Artist Spotlight: Blake.08
This month, we’re delighted to introduce our brand-new signing, Australian producer Blake.08. Blake’s new ‘High Fidelity EP’ is out now on Anjunadeep, and to celebrate the occasion, we sat down with him to chat about all things starting out in music, Sydney, and samples.
Where are you from, Blake?
Sydney, Australia. I live in Maroubra, a beach suburb around 30 mins south of the city.
Love it, I’ve pretty much lived here most of my life.
Tell us a bit about how you got into dance music, and how you started out DJing and producing.
I grew up as a child listening to hard trance. Sydney had a massive scene for hard dance and my brother would always talk about going to raves around our local area (Malabar bunkers, Suctions Yarra Bay). Obviously I was way too young to go to that sorta stuff… ;)
Fast forward a few years and I'm listening to amazing and fresh music. Sounds like the “UKF” dubstep wave, the label “Mau5trap”, the “Anjuna” releases, and the Above & Beyond Essential mixes.
Your artist name is Blake.08. Have there been seven other iterations of ‘Blake’ before this?
Blake.08 is a play on words. It’s meant to sound like 808. Blake08/808…. Get it?
I actually don’t like putting too much emphasis on the artist / track names. Usually i just come up with some weird and wacky name mid production or prior to production and stick with it.
How did you first get in contact with Anjunadeep?
My manager was chatting to them about a few things and my demos came up in the mix, the relationship has kind of just grown slowly from there and it’s been 100% about the music before anything.
So, your first major experience with the Anjunafamily was in Fiji and Sydney last year, can you tell us what that was like?
One way I can describe Anjuna is that it really is one giant musical family. Everyone involved in the label and artist side of things are nothing short of generous, talented and overwhelmingly kind. Then there is the other half of the family, the Anjunafam and supporters, who once again are nothing short of special. Honestly it was like a glimpse into what i’ve always dreamed of doing. We ended up playing Fiji together, flying back to Australia to play the Sydney Open Air, and finally wrapped it up with an afterparty in Melbourne with Taglo and Jody. It was such a nice introduction to this really special thing.
Your new EP, ‘High Fidelity’, is out now on Anjunadeep. Can you tell us a little about the three tracks that feature on it?
High Fidelity features three tracks that are fairly linear and I wanted to be able to play them out at shows back to back, or atleast play all three in certain sets.
I wrote them with the focus entirely towards shows / DJ sets, and with this EP, I tried to cover three different emotional styles in the 128BPM house format.
We’ve had a sneak peek of your Deep Edition mix, coming out next week, and we’ve noticed a few fun samples in there! What attracts you to sampling certain tracks or sounds, and what is your favourite unusual sample you’ve ever included in a track?
I’m not gonna lie, that was directly influenced by Mat Zo, and Above & Beyond. Their essential mixes contained awesome movie quotes and samples, and it certainly added to the emotions and vibrations of the mixes.
So I threw in a couple of Alan Watts and old school BBC news articles to freshen the transitions up and build some extra meaning into the hour long tape.
Who are some of your favourite producers at the moment?
Definitely been bumpin some Marsh, CRi, and some Jody & James on the Anjuna front.
I watched my homie from Brisbane Taglo play an extremely impressive set in Melbourne. He’s a weapon producer. I’m also enjoying Melbourne local, Binofski’s live jams on drum machines, synths and so on.
Do you have any tips for anyone who’s just started in music production/DJing?
For sure. Try to not get yourself too consumed in the scene and the popularity at the start of your careers. Remember that the music is the primary focus. Don’t be disheartened by the negativity or difficulty of music production and success. If you stay true, and work hard enough, everything will come into place. (Just stick it out!)
The art always comes first and drives the culture and future of dance music :) Oh, and be nice, this scene can eat you up and spit you out ;)
After this EP is out, what’s next on the cards for 2023?
Touring. I’ve got a nice bank of tunes waiting to be tested and then refined at the next run of shows. Theres also something special around the corner coming out on a mixtape very soon ;)
Honestly, I’m just stoked to finally relax on the productions for a bit and start hitting shows on the weekends.