Positive Vibes: Blocks & Escher
Positive Vibes: tunes that instantly put you in the happiest of places.
This week we checked in with Blocks, of Blocks & Escher fame. His selection of positive vibes are some of the most interesting we’ve had to date. But before we tune into some classic Prince, Smiths and a slice of stirring film score shizzle, there’s the not-so-small matter of their new label Narratives Music.
“We started the label at the start of the year,” explains Blocks. “Last year was a big one for us with tracks on Digital Soundboy and Renegade and we want to build a bit of a profile and have more control with our releases. Narratives is all about the labels that influenced us to get into it. Making music first, and drum & bass second. We want to make music that we want to be remembered first and foremost.”
Two releases deep and you can already hear the depth and scope of Narrative’s potential. January saw them firing us into a fractured hyperspace with two forward-thinking slabs of experimental minimalism. Both Sagan and Broken were instant icy chillers, primed purely for the deepest, late night sessions. This week sees the release of Shiver, a beautiful roller laced with equal measures of mechanical and organic soul. And it’s backed with an abyss-like reinterpretation of their 2009 Horizons track Heart Shaped by ASC.
“We’ve been mates with ASC for ages,” says Blocks. “From the Good Looking stuff to the Autonomic stuff. He’s truly at the forefront of that sound. We really wanted him to take apart one of our tunes and give it his own realisation and we’re really chuffed with how he did it. He’s got this massive following in IDM and ambient and that’s the Narratives spirit – it’s not just about drum & bass. Everyone has their own interpretation. Stuff has to stick with you for you to want to invest in it and remember it. You want something to trigger an emotion or a spark in you for you to make your own narrative.”
Future-wise expect plenty more open eared narrative explosions throughout the year including a project that’s “a proper nod to the mid 90s golden era”. Blocks suggests there could even be a compilation towards the latter months. But only if it feels right.
“We have to be very comfortable with it,” he explains. “There’s no bandwagon jumping or anything like that, you know? I’m humbled by the support we’ve had; Risky’s played the track up against Sub Focus and Dillinja tunes on the podcast! That’s mental. We want to catch people’s imaginations and reinforce that message that music should have more longevity.”
Shiver/Heart Shaped is out now. Listen and down right here. Then check out Blocks’ three essential moments of pure positivity…
Prince – Controversy
“I’m a huge Prince fan and could’ve picked a lot of his tunes for this. He’s such a talented musician. He just sticks to a really solid groove here. And, what I love about this the most, is the whole early 80s drum machine element. A few people like Joy Division did this; mixing the mechanical with real instruments. It’s just such a great balance. So this, out of the three, is your cheesiest positive dancefloor banger I guess. You could choose so much from his back catalogue. He’s got disco, proper feel good vibes, really big grooves and this really ticks all the boxes.”
Cliff Martinez – Is That What Everybody Wants
“Cliff is a composer, film score dude and this is from the soundtrack to the film Solaris. It’s very bleak and cold but with some incredible soaring strings! It’s so beautiful and always sets something off, evoking memories and emotions. It reminds me of my girlfriend and long journeys and sunny beaches. I know you’re probably expecting proper upbeat happy tunes but this is very positive and send so many tingles my spine it’s unbelievable.”
The Smiths – This Charming Man
“One of my favourite bands ever! I know people have a proper love/hate relationship with them and some people fucking hate them but I love them. This is their biggest hit. I love Morrissey’s pretentious, ambiguous lyrics. They’re wicked. Everything about this is great, including the memories – especially university. I always want to dance to them but it’s a bit camp!”