Heavily influenced by his fascination with outer space and the cosmos, it's no wonder that DJ and producer Bleep Bloop defines his music as, "a transmission for extraterrestrial life to hear." Often incorporating a range of styles -- from juke to grime to 808 bass -- within an individual track, his unique take on future bass music has led to collaborations with respected artists like DJ Shadow, who appears on his soon to debut LP. We spoke with Bleep Bloop about his rock n' roll beginnings, outer space, and making future music. He plays this Friday, April 25, at 1015 Folsom with Cashmere Cat, Doc Daneekah, and more.
How did you make the transition from bands into DJing?
I grew up playing in bands, but it was always so hard to make the scheduling work for rehearsals. I became frustrated over time, so I found Fruity Loops and started producing music, because I could do it all by myself. DJing was just the next step in the natural progression of things because I wanted to perform my music.
Who was the first electronic artist that caught your attention?
The first electronic music to catch my ears was Infected Mushroom. My mind was blown that people were making music that was so deliberately psychedelic.
How did you come up with the name Bleep Bloop?
It's the sound your face makes when it drips off.
You describe your music as "bass surrealism." Can you give us some insight behind the meaning of that?
Well I just love the Surrealism movement in art; the whole concept of doing something that is totally illogical and nonsensical but very, very, clever at the same time. I would like to think that at my finest, my music is rooted in that concept. The universe is not a symmetrical place, so why should art be?
How does your interest in cosmos and space factor into your music?
I mean, it inspires everything. It's just incredible to think about the massive odds against life in the universe, yet here we are, and I'm making music, so I feel like that is going to be a huge influence for anyone whether they even acknowledge it or not. But I do spend a lot of time reading about and looking at pictures of the cosmos.
A lot of producers are making music titled with the genre called "future." What's your take on it?
Well, about four years ago I recall describing something that I made as future, and people do continue to describe my music as future. But since what people are describing as future is constantly changing, it seems like it would make more sense to refer to it as present music.
Tell us about your newest track, "Duality of Man." What was it like working with Starkey and Patrick Sexx?
It was great working with them together. I work with Patrick all the time, and we have developed a really good chemistry I think. He is more the kind of guy that goes by feel, and I am more on the technical side, so it really makes for a perfect balance I think. Having Starkey in the mix was great as well, because the guy is a straight up wizard-like producer. It's very inspiring to see him using all types of techniques and devices, even on his iPad and whatnot. I love collaborating; it brings out good stuff.
Do you do the artwork on most of your tracks, for example the art on "Duality of Man?"
I don't do the artwork on any of my tracks. Patrick Sexx has been doing a lot of my art recently, and the cover for "Duality of Man" was done by an artist named Jonny Macaroney out of Lithuania.
Can you share with us any secrets about your upcoming LP?
Let's see, secrets...it's a transmission for extraterrestrial life to hear as well as being an album. And for something a little more on the Earth plane... I'm very excited to say that there is DJ Shadow collaboration on the album.
What were some of your influences going into the album?
I have influences from all over. Like we discussed before, the cosmos is a huge one. Also, the Surrealism movement -- the works of Dahli and Ernst in particular are very inspiring. Musically I pull it from everywhere. Sun Ra is a huge influence, and I try to convey that in the music. The title for the album is Timeshare on Saturn, which is definitely influenced by Sun Ra. Tom Waits is probably my favorite musician and one of my biggest musical influences as well. The inspiration for much of the rhythms and beats on the album comes from me being a huge fan of hip-hop, especially folks from the Bay Area like Mac Dre and E-40. As far as influences in modern electronic music, I have to say that Eprom, Mr. Oizo, DJ Shadow, Yeti, Patrick Sexx, G jones, Nastynasty, Jameszoo, Hecka, and many more inspire me on a daily basis.
What's the summer for Bleep Bloop looking like?
I've got a few shows lined up, including going to play Emissions Festival in Belden Town in May -- excited for that. Then Burning Man at the end of the summer, and besides that, I'm going to be spending most of my days in the studio making tunes, just like I always do.
How does it feel to be supporting Cashmere Cat this Friday? What will you bring to the party?
I'm very excited to be supporting Cashmere Cat. His tunes are really fun. I feel like I will bring a bit of a change of pace to the party, because my beats are more hip-hop based than club music based, but I think that it's going to be a really good party.