Finnish musician Juho Hietala began recording music under the Blamstrain moniker in 2001, after previously recording under the name Otwo. Blamstrain's take on IDM was a natural fit on Gabe Koch's Merck label, which released Blamstrain's debut album, Ensi, in 2003. The release garnered positive comparisons to Autechre and Aphex Twin, and was followed by Blamstrain Remixed (featuring reworkings of the album's material by artists including Gridlock, Funckarma, Proem, and Lackluster) in 2005. Blamstrain collaborated with fellow Finnish IDM artist Brothomstates on a 2006 EP, Brothomstrain vs Blamstates, which was considerably more dancefloor-oriented than either artist's previous work. The second Blamstrain full-length, Disfold, arrived in 2006 on the Sending Orbs label, and found Hietala pushing his sound into an ambient dub-techno direction. Hietala started his Erotus label in 2008, and began a prolific run of albums and singles, starting with Lowblow and Exosphere in 2008. Hietala also explored a number of aliases, including Varia (in collaboration with Jari Pitkänen), Invisible Hands, and OSC. Following a move to Amsterdam, Blamstrain's first vinyl release since 2006, the Sunday Dub EP, arrived on Erotus in 2013, followed by the 2014 full-length For All the Dreamers In. ~ Paul Simpson

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