Blendworks is a Leeds-based label that champions rising DJs and producers in the local house and techno scene. Originating in Barnsley in South Yorkshire, the group have developed an evident passion for the underground electronic music scene of Leeds, which they channel through crisp imaginative production and vibrant parties. We spoke to head of the label George Slater, who gave us an insight into how Blendworks came to be, and where they are headed next.
For those who haven't heard of you, what's Blendworks all about?
Blendworks is a group of artists and close friends sharing their passion and adoration for the underground electronic music scene. We don’t like to label ourselves under one genre as our sound is ever changing, our outlook Is that there are only two real genres of music; the good and the bad and we aren't afraid to step away from the crowd and take risks, be that in our sets or in the tracks we produce. If the music is well produced, fresh and interesting to us it is welcome in our collections.
Where are you guys originally from? And how does it compare to Leeds as a creative scene?
We originate from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, a small town with not much to offer with respect to a proper music scene. In terms of creativity, it is very much different from Leeds, Leeds being a melting pot of both culture and music which has produced a unique clubbing scene over the years. in Barnsley the sound of dated bassline and clubland anthems can be heard til the early hours in pretty much every club throughout the town. That’s not to say that there aren’t people trying new things and creating quality music. I know of a few groups of talented DJs’ pushing a more underground sound to people of Barnsley so hopefully Barnsley will be sound tracked by fresh new music and maybe bring back some of the former glory of the Barnsley nightlife.
How would you describe the sound of the label?
The sound of the label is quite varied. We don’t really look for music of a particular genre, we approach track individually and with an open mind. For example, the first track on the label was a euphoric breakbeat track with influences from garage and burial-esque tracks and then the second was a 4x4 melodic techno track influenced by labels such as afterlife. Who knows where the sound will go but wherever that may be, it’ll be what we are liking at that current period and we will insist on quality, honest and original music.
To you as an individual- How much of a compromise would you say there is when producing music for your label’s sound, or does your label allow you to go down whichever avenue would wish to pursue?
I’d say when I am producing music the label provides a platform for unrestricted creativity and I feel that if the track is good, then the track is good, no matter of genre or style. When I am producing music, I want the music to have an impact, I want it to linger in the listeners mind for whatever reason that may be, the goal is to provoke emotion and memorability.
Tell me a bit about the people involved with Blendworks?
First up we have myself and Jack Nugent, and we are both residents. We have both released on the label and deal with running the label and the parties. I started my musical journey when I got into to DJing around 2016. Since then, I've played numerous clubs around my hometown, and around Leeds and Manchester. Since last year I have focused my efforts on production, taking inspiration from artists such as Tale of us, Kevin De Vries and Randomer. As an artist I'm constantly experimenting with different styles of house and techno be that more upbeat, melodic breakbeat tracks, right the way through to a more darker industrial sound.
Jack originally came from a background of indie and psychedelic rock, playing guitar in bands from a young age. After moving to Manchester to study Music Production, he discovered the true potential of electronic music in clubs such as Hidden, The Warehouse Project and The White Hotel. Everything changed from then on, becoming pretty much obsessed with house and techno. Shortly after moving, he bought basic production gear and decks and then taught himself to produce and DJ properly. Since then he has been experimenting with different styles- from techno to minimal house and everything in between. His most recent influences have been from artists such as Special Request, Mathew Jonson and Hugo Massien.
Andrew Fussey, or Fuzz as his friends know him, is involved in the aesthetic of the brand, creating a lot of the videos and social media content that we put out. From running his own clothing brand ‘Fussey’, to being behind the lens capturing the moment at events and shows, creativity comes naturally to fuzz.
We also have two more residents Danny Cicero and Lucas Blinkho who can be found expertly warming up the floor at our parties and can always rely on these two to set the pace for the night.
What do you have in stall in the future?
2020 is looking exciting, we have plans in place to launch our event in Leeds, host another house party before that as everyone loves a gaff party, then knuckle down with the music side of things so that we can keep delivering quality, original music at a consistent rate.