Check out what the Canadian duo Blond:ish had to say to The Sherp before their mystical set at the Woogie Weekend 2016!
From a chance meeting at the Winter Music Conference, Anastascia D’Elene Corniere and Vivie-ann Bakos formed a musical partnership that has taken them around the world. Their focused approach to house and techno is a unique blend of influences and experimentation. With releases off of renowned labels Kompakt and Get Physical, Blond:ish has built a reputation for quality musicianship. 2015 saw the release of their first album, Welcome to the Present, which stands as a definition of their melodic and spiritual sound.
Before their set at Woogie Weekend this past Saturday, Festival Sherpa had the opportunity to meet these stalwarts of techno. Anastascia and Vivie-ann explained their backgrounds and how they have evolved their sound throughout the years. Their musical journey is one of commitment and passion, an inspiring tale for any upcoming artist.
How did you first get introduced to electronic music?
V : I strongly feel I first got introduced to electronic music in my most recent past life back in the 1970s when I was a disco queen. Then I passed away having too much fun, and came right back and born in the 1980s still with that fire for music, ready to rave and have electronic music as my new love.
A : I got introduced to electronic music in my teens by my cousins in France. We would hang out by the pool drinking Pastis and they would play a lot of Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd.
When was the realization that there was an artistic chemistry between the both of you?
We were DJing separately as Vivie-ann and Anstascia in different rooms at the party we were promoting (which was called Blond:ish btw), and then after just two weeks, we started to play back to back in the main room, and people started calling us Blond:ish. It all happened super organically.
Back in April, you were asked to record your first BBC Essential Mix. How did you approach this mix and was it a conscious decision to record the mix in Tulum, Mexico?
We wanted to make a mix that is timeless and some sort of journey. When we make mixes, we are always keeping in mind for it to be something you can throw on anytime, so our mixes tend generally not to be so peak time club focused. It’s not just for raving, but more for the car, at home, at an after chilling or getting on with friends. You always want to be the go-to mix on your friend’s phones, so we approach mixes and especially the BBC mix from that angle. We were lucky to have both been in Tulum at that time to record it on the beach in paradise.
There is an obvious eastern influence within your recent productions and sets. Where do you attribute this interest to?
We have a lot of interest in sound meditations, and how the instruments related to these meditations like gongs, singing bowls, kochi chimes, tuning forks all act like portals to the inner world to realign cells, and put us back in order. So we asked ourselves why not experiment with these microtonal instruments in our productions. We’re experimenting with combining some of our different interests.
To complete the recording of your record Welcome to the Present, Blond:ish traveled to India. How was being surrounded by the country’s cultural history able to help you finalize your record?
V : We were connected to ourselves there and completely disconnected from the rest of the world.
A : The environment was so rich with natural beauty that it was the perfect place to become really inspired. It was in goa at a beautiful yoga retreat center that we came up with all the names for the record and where all our concepts finally came together as a complete story.
Do you think it is important for an artist to travel?
Yes of course. Life starts outside your comfort zone and anything can be made into an instrument or music or sounds. Imagine what the world has to offer in this respect.
Some of your most talked about sets come from your time at Burning Man where you are exposed to the elements. Can you describe a time when it was the most difficult to play?
The only difficult time to play at Burning Man is when you have to get out of your cozy RV bed and get dressed in the middle of the night to get to the gig and it’s freezing outside. Otherwise we’ve been really lucky with dust storms during our sets. We miss it so much can’t wait to go back!
When booking a festival, do you take into account the other artists on the lineup? And if so, who are you excited to see at this year’s Woogie Weekend.
Yes of course we always aspire to be surrounded with artists that inspire us especially at festivals. We’re excited to see Minilogue (Live) and Extrawelt (Live).
What are your favorite dishes to make when you are home?
V : I really love experimenting with all my superfoods, and making out of this world smoothie bowls that looks Instagram perfect. You can always expect some sort of cacao base, also some mushrooms like (reishi, cordyceps, chaga) some avocado, greens, and lots of love. I like when people cook for me. I clean, so it’s a good match.
A : I love making a nice quinoa with oven roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, and feta, all organic of course. I’m also a soup addict so I love making all sorts of yummy veggie soups and blending them in our Vitamix.
Check out their album Welcome To The Present on Soundcloud :