Brazda lui Novac (BLN) is an electronic/IDM project from Romania, the only member and creator is Victor Popescu.
33ms: You launched the first self titled BLN album at the beginning of this year, how was it received?
BLN: It was a positive reaction, especially from people involved in music, in one way or another. Keeping in mind the fact that it didn’t really had any proper promo, the response I got for it was more than I expected.
Locally, people heard about it, internationally however there was no promo at all, it is a niche genre with few listeners, and even less in Romania.
33ms: The album was launched in digital format, being available for purchase from various websites like Amazon, Itunes, Beatport, etc. ?
BLN: It’s not going very well…
33ms: Seeing the above answers, for future releases, partnering with a different record label would be more efficient, or maybe are you thinking in getting involved directly, advertising through sites like Facebook and Google?
BLN: My future release might be promoted by EPM Music from Holland, and if so, things will be different this time, we’ll see.
I haven’t tried Facebook and Google promotion, but I’ll do some research.
33ms: How do you get your ideas for songs, and what is the process that brings them from idea to reality?
BLN: I just sit down and do it. Usually I play around with a synth and make a sound, everything starts with a particular sound. Contrary to most people that make music, I believe the tone is more important than music. The moment that you have a tone that you like, you can start writing a tune, not the other way around.
33ms: What is the equipment you used for this album?
BLN: A lot: Waldorf MicroQ, Attack, Pulse (I’m a huge Waldorf fan), Korg MS10, Korg MS2000, Korg Electribe ESX, Korg ER-1, Yamaha AN200, Yamaha CS15, Alesis Micron, Yamaha TX802, Ensoniq VFX, Roland Juno106, Roland JX8P, Kawai K5000S, etc.
I mix in Pro Tools 8 and I use an 18 DSP Creamware Sonic Core system with lots of plug-ins like Minimax, Pro12, etc.
33ms: What is your live set-up?
BLN: My live set-up changes depending on the gig, but the core is my PT8 loaded Laptop, Korg ESX-1 and an Alesis Micron.
33ms: Did your PC ever give you trouble during a gig?
BLN: Never, I guess I’m a lucky guy…
33ms: Do you think the public supports the development of artists in Romania, both by its attitude/showing up to gigs, and economically by buying the music? I am talking about the kind of music you make and mainstream as well.
BLN: As far as mainstream music goes, I’m sure they support it, otherwise it wouldn’t be mainstream, but I don’t know too much about it, so I’m not going to make any comments. I get supported by the people who like my kind of music in this country, and they are not many, hence I am getting little support. I don’t complain, I’m happy that many of them are my friends as well. I don’t think anybody bought my album in Romania, because people here are used to albums in hardcopy. The gigs have a great atmosphere, however I noticed BLN is not a project to be played during the summer as people seem to have other priorities then, come autumn and the atmosphere starts to grow in clubs.
I never thought of BLN as a business, so it didn’t matter when and how I played, however I have changed my view a little since.
33ms: Do you think there is a problem, be it, attitude, curiosity, political,economical, in regards how Romanian public perceives non-mainstream music?
BLN: I think it’s both a culture and percentage problem. In other countries the percentage of people who listen to this kind of music is much higher. If we were to believe the statistics 80% of Romanians are listening to manele (manele is a genre of commercial oriental music, played mostly by gypsies in Romania; it is hugely popular, although it is also considered very vulgar by lots of people). I don’t believe that percentage is true, but there are lots of people listening to it. The rest listen to Iris (legendary Romanian rock band), and whatever else is here, and after that it’s us, to which people raise an eyebrow and then disappear. Do you think those 80% would ever come to a BLN concert?
33ms: Do you think the public everywhere in the world is somewhat similar or behaves differently?
BLN: You could probably find similar behavior if you looked for it, percentages differ; and these are exactly the ones that give an artist the opportunity to make a living exclusively out of his own work.
33ms: What are the things that have to change in Romania for an artist to be able to live exclusively from his own work?
BLN: You can’t force people to like this kind of music, and although I’m usually optimistic, in this matter I’m rather pessimistic. I can’t ask of them to do more than they’re already doing, which is ignoring me. I have lots of friends that feel the same as I do, and they give me the necessary feedback to go on. A BLN show is like a meeting between friends, I know most of them. As far as giving advice to other artists I don’t think I’m in the best position to do that
33ms: You’re are doing all kinds of projects with artists like Artan or Dezz, have you ever thought of starting a group, or better said super-group with them, and other artists of the same caliber?
BLN: It would definitely be an option, I’d love to make a group with them, but each one of us is already busy with their own projects. I’m very happy about what I’ve done with them so far. With Dezz I just did the “Hello Why Not” project which is going to be launched soon.
33ms: Have you ever thought of doing film music?
I do film music, especially for short films. I did the sound design for “Line” a film by Anton Groves, which won the grand prize at the “Filminute” film festival.
It was said that the sound weighted heavily in the decision.
I also did the sound design for Horatiu’s Malaele’s “Nunta Muta”.
You can find my full credits on IMDB.
33ms: What are you doing at the moment?
BLN: I run Square Sound Studio, where I do music and sound design for films and commercials, even graphics lately. All my projects including BLN and Hello Why Not are done here.
33ms: Can you mention something that contributes to creativity, but it’s not something obvious that you would immediately think of (ex. silence, material security, equipment)?
BLN: Equipment has no connection with creativity, this is my conclusion after 10 years of collecting high end gear. Silence is important for me. Material security/insecurity has no effect on me whatsoever, but I know people who change their attitude at the smallest financial stress.
Anyway, I’m atypical, who would want to do it like I do?
You can listen to the full length BLN album on the official website here:
It is really worth it, there’s some amazing graphics to go with the music as well.
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