A Thousand Beautiful Things: Inside the Blu Mar Ten albums

“Musically it’s the same button we’ve been pressing since day one, trying to find that particular and delicate place between sadness and hope. We rarely find it, exactly, but we come close sometimes. It’s like what they say about jazz players, always trying to find the ‘lost chord’ …” Interview for UKF, November 2016.

Mosaic

Blu Mar Ten Album Covers

A common trait among music fans is their ability to recollect little details regarding their musical icons. A series of coincidences and seemingly unrelated events acquire a whole different gravity in hindsight. Although I firmly believe in the maxim “Don’t meet your heroes”, happily enough, meeting Blu Mar Ten has been a distinct exception to the rule and I feel quite honoured to have known them in person and consider them friends.

I accidentally discovered Blu Mar Ten in 1996 and I have closely followed their musical career path ever since. Their sophisticated approach, art and literature connotations, eclectic taste and cinematic aesthetics have never ceased to amaze me. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their discography debut, Blu Mar Ten recently released their 7th studio album entitled ‘Empire State’. What follows is a retrospective, but not exhaustive account of their career from my biased perspective, emphasizing on releases, which I have associated with fond memories and have had a profound impact on me; an array of reminiscences printed on vinyl grooves. Browsing through my record collection, I also present my personal highlights from each LP, instead of a track-by-track review, trying also to deduce and identify their creative influences. This is essentially my own perception and an attempt to capture the essence of the album narratives, which is completely arbitrary and probably nowhere near Blu Mar Ten’s actual vision and purpose. Nonetheless, I believe that the value of an artistic product is to create different emotions, thoughts and interpretations.

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Count To Ten: Critical Recordings

Critical Recordings

Conceived by D&B visionary Kasra back in 2002, in a front room in north London, the Critical Music name has since blossomed into one of the most successful independent record labels in the UK today. Grown from a simple idea driven by a commitment to putting out the best music the scene has to offer, it has now become one of the most well respected electronic dance music labels in the UK. Nurturing new talent and releasing some of the freshest breaks and beats from the likes of Enei, Foreign Concept, Break, Rockwell, Sabre, Stray, Cyantific, Marcus Intalex, S.P.Y, Calibre, Total Science and many more, it has gone on to build a loyal following around the world driven on by Kasra’s never ending quest to release quality underground bass music.

Not only a record label, the Critical empire now boasts its own highly esteemed club nights with a residency at London’s world-renowned Fabric night spot, as well as regular branded Critical tour nights across the UK and abroad. Drawing in familiar faces from the world of D&B you can be sure each and every Critical event is programmed to perfection, with leagues of fans attending each one in abundance. Continue reading