Named after a character from Spanish Cluedo, Jamie Blanco has travelled halfway around the world to practice his trade in Sydney. Releasing records in recent years on the likes of London Housing trust, LBL, Cynic and Berlin's Love On the Rocks, he also happens to be one half of production duo Ess O Ess - something which may come in handy if he ever finds himself trapped on a desert island. He's put together a mix for us which is sure to keep you warm and toasty at night. In return, we asked him a selection of questions. Let's get it on;
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF…
WHO ARE YOU?
Jamie Blanco: Producer, DJ, immigrant hailing from London. Oh and one half of Ess O Ess, with Christopher Tarquin Stoker as the other!
WHERE ARE YOU?
Sat at home taking to you on a verandah in Mona Vale which is a town on the Northern beaches of Sydney. It’s early winter but blue skies and 23 degrees, smug as fuck about that.
WHAT ARE YOU?
Half an Australian resident.
IS JAMIE BLANCO YOUR REAL NAME?
Indeed it is, was even christened Jamie. My dad is from Galicia in Spain so that explains the surname. It’s certainly better than it’s translation Jamie White. Whitest Spaniard ever! Although the Australian sun is helping to change that. Reddest Spaniard ever.
WHERE WAS THE MIX RECORDED?
In the city of Sydney. A studio in Rushcutters Bay to be precise.
WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SETTING TO LISTEN TO THIS MIX?
On any given Wednesday with the weekend just about in sight.
Its quite an up for it mix and I presume most people are reading this on their computer at work, pretending to work! So just get it on in the headphones or whatever and carry on thinking about the weekend.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE WEARING?
Anything other than a suit.
WHICH TRACK IN THE MIX IS YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE?
There are a few but I’d have to say Fantastic Man - Fountain Gate which is out on Love On The Rocks at the moment.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO BACK WITH ANY DJ FROM THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I’ve been reading a bit about the New York scene in the early eighties recently so maybe someone like Mark Kamins who among other things produced Quango Quango’s “Love Tempo”. This way I wouldn’t have to play any house at all- just a selection of new wave, early electonic etc. It would be amazing to listen to his selection and experience the scene in NYC at that point in time.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DJ SET UP AT HOME AND WHAT IS IT NOW?
A pair of early 80’s Technics SL-1210’s I bought second hand in the 90’s with a Kam - Made to Fade Mixer! The mixer literally only had two channels and a crossfader no eq! Which made for some interesting rodeo mixes whilst learning, beats flying everywhere! I still have the decks and mixer back in London although the Made to Fade hasn’t seen the light for quite some time.
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT, THE TRACK YOU START ON OR THE TRACK YOU END ON?
The end track always gives people the freedom to play something kinda out of sorts from the rest of their set or a classic which usually makes for fun times on the dance floor! Growing up I remember always being excited to hear what the dj we’d gone to see would end on. I can remember being wide eyed and about 19 in El Divino, Ibiza when at around 9am Little Louie Vega played the original of Love is In The Air as his last track. I remember turning to see a fat Italian guy who looked a little like Zucchero crying, overcome with with joy! Which is somewhat of a personal testament to this answer. Big up to smoking Joe Dennis on that memory.
WHAT WERE THE FIRST AND LAST RECORDS YOU BOUGHT?
The first record I bought with my own money would probably have been something like Guns n Roses -Appetite for Destruction. I remember thinking I was dead hard listening to Axel swearing all over it!
The last was the Esa - Sabela De Cuba (Afro Synth Mix) I bought just before I did this mix. What a record!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE RECORDED MIX OF ALL TIME?
Retrospectively it’s have to be something I loved in my youth which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best ever. Justin Robertson’s Bugged out mix was always a favourite with my crew or when being played in my mates’ mk2 Ford Fiesta 1.0L Ghia.
Currently Tornado Wallace’s Bad Passion Podcast would be one of the best I’ve heard recently
IF THIS MIX WAS AN EDIBLE THING, WHAT WOULD IT TASTE LIKE?
It’s a colourful mix with a lot of melody and energy in it, which is something I always lean towards in the records I tend to like. So something colourful, exciting and full of flavour like a pack of Opal fruits or maybe a bag of Jelly Tots from around that era.
IF IT WAS AN ANIMAL WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A Scarlet Macaw.
