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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Blocktreat

Brandon Hoffman is a mid-20s, self-employed music producer, who spends most of his time in Vancouver, although he says he’s recently been living in a treeplanting bush camp in Northern British Columbia.

Hoffman played in various bands before going solo in his sample-based instrumental project Blocktreat.

His most recent album, Traditionals, can be streamed for free or purchased on Bandcamp for $15.

Read below to learn more about Blocktreat and listen to some tunes…

How did you end up forming the band?
Blocktreat is a solo endeavor I’ve been playing with for about two years. I’ve played in all sorts of bands since I was a kid, and eventually gave in to the gravity of self-indulgence and started making bizarro sample-based music of my own.

How long have you been making music?
Thanks to the support of some pretty musical parents, I’ve been making music since before elementary school. I did the whole torturous piano lesson thing as a kid, was a pretty serious band geek in highschool, and got the oh-so-popular diploma in independent production a few years after that. There is clearly no escape.

Who/what are your influences?
As far as musical influences, Four Tet and The Books are pretty huge for me. I’m quite inspired by anybody who can invent their own genre/ method/ structure of music and still come up with something undeniably beautiful.

How did you come up with your name?
The name Blocktreat is sort of a silly inside joke. It’s a reference to a completely ridiculous treeplanting rap crew that I was a part of a couple summers ago.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
I started a collaboration with Vancouver experimental band Zoomafloome right before heading up into the woods. Basically I recorded an hour or so of them improvising in the studio, then mixed all that material down into stems (pardon the studio jargon – stems = separate audio tracks for each instrument). Now I’ve been treating that audio like raw ore, and remixing it into a big chop-and-cut Zoomafloome monster mash. I’ve got a couple tracks sequenced out, and I can’t wait to show the band.

What inspires your music?
All the sounds around me, everywhere I go. I sometimes wish I had a field recorder duct taped to the back of my head all the time, so anytime I heard a crazy Doppler shift of a fire engine or something like that I could just hit ctrl ‘s’ and turn it into a song later.

Why do you make music?
It doesn’t really seem like a choice

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