This weekend Carlton plays host to the inaugural Good Island music and art festival. Running across four stages and two of Melbourne’s premier venues, The Curtain and the Bella Union Bandroom & Ballroom, Good Island features some of Australia’s best live and visual talents and is sure to be one event on the bustling musical calendar you don’t want to miss.
In the lead up the weekend’s festivities, we got the chance to chat with one of our favourite artists on the line-up, LUCIANBLOMKAMP, discussing his latest release Bad Faith, his live show and appreciation of hip-hop newcomer 6LACK.
Inner Circle: 2016 was a huge year for you, specifically in regards to the release of your acclaimed sophomore album Bad Faith. Tell us a little about the album and what went into the recording process.
LUCIANBLOMKAMP: It’s quite odd but a lot of Bad Faith is to do with the creation of Bad Faith itself and other concepts that sprung up as a consequence. How I was feeling while creating the album was directly influenced by the process itself. Art can often be a bit of a battle, and I doubt I’ll go through quite the internal conflict like I did through making Bad Faith again. Many of the themes revolve around self-doubt and disconnection, which I feel also heavily influenced the sound of the record. It took a little over a year to piece together and it went through many, many iterations before I got the album we have today. Almost an extra two albums worth of material wasn’t used but I’ll often use the live shows as an opportunity to perform these tracks that otherwise wouldn’t be heard.
IC: Bad Faith focuses more on your production skills with less guest vocal work. Was that a conscious decision on your part or just the way the songs developed?
L: It was. At the time I really wanted to prove to myself that I could put together an album where all the weight was on my shoulders. I’ve also always felt like an imposter in the world of production and wanted to try push some of the skills I felt I always lacked. While it could easily be perceived as a bit of an ego trip, the main aim was to create a challenge for myself both technically and stylistically. At the end of the day I learnt a lot from the experience and it definitely resulted in a sound I think is very particular to this approach of working entirely solo.
IC: Moving forward, are there any artists you would like to collaborate on your next release?
L: No one specifically. I mean, I have a lot of idols but all of my collaborations tend to be pretty circumstantial and don’t tend to be something planned far in advance. I’m certainly far more excited by the idea of collaboration nowadays. Perhaps it was a result of creating Bad Faith in such an isolated state. I can definitely say there will be far more collaborations and guest vocalists on future releases in general.
IC: Along with Bad Faith, you released a number of top-notch remixes of other artist’s tracks over the last six months. What attracts you to remix another artists release?
L: I always find the hardest part when writing is initially getting started with an idea I’m happy with. When remixing, it’s such a refreshing feeling to have sounds and concepts to use as a reference point. It’s a great, fun exercise that never gets old.
IC: You also had 6LACK sample “From Afar” on his spectacular debut FREE 6LACK. How did this come about and what are your thoughts on the track?
L: I’m actually a huge fan of the track and I listen to it way more than I should probably admit. This is the first time anyone’s sampled my music and it’s an honour to be a part of such a great track. While it may seem biased, 6LACK is someone I really look up to and FREE 6LACK is an exceptionally strong release that’ll no doubt influence a huge amount of music to come.
IC: Some of your arrangements would be ideal production for hip-hop artist. Is collaborating with hip-hop artists something you would like to do going forward?
L: Definitely. Like I said earlier, I’m certainly up for any collaboration if the opportunity were to arise. While many of my tracks are extremely hip-hop influenced there haven’t been many collaborative opportunities in that realm at this time. With that said, though, there are definitely some unexpected appearances set for future releases.
IC: Do you have a favourite song on the album or one you really enjoying playing live?
L: I’m not sure I have a favourite track on the album actually, although I definitely have the most fun playing the closing track “Eternal” when I get the chance. It’s always been one of the highlights of the live show in my mind.
IC: Speaking of playing live, your music is quite atmospheric and enchanting. How do you capture the subtle nuances of your sound while on stage?
L: This is what keeps me up at night because I’m not exactly sure if I do, at least not every performance. I try my best translating my music to the stage through live instrumentation, featuring vocalists and alternate versions of tracks, but creating that sense of true ambience is really tough. I feel like it’s often luck to be honest. I guess that’s what makes ambient music so appealing in my mind. Truly engaging ambient moments are elusive and tend to live in the moment. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.
IC: Finally, what else do you have lined up for 2017?
L: It’s hard to say at this point because so much is in the works at this stage. What I can say is that I’m currently working on a new album and the finish line is definitely approaching.
Feature Image Credit: Twitter