▼at Blendits: 6 years

▼at Blendits: 6 years

Blendits 6 years

Blendits: 6 years. 20th May 2016. Transport Rotterdam.

Written by: Michael Janiec

Only had the chance to visit two Blendits earlier. The atmosphere went through the roof back then. Following up on that after 1,5 years, especially in a somewhat different location; it’s a tough job. Partially due to the fact that expectations were right up there, with that claustrophobic, but rather mighty Perron ceiling.

Not to mention that dank sound-system… Oh well. It’s rather easy to romanticize old memories still. Yet, there are more situational factors at play; Blendits seems to have taken a step back with booking overly crowd-pleasing DJ’s – thus essentially sacrificing hype for sophistication.

Not being able to participate from start to end, due to other obligations (something like a housewarming, and overly aching fingers to mix) just doesn’t give me the jurisdiction to really judge the whole night. Instead, I can only share my overall impressions. To sweeten the deal, I’ve talked to Chris Harmonics, who currently has taken on the role of bringing Blendits back to those cherished days (read interview below).

Professional camera's are not allowed in this club... Dan Stezo on the mic, with Ivy Lab on decks

Professional camera’s are not allowed in this club… Dan Stezo on the mic, with Ivy Lab on decks

So how was it? Really enjoyable, with a huge amount of a laid back atmosphere. Compared with the previous Blendits, this night seemed somewhat chill, but the earlier mentioned situational factors also add to this. Let’s dig a bit deeper into that… For one, the dance floor doesn’t seem as ‘intimidating’ as in Perron. It’s a tad smaller and with a less dramatic contrast in lighting. There’s also more space between the DJ and the crowd, so the experience is less intimate in that sense.

Ivy Lab, while not present in full formation, managed to provide the crowd with a steady flow of worthwhile material. Perhaps not by really pushing the levels, but by telling a heartfelt and coherent musical tale. MC Dan Stezo did a great job at the mic by not overdoing it either. When asked about his highlight of the set he had one thing to say: ‘Ivy Lab – Twenty Questions’.

Apart from that, the amount of extra room added as a chilling area comes into play. A whole second area, of about the same size as the main area, was packed with sofa’s and a lot of places to just talk and chill. Once outside, you could also hang around upon a big plaza with a cozy atmosphere. Is this bad? Not really. But it gave a lot of extra room for cooling down and… well, wondering off. Despite the quite decent total amount of visitors, the main-area never seemed to give that really crowded vibe which truly does multiply the shared experience of music. I bet that it was just right for a lot of people, since the music was stellar and in a sense in tune with the surroundings.

Interview with Chris Harmonics, main-organizer Blendits

Chris Harmonics

Chris Harmonics

Blendits is back once again! How does it feel?
It feels good, although Blendits never really left! When our previous venue had to close down early 2015; our crew, which initially involved five people, shrunk even further. Basically I was the only one who decided to continue. I took a much needed break from doing monthly Blendits five years in a row. In that period of not doing parties (the last year and a half) I’ve been mainly focused on setting up a strong foundation for the label, which I added back in 2013 alongside the night. The great reception of last Friday’s ‘Blendits 6YR’ at Transport gave a confirmation that all the hard work I’ve put into the night (and label) was worth it, and people also still enjoy and appreciate that Blendits sound.

Why did you stick with it?
Because about seven years ago I caught the Drum & Bass virus badly. Also been fortunate enough to earn a living while working in Drum & Bass through Triple Vision Record Distribution. Not continuing with Blendits would feel like a personal loss, as I’ve always been 100% dedicated to the cause. Although it was frightening at first, operating Blendits as a solo effort opened up a lot of room in the decision-making process.

One of the numerous positive responses about this edition on social media

One of the numerous positive responses about this edition on social media

When you’ve built something up from the ground, it’s hard to part was, despite things not always going smoothly. When we started out as a crew we didn’t know anything about promoting, graphic design, booking agencies or DJ’ing. All we had was love for the genre and the aim to leave our footprint on the scene. With the growth of Blendits, both as event and label, I’ve grown a lot as a person and professionally as well. Even after six years I’m always busy working out ideas how to take things one step further.

With this re-introduction certain new paths have opened. Can you explain what has changed, but also what remains the same for the visitors?
It’s still about maintaining a party in Rotterdam, which focusses on more than sheer force and loudness: I want to give people something different than what they are used to. I want them to experience Drum & Bass differently. The artists that play at Blendits always have a lot to bring in a broader musical sense. Take Ivy Lab for example. These three independent producers bring together a sound within Drum & Bass which is quite extraordinary; it’s melodic, musical, but at the same very techy, sometimes minimal, but still with enough pressure for people on the dancefloor.

The focus nowadays is to involve the label more with the parties – essentially bridging the gap of between the releases, and the artists on the line-up. By releasing music by someone beforehand, the visitors get better insight into the artists that will be playing at the party. Hence further building upon our household name ‘Blendits’. It’s also about supporting people that I believe in, and not just booking headliners alongside headliners, which I don’t see as a good development for dance/electronic music in general.

How did you decide on this new location ‘Transport’?
Mainly because the people behind it also did Perron, our previous venue that closed down early 2015. They’ve been supporting Blendits for a while now and It’s a good fit.

Entrance to the new venue

Entrance to the new venue

What’s your impression about this new edition?
I’m satisfied about the night. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the next edition!

Any information on that yet?
Discussing with the venue what the next date will be. The plan is to do a new Blendits edition atleast two, or three times each year.

You’ve played the last set of the night. What was your personal highlight?
My personal highlight of the night was Bredren’s full set. Such an amazing duo behind the decks, and even though it was already 3:30 when they started, they kept it real by playing bass-driven rollers, alternated with some musical bits as well. The crowd was feeling it, which just shows there’s room for this type of drum & bass.

I usually don’t close nights often, but when I do, it’s at Blendits. All my work for the evening was done, so I could focus on mixing with a clear head. I just continued on the same vibe where Bredren left off and went with it. While playing this late, the last fifteen or twenty minutes of my set are dedicated to tracks that hold a certain special meaning to me. Tracks I really consider jewels, or masterpieces crafted to perfection; usually quite musical/melodic.

By fully playing them from beginning to the end, they also served as a way of taking the edge off the night – essentially giving the visitors a bit more chilled out last vibe. I think it’s always good to send people home on a lighter/happier note, some of these tracks were: ”Weird Science” by Octane & DLR, ”Watching You” by Dbridge and Instra:Mental and ”Everytime” by Soligen.

Can you tell us more about the upcoming plans for the label?
We’re working on a new 12” single with Hydro and War. Also two guys that featured on our first ever release ”M-Zine & Scepticz” will make their return to the label later this year. Another great talent that I recently came in contact with is called Simstah, he’s one part of Austrian duo Konfront.Audio and will appear on our roster very soon. Besides that, my Russian buddy Roman ”Impish” is working on some bits which I can’t wait to show to the world.

Furthermore, I hope to spread the Blendits sound outside Rotterdam as well, I’ve already confirmed a few label showcases throughout Holland, so that definitely  will be an exciting new experience.

Written by: Michael Janiec