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INTERVIEW with Blufeld about his album Thoughtscapes on Green Martian

For Blufeld electronic music is the pulse of life. Evocative of all genres, yet guided by a set of dynamics and instrumentation very much of its own unique identity, it breathes a type of emotion to a degree that can only be reached via the imaginative use of synthesizer and drum.

Blufeld has been captivated and completely mesmerized into a 3 dimensional world of sound, and endeavors to maximize all levels of the sonic and emotional spectrum so as to reach and tug at the heartstrings of people who love electronic music.

Blufeld is a craftsman with a deep sense of care and love for the output and quality of his productions; a producer who works solo to use sound and imagination to output everything that’s inside his heart and mind to create some of the most complex and deepest emotive tracks in progressive trance music.

Blufeld is becoming ever increasingly recognized for his luscious progressive trance sounds, with key releases and remixes signed to labels such as 'Bonzai' & 'Green Martian' and also including his own label imprint 'Actuate Recordings'.

Blufeld has the pleasure to release his third  artist album “Thoughtscapes” on Green Martian and we requested an interview from him. We are glad he came back to it and here you can enjoy his great answers.

Interview was written and conducted by Dimitri Kechagias Music Journalist/Radio/Dj

Dimitri: It would be great to start from the scratch and let us know when, under which circumstances and why you decide to get involved with the EDM scene?

Blufeld: It all began from an early age where I used to put my mothers records on her record decks at home, as she had a vast record collection that I always remember during the 80's............but it wasn't until during the mid 90's when used to listen to the euro dance stuff that was out that my love for electronic sounds really started. For trance it was the moment I heard 'System F – Out Of The Blue' played on Judge Jules radio 1 show back in 2000 it hit me like a thunderbolt, and my love affair with the genre 'Trance' began. I didn't start producing my own tracks until late 2005.

Dimitri: Did you had the support of your family and your friends on that decision or they wanted to have more ordinary job?

Blufeld: To be fair I already had an ordinary job, I was working as a graphic designer/ printers assistant at the time, so I was doing this as a serious hobby but I knew it would be a dream to make producing my full time work...............But as we all know its not easy making a living alone from just being a electronic music producer!!!  :)

Dimitri: Would you like to mention the 5 most important EDM producers/djs/ or other artists that may have influence your sound/ production techniques and your whole attitude towards the EDM scene?

Blufeld:  Krafwerk, Depeche Mode & The Beloved were an influence to my initial appreciation to the electronic sound.

But M.I.K.E (PUSH) & AIRWAVE's sounds have been massive influences that really guided me and helped me to shape my sound and style to what it is today, as I knew I wanted my music to have an edge that was truly underground and had a serious, atmospheric and emotive feel all rolled into one..................

There are also other producers to thank too, but too many to mention right now who have had a hand in influencing my style. But in the end I like to think perhaps I bring something truly unique of myself to the table also that people can appreciate :)

Dimitri: Have you attended any music production courses or you are totally self taught? What is your opinion about You Tube video tutorials that teach the people how to produce music?

Blufeld:  When I was at college I attended an evening class to help me become more familiar with 'Cubase', which did really help me.............apart from that everything I know is pretty much self taught. I would like to think I have a pretty decent ear for what sounds right, I feel it has also helped that I had singing lessons at school and was part of the barbershop quartet. So I was classically trained and can read music also, which I think gave me good grounding .

My advice to those who watch too many of these videos is that although they can help and give some good tips, DON'T follow them to the letter, but rather to experiment loads with different plugins, synths, effects etc...........carve out your own sound and feel to your music, as it will make you feel unique and will be a true reflection of the inner artist inside you :)

Dimitri:When and in which label was your first release? How did you felt when you saw your name on vinyl??

Blufeld: To be fair it was on the then known legendary: 'Bonzai Trance Progressive' label with an EP called 'Special' which came out early 2008. At that time I just missed out on seeing my release go out on vinyl as things had just gone digitally orientated and the label had decided to stop releasing vinyl due to the sheer outlay and cost, and lack of support for the dying format at that time.

Dimitri: What equipment did you use for your  first productions and what equipment did you use to produce Thoughtscapes? Have you undergone any major restructuring or upgrade in your studio?

