live interview at Basso radio 102.8 MHz, 4.September 2010
(After "Human Beyond" and "Le Nucleaire Civile" intro)
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, there we got some quite sinister narration. But, welcome to studio, Blastromen! Good evening!
Blastromen 1: Thank you and good evening!
Blastromen 2: Thank you, thank you!
DJ Monsuuni: A big and special occassion brought you here, which is upcoming album release on next Friday 10. September. During this show we will go through how this album has come about. We'll also go through your history along the years, but music will be the main thing in tonight's show. Last show was a bit too much like amusing talkshow, so tonight we will be very serious with very strict music and we'll sulk like grinches. What are you expectations for the album?
Blastromen 1: Well, hard to tell. Big expectations since we like the album and it's content pretty much. There's a lot of new and old material. Well, we'll see how the audience like it. Our own expectations are high.
Blastromen 2: The progression of the whole album has been very long. The oldest tracks are from the same time than the first EP. We have been making this album for several years and recreated some of the old tracks. It's wonderful that electro music can be released as an album, and even on vinyl. It's a triumph for electro music.
Blastromen 1: Regarding the progression, since we have played those old unheard tracks on the live sets, we have come up with more inspiration...
Blastromen 2: ...yes exactly, when we first started to do live gigs and these old unheard tracks were in the set, people spotted them and wondered what are these and why these are not released. Then things fell in place and great thing that Dominance took us in and we are getting an amazing package out.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, this record label (Dominance Electricity) has released a lot of interesting and more like futuristic electro and your concept represents more that futuristic electro. Still you seem to be loyal to Detroit based sound?
Blastromen 2: Absolutely, Aux88 and others... We have grew up along with strict Detroit influenced techno with 4/4 beats and our roots are pretty much in there. Maybe the futuristic style is more our thing and we try to create soul and perhaps some message on top of tool techno.
DJ Monsuuni: So, you have produced other kind of stuff also. There was tighter monotrack techno in your history, what's the story behind that?
Blastromen 1: Yes, well... It was fun as long as it last, but eventually we reached the point where we wanted more creativity. Electro was a natural continuum in a way where you can compose melodies wider and write some lyrics, which is natural in electro music, so we don't need to across the genre boundaries too much.
Blastromen 2: But then again, I think our sound is ground breaking electro, even so I am saying it. Our sound may not be the most traditional electro sound, like only 808 storming and 303 screaming.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, indeed and tonight we will hear in a wide scale of your material. You can figure out yourselves which genre is represented and how the different histories are respected. Should we play the next track, we have received a wish to play "Sexy Droid". Would it fit here?
Blastromen 1: Might be good one as it represents our first EP which came out in late of 2004; Robot Aggression EP, and this one is the second track on it. Apparently it's very much liked so would be good continuum here.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, shall we play it or do you have something else to be added?
Blastromen 1: Let's play, because our music represents Blastromen better than our voices.
DJ Monsuuni: Exactly *laughter*, the music does it.
("Sexy Droid" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Oh yes, that was "Sexy Droid". From which year was this?
Blastromen 2: That's our debute from 2004. It's from X0X Records and it got pretty good welcome when it came out and people affiliated with it. It helped us to grow on our music career. So we began seriously drive this concept forward. We noticed that this kind of music has demand and we have something to give for this genre and to whole electro music in a wide spectrum.
DJ Monsuuni: Indeed this is very distinguishable and strong record. Do you have something else to tell about it or shall we play the next track?
Blastromen 1: Let's play the next one.
("Escaping don't compute" started to play)
DJ Monsuuni: What do you have to say about this one?
Blastromen 1: Well this represents our next EP, Blasteroids EP. The year was 2008 when this came out, was it May?
Blastromen 2: Yes, something like that.
Blastromen 1: And this is a kind of track where we have managed to create a lot of structual variation. It changes nicely to the end and has nice progressive melodies.
