With the undeniable ability to awaken the senses through his music, Dutch producer Tim Brandwijk – aka Embliss – has developed a sound not to be placed delicately in an ivory box.Fast forging ahead as one of the most promising producers in the scene, Embliss first set out to explore his talents at the Utrecht School of the Arts for Music Technology. Post- graduation, and after dabbling in sound design for film, he returned to his first love of dance music and signed his first recording contract at the age of just 15. His debut releases on Morphosis Records and Bonzai Music set the stage for a rapid rise through the ranks of electronic producers. Since then, he has featured on top labels such as Armada Music‘s Electronic Elements, Proton Music, Silk Music, Particles and the legendary Anjunadeep.Over the years the Embliss sound has evolved into the evocative, emotive and superbly stylish deep and progressive house that he is renowned for.An effortlessly euphoric melodic mastery and carefully-crafted production techniques combine to form a trademark feel-good factor that will simultaneously steal your heart and move your feet.It’s a sound that is intricately interwoven into his monthly Mind Over Matter radio show, which regularly features in Proton Radio’s Top 10 most listened-to chart.With the start of 2014 seeing Embliss working not only on new original releases and remixes but also his debut album – due for release later this year – it’s safe to say that the best is yet to come.
Oslo is a bit off the grid when chatting about the electronic music scene. Personally I’ve never been, so can you begin by telling us a little about the Norwegian dance music scene at the moment especially in Oslo?
That’s true, the music scene in Norway is not really focused towards electronic music, but it’s definitely on the rise. If you want to go clubbing, Oslo is definitely a great choice.
What would be the more predominant styles of electronic music in Norway?
There isn’t really one that stands out as far as I have noticed. There are a lot of different electronic bands and acts hailing from Norway. From Röyskopp, Terje Saether, Orjan Nilsen or Finnebassen, the styles are very diverse.
When you are not Djing or have friends visiting, what clubs and bars would you take them to at the weekends?
I would take them out on a hike to the mountains or the fjord, and finish off the day with a taste of one of the many local breweries here.
When you are not making music, have you any hobbies or interest you do to entertain yourself during the week?
I love snowboarding and be out and about a lot! Norway has fantastic nature, and there are endless places to get inspired. Next to that I’m a geek with all things technology so I also love to spend my time coding away!
So as a producer, where does your sound come from and what defines it? Was it labels or certain producers that influenced you on your in musical path?
For me it all started with hardcore and happy hardcore music back in the days in Rotterdam, around ’95. I started playing around with tracker programs and soon released my music on various net labels. At 16, I released my first vinyl on Restricted Records. Shortly after I got into trance music with System F “Out of the Blue” and shortly after bought my first trance vinyl “Bullet in the Gun” by Planet Perfecto. (Still a classic!) After that I discovered BT, Hybrid, and progressive breaks.. that’s the moment when I started releasing music as Embliss.
So you recently started up you label Mind Over Matter. Can you please tell me the why you decided to take the leap and what is your vision for it?
It was a step to celebrate the success of doing the Mind Over Matter podcast for 5 years. The podcast covers a lot of musical styles, but there is always a red line through all the episodes that defines the sound of the whole show. I want to capture that specific sound and make that the foundation of the label. The first release of the label is a compilation of the podcast’s favorite tracks. It was released on Beatport February 17th: http://www.beatport.com/release/mind-over-matter-winter-2014-compiled-by-embliss/1242671 . We also have some original releases planned, but everything is still in an early stage. The focus will always be quality over quantity.
Have you any particular artist you really want to get on the roster for it (the label)?
Not specifically. We are in talks with some artists, but I don’t want to reveal too much. As you also know, my album is in the works. For now, I can say it will be different than what people would expect! There might be some new Embliss releases appearing on the label in the future as well :)
You have worked with some great labels in the past. Are there any others which are on your hit list to release on?
Thanks! I had this drive to release on as many labels as possible before, but right now I prefer sticking to the ones I am familiar with and have a good relationship with. That counts mostly for originals I think, if I get asked for a remix and I fall in love with the track, then it’s about the track, not the label!
Not only have you your own podcast ‘Mind over Matter’ but you are now with Proton Radio too. How did this come about and what will be your input for the station going forward?
I met Jason from Proton when we both were living in London at the time. Not long after he asked me to join the team, working on some of the tools in Proton’s distribution backend software for label managers, and also developing Proton’s new radio player (http://m.protonradio.com). I have been really fortunate to work with the Proton team. Great people :-)
Finally I would like to talk about the future. Are there any labels or artist you can see in the future having a positive effect on the prog & trance scene?
Oh definitely. There are some great producers out there doing some amazing things. There’s guys like Fon.Leman, Blusoul, and August Rush for example, who are constantly releasing quality tracks that are fresh, new. The easy thing is to recycle your previous production with some other melodies and that’s it.. but what I like about some of the guys now they are really trying new things out – broadening their style and covering more ground as a producer. Keep it interesting for me and makes me curious about what they are releasing next! I have a lot of respect for that.