An underground techno DJ and producer, Lance Blaise has seen his career take off over the past few years. Part of duo Tattoo Detectives with Gabriel Ben, at one point, Blaise has been going solo since 2008 and, in 2010, put out his debut album Pretty Twisted. Aside from this, he has released singles and remixes on Capsula, Spark Music, Phobiq, Illegal Alien Records, Empro Music, Incorrect, Sound of Acapulco, Rawthentic, Definition, Vandit, Tech Head, Mad Hatter, System, Lo Kik Records, and Global Underground and on a handful of Carl Cox’s compilations.
For 2012, Blaise is releasing more music through techno labels, as well as through his own Teggno Records. Additionally, he spent part of 2011 touring in the world and reunited with Gabriel Ben for the Ultra Music Festival in March 2012.
How was your experience playing at Ultra this year?
Lance Blaise: I loved it. The stage itself was great. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, only because it was one of the – not Carl’s tent or the main stage, so usually the side stages are weird. They’re hit or miss, basically. But, the stage was awesome, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Also, this year, you and Gabriel Ben played together. How did you originally meet up and start working with him?
Lance Blaise: Originally, Gabe and I, oh geez, we met back in, kind of like, 2001 or 2000, and you know, we had an act together called Tattoo Detectives, which we basically produced music together for years and we were supported widely by Carl Cox and the list goes on of people: Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, Paul Van Dyke, even people that weren’t playing techno music were supporting us.
Why did you guys decide to reunite for Ultra?
Lance Blaise: I would tell you, Gabe’s my best friend, so we’re constantly always talking and sharing music together – our own music together and stuff – and we basically started working on some more tracks together that we have coming out. So, Ultra seemed like the perfect time for us to reunite, and we were asked by the owner of Ultra to actually play together for Ultra, so that’s pretty much how it happened.
Considering the success of your debut album, when will listeners be seeing new music from you?
Lance Blaise: I have two new tracks coming out next month, toward the end of May, which will be on a label called Dark & Sonorous, which is, pretty much, an all techno label and a little bit of minimal here and there. So, I have two tracks coming out: one’s my own, and I have one under a moniker that I use, and I also have a remix coming out on that label. I have something slated to come out on, of course, Teggno Records, which is my own label, and as well on Illegal Alien Records.
On the same subject as remixes, is there anyone you would like to remix in the future?
Lance Blaise: I mean, I would like to remix anyone who is on the CLR record label, like, for instance, Chris Liebing, Tommy Four Seven, MONOLOC, Lucy, any of those type of people supporting the same type of techno that I do.
Your biography describes you as a “tech geek.” What equipment do you use now, and how has it changed over the years?
Lance Blaise: When I DJ now, I use Traktor with my MacBook Pro, and I use I controllers, which I use two X1 controllers, along with, what’s sometimes called a midi fighter and a DJ mixer, and that’s pretty much my whole setup now. In the past, obviously I started on turntables, I moved to CD players, then I moved to using both Traktor and Ableton together, and when I was doing that, I was using the Allen & Heath 01D controller – I was using two of those – but since then, I changed to my current setup, which I’ve pretty much been using this setup for the past, I would say, two and a half, three years.
So, also, on the subject of equipment: one change that’s happened over the past two year is, the iPad has been used as a piece of DJing and production equipment. Have you tried an iPad for DJing or production, and if so, which apps do you prefer?
Lance Blaise:I personally have not used an iPad for my setup yet, but I’m certainly not opposed to trying it. When the iPhone first came out, there was a program called TouchOSC, which is something that people are still using with the iPad, and I actually use that on the iPhone for a little while, just basically testing it out. It was kind of like a novelty, because obviously the iPhone is a little bit small to be used as a dedicated controller but, seeing how good it was then, I’m certainly not opposed to using an iPad. I just really haven’t decided how to introduce any more pieces of equipment to my setup yet, but I wouldn’t be opposed to that at all.
Carl Cox has been your mentor for the past few years. How has working with him influenced your career?
Lance Blaise: I would say, basically, the time’s that I’ve played with Carl, and you know, basically got to see how he, you know, really controls the crowd, and really just how he is as a person, and he’s a pretty grounded individual, like with all his success. You go over to places, like I traveled with him into Mexico, for instance, and our car was getting surrounded. We couldn’t even get out of the car, because people just wanted his autograph. To see what a grounded person he is, you really, you know, it helps me to stay grounded and overall attitude is something I learned from him, I think, which is probably the most valuable thinks I could have taken away from him.
Why did you decide to start Teggno Records?
Lance Blaise: The label, originally, back in, I believe, the end of 2006, was created by myself and Gabriel Ben, and we, at the time, created it, basically because we needed to release some music that we already had slated to come out on another label, but this label actually wasn’t paying us for a lot of the music we had done and had topped the charts and was getting airplay all over the world. And, you know, we had a lot of sales, but, basically, we hadn’t received any of the money, so Gabe and I, basically, took the remaining music that was supposed to come out on that label and started to release it on our own label, and that’s basically how Teggno was started. And, I run the label now, along with I have an A&R person who helps, his name’s Frank Chiarello. Gabe has since left Teggno, only because he wasn’t able to focus on it as much, and I kind of wanted to push the Teggno sound into a bit of a different direction, a little bit darker, harder techno, I guess.
Since your label’s start, how has it expanded? Where would you like it to go?
Lance Blaise: I think what I said, kind of in the last question, the label has completely grown and changed a lot, since when it first started: the sound was a lot different when Gabe and I were making music together under the Tattoo Detectives name. I guess, the techno sound we were releasing was a little bit more of, not a tech-house but, a house-ier version of techno. And, we basically modeled all of Teggno around that and, you know, we put in some tech-house, and we’ll put in some harder techno here and there. Basically, when I took it over solely, I decided I wanted to, basically, to make it a bit more, like, driving, harder techno, which, you know, also helps it grow into basically what it is today. And, for the future, I would love to keep going in that direction and becoming a lot bigger. I want it to be an outlet for the younger techno producers that are having trouble getting their music out there, to have a place to release that type of music –like this type of music – that Teggno releases.