2013 was the year that Laurence Blake went from behind the music scenes to very much being the heart of the scene. Back in 2012 he was still making music videos for pop stars like AlunaGeorge at the same time as releasing some timeless house EPs on labels like MadTech and Love Fever, but in 2013 his DJ sets really began to stand him apart from the crowd. Here we catch up with him for more ahead of him playing Sankeys.
How long did it take you to find your own sound?
Tough one, I think I’m constantly inspired by different things inside and outside of music whether its different genres or with my art. So to pinpoint an exact time would be unrealistic but I think when I was signed to MadTech it all came together, you know?
How does it feel to be compared to the likes of Kerri Chandler? Is it a good or bad thing?
Ha, it’s a great thing. Kerri is amazing. He is so busy with touring and with the label but when he does get a chance to email and see how I’m doing, he will. If you ever needed him he would always be in touch to offer advice. With someone who’s that important to the industry it’s amazing to get positive feedback, when I need it, from someone with so much experience.
How did you hook up with him and his MadTech label? Who got in touch with who and would you like to stay as a one label artist or?
With regards to MadTech his A&R found me on Soundcloud and got in touch. It was literally that simple you know? I guess I was a little taken back by it all at first but it was such an honour to be part of an imprint like this. I’d love to stay on and do more things, who knows what’s round the corner, I kind of like not knowing what the future holds but it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing if we work together again in the future.
How different are your sets at small dark clubs vs outdoor festivals, say? Do you approach each differently?
I think you certainly approach them differently, you can kind of get those more underground cuts out in a 400-capacity venue where with a main room or arena you try and play to a mass of people who might not exactly know about you. When it’s a smaller audience you kind of feel that they know what you’re all about. The one thing I really don’t get it is the chill out areas in clubs. I mean you’re there for about 8 hours to dance so why sit down? That just baffles me.
What should people expect from you at Sankeys in Manchester? Have you played before, what are you expecting?
Ha, I haven’t played before. The last time I played in Manchester was at South. We actually went to Sankeys to try and get in after my set but the bouncers wouldn’t let me and my friends in. I hope they let me in this time! However I have heard some amazing things about the new(ish) layout and it’s one of the major players on the clubbing circuit so it will be a pleasure to play there. In Manchester, anything can happen so it will be great to see what the crowd is like. I’m sure they will be up for it as much as me.
What else have you got coming up/are you excited about?
You know I’m looking forward to my Space debut, that will be awesome. I’m also playing at Found Festival and over at Sonar then Lovebox which will be amazing too. I’m also playing for Jamie Jones at Paradise over the course of the summer so quite a lot to sink my teeth into but a lot of exciting events to look forward to and people to meet.
Words: Jasper Price