London-based, Barnsley-bred beatsmith Jamie Roberts’ Bohla EP under the name of Blawan on R&S was a slave to no rules; weighed down by no precedent but, instead, tore through three acid splattered interpretations of rhythmic, cracking and looped drums as much techno as they were house or dubstep. It came after a tidy remix of Hundred in the Hands for Warp Records and a strong EP for Ramadanman’s Hessle Audio imprint, whilst an as yet unreleased tune by the name of ‘Getting Me Down’ (another sweet, genre defiant little beast) is also doing the rounds on the underground circuit. As a DJ, too, he’s no slouch, often paying alongside – and getting props from – the likes of Pangaea, Untold and James Blake for the way he jams together a wide remit of sounds with such aplomb…
...special about you, then?
Absolutely nothing. Just a guy whose making beats in his room… surrounded by a lot of special people though.
...your worst vice?
Eating habits, smoking, there’s probably a lot to name. Suppose I should say longing myself out over tunes and not finishing things off. Can help in some aspects I guess as well.
... your favourite noise/sound?
Levon [Vincent]’s arching synth in the track ‘Solemn Days’. 4am gun fingers at its peak.
…the story behind your name?
First time I’ve been asked this, but the story is pretty simple. I used to drink a lot of coffee at uni and my favourite was Blawan Java. So basically I thought “you know, that rolls off the tongue” and that’s that. Pretty weird and definitely doesn’t mean anything.
...the best thing about where you're from?
The people, 100%. Nothing really happens or has really ever happened musically in Barnsley. First of all its not that big a place really and isn’t the most diverse place in the UK. But, when you got cities like Leeds and Sheffield 20 minutes away, you’ve got some of the strongest scenes in England for music, especially new music. So for me Leeds played a big part in my musical development.
...your worst fashion secret?
Doc martins… nuff said haha.
... good for breakfast?
Been to Breakfast Club for the first time since moving down to London, Chorizo Hash browns smacked it.
...at the top of your shit list?
Future closely followed by post.
...are you listening to now?
A lot of Jamal Moss, James T Cotton, Analogue Cops…
...are you most looking forward to next?
Has to be starting some collabs… started something with another close producer that’s gonna be really interesting. Next thing is a collab with Analogue Cops - these guys basically run Restoration Records out in Berlin and are responsible for some of the rawest house music. 100% analogue as well, so should be interesting.
How would you describe your work?
A constant learning curve - I just hope I continue making tracks I like, and that people are feeling.
Photo by Energy By Motion
Blawan - Bohla