Blastromen 2: Observant listeners may notice influences from Tron on some part of lyrics and also maybe on the cover art. 80's sci-fi is a brilliant genre. Today's sci-fi is total rubbish.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, in electro and in futuristic style the sci-fi world is important. So, is this "Tron" your biggest source of influence?
Blastromen 1: It's big, but not the only one.
Blastromen 2: 80's sci-fi overal is. Can't say that only one source of influence is the only one. And if listening to our songs you can notice that these movies have been watched.
Blastromen 1: And besides movies, also games from the same era bring a lot of influence.
Blastromen 2: It's kind of cross-section of popular culture that has somehow mystically been pressed on vinyl.
DJ Monsuuni: Well we can get back to sci-fi subject if necessary but now I'm excited of the currently playing song in the background so let's play it loud and continue this chat after that.
("Escaping don't compute" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Yeah, that was great material. Next track... Please tell us about it, introduce it.
Blastromen 1: Track in the background is "Battlenet" that is also released on next Friday (10. September), and this has already been released earlier on Street Sounds' Nu Electro volume 2 compilation. It was released - if I remember correctly - in the beginning of this year.
Blastromen 2: Yes, so Morgan Khan revitalized the Street Sounds, which was a quite amazing thing. In the 80's everyone knew Morgan Khan who brought import records to Europe - to UK. That way electro awoke in Europe via Morgan Khan. It dried up till the 90's and Street Sounds were silent for a long time until Nu Electro volume 1 appeared, where we also had one track "Blasteroids" and on the volume two we had the currently playing track "Battlenet".
DJ Monsuuni: Well, should we let the track play - was it a bit evolving song so let's listen all of it.
("Battlenet" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: After these tight timbals *laughter*, let's continue to the commercials.
(Commercials are played)
("Computer Simulator" started to play)
DJ Monsuuni: Well, let's continue in the same way. And for those listeners who have just joined: Blastromen is here introducing their new record, and "Human Beyond" is released on next Friday 10. September. We have already got a good taste of it. Next track, please introduce it.
Blastromen 1: Next track is also released on next Friday like you said. The previous track "Battlenet" - which was finished early this year - represents our new material from the upcoming album and this next playing track represents very old material - from the around 2005 or 2006 If I remember correctly.
Blastromen 2: Yes, like we talked earlier there has been many developing phases. First sketch was finished many years ago and stayed in the archive for a long time. Finally we started to reprocess it with the best elements on it. This has become kind of special track with multiple parts, and a kind of...
Blastromen 1: Good flavour on that album.
Blastromen 2: Yes, it is. People has liked it a lot.
DJ Monsuuni: Well, is it so that the self-criticism has driven the song into the archive or have you just been waiting for an element or inspiration for it?
Blastromen 1: Could say, that the self-criticism is probably the biggest factor since we're are very critical to every material we produce. We have a lot of archived material that must not be revealed at any price. Maybe it's sort of perfectionism that bothers, but it seems to have a good side too.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes of course, and it can be heard in your music how finalized and fine tuned it is. Let's fine tune this track louder and let's see what's after that. Fire it up!
("Computer Simulator" started to play)
DJ Monsuuni: Well, there we sent Toni to get us more cold bear. We've got quite interesting and fine story about the records. The next track requires a bit more introducing - what's in it?
Blastromen 1: "Follow the command" is next that also represents our upcoming album. In that track we have gone searching epicness for electro from the Middle-East kind of melodies.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, like this hasn't been epic enough already... So Middle-East, please tell more about it.
Blastromen 1: Yes, arabic is a very strong language in that part of the world and we wanted to bring that language through the vocoders also to this song. Besides traditional electro we also brought arabic into it and this is real arabic. We used the University of Helsinki to help us with the translations.
Blastromen 2: Yes, we have doublechecked all of it so we haven't been screwed up with the translation like mocking up western world in arabic *laughter*, but we got our message in arabic.
