Every edition of this season’s Long Winter, we’re releasing a free split seven-inch, each side featuring a song from one of the night’s featured artists. To compliment the releases, we’ve issued a seven-part questionnaire to each of the artists involved, giving the subjects an inch (about 85 words) of space to answer each of our questions.
Together with vocalist Alice Hansen, Charles Blazevic makes ruminative, nocturnal pop music in You’ll Never Get To Heaven. But on March 13, Blazevic brings his solo instrumental project Dreamsploitation to the final Long Winter of the season. In this questionnaire, Blazevic explains how “Accent Blue“ – available on our March split 7-inch with Elsa, free to the first 250 guests through the doors at the Great Hall – was inspired by solo piano music.
Long Winter: Who are you and how did Dreamsploitation come about?
Charles Blazevic: Dreamsploitation is the moniker I use to release solo music. The project began in 2007, and was initially inspired by my love for film soundtracks and rare groove of the late 1960s & early 1970s. I had been incorporating these influences in various band contexts at the time, but decided to learn how to approach it alone with a computer and my collection of instruments and records. The decision to go this route was inspired in part by some of the amazing sample-based albums released around that time, particularly J Dilla’s Donuts and Daedelus’s Denies the Day’s Demise. These albums showed me how incredible new music can made almost exclusively through sampling, an approach I hadn’t considered until that point.
How about “Accent Blue”? What inspired that?
“Accent Blue” is inspired by minimalism and solo piano music more generally. At the time, I was listening to a lot of Arvo Pärt and Lubomyr Melnyk, so this one is inspired by them, for sure. Unlike most of my output, this track is entirely constructed of excerpts from an improvised piano performance that I recorded at a studio where I worked at in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For lots of listeners, this will be their first point of access to your music. Where does this song fit into the rest of your catalog?
My musical output tends to change with my listening interests, which, too, are always changing. Despite this, there are essential elements that I tend to gravitate toward in the music I listen to (across genres), which I try to incorporate in my own: Extensive use of seventh and ninth chords, soft focus timbres, and sustained textures, for example, can be found in the vast majority of my music. In this way, “Accent Blue” is in keeping with nearly everything in my catalog, despite the fact that it’s one of the only piano-based productions I’ve completed to date.
Once they’re turned on to this, what releases (songs, EPs, albums, or otherwise) should people pursue as logical next steps to getting to know your music?
My output becomes increasingly ambient with each new release, so if that is your thing then work in reverse chronological order, beginning with my latest release, The In-Between Years: 1959-63. My debut album, The Soft Focus Sound of Today, is more beat-oriented, so that may be an ideal starting point for some. I think they all kind of share a similar underlying affective dimension, so in this way any release, in any order, would likely be fine.
When you think of winter, what’s a memory that stands out for you?
No specific memory comes to mind, but it’s always a nice surprise to be walking around outside during a snowstorm while listening to something that animates the experience. Recently, I was walking home during a heavy snow squall while listening to Gigi Masin’s Talk to the Sea. It turned an otherwise unpleasant walk into an unusually captivating experience.
How do you survive winters in Toronto?
What are you most looking forward to for the March 13 edition of Long Winter?
I’m mostly looking forward to hearing the other bands, playing a set of all new music, and catching up with friends. Shane Song did an amazing job on the cover art for this Long Winter split 7-inch, so I am also really looking forward to getting a physical copy of that!
To hear Dreamsploitation visit dreamsploitation.bandcamp.com