Underground corner – Blawan – Techno Station
Written by Radio 44 Ceylon on July 16, 2022
Techno was created and developed far away from the mainstream. The underground sound got its deserved popularity in the past few years but there is a lot of movement in sound with sub-genres and a lot of talent you may not hear about.
We believe underground producers and labels deserve special recognition, so we will be dedicating our new feature series to this cause.
This week we will have a look into the underground scene in the U.K.
Jamie Roberts, also known as Blawan, is a DJ with over a decade of international recognition in the underground scene.
He came onto the scene after the meteoric rise of dubstep in the early 2010s. He continues to redefine himself, his sound and his genre by moving in and out of dubstep to where he is now. His music today is quite high tempo and very fast rhythmic Techno and he gravitates to a darker style with each release.
Through both time in the studio and time on the road, Jamie Roberts has dedicated the last decade to developing his alias, Blawan – and in the process, he’s created a universe within techno that’s all his own. Roberts grew up in Barnsley, UK and from an early age was etching out his musical path as a drummer – a relic of the past which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his productions.
Indeed, his discography as Blawan illuminates a natural fluency for rhythm, whether straight, stridently syncopated, or swinging somewhere in between. His other aliases, Kilner and Bored Young Adults, like his collaborations with Pariah as Karenn and with Surgeon as Trade, have provided additional bandwidth for experimentation.
Having released across the board of rippling jet-black minimalism, jubilant two-step vocal cuts, and savant grooving techno, the labels Roberts has worked with are appropriately varied: Hessle Audio, R&S, Clone’s Basement Series, Hinge Finger, and Black Sun as Blawan, plus The Trilogy Tapes and Avian under his other solo names. Roberts’ own label, TERNESC, was established in 2015 and has served as the home for his last five releases as Blawan.
Having made the move to Berlin in 2015, his analogue-driven studio production and formidable live sets have propelled Roberts into exciting new directions, even as he maintains expert command of more traditional dance floor environments from behind the decks. His latest offering, the full-length Wet Will Always Dry, dropped in June 2018.
It’s a breakthrough moment in Roberts’ discipline of auditory alchemy, and a tour-de-force of ambitious, nuanced techno for fans following his ever-explorative career.