Blastromen 1: Thanks to the person who made the translations. Never got back to us reclaiming the credit though we asked about it.
Blastromen 2: Thanks also to speach synthesizer which pronounced these beautiful words for us.
DJ Monsuuni: Well, sounds very interesting. Shall we play it?
Blastromen 1: Let's play it.
("Follow the command" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Let's not play all of it now. Buy the record on next Friday to hear the full tracks. There was nice arabic, what are the lyrics about?
Blastromen 2: It's a kind of... You can think the title by yourself, Follow the command. Where the command comes from? Is there some superior command or are you the commander?
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, kind of appealing to big religions, is that's the reasion to involve arabic language?
Blastromen 2: Well...
Blastromen 1: We want to stay out of religious and political issues, so let's keep it open...
Blastromen 2: Exactly, listeners can think by themselves.
Blastromen 1: We have been asked that is there some political statement. Absolutely not! This is purely fictional thing.
DJ Monsuuni: Good to know that we're not dealing with too serious issues, since nothing good could cause for that. But hey, let's get back to the positive things which is the album release. How did you end up with releasing this album and with this label? Tell a bit about this story.
Blastromen 2: Quite long time we searched for a label to release it. It was planned to be release a year ago but the plans went dry. Today it's kind of hard to release this kind of records, hard to find distributors and so on. Well, in early this year we contacted Dominance (Dominance Electricity). We showed our package and asked are they willing to release it. They had a brief meeting about it and said "Absolutely!".
Blastromen 1: And it was easy for them too because we had the songs ready, we had the concept ready and we had an idea for the cover art what we would want so it was easy for them.
Blastromen 2: And of course we have known Dominance previously in other matters so this didn't come out of nothing.
DJ Monsuuni: Yeah, so a little hint for the young producers to produce a complete package which is easy to offer out.
Blastromen 1: Exactly.
Blastromen 2: Nowadays it looks very good concerning modern electo. There is a lot of releases. Record labels are ready to release on vinyl and real releases that are not restricted to small amount like 50 to 100 copies but a prompt amount is got out.
DJ Monsuuni: Well, your album has also a bit restricted amount because it's an international release, so how many copies are available?
Blastromen 1: Allow me some error marginal but if I remember correctly it was 500 copies of vinyl. Double vinyls though.
Blastromen 2: And plus special editions, clear and blue vinyls, and CDs on top of that of course.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, so we need to start hunt down those color vinyls.
Blastromen 1: Plus of course, mp3 distribution will be available.
Blastromen 2: That's available immediately on Friday.
Blastromen 1: Good to notice that there are few tracks that has appeared on our previous EP's, so those will not be on vinyl nor mp3 formats but only on CD's as bonus tracks.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, so basically you should get all the formats.
Blastromen 2: Yes, doubled!
Blastromen 1: And copies of them!
DJ Monsuuni: So all the money reserved for those! Next track, or have you anything else regarding the label?
Blastromen 2: Dominance will bring out a remix release at the same date than our release. They released "Global Surveyor 3" compilation and it's remix release will be out at now at the same time. What I've been prelistened it, sounds great package, buy that one too!
Blastromen 1: And regarding what we've talked about Dominance, we have released the previous records on X0X Records. Kalle Karvanen has done a great job with those.
Blastromen 2: Yes of course, respects to Kalle!
Blastromen 1: Yes, respects to Kalle!
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, that's a right man in a place! But well, shall we play the track in full throttle. Do you want to introduce it a bit?
Blastromen 1: As an intro I would like to tell that this is a song I like very much to play live!
Blastromen 2: Triumph of transhumanism!
("Human 2.0" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Now let's get to the track wishes. We've got several wishes, "Space Trader" is one of them. Maybe you have some story to tell about it?
Blastromen 1: Earlier we mentioned about the influences from the sci-fi games. I don't remember from which decade a game "Elite" is, but it has a strong influence on this track.
