object blue on the Future of Nightlife

To celebrate the release of her new collaborative EP 'Hyperaesthesia' with TSVI, the producer and DJ gets candid about her industry.

London-based, Beijing-raised musician object blue has made a name for herself with energetic, disorientating club sets and a cerebral approach to production. Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, for fear of sounding like a bullet point list of all her achievements, she’s currently a resident at taste-making radio station Rinse FM, has played festivals like Dekmantel and Unsound, and has even released a Radio 1 Essential Mix. In short, if you like experimental techno she’s a really big deal. 

Below, we check in with the dancefloor visionary to hear how she’s coping with 2020 and to learn more about “Hyperaesthesia”, her latest EP, created in collaboration with Italian producer TSVI. 


What was your entry into music?

I’d always been an obsessive listener, but it took me until I was 22 to download Ableton and finally realise the sounds I’d hear in my head. My friend and a brilliant producer YASHA, who was living in the US at the time filmed little tutorial videos on how to program beats, EQ, sample etc. That was a crucial moment — I’d finally broken out of my neuroses and just did the thing I wanted to do. 


For people that don’t know you, how would you describe your sound?

Shimmering, subby, lots of found sounds.


You created the ‘Hyperaesthesia’ EP alongside producer TSVI. When did you meet him?

In 2018 he sent me his debut album Inner Worlds which was coming out a couple months later, I really loved it. We kept in touch over email and one day he asked if I wanted to write with him — we decided to meet up in person, and here we are. He is such a kind, humble and interesting person. I always have a ball when we’re together.


What was the process behind the release?

We wrote maybe seven demos over eight sessions. It was finely curated from the start — as soon as we got three demos together we began sorting it out, saying; “these two complement each other, this one is an outlier, so it won’t make it to the final release.” TSVI did a lot of arrangement after we’d bang out lots of ideas and sections, which I’m grateful for because I find arrangement exhausting. He was the anchor and organiser where I was more improvisatory.


Tell us the inspirations which fed into the release.

While making the track “Thought Experiment” we kept getting this image of a machine waking up. That mix of machine vs. sentience is something we had in mind throughout the making and curating of these tracks. And, of course, we’re both very inspired by [producer] Loraine James, so we asked her to do a remix for it and it’s amazing.

How has 2020 been creatively?

Not great! I entered a very frustrating writer’s block pre-Covid in September 2019, and the lockdown certainly hasn’t helped. I have really enjoyed the lockdown in some ways: cooking a lot, which is a creative outlet for me outside music, but I’m only starting to write music slowly now.


As a DJ I know you’re probably asked this all the time but how do we save nightlife post-Covid?

I get asked this every interview now, and with good reason, but as a small artist in a small scene my opinion feels microscopic up against this massive industry and the unprecedented damage to it. Small and mid-range artists, venues, promoters and industry workers need so much financial help, for a long time to come, otherwise, we’ll lose a good chunk of them forever. How many people can “come back” from this year?


What needs to change in the electronic music scene?

More transparency, less hierarchy, open-mindedness.


Finally, do you have any hopes for the future?

Honestly, I just want myself and everyone else to be healthy.


object blue and TSVI’s ‘Hyperaesthesia’ EP is out via Nervous Horizon on Friday (September 25). Preorder on Bandcamp.

24 September 2020