UPCOMING IN THE WORLD OF JAMIE BLANCO…
On the musical side of things, London Housing Trust 10 will be the next release, it’s obviously a mile stone for the label so it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. I also have forthcoming releases lined up on love on the Rocks and Cynic. Apart from that, an Ess O Ess release on Not an Animal. ( the new label from the husband and wife behind Bad Passion Industries) Ess O Ess also have a remix on the oh so mysterious Man Power release on the same label.
WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF MUSIC?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with older siblings that were into music, I remember my older Brother and Sister playing records. At the time my sister was going to parties when the House thing was kicking off. I remember her friends, the legendary Johnny Dropjaw included! and my now brother in law Jon coming over to the house to pick her up or hang out. All of that early house and rave records were being played everywhere at the time. This has certainly influenced my taste and sound! Other than that, I’d hear anything from Duran Duran, Del la Soul - 3 feet high and rising to records like ‘What I Am’ by Edie Brickell. The latter was often overhead being played on repeat whist I was trying to go to sleep. I had the bedroom next to hers. I love that track as does she!
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ELECTRONIC MUSIC YOU EVER HEARD AND HOW DID IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
I can remember electronic pop records such as ‘Fade to Grey’ or ‘People are People’ by Depeche Mode making an impression early on. My family often watched top of the Pops together. My brother loved the Pet Shop Boys and for some reason I distinctly remember their Domino Dancing appearance. Synths were everywhere and on everything in the 80’s and I love the fact that this was the sound of my early childhood. I loved the way music would make me feel or how it could take you somewhere else, somewhere new and futuristic. As futuristic as the robot voices on the Smash Mash adverts! I loved those adds.
WHAT ELSE INFORMS AND INFLUENCES YOUR SOUND?
One source lies in the fact I love to read autobiographies, mainly by musicians, which often leads me onto different sounds, scenes or production techniques. I recently read Billy Idols’ which is a hell of a story of Rock N Roll excess! Love him or hate him, again hanging out in NYC in the early 80’s sounded like a wild time. Apart from Billy smoking a shit load of crack and talking a shit load of shit at times, he also has some interesting theories on how and where personal musical influence is produced. Check it out if you don’t believe me.
WHICH SYNTH DO YOU WISH YOU OWNED IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT?
The Jupiter 8 would be an amazing keyboard to own- as standard a synth or inexpensive in the grand scheme of things it may be (around £3000). So many great records were made using one. I love my Roland Juno 60 I think it features somewhere on every house record I’ve produced. Obviously those two synths are related, the Jupiter being the step up from the 60, so It would be a great extension to my sound. Other than that the Oberhein 8 Voice, Ben “Gatto Fritto” Williams has been pimping about the social network, would be a welcome addition to my collection.
WHAT ARE YOU OBSESSED WITH AT THE MOMENT?
I’ve gotten very into surfing since I’ve been living here, mainly heading out with my Girlfriend's dad. Although, you could probably call what I’ve been been doing anything but surfing, more like eating shit a lot of the time! Either way, I can’t get enough of trying. I’m also trying not to think about the sharks too much.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE ON EARTH?
I could certainly tell you one of the more exotic or interesting places I’ve been or visited in the world, or even the place I’m sat in now! But to be honest I’d say it would be the place I grew up. Ottershaw, just outside of Woking, on the outskirts of greater London.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU PLAYED A GOOD GAME OF TABLE TENNIS?
The Christmas before last in Santiago de Compostela with my cousins. I talk a good game but I’m shit!
WHICH IS THE BEST KIND OF BERRY?
Jerry the Berry.
WHEN DID YOU LEARN TO SWIM? HOW DID YOU FEEL?
Walton on Thames Swimming pool when I was at school, being awarded my 5M badge was a very special feeling indeed.
IS WHITE CHOCOLATE YOUR FAVOURITE?
The clue is in my name.
DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING OTHER THAN RECORDS? (IF NOT, WHY NOT?)
Glasses on my bedside table.
WHEN DID YOU LAST HUG ANOTHER MAN? (WAS HE SPECIAL?)
When I said goodbye to my mate Nick last weekend. I do it all the time, nothing wrong with a bit of man or mate appreciation. I’ve got a special one for you when I’m back in this Summer…
WHAT MAKES GOOD ART?
WHAT DO YOU DO ON SUNDAYS?
Recover or carry on, attempt to surf, not think about sharks.
ANYTHING ELSE WE NEED TO DISCUSS?
I think we’ve said all we need to say… Oh maybe some shameless plugging!
I'm playing here this Saturday (30th May) as part of the Sydney Vivd festival!
Good talking to you R$N!
If you come to Sydney look me up…If you're in Sydney, please hook me up…
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