The Berlin club scene is one of the most famous in the world for a reason, but away from the spotlight of mega dancefloors and a-list DJs, it has one of the most densely populated grass roots level talent pools in all of Europe.
One such name who has been continuously rising through the cities club ranks is Simon Schmidt, aka. Blindsmyth.
Having already released music on labels such as Cosmic Society, Diynamic, and Ki Records in the past, he’s well on his way to becoming a fully established and in-demand presence within the European house scene.
We caught up with Simon to chat about the forthcoming release of his debut album, how he sources field recordings for his productions, which other albums he turned to for inspiration, and more. Get the full discussion with Blindsmyth below.
Hi Simon, we hope you’re good, looking back on 2021, what was your highlight of the year?
Hey there, I’m fine thanks! 2021 was a special year for me because the almost six-month lockdown opened up in into a crazy ecstatic summer. The high moment was my first festival gig at Château Perché, a festival in France built around an old castle. It was my first indoor gig in a very long time and the atmosphere was crazy intense. Me and the crowd were screaming, jumping, the place was cooking. In this moment I really started to rediscover myself as a live performer.
You’re about to return to Connaisseur Recordings to release your second album ‘All That Fiberglass’, why is now the right time for your sophomore long player?
The album is about how all this digital communication is influencing our lives. I think the moment is perfect because the pandemic showed us the potential of all this technology, staying in touch with your loved ones online, streaming events etc. On the other side we have people in their own information bubbles, fake news and hate. I tried to blend both facets into ‘All That Fiberglass’ and tell a story about the crazy times we’re living in.
And what can our readers expect to hear from you on the project?
You can expect all lot of melodic synth work, vocals that sometimes sound dreamy and indie like, sometimes digitally transformed and distorted. There are self-built instruments and beats ranging from breakbeats to groovy organic house. And a lot of textures and field recordings to top the whole thing off!
We hear you have used a lot of field recordings on the album, tell us more about that?
Yes, this has always played a big role in my work. For this album there were a lot of sounds recorded on the road before the pandemic. In 2019/20 I played gigs in Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. When visiting a place, I would always stay a bit longer and go on small recording expeditions. This can be sounds from nature, the cities, but also percussive sounds from drumming on objects in my environment.
Then when this digital communication theme emerged, and I found myself in lockdown, I would record the electromagnetic signal of my environment with a special microphone. On the record you can hear these noisy hisses and glitches taken from different electronic devices like phones, computers, fridges, etc.
All of these sounds served both as inspiration at the start, and also to underline the lyrical content and the theme of the album.
Were there any other albums which inspired you during the process of creating your own?
Bon Ivers’ ‘i,i’ definitely had a special impact on me. The compositions, contrasts, lyrics, and digitally transformed vocals. Harmonically I like to draw inspiration from mellow neoclassical music, Nils Frahm’s ‘Spaces’ is a very good example. Four Tet’s work is also a big inspiration for me, so in that regard I would name ‘Sixteen Oceans’.
What’s your favourite album of all time?
Oh I think there are too many. Somehow Burial’s ‘Untrue’ still holds a very special place in my heart. This Idea of evoking so much emotion with just texture, the mere quality of a sound makes it really unique and timeless in my honest opinion.
You’ve also released music with Diynamic and Ki Records in the past, which other labels might we see added to the list in 2022?
I am working on new material and there are collaborations on the horizon, but at this point I would like to keep it a secret.
What other goals have you set yourself for this year?
I want to bring my live show to the next level, both artistically and technically. That involves changes in the setup, refining my vocal and guitar skills, and incorporating all the new tracks from the album. Ideally everything will sound better, more on point, and more intense.
Blindsmyth – All That Fiberglass drops February 18th on Connaisseur Recordings.