What is the connection between the jungle in India, Mayan ruins and a legendary German techno label Kompakt? The answer is a debut album of two hippie, free spirited girls from Canada, Anastascia and Vivie-Ann, recognised under the name Blond:ish.
Anstascia D’Elene Corniere and Vivie-ann Bakos have been carving out a niche thanks to their sensual magical energy flowing music and their fun-loving attitude since 2008. Their live sets are backed by careful preparation, but always geared towards the vibe of the moment, which in the case of it going high, one might see Viv dancing on the speaker or the DJ Booth.
But recording their first album, the duo really took it slow and serious. Kompakt gave the girls a complete freedom to do whatever they wanted with the album. The samples were recorded in places like the underground Mayan caves, they rented a house at a Indian jungle to work on the album the tracks went down to 94 bpm, which as girls say “let you listen to the space between the notes”.
The production and attention to each sound is so evident, that we put “Welcome To The Present” to No.1 place among the releases of October. Furthermore, it could be one of the best releases of the year, thus we were very glad to catch the girls to comment on it.
“oh waitaminute.. we’re in the jungle lost in our own vibe”
First, congratulations with you debut album! You must now feel relieved and thrilled! How did that moment come to you when you realized the album has got its full form, full personality and it’s ready to be “sent out to print”?
Thank you it has definitely been a thrilling experience. Being artists (and we know a lot of artists will agree with us), we never really feel as though what we’re working on is finished.. it has been a process to learn to let go of a track..but in this industry, there are always deadlines which are sometimes difficult to meet but sometimes work in our favor to work under pressure and finish things off. We made the album in about 6 weeks and then took us another 4 months for the finishing touches and mixing phase.
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Debut album is always described as hard for the artist, because of the urge to show their entire spectrum of possibilities. Was that the case for you? How did you go about in choosing what comes in/out?
We didn’t really find it difficult which was surprising.. everything kind of just flowed really nicely together.. We sent Kompakt 12 tracks and we ended up cutting out one that we all agreed didn’t fit with the vibe of the album.
Many artists have experienced a creative change after visiting India. Why did you choose that place for creating?
We were on tour and had some shows in India, but since we’ve always wanted to visit.. we decided to stay 3 weeks total in south India. We had already finished the 11 tracks of the album, but when it came time to pick the track names and album names, India was the perfect place for inspiration. The beaches, jungle, and amazing random experiences really led us to synchronicities we never expected. It was all magic.
I’ve read that you sent the album to Kompakt while you were living in jungle and hadn’t heard their response for some time. First how the heck did you create an album in the jungle and second, what was going through your head over that time of silence?
We had rented a nice house in the Jungle in Tulum.. So it wasn’t like we were living in tipis or a treehouse. We had electricity and wifi and a pool lol! So we set up a makeshift studio with the gear that we brought in from Europe and spent almost 2 months every day creating in paradise.
Halfway through the album making, the Kompakt team asked us to send them what we were working on.. and we were like.. oh waitaminute.. we’re in the jungle lost in our own vibe.. our music might sound very out there lol and we were a bit worried.. especially when we hadn’t heard back from them in 2 weeks after we sent them the tracks. We became super worried.. and thought we had to probably go back to the drawing board.. or just send the album to someone else… but finally we heard back from michael and the team and they said they truly loved it. we were happy.
You did have several videos in the past. I was wondering, have you thought to add the visual dimension to the album? And if you were, what would (or will) it be? A video? A visualisation? Did you have anything in mind?
We are now planning our live show which we will be premiering in January. We are also working on visuals for this show with some projection mapping, which is a pretty overwhelming process, you will just have to wait and see :sound is multi-dimensional so every sound has its own visual naturally in nature. you can see this with cymatics.
You went all the way to South America to record in places like underground caves. What additional value do you think this authenticity brings to the record? And thus how about a record recorded at a home studio? Could it have an equal value?
For us, most of our inspiration comes from our surroundings… wherever we go, we carry our Zune recorder with us and record any cool sounds or musicians along the way. For us, this is encapsulates little moments of time and brings a sense of nostalgia to our music. Many sounds in our music has a story which is really important for us. Recording everything at home doesn’t have the same effect for us.
“Welcome to the Present” is NOW AVAILABLE Beatport