Artist of the Week: EmblissJanuary 14th, 2010
It’s a state of undefined sounds and diversity in which Dutch producer Tim Brandwijk finds himself. Carried upon a warm wind of melodic prog-house, blowing from the city of Rotterdam, it’s his Embliss sound that’s been keeping us warm ever since his ‘Solstice’. The young producer found his place in the progressive scene, but surely doesn’t let himself be limited to one style. His new EP on the Electronic Elements label, ‘Lemonakia’ and ‘Beverly Drive’, testifies this statement. It’s time to go back to where it all started and find out where the Embliss sound finds its origine.
Turbulence & first tracks
Embliss:”Around 1996 I started listening to the local radiostation in the weekends, Stadsradio Rotterdam. Shows over there like ‘Turbulentie’ really got me interested in house music. It was there where I heard ‘Moonman – Galaxia’ for the first time. I was hooked!”
Enamoured by the magical resound of that beat, Tim took a deeper dive into the world of producing. Already owning the skills of playing the piano, he started toying around with all things electronic. Embliss:”I have been playing the piano and keyboard since childhood, but the moment I bought my first pc, I started to fiddle around in Scream Tracker, trying to gather samples from all kinds of places. I also recorded loads of samples from the radio back then to use in my first tracks.”
A bit of fiddling here, a little tweaking there, and the first ‘complete’ Brandwijk tracks were a fact. But were they worth a release? Embliss:”After a few years of making music with tracker programs, I visited a local record-store (Mid-town Rotterdam) with my demo-tape, but they weren’t very impressed. That was a big wakeup call for me! I continued making tracks and in the end, for my highschool prom, I created a quick club-house track, which in the end turned out to be my first release on vinyl.”
A single box
At the time, Tim was 15 years old. There’s not a lot of producers out there that can say the same. With the confidence flowing through his veins and his mind set for more, there was no stopping him. Many more releases followed, mostly digital, within all different genres. Tim was keeping his ears and mind open to the many sides of dance music. From hardcore to clubhouse, drum & bass and pop, Tim’s done it all. And not only because he liked the diversity, but also as a direct result of his quest in finding his own sound. Embliss:”I think I was trying to search for my own sound and style I could really relate to, so I passed a lot of genres before ending up here. I think right now I’m still not to be put in a single box.. I just create what I like. I am a big fan of all kinds of music. Each genre has its own strong elements and beauty.”
It was only a matter of time though, before he found his true match in music. Embliss:”When I started producing, I really got into club and trance music. I used to listen to 538 Dance Department and ‘Van Diepens Dance Trends’ all the time. In the fall of 1999, 538 Dance Department broadcasted a guest mix by Hybrid. It immediately got me hooked to this distinctive, unusual sound.. mixing 4 to the floor beats with breakbeats, all combined with these great melodies and harmonies. Shortly after BT ‘s album ‘Movement in Still Life’ came out, and I knew this was my cup of tea!”
Progressive, trance, house and breakbeat. Four key-words that all fit the average description of an Embliss track. But it takes a longer listen to find that his tracks are at the strict point of balance between those. ‘Kaleido’ and ‘Seattle’, both released in 2007, were the two track with which his career as a quality prog-house producer took off.
For a lifetime
Embliss:”When I created my first 4-bar loop I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life!” A few impressive releases and remixes later, Tim majored in Music Technology and Sound Design and decided to turn his hobby into a fulltime thing. Embliss:”The course wasn’t all about music production, but covered much more. For me it was perfect so I could still be creative, and work on technology at the same time. And of course I had a good excuse to use my sequencer frequently, haha! But yes, it definitely helped me a lot regarding the technical aspects, but you don’t need a course for that.”
Besides his schoolwork, Tim also produced some interesting stuff for the film industry. An industry that complements a detailed and rich sound in which emotion is captured. Embliss:”During and after college I worked on a lot of audio post-production for film and television. Doing sound effects and ADR for animated series, but also mixing live action films. In the end I was lucky enough to do sound design for some horror movies, which was great fun!”
Another interesting side-project of Tim, is his radioshow. ‘Mind Over Matter’ is a delicate ride pass deep-house and progressive at the start, and trance and housy stuff along the way. Embliss:”Mind Over Matter is my monthly radioshow on Proton Radio, which is now running for a year. I love to be able to showcase my style and the show seems to be getting more and more popular each month. Last December I did a year mix which was received really well. The best thing is the feedback I get from the listeners, even from the most deserted places on this planet. I definitely plan to continue making this show bigger and better.”
Speaking of globalization, Tim just had his first gig in Russia, and is definitely up for some more DJ action. Embliss:” Yes, I had my very first gig in Russia last year which was amazing. I love dj’ing and to perform, so I’m definitely aiming to play out more this year.”
About a year after his ‘Solstice’ release, Tim is once again performing magic. ‘Lemonakia’ being this groovy track for perfect warm-up moments and ‘Beverly Drive’ hooking you in with a more housy prog-sound. Embliss:” They were inspired by some beautiful places I visited on my trips last summer. I’m really proud of this release!”
We are too. And as for the future, that’s clear. Embliss will surely bring more warmth to the scene with new tracks and red hot remixes. Embliss:”Yes, some new originals and collaborations are coming up. I recently completed a remix of ‘Miss Nine – Everlasting’, and I got another remix in the pipeline already.”
More info on Embliss, check www.emblissmusic.com.