Blastromen 2: Yes, the lyrics are almost exactly from the "Elite" game. It's quite cool that in the 80's were so great games. Leaves a lot of space for the imagination which is the thing in music.
Blastromen 1: Yes, flying in space with vector graphics.
Blastromen 2: Exactly, what's better than that.
DJ Monsuuni: Though I'm a great electro consumer, I'm pretty out of this game stuff *laughter* I skated back in the days which also has these old school electro vibes, still I ended up with these same electro sounds. Maybe I should try these games some day *laughter*
Blastromen 2: Maybe it could mess up the golden memories.
Blastromen 1: That's true. Time gilds memories.
DJ Monsuuni: Oh damn it, let's play the memories.
("Space Trader" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Yes indeed, we have nicely waved through the history and in the future soon. This is included on a record that is almost impossible to find. Discogs shows up with zero available. Nobody wants to give it away.
Blastromen 2: Yes, the master laquer got lost somewhere in Czech, so there's no chance to do repress anymore. If someone wants to invest a couple of thousands euros we'll get more copies out *laughter*.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes! Well, how many copies was released?
Blastromen 1: It was a bit over 200 copies - If I remember correctly.
Blastromen 2: Yes, a couple hundred. Our own test presses... Smashed-on-asphalt test presses was also sold.
Blastromen 1: Last one of them was sent to France.
DJ Monsuuni: Oh no, it's shame that this great music is unavailable to many people. But here we are fixing this injustice, because wished tracks have been played and we have almost gone through the record.
Blastromen 2: Blastromen wish concert! *laughter*
Blastromen 1: Regarding Robot Aggression EP, there are discussions going on that we probably get it on a digital distribution.
Blastromen 2: Yes, exactly.
Blastromen 1: Kalle is working on that.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, that's great! What do have to tell about this next wished track, the title track.
("Robot Aggression" started to play in the background)
Blastromen 1: Well, this is actually one of our first songs. Probably the very first song was "Metal Machine Victims" which also is coming out next Friday, so this must be the second.
Blastromen 2: Yes, it's funny that on our upcoming album there is as old track as this one. So in this way they intertwines together.
Blastromen 1: Times combine.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, the circle closes.
("Robot Aggression" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Very tasty stuff! Timeless! Considering this is your first tracks I would see this is being played after ten years as fresh along with Aux88 and others. Hey, next future plans. What Blastromen is doing after this next release? Are you heading back to studio or are the plans still open?
Blastromen 1: Well, at the moment we are spending quite much time in the studio. As short-distance plans we are preparing for the upcoming gig in Madrid, Spain in beginning of October, and also for that we are preparing long-distance plans. So, in our studio you don't only hear beats but you can also smell the soldering iron. *laughter*
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, what's that about?
Blastromen 1: Well, not to reveal too much of it, we'll see that in Madrid. But we have put effort alot on visual side in live shows. We started to want more automation and reacting to music on visual side, and that will be seen.
Blastromen 2: Yes, I must admit that I've never seen such things that we've planned and built so we have created something...
Blastromen 1: ...something crazy *laughter* On our Facebook site you can actually see this electronic project, though it's still in progress.
Blastromen 2: Yes, people might not yet understand what is it, but maybe after Madrid they'll realize.
DJ Monsuuni: Yeah, maybe it gets clarified. Do you have someone to video the show?
Blastromen 2: Yes, that's the plan.
Blastromen 1: Yes, it's the plan. We get it on video also for ourselves as feedback how does it look like and how to improve things.
DJ Monsuuni: It's a great attitude, you can always learn.
Blastromen 1: Exactly.
Blastromen 2: Yep, continous development work.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, and the self-criticism. Every track will visit the archive at least six times before willing to release it out.
Blastromen 1: Yes, and couple of times deleted and restored *laughter*
DJ Monsuuni: Well, are you having live shows in Finland and when?
