Richie Blacker had an interest in electronic music from a very young age. His older brothers used to go to raves & illegal raves back in the 90’s and as a kid he used to look up to them. So, after they would go out raving he would listen to their tapes on their hi-fi system with the headphones on as it was late and didn’t want his parents knowing he had snuck into his brother’s room. “They had mixes from Carl Cox, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, David Holmes etc. “So that was my first introduction to electronic music. I later started going to raves in my early teens with my friends and when I turned 18 I finally got a set of decks, after which I then started throwing my own illegal parties in any venue that would let me run them. Indoor skate-parks, run down art galleries and small empty warehouses, and the rest is history” he told me.
“My earliest memory of Sasha was, as mentioned, one of my brother’s old tapes. But it wasn’t until I was in my teens, I became a fan of his music. I think like most people once you hear Xpander for the first time you are instantly hooked on it. Since then I have been a massive fan of his DJ sets and music. So, it is a real honour to have now signed to his Last Night On Earth record label.”
“It feels weird Sasha even knows who I am” Richie had previously stated on social media. “Signing to his label was most definitely a goal of mine. I think for every DJ and producer it’s always a dream to sign to their idol’s record label” he said. Although he thought it never would have happened, he put it down to positive thinking, belief in himself and a shit load of hard work and dedication.
Also, with releases on Skream‘s Of Unsound Mind label and Global Underground Richie is building a strong relationship with some of the staple brands in the industry but there are still more he would love to work with. Some of the labels he expressed interest in are Anjunadeep, Drumcode, Defected, Strictly Rhythm, Pryda Recordings, Bedrock & Diynamic. “I have been playing records from these labels since I first began DJing. I will of course still continue to strive to release more on Last Night On Earth, Global Underground and Of Unsound Mind as they will continue to be amongst my favourite labels and I look forward to releasing more music with them in the not so distant future” he said.
Richie can now also confirm his second release on Global Underground. This time it is a two track EP collaboration with Ciaran Duffy. There hasn’t been a set release date yet but maybe it will be around the summer time. “Keep your eyes peeled for them as they are two absolute rave monsters. They will wreck the dance floor for sure. Believe me I have done so already” he laughed out.
Richie Blacker & Ciaran Duffy – Thomas The Skank Engine EP (Global Underground)
1: Thomas The Skank Engine
2: Black To The Mayhem
His guest mix for Decoded Radio is one of my favourites of late and shows Richie not only knows his way in the studio but also as a DJ. Obviously, production is the way forward to build a career however he spoke to me about if it’s still possible to be booked for gigs off the back of mixes or radio shows. “First off thank you. I had fun putting the mix together for you guys” he said. As far as music production goes, he believes you need to do it nowadays to build your career but you can still do it the old-fashioned way but it’s a LOT harder.
“I have been booked for gigs off the back of promoters listening to my DJ mixes yes, but that was at the start of my career and that’s 10 years ago now. Nowadays music software is a lot more accessible and kids are getting into music production a lot earlier and making some unreal music and getting signed to labels. So, my advice is this, become the best DJ you can, explore and have fun with the art of DJing, but also start dabbling in music production too as early as possible as it is most definitely the way forward. The earlier you start producing, the better you will become and over time you will naturally grow as both a well-formed DJ and producer.”
So, are mixes still important and relevant for pushing your name in the industry?
“I do believe DJ mixes are still relevant and you should try and do a monthly mix as an extra promotional tool to help push and boost your career. However, as much as they are still relevant in the industry today and people love to listen to mixes, they don’t have the power they once used to. When I began DJing, mixes were more or less a necessity in getting noticed and getting gigs. But now there is much more emphasis on production. But like everything you do in this industry whether it is making music, putting a DJ mix together or DJing live or even at a friend’s house at the weekend. Put your whole heart and soul into it because people will appreciate that more than the next guy who just throws a mix together or goes to the gig and gets too drunk or wiped out and isn’t doing it for the absolute love of the music that they are playing” he explained.
It’s the absolute love of the music Richie is in it for as he went onto explain the tracks selected for Decoded Radio…….
1: Richie Blacker – Beautifully Weird
I started the mix off with a brand new one from me. It sets the tone and vibe of how I wanted the mix to go. Deep, melodic, underground and moody. Its also been signed to a big label. But unfortunately, I can’t say any more about it just yet. Stay tuned I suppose.
2: Marc Romboy – Moonface (Systematic Recordings)
I loved this track from the first moment I heard it. The synth lead and melody are amazing. This track is an absolute winner.
3: Darlyn Vlys – Runner (Polymath)
If you have not already heard this track then I suggest you go and listen to it and then you will know why I put it in the mix.
4: Clarian – Melody For The Hopeless Within (Suara)
I am a big fan of Clarian and his music. His chord progressions and melodies are outstanding. I only wish I could write music like this legend. This track has it all and is absolutely stunning.
