Prins Thomas keeps the big tunes coming as his label Full Pupp releases the beautiful debut album from Oslo’s Blackbelt Andersen…
There’s no stopping Prins Thomas’ label Full Pupp at the moment. In four short years, the Norway-based imprint has become the stuff of legend, making global stars of the label boss and the likes of Todd Terje, and bringing the nu-disco sound to the masses. Now it’s time for Daniel ‘Blackbelt’ Andersen, a resident at the Full Pupp night, to step into the spotlight, as he drops his eponymous debut album. Diverse, emotive and unbelievably catchy, the album mixes up everything from Detroit techno to Scandinavian disco to create a beautiful whole. EQ caught up with Daniel to find out more…
How’s the album going down? Have you been surprised by the reactions it’s getting?
I’ve been overwhelmed by the reception it’s gotten really. I’ve been getting positive feedback from all over, and the reviews have been great. Googling myself has never been more fun.
The cosmic/nu-disco sound seems to be everywhere at the moment. Was it hard making an LP that stands out from the crowd?
I’ve got a pretty distinct sound for better or worse, and I was never really nervous about not standing out. I think my techno background still shows, not only sound-wise, but also in how I work. I know I can sound kind of tracky in comparison to some of the producers I’m compared to, but I guess that only helps me stand out.
It sounds like you’ve made a real effort to create an album that flows from beginning to end, rather than just putting together a collection of tracks. Was that a conscious decision, or did the album just turn out this way?
That was indeed a conscious decision, as a lot of dance music albums sound more like compilations than albums. And as everybody’s conscious about that you’ll almost always find a half-assed downbeat track thrown in as an alibi. Seriously though, figuring out the tracklisting and mixing the tracks together took quite some time, and I think it turned out rather good. Like a good DJ set, it has it ups and downs in terms of tempo and energy. I’m glad it worked out as well as it did.
Have you been playing many of the tracks from the album out in clubs? They work really well at home – how do they go down on the dancefloor?
I try out new tracks on the floor as often as I can, but I don’t really play a lot of my own tracks that often. But Prins Thomas always get my latest efforts as soon as they’re finished, so I know he tests a lot of them out around the world. I mean, before I even decided that Kuk Av Stål was good enough to go on the album he’d been playing it to an incredible hands-in-the-air response on the west coast of America. That really helped me make up my mind about that one.
How much has your love of Detroit techno shaped this album?
I guess I’m going after the general tonality of the whole genre rather than pinching hooks and melodies. When producing I often start off with a simple Detroitish melody or string arrangement and take it from that.
Full Pupp seems to be making a huge impact on a lot of DJ sets and production these days. How much does working with such an influential label shape your sound?
If anything it’s working with Prins Thomas. He’s been a great help over the years, be it just by giving feedback on new tracks or even butting in on the editing process.
Did you feel under any pressure to deliver your debut album for Full Pupp?
Of course there were a lot of nerves at first, but they’ve mostly settled now as I see more and more positive reviews. I’m confident that the album’s good if not great, but it’s always nice to get positive feedback.
How’s the DJing going at the moment? What sort of stuff are you playing out?
I play a bit more electronic than the other Norwegian jocks, and a little less disco. I guess my DJing doesn’t differ that much from my productions. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Pete Herbert, The Diaphanoids and other TIRK releases – and, as always, upcoming Full Pupp releases.
Anything else in the pipeline we should know about?
I have a few 12”s coming on Full Pupp and a few remixes. I’m pretty stoked about a remix I did of Sankt Göran that’s coming out on Solardisco, not to mention a mix I did of Marius Våreid that’s coming out on Full Pupp soon – that’s a pure rock n’roll disco techno affair. There’s also been some talk about a one-off reunion 12” with Kalle Magnus and Daniel from the Tamburin days. Could be fun…
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