influenced my sound, recently prevalent in meeting so many exceptional male and female producers, dj's and people in Australia that's I wouldn't have heard of if I'd stayed in London.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us…
When you guys put the Monday's are ok concept to me it really appealed as something else seeing as I'd been putting so many uptempo or dace floor friendly mixes together. From there I spent quite a bit of time selecting from my own collection and digging elsewhere for records which the mass lead to two other mixes in a similar vein. I not only looked at records I also found soundbites from different sources going though old cassettes like the one of the woman in the 50's talking about her acid experience, which is playing over the top of the mix, also I used dialogue like that Joker giving my name a workout at the end which I discovered on you tube. Sadly one of my favorite uncles LoLo who had been an avid collector in the 70's and early 80's died a couple of years, fortunately for me he left a lot of records to my brother and I which had to be divided randomly behind our back in-case of one of us losing an eye or something. The mix features a few of those 12" in it such as such as the Roedelius, Tangerine Dream and andreas vollenweider records. There are also a couple of newer Australian sounds in there including a forthcoming remix of Ess o Ess by Max Santili who is 1/5 of the talented fountain of youth named Sydney Pony Club, there is also a cut from another Aussie Long hair's new album in there, I actually originally met Ell De in London some years back, that lad loves a boys night out!
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
Well it probably wouldn't at all although that sprung to mind when you asked and has to be credited to a Northern foghorn named Jake Manders who answered a similar question with with that answers! I nearly pissed myself laughing.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I should probably say something like kicking back on an idyllic or exotic spot like Hamilton island in Queensland where I'm currently sat on holiday talking to you! Although as ramdom as it is I recon it's probably go down well about 3am doing laps of the M25…When there's no traffic at that time driving becomes rather trance like especially when all you're seeing is repeated scenery, the lights above the road lane markings in front! You could get deep into!!! You could also get deep into central reservation if you feel asleep!
What should we be wearing?
If you're gonna be driving around the M25 at 3am in the morning then you have to be a bit of a nut job or seriously into testing your motor with a load of other nut jobs! So 'petrol head club' attire I guess….I always did want an XR3 instead I got a VW caddy.
Where was it recorded?
In our front room in Elzabeth Bay, Sydney, 2011
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
That often depends on the weekend before although yeah I mostly like Monday's, especially the happy ones! Anyway Tuesday's the crapist days of the week..what good happens on a Tuesday? Apart from Rapido…or was that Wednesday? It was a long time ago either way…Tell me why I don't like Tuesday's then Bob???
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
Daryl hall's Drum machine at the start of I can't go for that! Otherwise I can clearly remember loving the metallic sounds of pipes being banged and then sampled in Depeche Mode – People are people. Obviously I had no Idea of the process at the time except I thought it sounded insane but familiar. I love Depeche Mode! The perfect mix of technology, look and melody.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Spoke a bit about past influence already although everything i'm experiencing out here in Oz is still shaping that, such an incredibly beautiful place. Recently took a road trip down the coast from Sydney to Melbourne in which I saw all sorts from snakes to some of the most beautiful secluded beaches I've ever seen to the most amount of throngs I've ever seen in one pub (aussie word for flip flops). In terms of achievements….If Stokers happy, we're happy!
What were your original aspirations as musicians and how do you think you're shaping up?
I used to think so and Jon Tailor's mullet was so cool in the view to a kill video…that Bond film was on just about every Saturday in England in the late 80's! That haircut and rolled up trench sleeves would get me all I desired one day! The haircut and it's benefits didn't quite happen but I still and always will love Duran Duran. When I started going to gig's in the 90's I always wanted to someday play the Brixton Academy and fortunately that did happen with Roland Shanks. Again In the mid to late 90's at the height of britpop I wished one day I could go on a show like The White Room and be joined by someone like Weller backing me up on the Fender Rhodes and vocal! Well that never happened although I did have the haircut at some point and I met Weller once at my dad's garage in Woking. These days just revert to the previous question…
Some self help questions for a Monday:
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that i have lined up for the week?
Am I looking forward to engaging with the people i am meeting or working with?
Always! Just sear clear of the petrol heads…they'll be knackered if not heading for an early grave…
Am I going to my dream job?
Only if you're Daryl Hall
Am I being compensated fairly for the value i bring to my job?
Ask Jon Oats
Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?
Boxing! It's the shit! I've been loving it out here since no one wants to play football…well they like to call three different sports football…and in all of these sports you mainly carry the ball with your hands!?
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
most of the time I try to put too many ideas into the one tracks, everything except the kitchen sinks type stuff I usually have to try and restrict this although it's always…oh but if i take that out then…
What were the first and last records you bought?
Well the last records were by a Sydney producer called Cop Envy and another by Sam Weston…Never been in Love part II is wonderful little house banger.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Well it was these sushi rolls you get everywhere out here, $3 a pop! a little snack on your way somewhere or the same on the way back from work! The place in Kings cross station even does a happy hour from 4pm, two for 4 bucks! Anyway I sick of them now, can't even look at one.
What's your answer to everything?
How much is that in pounds???
Anything else we need to discuss.
I think we're all good Ransom Note although big up, Bobby Vibe Positive, Pelvis, Barney or Kato, Andy Garvey, House of Mince, Sydney Pony Club, Heavenly, Champagne Lyf, Paul Jextra, Valerie Yum, Fleitsy, Myles dad Chateau, Picnic, Adi Toohey, Jon Watts, Earl Gray for being called Earl Gray and everyone else who has helped me out in Sydney so far x
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