India’s live electronic star BLOT! has established himself as one of India’s most acclaimed dance acts with a constantly evolving string of singles, a debut album on Universal and immersive audio-visual sets named after Milton’s Paradise Lost.
1. Hey, Gaurav thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Whereabouts are you at the moment and what are you doing?
I’m in London at the moment – taking a quick break after my set at Awakenings Festival, Netherlands.
2. Can you explain what BLOT! is? We understand that the project is about more than just producing and also represents Art Installations, putting on events and more.
BLOT! Is actually an acronym for The Basic Love Of Things, and nicely reflects my philosophy when it comes to making music with vintage gear or my interest in art and space design, creating an environment for my music and performances to live within.
“For me it’s always been about creating a lasting memory.”
3. Why do you think it’s important to have a project which focuses on visuals and physical production rather than solely making music?
For me it’s always been about creating a lasting memory, I’ve been a DJ since I was 14 and I spent most of my teens just playing different parties, and when I say different I really mean bizarre, peculiar gigs in India and the odd nice club show since 1999. Being really into my job I never really partied as a punter or a raver, so to speak, and I was always the DJ, musician or the person with a function in the room.
This led me to focus more on creating a series of memorable experiences for the audience. As I was always working and never had the time to party or drink or do anything that would enhance my experience other than making the space nice to look at – a fantasy world of sorts by spending as much time with designing the space, the lights and the decor as I do with my music. Over the years my vision has always been that a typical BLOT! Show must be synonymous with a great party, excellent and precise sound systems, an immersive space that provides a great experience for dancers listeners and for a lack of a better term ravers?! alike.
4. ‘Hello’ drops on Qilla Records on 15th July. Can you talk to us about your creative processes behind making the record?
With ‘Hello’ I recorded the vocal first and then just built everything around that one verse. Most of my recent productions have all been written with my live show in mind and this particular track comes in at the later half, so I wrote it with an intention to keep things simple and effective. I think its been doing really well on the dance floor and we’ve got some great feedback and support from really amazing artists that I admire and that I’m greatly influenced by. Often I only get to examine the creative process once the record is complete as I usually just have a rough understanding of what I want from the track rather than what it should sound like.
5. We saw that you were recently part of The True School Of Music Teaching with Red Bull Academy. How was that experience?
Yes, I was invited to share my insights about synthesis and why I prefer to use hardware synths and outboard gear to produce my music. Teaching is very complex I think, because it’s really challenging to articulate your process in words and also as a teacher or mentor one must leave all their personal biases against a certain style of music or sound and just focus on providing a solution to an inquisitive student without any judgements, so it’s quite spiritual and enjoyable to do this for me every now and then.
“The actual connection to Paradise Lost, broadly explained, is the losing of innocence.”
6. And of course you’ve been hosting your highly anticipated ‘Paradise Lost’ shows. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Why did you name the performance after John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’?
The actual connection to Paradise Lost, broadly explained, is the losing of innocence. It’s a metaphor that’s more relevant to my work in the studio and as a musician, than it is with the show. When I was starting out, the process of creating my music was quite amateur and was a representation of what was in my mind, completely unaffected by external factors or the opinions of the people who consume it. Now it is undeniably different because I scrutinise the same idea many times before I settle on it…often ruining something good that I might’ve had in the first place. For me it’s kind of a new chapter, much like Adam and Eve leaving Paradise.
The live show is 3 hours long and I took it to five different cites as a Red Bull Music Show, it was a very ambitious undertaking, but I’m glad I did it and I’m looking forward to the next round.
“The entire music industry in India right now is at a very exciting time where we are all really coming into our own and developing a sound that is unique to India.”
7. For you, who are the most influential artists in the Indian scene right now?
The entire music industry in India right now is at a very exciting time where we are all really coming into our own and developing a sound that is unique to India but not by any means distinctly Indian so thats a great thing.
I’d recommend Kohra, Arjun Vagale, Vridian, Jaypei, Aqua Dominatrix, Peter Cat Recording, Nicholson. But this is by no means a complete list as if you dig deeper it’s actually crews like Locals, Warp Core, Paradox, sLick, Submerge, Wild City and so on, that are as important as the artists in furthering a sound beyond the populist music.
8. What can we expect from BLOT! in the future?
Lots of music and lots of art.