Bluetech Interview by Rocco Tyndale Music / Art / Label / Interview


Subtempo Guest Mix 038


Evan Bartholomew has been releasing music under the name Bluetech for 25 years and runs the label Behind The Sky, which is a home for analog and modular focused electronic music. He has toured internationally, charted on billboard, shared stages and coffee with some of the legends of electronic music but tries to take it all with a grain of salt and finds the “industry” around music mostly silly and/or frustrating, preferring to be behind the scenes with plenty of time for fish tanks and dogs and rare plants and dinner with friends.

Hi Evan, first of all, thanks for doing this mix for us.

You’re welcome, it only took me what, six months to finally get it done?

Yeah man, something like that. Worth the wait! I’d like to start by asking what tools did you use to create this mix.

This is an Ableton mix of disparate keys, tempos and vibes. Any lack of mixing skill is purely intentional and done so that I don’t get too high on the hog and remember to leave the artistry to serious DJ’s like my collaborator DJ Maggie.

Is there a theme behind this mix?

Theme is that all of the selections are either music from my label or from close friends.

It’s a true honor to have you contribute to the Subtempo mix series. I’ve been a fan of yours for a really long time, back from when you put our your first records Elementary Particles and Prima Materia, circa 2003? What a revolutionary record that was at the time for us. Back then you were working with Shulman, from Israel. I remember how otherworldly both of your sounds were. How did that connection come about? Are you guys still in touch?

We’re not in touch. He left music behind a long long time ago and left Israel to work as a mathematician in Australia. I’ve tried connecting when I'm geographically close but alas he seems more interested in crunching numbers than hanging out with old music dorks.

Evan Bartholomew aka Bluetech is multifaceted creative wherever there was one: musician, visual artist, label boss... a dreamer above all.

Oh man, that's a bummer, but it suits him in a weird kind of way [laughs]... It’s been fun to re-rediscover your recent releases in preparation for this interview, some of which I completely missed! I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Looks like you’ve been steadily putting out new music almost since you started. What keeps you going?

Obsessive compulsive disorder? [laughs]. No, I think like many artists there are a lot of things I don’t know how to say with words that are better said as music, so I invariably find myself coming back for me and seeking that elusive sound that I hear in my head.

You’ve put out electronic music ranging from ambient to bass to techno, under different aliases. But there seems to be a throughline that always stirs it back to dub. Would you say that’s true? A good friend of mine says “once a dub-head, always a dub-head”...

I think the spaciousness of dub is a core aesthetic concept, but definitely not in a purist sort of way. Dub is definitely a huge influence, but I was raised studying classical music so I think there is a hint of a compositional methodology as well that always seems to appear.

Your music provides a very multi-dimensional experience when listening to it. Everything from the sounds you create, to the way they are placed in the mix, and how crystal clear each one is, nothing is fighting for space. It’s truly masterful. Is that something you are consciously after?

I think Im mostly stabbing in the dark, moving things around until it feels “right”. It’s not something that can be put into words regarding either music or any of my visual stuff, it’s more like the right balance of a delicate system of weighted objects, and when the balance each other just right you feel it.

On a creative level, what would you say that the common denominator in all your output has been? Is there something you’re exploring / chasing? Or has that changed over the years?

I kinda hinted at it with “Liquid Geometries”. In my most inspired state I see / hear sound like a series of geometric forms unfolding in flow, like a mobile tuning in the wind and as each new angle is slowly introduced a new note or element appears in the music. If you listen to my music with a geometrical perspective it will actually make a completely different sort of sense, in that its exploring repetition and subtle change over time, like a 3D model that is slowly morphing in a 4th dimension of time.

Bluetech's current studio set up has no shortage of outboard synths, and contains that nice organic and welcoming touch that his music carries throughout.

What’s inspiring you right now?

All the advancements in CGI are blowing my mind and getting me really excited about the future of expression.

Over the years, you’ve had multiple pursuits outside of music as well, right?

Yeah I’ve always had a visual bent as well, and explore that through various facets.

Didn’t you use to have an orchid garden at some point?

I had a bromeliad and orchid nursery in Hawaii. I’m in Palm Springs now, and still have hundreds and hundreds of plants and seedlings but its mostly cactus and succulents outside, though my studio and bedroom are climate controlled like a jungle so I can have a silly amount of tropical plants around me.

And now you are exploring 3D and digital art, right?

3D and VR / immersive development has become my day job to be honest. Something Ive always had a little passion for, but its kind of taken off rather quickly in terms of opportunities to work on cool projects so I'm going with it to see where it leads.

How do you find these other outlets in relation to the creation of music? Do they feed into your creative process in some way?

It’s all creative process. I actually enjoy the technical elements of creating things, whether its modular synthesis and sound design or vertex alignment and UV unwrapping for 3D models.

You’ve recently started a label: Behind the sky music. How’s that going?

