“We release music we like made by people we like.”- Blu Mar Ten on the ethos of their label
After experimentation with various electronic music genres, two non-d&b studio albums and a string of drum and bass releases on a wide array of prestigious labels, Blu Mar Ten marked their glorious comeback to familiar musical paths with the establishment of their own imprint Blu Mar Ten Music (BMTM) in 2009. The label was initially set to accomodate for their own material and Blu Mar Ten released two studio albums in the next two years, entitled Natural History and Love Is The Devil respectively. They also commissioned a multi-part remix series to augment both projects, with contributions from established artists across the scene, achieving critical acclaim and remarkable chart success.
However, the need to foster a creative environment for other artists and expand the label’s horizon, soon became obvious. With outstanding A&R skills, hunting talent in the four corners of Europe, BMTM managed to showcase, within a short period of time, an exemplary collective of stunningly promising artists, namely: Stray, eleven8, Ed:it & Aldo, Frederic Robinson, DelPurr & Eraser, Queensway, Thing, Spirant, Mutated Forms, Tiiu & Faib and most recently Kimyan Law.
2013 saw Frederic Robinson being the first artist other than Blu Mar Ten to release his debut personal album Mixed Signals on BMTM, followed by a live version entitled Live Signals. The project received triumphant reviews and extensive support across the electronic music spectrum. Shortly after, Blu Mar Ten released their third album Famous Lost Words.
A few months after the Famous Lost Words release, I met with Chris Marigold of Blu Mar Ten, who had been extremely excited about his latest discovery, an artist he had met at a Vollkontakt gig in Vienna. And that brings us to recent events. The artist in question is the new drum and bass wunderkind Kimyan Law, who has released his brilliant sophomore album Coeur Calme to public and critical acclaim, on November 10th.
Kimyan Law is the next international guest featuring in the Jump The Q series of the blog.
Jump the Q
A mini-interview with 20 short questions (some personal, some tricky) looking for equally short answers, addressed to artists, producers, promoters, djs, friends and affiliates of the blog in general.
Set 1: The man behind the mask
Q1: Favourite travel destination?
The journey itself.
Q2: Favourite dish?
Q3: Favourite drink?
Q4: Favourite movie?
Q5: Favourite book?
Q6: Favourite song title?
Mass & Spring.
Set 2: The man behind the console
Q7: First record you bought?
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Something.
Q8: Most valuable record you own (sentimental value not financial)?
Kimyan Law – Coeur Calme.
Q9: Favourite piece of musical equipment?
Q10: Favourite music track (non genre-specific)?
Q11: Favourite label?
Blu Mar Ten Music
Q12: Favourite dj/artist/producer?
Too many. (Amon Tobin)
Q13: Track you wish you had written?
Massive Attack – Paradise Circus
Q14: Analogue or digital?
Set 3: The man behind the scenes
Q15: Favourite venue worldwide you have ever attended?
Vollkontakt (Vienna, Austria)
Q16: Best live performance/dj set you have ever witnessed?
Maybe Dub Phizix
Q17: Worst live performance/dj set you have ever witnessed?
A random club event.
Q18: Dream line-up for a festival (5 names)?
Culprate, Amon Tobin, Moderat, Radiohead, Burial.
Q19: If you had a magic eraser who would you extinguish from the music map?
People with lyrics about their butt.
Q20: Future plans?
About Kimyan Law (courtesy of Blu Mar Ten Music)
Just 19 years old, Kimyan Law (real name Nico Mpunga) belongs to the African Diaspora. The son of a Congolese father and Austrian mother, Mpunga resides in Vienna, unable until recently to return to his homeland, due to the devastating Congolese Civil War.
Born on Christmas Day 1994, Mpunga was a melancholic child. A lone black youth studying in all-white environments, he was a victim of racism; a difficult and depressing atmosphere, which led him to find respite and consolation in music. Making recordings using instruments improvised from trash, he soon graduated from using wood, glass and his own voice to a mastery of drums, piano, marimba and flute, channelling his childhood difficulties into creation.
At the age of 12, Mpunga started exploring the possibilities of electronic music, experimenting with primitive looping on a PSP and then pursuing audio-engineering courses, learning so fast he rapidly started tutoring others. The last couple of years have seen Kimyan Law blossom into the artist we see before us today. Deep explorations into his African roots have led him to create complex mosaics of ancient sound with modern aesthetics. A true “artist” rather than the all-too-common “engineer” found in modern electronica, Mpunga constantly talks of the meaning and imagery in his music, referring to his tracks as “portraits”. It will come as no surprise that Mpunga’s highly visual sensibilities do not stop at sound. He is also a painter, graphic designer and video director; a true polymath, a genuine prodigy.
Kimyan Law’s music is a thing of rare beauty. Having its roots in Drum & Bass, it flies far beyond the confines of that often-formulaic genre, expanding sonic ranges and disrupting standard arrangements. Mpunga incorporates African instruments and influences into his high-tech set up, achieving a rare organic and human quality amongst the cold electronics. Glittering cascades of tuned percussion are expertly weaved into layers of state-of-the-art bass and the result is a stunning array of romantic and cinematic music that, with its sheer humanity, seduces everyone who experiences it.
“Coeur Calme” Album Press Release
Congolese/Austrian producer Kimyan Law, newest recruit to Blu Mar Ten Music, has released his much anticipated debut album “Coeur Calme” on November 10th providing an insight into his journey from his deep-set African roots to the artist he has become today. Kimyan Law describes his tracks as “portraits” full of imagery and meaning and, with this in mind, his first long player feels like an even more accomplished affair, steeped in expertise and rich in emotion.
With “Coeur Calme”, Kimyan Law has shown an understanding of intricate production and complex instrumental interplay far beyond his 19 years. An exploratory album in its own right, drawing influences from all aspects of Law’s life, “Coeur Calme” serves as the perfect introduction to an extraordinary new talent.
You can purchase Kimyan Law’s fantastic “Coeur Calme” album directly from the BMTM store, while stock lasts. All money from this store goes directly back into the project, helping to discover, release and promote new artists.
Visit the blog’s archive for the previous installments of the Jump the Q series here.