The former Dissident-boss has started a new vinyl-only label.
Primarily a platform for Blake's own releases, the label will be run with a no-frills approach: all tracks will be recorded live in one take on analog gear, and releases will be available exclusively on vinyl. Chatting via email earlier this week, Blake filled us in on what the new imprint is all about:
Cave Paintings is a fascinating name for a label. What's the story behind it?Cave Paintings' first release is due in stores on April 26th. In keeping with the label's spartan aesthetic, the record itself and both of its tracks are untitled.
It's an idea I've been toying with for a while now and the name is inspired by the raw, primal nature of the music and the process behind it. The driving thought behind the label is to strip things back to the core essence of what house and techno means for me and make the tracks live in one take using old analogue kit and no computers. The series is called Cave Paintings to reflect the musical content itself, the relatively primitive method of making the music and the simple, back to basics approach to the project as a whole.
What can you tell us about the upcoming releases for the label?
It will all be heavy and raw and done live at my place, then mastered direct to vinyl by Lawrie at Curved. I'm really enjoying the huge amount of scope for creativity there is in using simple interlocking drum patterns and sequences, sync-ing, daisy chaining and cross-patching a bunch of CV synths and drum machines together and then arranging and developing things on the fly by playing around with how the various sonic elements, patterns and structures syncopate and interact with each other. It can lead to very interesting and engaging recorded results which work really well for the dance floor. I have no doubt whatsoever that it's definitely not music for everyone but that's absolutely fine by me.
What did you learn from doing Dissident that you'll be bringing to Cave Paintings? What will you change?
The idea that this is music for shared, communal situations and therefore doesn't need to be "owned" by many people other than DJs who can interpret and present it in their sets for dance floors and their
other audiences is the main thing that carries over from my previous label. The biggest change will be that I'll be doing two sides on each 12-inch and it's all my own music this time. I don't think there was
really that much for me to learn from running Dissident, but it did reinforce for me that I know my own mind and I'm happy with my choices, I like to do what I do just because I enjoy and care deeply about doing it and that I genuinely don't mind too much about who does or doesn't like the end result. I'm very interested to see how it all pans out this time round, I met some very interesting and creative independently-minded people through running dissident and I hope something similar happens with this label.
Any nostalgia for Dissident?
I've never been much of a nostalgic but it is really nice to see various of my friends whose first records i put out and other people whose music i released getting on in the game. It was quite amusing having various of the artists telling me that x and y labels were chasing them for music once I'd put their records out when they couldn't get a look in with those same labels before. I had to allow myself a wry smile at that one.