Blastromen 1: Well, I have to admit that the only upcoming at the moment is in Madrid in October. Besides that there's no bookings.
Blastromen 2: Yep, there's none. Don't hesitate to book us! We'll be glad coming to play.
Blastromen 1: We get lots of inquiries but usually those get nowhere. We are asked many times to go to Russia, but for some reason those plans have died out.
DJ Monsuuni: We have to fix that error somehow, there must be ways to get this music available as live shows. We could talk about your gear after this next song as you already talked about it and about the soldering. The song in the background "Sky City 1000", please tell us about it.
("Sky City 1000" is played in the background)
Blastromen 1: Actually this summarizes also in the lyrics the project that has been planned to build up in Tokyo, but it's a bit too megalomanic to implement nowadays. It's a one kilometer high skybreaker that is actually a city itself.
Blastromen 2: In Dubai they have taken the first steps by building a skybreaker 800 meters high.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, the insanity has seen there also. Enough money makes human mind crazy. Shall we start this track from the beginning?
Blastromen 2: Let's start from the beginning.
DJ Monsuuni: Great, we'll talk about the gear soon.
("Sky City 1000" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: Oh yes, pretty speedy track as an ending track. Well, we could lighten up how to get the upcoming record. How people can reach it?
Blastromen 1: It's good to know at this point that pre-ordering is already possible, so you don't have to wait till next Friday. Probably the simplest way is to get on our Facebook-site to view our news about it and links further.
Blastromen 2: Yes, there are an online record store by Dominance where to order it.
DJ Monsuuni: Exactly, so get into Facebook and type "Blastromen" to get more information. Well, more about the gear. When you first started, what kind of gear were you using?
Blastromen 1: Well, when we first started... Of course we have liked analogs but also digital synths bring their own spice along - and although analogs could be hard to get, so we need to compromize things. To the first live shows we brought as many synths as possible...
Blastromen 2: Yes, that was absurd. We brought the whole studio on the stage and we quickly noticed it's not the best possible way.
Blastromen 1: It worked great on gigs in Finland, though it was a bit rough. We want to play by ourselves as much as possible, so computer won't do all the stuff. Vocoders are done live, also speech synthesizers and samplers are rhythmed live. So there's plenty of work on stage.
Blastromen 2: Yep, sometimes two hands are not enough.
Blastromen 1: It was part of the reason why we developed the visual control to be more automatic and done by computers, because we wanted to give more effort on playing music.
Blastromen 2: On earlier gigs the visuals are controlled by ourselves.
Blastromen 1: The first time we managed to get a gig abroad we noticed it would cost five times more to bring us with equipment. We had to make a compromize and head up with more synth modules and also the event organizer needs to deliver us some stuff.
Blastromen 2: Yes, we're bringing Blastromen, not only the equipment.
Blastromen 1: Yep *laughter*
Blastromen 2: But yes, synth modules and such. In studio we have gathered some Roland's old analog synths, Oberheim and a Sid-station.
Blastromen 1: Yep, Sid-station is the commercial version but from the C64's sound chip 6581 we have soldered a similar version. The price is only fraction of it but you get the same autenthic sound of C64.
DJ Monsuuni: Yeah yeah. Like I said in the beginning, sounds like you have created finalized package... You already have some finalized spectacles to offer. Actually sounds like you are ready onto big stage!
Blastromen 2: Well yeah, screens are still missing, so please stand up who could do nice graphics.
Blastromen 1: Yes, in the previous gigs we have declined for the backing screens since we would like to get there some stuff to support our music.
Blastromen 2: Yeah, we got ideas but implementations still needs some work...
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, indeed visual side is a big part of this.
Blastromen 1: Yes indeed! You are there to perform, so it has to be like a concert even if you're just one live show along with other DJ's and live acts. It has to look like I am performing for you!
DJ Monsuuni: Yes!
