Belfast’s own Richie Blacker is a confident bet as one of the future stars within the cities musical talents. His sound has made appearances on Skream’s Of Unsound Mind, Frequenza and most recently, Sasha’s Last Night On Earth.
The ‘Mess Express’ EP includes three tracks, all of which bring a unique and equally impressive sound. We spoke to Richie to talk about releasing with LNOE, getting support from Sasha himself and his thoughts on his upcoming plans.
Hey Richie, great to have chat, hope you’re doing well?
I am doing really well mate. Currently sitting at home chilling and making the most of my down time ahead of my gigs this weekend.
You just released your latest ‘Mess Express’ EP on Last Night On Earth, tell us about your vision for this one?
I usually have a vision when writing an EP. What kind of style or genre etc. But this EP came about after listing to old rave tracks. I came across Altern8’s – Hypnotic St-8. There is a part in that track that just stopped me in my tracks and instantly at that point I knew straight away I was going to sample it and turn it into something I could play in my own DJ sets.
I never had any intention of trying to get it signed as the sample would need clearing etc. I do that a lot, remaking old tracks to fit my style so when I play them, my DJ sets stand out a bit more but I feel like with Mess Express it developed into it’s own sound and went further than just a remake.
As for Éire (The second track on the EP) I just wanted to write an uplifting, feel good piano track. Something a bit progy & melodic without sounding too cheesy. Every DJ I sent it too loved it from the first listen. But I was holding off for the right label for it and I’m really glad I did!
Hummingbird (The final track on the EP) I have no idea how it turned out as it did. It’s something I started but took me ages to getting around to actually finishing it. I kept doing a little bit then going back to it weeks, sometimes months later. I think it was a work in progress for over two and a half years!
The original idea started with the bassline. I originally intended it to be a left-field techno track but it turned out to be an uplifting, orchestral, techno track. It’s funny how a track can change so much from your original idea when you spend such a long time on it.
When Sasha started playing my music at his gigs and on his LNOE radio show, I contacted him and sent him all my unreleased music and the three on this EP were his favourite. So the EP is made up of three completely different tracks, but in a way all seem to make sense and compliment the other.
And like you said, LNOE boss Sasha has been heavily promoting you on radio and his social media channels, it must be a great feeling?
It is absolutely insane. I have been a massive fan of Sasha from before I even started to DJ. Since I started getting my music signed to great labels around two years ago I could only dream about Sasha supporting my music never mind signing me to his record label. It has been extremely exciting for me, the build up to the release, everything and I’m still pinching myself when I see all the support I’m receiving since the release from other DJs who I look up to like Kolsch and Joris Voorn!
And what other DJs have been supporting, any other industry veterans?
A lot of people I really look up to in this industry are supporting it. Raxon messaged me privately on Facebook a few days ago to say how much he loved Hummingbird and that he had found his closing track for his DJ sets this summer. Getting messages from one of your favourite techno DJs is a great feeling. I’m getting great support from big names in the industry – as previously mentioned, Kolsch and Joris Voorn and others such as Jeremy Olander, UNER, Theo Kottis, Denny, Montel, Yotto, Nick Warren, Guy J, Jody Wisternoff, BOg & Cid Inc to name just a few!
You’ll also be releasing on Frequenza, Of Unsound Mind and Strictly Deep, what can be expect from those?
I have more music getting released on Skream’s Of Unsound Mind before the year is out and I’m looking to work with Frequenza again in the future. But the main goal at the moment is to keep on working with Sasha and his Last Night On Earth team on future releases. I’m currently writing a new EP for the label. Fingers crossed the boss man digs it enough for a second release on his LNOE imprint.
Just like ourselves you come from Belfast, a city which while small has always produced great music, what’s your thoughts on it here in comparison to a major city like London or Berlin?
I think Belfast has definitely been looked over as the big cities like London and Berlin continue to make their mark on the global clubbing circuit. But with recent exports like Bicep and Ejeca blowing up in recent years the world had really started to take notice of our amazing city. There are some producers that have a lot to offer and I think that we will see them shining through big time in a few years, the likes of Moodtrax, Kessler & Ubblahkan.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to catch up, we wish you the best for the release!
It was my pleasure. Keep er lit.