Truancy Volume 330: Blu:sh

There’s no denying that the last two years have been an action-packed rise for the French producers most recent Blu:sh alias. Originally making a name for himself under Benoit B by producing a mixture of slow, leftfield electronica and often balearic tinged house, he solidified himself as a master tunesmith over eight years of releases on labels such as Animals Dancing, Into The Light, Wisdom Teeth and his own imprint Banlieue Records (which he recently decided to call time on with a wonderful signing-off compilation). Whilst the attention to detail in his music and craft remains, the Blu:sh alias is club functionality produced at its very best, upping the tempo and energy with ready-made pumpers suited for all sorts of nocturnal dancing and festival movements. Blu:sh has been prolific in his music since starting the alias too, finding a home for his music on some of the most standout labels of the moment. Releases on Roza Terenzi’s Step Ball Chain, Rey Colino’s Kalahari Oyster Cult and Spray’s Punctuality is a string of labels most would dream of releasing on in 2024. His Truancy Volume is trademark Blu:sh, with an hour of propulsive bouncers and euphoria-inducing jackers powering through at a breakneck speed.

Hello there! We’re thrilled to feature your mix and grateful for the opportunity to ask you some questions. How has your year been so far, and have there been any standout moments? What are you looking forward to in the coming months? “2024 has been great so far. I discovered the vibrant energy of Tbilisi and played at Tes Club (thanks to Fantastic Planet). Two weeks ago, I released a compilation of my edits on Bandcamp. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a NGO in Berlin that provides essential services to homeless people. And after nine years, I’ve ended up my label, Banlieue Records, with a 13-track compilation featuring music from Alien D, Ciel, Mathis Ruffing, Watching Airplanes and more. I made a second EP for Kalahari Oyster Cult, set to release in September. Additionally, a new Terra Utopia EP will come out after the Summer on Emotional Response. And I’m planning a tour in Australia later this year in December.”

So going back a bit, what was the first dance music experience that really stuck with you? The one that made you want to pick up DJing and producing. “As a teenager, the Parisian queer and after-hour party scene introduced me to clubs and house music. I used to play in bars at that time to earn money to buy records. Radio FG has a lot of good djs mixes before it became super mainstream. I listened to a lot of proto house, garage, and disco at that time. I remember being impressed by Danny Krivit at Santos Party House in NYC’s Chinatown, which has since closed. I remember a 5-hour set by Lil Louis at Rex Club in Paris, which was incredible. His sets are much rawer and more intense than his productions, he nearly only plays unreleased music of his, like that nuts GPS track haha. I listened to a lot of French Rap too. My friends were producing music way before me, mostly rap, booty bass and baile Funk inspired. This is also how I’ve started to be intrigued. In 2008, I moved to London for six months and began using Ableton but the results weren’t satisfying lol. It wasn’t until I moved to Berlin that I became more deeply involved in music production.”

Although the Blu:sh alias is only a couple years old, you’ve been producing and releasing records since around 2015, almost a decade of releases. What prompted the name change and new direction? Embracing the energy within me felt natural after producing a lot of slower and easy listening music under Benoit B. Blu:sh is a way to focus on club music to make people dance. It also serves as a great excuse to explore house music in its broadest sense. Challenging a genre that has existed for more than 30 years isn’t easy; you can quickly fall into repetitive patterns and automatisms. It’s crucial for me to find ways to stay inspired and to try to push the boundaries, find the right balance between my influences from the past and today.

The first release under Blu:sh had a drum and bass track on it in ‘Recess’. Could you tell us about any influences that informed making that track? I’ve always been drawn to liquid drum n bass, jungle, ambient, and downtempo. I love the energy in the drums, the lush and ethereal pads, the sensual vocal samples, and the overall depth of the sound. It’s funny how those tracks from back in the days seem to have such clear and straightforward constructions, making them feel quick and easy to produce, but they weren’t, lol. I’ve aimed not to replicate this 90s sound but to blend all these inspirations and infuse them with a more personal and contemporary vibe. This was my mindset for the B side of my Step Ball Chain EP. I have a similar track coming out late July on a VA.

When digging for records, to what extent is your search predetermined? Do you set out with specific styles or artists in mind now with the Blu:sh alias? What attracts you to a record initially, and how quickly can you discern whether it resonates with you?It can be a lot of things but I especially enjoy when something stands out and surprises me. I love feeling a sense of generosity and complexity. I like vocals a lot. I also enjoy more loopy and minimal tracks, but they need to be relentless. Modernity is important to me as well. I like when it sounds fresh, hybrid, sharp, groovy and sexy lol.

Could you tell us about a particularly good gig you’ve played since starting playing under the new alias? Animalia in Miscellania (Melbourne), Harmony in Bike Jesus (Prague), my nights at Sameheads in Berlin :)

What sort of other hobbies or interests do you have outside of electronic music? Are there any books, films, shows or other things you’ve seen or been reading/watching that you might want to share? I’m thinking of 2 movies which I love: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring by Kim Ki-duk. If I have to think about two books, it would be The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars. And about two shows, Exodus by Sasha Waltz and Ascendant Vierge’s live.

Could you describe the process of creating this mix? Was there a specific message or feeling you wanted to convey? It was quite spontaneous, bringing together recent and old favourites along with unreleased music from friends and myself.

Last, usual question from us, what was the last thing to put a big smile on your face and when was the last time you had a proper dance? Pugs and chihuahuas. Roza Terenzi af Fandango last March.

Blu:sh: Soundcloud, Instagram, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor

You can download Truancy Volume 330: Blu:sh in 320 kbps and view the full tracklist on Patreon here. Your support helps cover all our costs and allows Truants to continue running as a non-profit and ad-free platform. Members will receive exclusive access to mixes, tracklists, and discounts off future merchandise. We urge you to support the future of independent music journalism — a little goes a long way.


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