56 minutes of real talk with a singular techno artist.
Jamie Roberts said he isn't sure what he's channelling when he makes a track, but spend a bit of time with him and you begin to see a link between the man and his music: both are strictly no-nonsense. Although Roberts' sound as Blawan has been in flux since he surfaced with Fram on Hessle Audio back in 2010, almost all of it has been marked by gritty textures and bags of attitude. The most recent example was Wet Will Always Dry, his excellent debut album, which featured eight hard-hitting techno tracks. "I especially didn't want to do any of these filler tracks," Roberts told The Quietus, "these ambient, noisy, wishy-washy tracks that people end up skipping anyway." The record was mostly written on a modular system, a production approach that, after many years of hard work and frustration, Roberts said he's now finally happy with.
These sorts of frank assessments were a near-constant in Roberts' Exchange interview. He talked about how stressful he found it writing music in the post-dubstep era, and how glad he was to shed the association. He cut straight to the point about why he thinks so many DJs are suffering from burnout. And he explained how him and Pariah have always found it difficult to translate their live project, Karenn, into recorded music. He may be his own harshest critic, but what was also clear from this conversation was Roberts' unwavering commitment to originality.