Blufeld: When I produced 'Special', to be fair I did that on a humble PC computer running Reason 3 with a basic pair of 'M-audio' monitor speakers and a 'Creative Audigy sound card' believe it or not............ a 'P4 processor' and just 500mb of Ram.
In 2010 I had a major overhaul of the studio, where I now run a PC system which has a 65Gig memory, i7 processor, Reason 6.5, Cubase 6, plenty of plugins, and T-rackS mastering suite, Novation ReMOTE 25SL, KORG microKONTROL Midi controllers, Alesis M1 Active 620 monitor speakers, and an EDIROL UA101 soundcard, with dual monitor split screen setup.

Dimitri: Your releases have always the support of many well known names in the scene. Do you believe that is important to get the support of major artists in their radio shows or dj sets? 

Blufeld: I have been very lucky to have had the support from other well known artists, and i'm very humbled by that...........i think it is important to get support from not just well known artists, but also other general artists and fans, as basically its about getting your name out there. But certainly it really is a major help and advantage to gain playlisting on both radio and DJ sets, as this will also help you to possibly collaborate with other artists too, which in turn will help the exposure of your name as an artist.

Dimitri: Before moving on your great album it would be great to compile for us your 5 most precious Blufeld productions or remixes that characterize your sound and have been big milestones for the development of your career.

Simply these:
1.Special (Original Mix)
2.Little Wonder (Original Mix)
3.Plastic Boy - Silver Bath (Blufeld Remix)
4.Metrobot (Original Mix)
5.Blencathra (360 Degrees Mix)

Dimitri: Your album forthcoming on Green Martian is called Thoughtscapes. Why you choose this particular name and if you can explain to us the main concept behind this album?

Blufeld: Well 'Thoughtscapes' really is self explanatory in the name.............during the course of my life I feel that I have been described by many as a deep thinking person, a dreamer you may say. This album really is a audible journey of my thoughts and feelings right from before I started producing where I was: 'Lost' right through to being 'Found' where I found my love for the beautiful genre 'Trance', I just wanted to guide my listeners just for a short moment in time out of their everyday lives, and into a world where they could immerse themselves and feel my journey, but at the same time connect to it and make it 'Their own journey'!!

Dimitri: How long it took to produce the album and what are you going to remember the most from the production process of it?

Blufeld:  In total I started production on the first track which indeed was the title track to the album 'Thoughtscape' way back in November 2011................and finished by August 2012 so in all I guess that’s about 9 months!!!

All I know is its soooo much harder to produce an album than a single..............i really want to make the tracks feel like a story or a journey where they not only project my inner thoughts and feelings but can motivate the listeners hearts to listen to the end.

I also realize that the effective use of reverb and effects are paramount in creating a 'Feel' to an album and are an important part of any electronic music producers sound, just these two elements alone can really help you create a style and a palette that is totally unique to you.

Dimitri: Did you produce it as full time occupation or at the same time you had and a daytime job and if yes what kind of daytime job?

Blufeld: As already previously mentioned its hard to make a living just from being a producer so yes it has been necessary for me to have a day job also. But producing this third album has truly felt like a full time job, if you base the number of hours put into it!!!

Dimitri: It would be great to take us for a virtual tour through your album and give us a small comment about each track with some hint about the production of it or any backstage story that you may want to share with our readers? 

Blufeld:  I could explain each track for sure...........but I’ll keep things simple...............

This is a concept album and the concept statement text that goes with this tracklisting says it all :)

'Thoughtscapes' (Concept Statement)

I'm lost within the thoughtscapes of my mind,
but delve down deep and you will find
that all my life i had just one little wish...........

And in one profound moment I realised that
the sky between us made me see things
from a different viewpoint,
instead of i told you so............

I discovered my musical journey could give me
the peace and the clarity in this life,
to which could only mean one thing in the end................

I'm found.

Thoughtscape tracklist:
1.   I'm Lost
2.   Thoughtscapes
3.   Delve
4.   All My Life
5.   One Little Wish
6.   Profound
7.   The Sky Between Us
8.   Viewpoint
9.   I Told You So
10.  Clarity
11.  I'm Found

Dimitri: Do you believe that albums make the artist or an artist can carry on in his whole career to release only various singles? In other words, in what ways the album builds the brand of an artist?

Blufeld: I believe that it is important for an artist to try to produce a full album in his / her career as it shows that the producer has a hunger to give something back to the world in the form of something final. It also helps other loyal followers and prospective future followers to get an overview of your style, as most people these days want to see what an artist has made album wise. Although I feel it’s ultimately a personal decision that a producer or artist has to make for themselves. Whatever they are comfortable with I guess........

Dimitri:  Is it possible to describe us the process of producing a track? From which sound element you start to build the track?