5: Karol XVII & MB Valence – Aqua (Get Physical Music)
This doesn’t have a big drop or lots of energy and it doesn’t really go anywhere, but yet it can take you anywhere if you close your eyes, listen and get lost in it. This is a really good track.
6: Em Six – Design (Solar Distance)
Em Six is a new producer that I have stumbled across. I like this track as well as the other 2 tracks on the EP. I have also been toying with the idea of doing my own unofficial edit of this track so it has more energy after the main break as I think the track needs it. But it’s still a cool track and I knew it would sit well in the mix.
7: Denite – As Within (GRUUV)
This track is a pure underground groover. You can’t help but tap your foot and nod your head to it. The filtered bassline is nasty too. It was the perfect track choice for me to change things up a bit in the mix.
8: Alex Metric & Ten Ven – Saudade (Anjunadeep)
Big fan of these guys and their productions. Their music is killing it when I drop it in my sets and I’m always getting asked what the tracks are when I play them. So, it was a no brainer when picking one of their new tracks to put onto the mix.
9: Richie Blacker – Voices In The Echo (Of Unsound Mind)
This is probably my best track I have ever written and my most favourite. I found the vocal sample and the track was written around that. People are always telling me it’s their favourite track lol. It’s always nice to hear that other people appreciate your music and hard work as I do put a lot of time, effort and love into my music.
10: Richie Blacker – The Summer Of Rave 89
This is another new one from me. It’s a break beat track that has a lot of 90’s influences. Rave vocal, break beat & uplifting piano chords. Basically, everything you could possibly want from a rave track. My mate said if he had heard this track and didn’t know it was mine, he would probably say it was from the 90’s. So, I have definitely achieved what I set out to do with this track, I think.
11: Luttrel – Into The Clouds (Anjunadeep)
I am completely in love with Luttrel’s new album. So, I just had to add something from him into the mix. This track is on the money when it comes to uplifting progressive house. His album is well worth a listen.
12: Vince Watson – Lonely Journey (Everysoul)
This guy can do no wrong. He is an unreal producer. I love everything he produces. This track is so nice and the perfect way to end the mix. The bassline and lead plays off one anther perfectly. Without even noticing, you suddenly find yourself grooving to the track.
“I hope you guys enjoy the music as much as I did selecting and mixing it” he said.
Moving on I had noticed some support on Richie’s Facebook page for Ciaran McAuley who is generating a buzz in the trance world. A trance fan myself I mentioned I had noticed this and probed into his thoughts why he thinks the Irish are so passionate not only in electronic music but music in general.
“It’s funny you ask because I’m sure you probably don’t know, but Ciaran and I are actually very very good friends. We grew up a 10-minute walk from each other. We are big supporters of each other’s work and I am so buzzing to see him doing so well. He works his fucking ass off for it though. So fair play to him, I am delighted for him” he said.
He then went onto explain “The Irish are very passionate people about anything that they hold close to their heart. Music, their culture & heritage etc. So, whether it be traditional folk music, rock or electronic, music brings people together and the Irish love to party. When you add all that together, you get a country full of legends that love to dance and party” he laughed out.
As long as music brings people joy and makes them dance and they want to share his music with other people then it’s enough for Richie. “That’s the main reason I do this. Anything else is a bonus” he told me. There is a lot planned for 2019. He has lots of new music coming out and 3 separate EP collaborations with Loéca, Ciaran Duffy & Leroy Schneider. He can’t really say too much about what labels they are coming out on just yet but informed me they are all really amazing labels. He will also be basing himself in Ibiza this summer. “Hopefully I will see you guys on a dance floor somewhere soon” he said.
We will now leave you all to enjoy the music with 2 hours of Luke Brancaccio and Richie Blacker on Decoded Radio.
Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Richie Blacker.
01. Unknown – Faster (Herman Cerbello)
02. Rafael Cerato – Underwater
03. Audiojack – Inside My Head [Crosstown Rebels]
04. Bedrock – Heaven Scent (Eagles & Butterflies) [Bedrock]
05. Willaris K – Natural Selection [Alva Street]
06. Simon Berry – Black Rainbow
07. Naza – Dimba (Mathias Schober’s Stripped Back mix)
08. Kevin Saunderson – Spicy Mug
09. Kiz Patterson – Contact (Beatfreak Recordings)
01. Richie Blacker – Beautifully Weird
02. Marc Romboy – Moonface
03. Darlyn Vlys – Runner
04. Clarian – Melody for Hopeless Within
05. Karol XVII MB Valence – Aqua (Jackspeare Original Interpretation)
06. Em Six – Design
07. Denite – As Within
08. Alex Metric & Ten Ven – Saudade
09. Richie Blacker – Voices in the Echo
10. Richie Blacker – The Summer of Rave 89
11. Luttrell – Into Clouds
12. Vince Watson – Lonely Journey
You can now listen to Decoded Radio over at Pioneer DJ Radio at the times below by visiting http://pioneerdjradio.com/
Every Friday 2100hrs Central European Time
Every Sunday 0400hrs Central European Time
Every Thursday 1300hrs Central European Time