Blastromen 2: Yes, like Chemical Brothers showed out after long time and the live performance looked very impressive.
Blastromen 1: Yes, and the the Jarre tour which was seen also in Finland... Well, of course we're now talking about JARRE, but it was amazing show.
Blastromen 2: The way we are heading suites perfectly with electronic music because it's quite boring to look someone clicking behind the laptop.
Blastromen 1: clicking the laptop in crouch position...
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, that's a curse word also in DJ culture not to mention in live shows, you can't know is the performer chatting there or what is he/she doing. You have to see what's happening there. And also live show brings a little mistakes in playing.
Blastromen 1: Those are also heard in our sets. We have many times cursed afterwards what the heck just happened there, but...
Blastromen 2: Sometimes those sounds good, like this is the way it should go and could also end up to a record.
DJ Monsuuni: That's the way it should be. I personally think that live is a live and all kind of things happen, get screwed up and such, but that makes it live and people comes to watch it.
Blastromen 1: Exactly, and like we just mentioned Jarre, he's also suffering problems with his laser-harp all the time, and with other devices...
DJ Monsuuni: Has it ever worked well *laughter*
Blastromen 2: It worked well when it was playback. *laughter*
DJ Monsuuni: He's been quite persistent with his Harp, so respect for all that.
Blastromen 2: Memorymoog is always out-of-tuned.
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, because humidity level variates.
Blastromen 1: Expensive unreliable gadget.
DJ Monsuuni: Sweet.
Blastromen 1: But still so fine.
DJ Monsuuni: Well, you have brought here some very special material, so you have this totally unreleased track. Do you want to tell more about the future or is this track telling it?
Blastromen 2: Well, the song can speak for itself, but we're planning a new EP. After getting this album released out we'll start to look to the future.
Blastromen 1: Possibility for a new EP. We don't have much material yet, but like we said eariler we are building a finalized package to go forward with. This track is part of it and now presentable so now we hear it first time ever in publicity and probably the last time for a while.
Blastromen 2: Yes.
DJ Monsuuni: Okay, I still have to pull a bit more information, have you considered any remixes with finnish or foreign artists?
Blastromen 2: Yes, we have.
Blastromen 1: Yes, we actually took one remix project to produce, but it has a deadline on middle of September, and our schedule is very busy on whole September so we had to inform that we are not able to do it.
Blastromen 2: Yes, it's a shame since it would have been a very interesting combo that could have been unexpected. Let's see, maybe in the future!
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, we'll wait new remixes, records, EP's and LP's, though we will get one long play in our hands in a few days. Let's play the last climax here, "Infiltrator Unit". Do you have something more to say about this song or anything else?
Blastromen 1: Let's play it out.
("Infiltrator Unit" is played)
DJ Monsuuni: That was "Infiltrator Unit". Big thanks, Blastromen!
Blastromen 2: Thanks!
Blastromen 1: Thanks! Thanks for the opportunity!
DJ Monsuuni: This has been sort of legendary... Umm... This night has been an innovator to get home right away and start to build up new electro mix! What's the big message of the whole album?
Blastromen 2: ...
Blastromen 1: ...
Blastromen 2: Tough one! Maybe it's the title "Human Beyond". There's something bigger... About the humanity... Let's just head on! Space is out there! There we're heading. Space is the limit.
Blastromen 1: It's reachable.
DJ Monsuuni: That's perhaps the message. I have one message! Buy that record before it's sold out. Vinyl is 500 copies! And next Friday mp3's are available. Check out their Facebook site.
Blastromen 2: Also Blastromen.com. Our website, there's a link.
Blastromen 1: Up to date as well.
DJ Monsuuni: Do you have any last words or shall we let the "Enter the matrix" continue?
Blastromen 1: Let's give the control to others!
Blastromen 2: Long live the electro!
DJ Monsuuni: Yes, thanks alot!
Blastromen 2: Thanks!
Blastromen 1: Big thanks, bye bye!