Blufeld:  This is a difficult question :) It can really depend on what you are trying to achieve as an end result, I honestly tend to go with the flow, I never like to restrict myself to producing each track with a template approach. Sometimes I deliberately start with an fx sound just to make things interesting!!!! Or maybe a quirky percussive groove can help get a nice rhythmic direction rolling. In the end its all about working the sounds that you may have already laid down, but listening to the sounds you think also should be there, and go create them........this will always give you the edge :)

Dimitri: In your productions do you mainly use pre-existing samples from sound Libraries or do you produce 100% fresh sounds? Which sound library is your favorite and why?

Blufeld:  I very rarely use sound libraries, the only times maybe are from the 'Vengeance' series, as they have some nice fx and single percussive elements that I can use...................but all basslines, synth melodies, arps, and plucks are normally all created from scratch, using either reason modules or various plugins etc.

Dimitri:  Do you have a friend or relative that you trust a lot and you give them the chance to hear the tracks for the first time and give you feedback on them? If they don’t like it do you change it as well or you stick on your own belief?

Blufeld:  Yes I have a person who has always been there from the very start for me in my producing career, and has been my rock in life for a long time now................i know that I can always play a new production and will get a non bias, and honest opinion!!!

Dimitri: Do you aspire to support the release of the album with some kind of tour all over the world?

Blufeld:  I have had quite a few requests as to when my first tour would be, and if i'm totally honest I still don't know...............this album was never about having a tour attached to it. But in terms of a blufeld live concept, well who knows.............i never say never :)

Dimitri: Are you active user of facebook & Twitter? Do you see those social networks as vital for the artists to spread the word about what they are doing? What is your opinion about artists who give too much about their life in those social media and tweet for example any small personal detail?

Blufeld: I think that social networks such as 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' are invaluable tools for an artist these days to promote themselves, without these I could probably never keep fans and followers as up to date about what is happening in 'Blufeld Land' as I do with them :)

But just like anything, they have their drawbacks, they can be very destructive, and I feel an artist should conduct his/ herself professionally, so posting rude or stupid comments via these sites is only going to show them up in a bad light which lets face it is only a negative move that any artist can make :)

Dimitri: Can you recall the best feedback that you got through social media about your music and make you maybe even cry or you felt very proud for yourself?

Blufeld:  I remember one comment I got from a fan via a private facebook message a couple of years back that read:

'I will be a life long Blufeld music fan, it gives me a lot of pleasure to put the headphones on and turn on the music '

and another that read on a youtube video:

'Blufeld is like one of the best deep prog trance producers alive.........'

These are just a couple of many wonderful comments I have been lucky to receive about my music, and it is always so humbling to get them, and its moments like these that make being a producer and doing what I do so worthwhile! :)

Dimitri: We notice that you work for many years with Bonzai / Banshee Worx. Would you like to tell us what is so special about this label and your opinion about the bosses Fly & Marnik who stand behind this legendary label?

Blufeld:  Well 'Bonzai' are a label I have respected for over 15 years as i was growing up as a teenager, and whose artists at that time such as 'Airwave', 'Quadran' & 'Push' , 'Blue Alphabet' etc....inspired me to start producing in the very first place.......and it was the label that I admired that heard my demo and signed it straight away.

Fly & Marnik have always supported my sound and have always remained positive about my music, they are both decent and honest label bosses to work with , and they just keep things real and I really like that, so lets face it why go anywhere else.

For me they are the one label that have stayed truest to real underground electronic dance music.

Dimitri: Let’s finish off with your piece of advice to the young producers out there who aspire to get into production and produce an album like yours?

Blufeld:  Ok well, for a about 2 – 3 years when I first started to produce it felt like I was getting nowhere with my productions, nothing seemed to really gel.  DO NOT give up, as this will pass.......stick at things because gradually things eventually do click into place. Yes listen to other trance tunes and get general ideas from them, but spend lots of time developing your own style, find new ways to structure percussions, and grooves.............three words: 

EXPERIMENT, FX, REVERB. These are massive tools to help you create YOUR SOUND!!!!

Finally always remember to bring the inside out, be YOU and not what others want you to be musically.

'We are all unique inside, so let the music be unique on the outside'

Thank you for giving me this interview opportunity....................

Thanks very much to Blufeld for his great answers.

Thanks to Marnik & Fly for their fantastic support through the years

Thanks to Paul at 1mix radio for publishing this interview on 1mix radio web site

The interview is online on 1mix radio web site click here to check it out