Many producers are often hailed innovative and experimental. bluørangee is one of the few that deserve that title
Coming out of Bologna, Italy this young beat maker has been pushing the boundaries of Hip Hop production for the last few years. Quietly carving out a space as an incredibly creative, experimental and genuine musician. With the release of his latest tape, w∆vvh0(xygn) ~~, we took the chance to sit with the bluørangee and get into his musical vision.
So let’s talk about your new album w∆vvh0(xygn) ~~. It's spelt quite unusually. Why is that?
Yeah! I like to write all my titles in interesting ways because first off it stands out. Secondly I made this tape during a week off from work. There a definite dubstep/wonky beats influence so the name also speaks to the 'wubs' you would find there. I wanted to make something a little different from my normal stuff. I also used a lot of wah wah effects on this one. So I think the unusual spelling not only stands out but also symbolises the actual tone of the tape well. Also with oxygen part, it's a tape with no space if you get me? Almost like the songs are heard in vacuum. It exists on its own.
Was there a specific process to creating this album?
I didn't start with an idea or concept. It just came out naturally. I would get up in the morning and tease out melodies on my microkorg and go from there. I was listening to my older stuff and just trying to make something that was different for me. I also wanted to use some more diverse sounds. Especially with the drums. I really like working with drum textures.
When you’re working on beats do you create new sounds for the song or do the sounds already exist before you make the tune?
So usually I like to start with a drum loop. Then I like to bring in the synths and samplers. For this album I used the microkorg and kaoscillator. I love the microkorg though. It’s an incredibly freeing instrument with lots of room to tweak sounds. The microkorg really took my music to a new level.
The album generally is a blend of samples and synths. Is that where your music is heading?
Yeah absolutely! Right now I also like to play the guitar on my beats. I had lessons when I was like 7-8? So I've always played but with keys I've never had a lesson. I just feel out what sounds good and go from there. I really like to experiment with music so blending samples and synth patches seemed the perfect way to do that. I started out making strictly lo-fi but over time I've developed a process that isn't a process haha. I just like trying out something new every time I make music.
So when you do sample what are you looking for?
I look for melodies mainly. I don't really sample drums. I like to chop a lot and add effects though, so most of the time the melody is completely different when I'm done. Recently though I haven't sampled as much. I've spent more time creating original melodies. I still love to sample now and again though.
I've noticed there’s a lot of phone sounds on w∆vvh0(xygn) ~~. Was that a conscious choice?
I mainly picked those sounds because they fit in well with the rest of the tone palette going on. I lifted a lot noises from the radio on this one though. I picked up a lot of the white noise or static from like changing stations and stuff.
Oh that's cool! It was very subtle on the album! The phone noises and the Skepta sample stood out most to me.
Haha yeah! The Skepta one was fun. I love Skepta and Nasty especially. I happened to find the acapella and it fit the bpm perfectly so I dropped it in!
It was surprising but dope to hear it on the tape. Especially listening from the UK! How do you think being in Italy has influenced you?
I live in Bologna which has a great history with Hip Hop. Lots of talented veterans of Italian Hip Hop are from here, but generally the city has a dope musical background. I like a lot of Italian music but I'd say most of my influences come from abroad.
I have so many. I take influences from all genres. Like I once played in hard core punk band and before making beats I rapped. Music really inspires me in lots of different ways. For beats though, I really love J Dilla and Flying Lotus. Jay Dee was the first person I heard who spoke through their beats. They were alive. With FlyLo I really love how he experiments with sound and isn't afraid to do something different.
I feel you. Does anything outside of music inspire you?
Nature for sure. The tones and sounds of wings flapping or rain are so inspiring man. I also take a lot of influence from my painting as well. I really like the abstract artists and the way they mess with perspective.
I'd say you music is very unafraid too. Is that conscious thing? Like do you set out to try a specific thing on each track or do you like to let it flow?
It's both. I need to be free when I make music. That idea really resonances with me. I don't want to have limits or anything. I don't want to sit down and say 'this is the only way'. I just want to create something I like. I think with music you have to make what you want to hear.
Where do you see this type of music going in the future? When we spoke to Reasone of More Beats > Less Sleep he wanted to see to cross over to an audience of fans, not just producers. Do you see that happening?
I hope so! I think it's going that way though to be honest. I think people are starting to like the vibe of it more and more. The whole movement is gaining momentum and is alive. The scene is great right now and ready to make that jump to a wider audience outside of producers. Some of these lo-fi playlists on Spotify have millions of followers. I really love this music and it’s great to see others enjoy it too.
The beat scene is much bigger in America right now but what do you think of Europe's beat scene? What's different?
Wow good question! I think a lot of producers from the US are more grounded in Hip Hop. In Europe I think we are slightly different in that we have a more electronic or dance music based musical culture? Like taking in House BPMS or using more electronic sounds. Both are cool but it's interesting to see the difference.
You have worked with people all over though. Your list of collaborators and collectives on your Soundcloud is impressive. How did some of these partnerships come about?
So mostly the internet has brought us together, especially worldwide, but I have also linked up with local talents too. Black Lodge is one guy who is part of the collective Diaphonia. Also Kuranes is only like an hour from me? So I know some guys personally but most of the time it’s the internet. I get contacted by them or I'll hit them up.
Who have been some of the most rewarding to work with?
I have had some nice experiences working with Diaphonia for sure. We played some sets all together. Also with Tapeaday Records based in the UK. I have a cool rapport and relationship with them. They are cool guys.
You have also worked heavily with TreeRoot and its new venture Mind Capsule. What is about those collectives that attract you?
Yeah I love those guys man. I released my first tape through TreeRoot and I just love working with Kahsun (collective owner). I have nice relationship with him. Kahsun was one of the first producers who started supporting me. I really respect what does for the culture and love the music he makes. He does it all out love and from his heart.
Absolutely. So while we are talking man I have to ask about your name and the phrase 'when I feel blue I eat an orange'. It's all over your socials but what does it mean?
Haha! So the phrase just represents my name! I came up with it just to explain my name a bit haha. My name was just an attempt to connect colour to the music.
Ahh word. I thought it was phrase I just hadn’t heard of! Haha
Haha no, no, no. Just a way to explain my name and connect it to the music a bit more.
So what's next for bluørangee?
I have one album ready to come out on an Italian label called Nervi Cani. That one is called 'Weird Jeans'. I also have another album with Numb Capsule which is a Greek label. That one will be more experimental, electronic stuff. I think those two will probably be out next year.
Lots to look forward to then! Thanks so much for chatting with us man. Where can we find you in the meantime?
My pleasure man! You can find me on Soundcloud and Facebook (just search bluørangee) and follow me on insta @bluorangee.
Find w∆vvh0(xygn) ~~ here