It’s been going great. I get sent way more amazing music than I can ever release and feel truly honored to be surrounded by so much talent and unique personalities that inspire the heck out of me.

Some rare and obscure synths like this Macbeth elements piece can be found in Evan's current setup.

What’s the ethos behind the label?

The ethos is somewhere in the nexus between geekdom, dorkiness, and true nerdgasms. With lots of synths, sci-fi, and bubbly modular sequences.

What prompted you to start a label?

Boredom? Lol, no really I’ve run a couple labels over the years and when the first lockdown started I had already been running my own vinyl re-issues through the “label” and it felt like a good time to open things up and start releasing other projects that I love.

What are your thoughts on labels in 2022? Still relevant?

Absolutely. Especially in the new streaming algorithmic music economy, for artists who don't want / shouldn’t have to engage with all the BS around getting projects manufactured and prepped for streaming services, shipping records, etc. I think a label not only can provide an artistic community but some of the management services that are hard to figure out on your own.

If people wanted to get to know your releases what are the top 3 you’d recommend?

V/A - Portals, Lisa Bella Donna - Moogmentum, and I guess I would say everything else is a tie. Portals is a mission statement of sorts, and Moogmentum was a defining moment and a massive success selling out almost instantly and getting a lot of critical acclaim.

Classic and trusted pieces, like Korg's Mono/Poly, or the Prophet 5 sit alongside some unique and select pieces giving Bluetech a wide pallet of electric tones to work with.

I’ve always felt that you and XAVI should collaborate, something in his visuals and in your music are oddly similar for my synaesthetic brain.

Yeah, I think we’ve always kinda gotten each other’s brains in terms of color and shape.

Speaking of collaboration. You’ve worked with some of the best, Pitch Black, Mixmaster Morris, Gaudi, Youth, to name a few. What has been your most exciting collaboration throughout your career?

Been a total Steve Moore fanboy, so it was pretty cool to work with him recently, but honestly my projects with KiloWatts have been the most creatively satisfying.

Is there someone who you’ve always dreamed of working with?

Pretty much every artist I hear that I'm inspired by, but then I get shy and can’t imagine what I would bring that would be as cool as what they do. Ha!

You’ve recently done a Kickstarter for a comic book / release for Spacehop Chronicles Vol. 2, which I’m a proud contributor to. What can you tell us about the genesis of that project?

Well, it's a part 2 many many years after the first one. Taking my time with this one, as it needs to be just right. I’m slowly developing a comic book and short film in addition to the music so it will be a whole ecosystem and narrative arc across various media when it’s finally done. It’s a reimagining of the story of Laika the Cosmonaut, the first mammal in space sent by Russia on the Sputnik 2 satellite. Something about the melancholy and pure cosmic revelation of this story always grabs my heart, and I find myself revisiting it frequently so I’m kinda opening myself up to try to feel and experience what she may have felt and seen and see how it drives the creative process. The second to the last track in this mix (the black sky) is from the forthcoming Spacehop Chronicles Vol. 2 and is written from her perspective.

What’s next for Bluetech or any of your other aliases? Is there anything we should be in the lookout for?

I'm working more than full-time in 3D modeling, animation, VR development, and immersive XR stuff at the moment, so it's all starting to coalesce into a new agency and collaborative content development team. We have _alot_ of ideas of the future of immersive experience, so there will be 3D music videos, sci-fi short films, and many more things to come in the near future. Luckily this sort of work is very important to companies looking to embrace “metaverse” or “web 3.0” or what have you, so I’ve been lucky to get some established entities with significant capital to invest and hire the team to produce content for them, which is funding our own exploration and r&d into new tech and how to make beauty with it. Stay tuned…

Well, this has been really fun. Thanks for this mix and for doing what you do!


  1. Polypores - Silver Spores Ejected Beyond The Broken Sky [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  2. Bluetech - Surface Radiance [Behind The Sky]
  3. Echoflex - Crossing Point [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  4. Chrome Canyon - Snow In The Headlights (Stones Throw)
  5. Nigel Mullaney - A Shifting Sea [Behind The Sky]
  6. Mortal Synths - Agnus Dei [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  7. Bastian Void - Lilac Mask [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  8. Scanner - Sci-Fi [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  9. Dark Sparkler - Caol Ila [Behind The Sky]
  10. Ocoeur - Confused [Behind The Sky]
  11. Bluetech - Bardo Waves [DiN]
  12. Bluetech - Resonant Heart (KiloWatts Pulsation Remix) [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  13. Erothyme - Pinpoint Sol [Unreleased - Behind The Sky]
  14. Bluetech - The Black Sky [Unreleased - Behind The Sky / Over The Moon]
  15. Lisa Bella Donna - Epilogue [Behind The Sky / The Bob Moog Foundation]

Follow Bluetech

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Youtube

Behind the sky music (label)

Subscribe to Subtempo Radio

Available on Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud