FADER Mix: KABLAM
Meet the sonic genius at the heart of Berlin’s Janus crew.
KABLAM's Kajsa Blom grew up on the outskirts of Gothenburg in Sweden, but moved to Berlin in 2012, because she was "bored and uninspired." The musical hub provided the context for a new direction, and not long after she started the KABLAM project and linked with the city's Janus crew, which includes GEN F alum Lotic and PAN-signed producer M.E.S.H.. As KABLAM, Blom makes music that peels away the glossy surface of contemporary pop, finding an intense and sharp-edged beauty in its mechanized interior—for example, this and this.
As festival season gets ready to engulf us, this KABLAM edition of the FADER Mix series should provide a hearty antidote to drop overload. It arcs and audibly aches through an increasingly blurred sonic landscape, occasionally coming up for air with the inclusion of isolated stretches of melody and, delightfully, Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim's 2003 hit "Can’t Hold Us Down." Plus, there's plenty of joyful noise from her Janus contemporaries. Listen below, and scroll down to get to know KABLAM a little better.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings. I’m in my man’s studio apartment in Stockholm. I’m watching him paint a table, while I’m writing this and listening to Miles Davis. Ugh, this sounds so cheesy!
Tell us a bit about the mix—what do you imagine people doing while listening to it? The mix includes some unreleased tracks of some great producers and genius friends. Things you could do while listening to it: dance, fuck, sing, scream.
What's your earliest musical memory, and did it shape your approach to music making in any way? I don’t know what my earliest musical memory is. I used to play the classical piano, but I never learned to read notes, even though I took lessons for more than 10 years. My piano teacher yelled at me and basically told me I was worthless. But I always just played by ear, and that’s how I make music now: a lot of trial and error. I never really know what notes I’m using.
How did you get involved with the Janus crew? Janus was booking the most interesting acts—like every single party was incredible. So I was just there all the time, at Chesters where we used to hold a monthly party. So I guess we all met on the dancefloor. And at some point, Dan DeNorch—who started Janus—asked if I wanted to DJ. I did, and apparently they liked it!
What's coming up for KABLAM? I will have a period of time now where I will only work on music, in Berlin. Going to play some shows, next up is the Volt festival close to Stockholm, in Uppsala. Then I will play in Basel with TCF, Amnesia Scanner, and more. Plus more shows TBA!
And finally, what's the last book that had a big impact on you and why? It was a collection of essays by Hannah Arendt, in addition to some other texts by her. I think it changed the way I felt about philosophy, which can be the most navel-gazing thing in the world—a lot of the time only serving itself and not breaking out of that academic bubble. In my opinion, Arendt’s thinking is super useful, and not at all like that.
M.E.S.H. x Eve - zeroXeveM
Torjus & Blastah - Diet Riddim
Christina Aguilera - Can’t Hold Us Down (ft. Lil Kim)
Dinamarca x Busy Signal x GIL - Jail
Toleson - Dogbagdisórder
KABLAM - Priéremix
Lotic - Chunk (SHALT Edit)
Grove street - Ground Zero (Byrell The Great Remix)
DJ Ly-COox - Good Wine
M.E.S.H. - Epithet
GIL - OCD
Grovestreet - Cunt Horror Redux
Sami Baha - (Nasa) Domain Awareness System
SHALT - Acheron
Tove Agelii - ????
Dinamarca & Kid Antoine - ????
Lotic - Slay
Rabit - ????
Tove Agelii x Eve x Kelly - ????
Arca x Aaliyah - Are You That Swallowtail SC