My Inspiration: Blu_aro | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Known for his work as one-half of Ten Sticks, Blu_aro‘s music is complied of looped-based experiments which merge into dream-like echos to create something that borders between clarity and the intangible.

Here, we find out what inspired the Blu_aro project before their show at Northern Electric Festival on 23rd September…

Having been in and out of the local Newcastle music scene I had always chipped away at a few small projects however it was only when I started playing with S.L Walkingshaw, within Grandfather Birds and later as Ten Sticks, that I was encouraged to do more. I amassed a small collection of odds and sods in regards to gear which was mainly him borrowed from Stu.  Along with his pedal board and these few bits of gear, I started making loops and really got into building sounds that had shifting layers. I then took these ideas and resampled them, which in turn allowed me to reimagine these ideas, transforming them into something new and slightly warped – like a photocopy of a photocopy. At first, it was a fun way to make loops that I could play live drums to.

Around about the same time I was getting into a lot of electronic music, sort of 90’s electronic Warp stuff. From a melodic point of view early Autechre and Plaid had these addictive little melodies littered throughout. Some tracks would also have just a few bars at the end of a track of some lush alien/angelic sound that would last about 30 seconds and would completely flip the whole track around. A good example of this is Prague Radio by Plaid. These are all things that pushed me forward and made me want to collate all of my ideas into something more than just a set of loops.

In terms of inspiration for my EP ‘1irst’, this was a first attempt of stitching all of the loops and ideas together that I had.  As it progressed it turned into a dream-like journey with reoccurring themes and transitional tracks throughout. I liked how it didn’t have to stick to a certain structure and that it could flow in and out of tangible tracks and more semi-lucid echos without warning. Much like how in a dream you’re sort of dropped right in the middle of a situation and you’re very much navigated by feel and your subconscious rather than your day-to-day logic. In this state, each scene or part of the dream seems to merge into the next almost seamlessly which is something that naturally grew out of the EP.

My live set is built in the very same vein, inspired by my earlier attempts of looping and sample manipulation. I create a new set for each gig which is based on some ideas from the EP and some tracks and melodies that I feel are interesting or relevant to me at the time. This is then mangled and manipulated using custom-built samplers and other tools in Max along with other textures and glitched visuals to create a unique set each time.

I’ve played Northern Electric a long time ago with Ten Sticks which was ace, and have always been watching from a distance. I’m looking forward to seeing where the little buildings set will take me and catching the other acts that are playing.

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