Welcome to the first in a new series where we’ll be exploring some of our favourite record labels. Each month we’ll be inviting a guest, ranging from producers, DJs, designers and label heads, to guide us through their personal highlights from a label back-catalogue. Hopefully these guides will be useful for newcomers and seasoned listeners alike.
First up is London-based imprint Blank Mind, founded by Sam Purcell in 2011. As self-styled purveyors of “hyperactivity and solace”, the label embraces genre-blind eclecticism, from modernist techno and wiggy post-dubstep to essential Chicago footwork and UK rave reissues, the through-line remains thoughtful curation and an even reverence for the new and old.
Below, rising producer DJ ojo guides us through his favourite Blank Mind tracks. His debut EP ‘Coiled up’ saw release on the label last year, instantly asserting him as an artist to watch with its slinky percussion and thoughtfully dynamic sound design. Label-head Sam Purcell had a clear effect on the shape of the release, his ever curational ear lending a sounding board for early demos. “The title track was the first thing I sent to the label and it kicked off the EP plans,” DJ ojo explains, “I'm super grateful to Sam for his support, guidance, and friendship.
“The title track off this sublime lockdown-inspired VA collection of ambient music, 'Comme De Loin' sees Spanish composer Clara de Asis embrace minimalism and musique concrète on a 12-minute ASMR-inducing soundscape. Headphones and a dark room recommended.”
“Big scoop getting the first ever Moving Shadow record re-issued. I have it on good authority that a lot of love and patience went into making this happen, and I'm very glad it did. Sitting in a freaky sweet spot between acid, bleep n bass, and other assorted rave sounds of its time, ‘No Idea’ still sounds mad fresh today. ‘And the windows are where the doors should be!’”
“Potentially my favourite Blank Mind release to date (as well as my favourite artwork) is also the most recent. Deep techno maestro Big Hands showing how it's done with a sumptuous slice of slow-fast techno, in equal parts inviting and eerie.”
The record that introduced me to the label - refined, playable, and mixed to absolutely slap. Blank Mind label boss Sam Purcell has released a few times on the label under different aliases, and I think the combination of references on this track really capture the label's essence.”