Canadian duo Blond:Ish may have met by pure chance, but by striking up a friendship over their mutual love of music and having stamped their mark all over Montreal, these fun loving, free flowing DJs are now planting seeds in all the right places.
Having spent the past five years in a whirlwind of gigs, music releases and airport lounges, Anstascia and Vivie-Ann have been on a mission to spread what The Beach Boys called “the good vibrations”. Under the Kompakt and Get Physical banners, the duo have been given free reign to carve out a niche in the electronic music market – to great effect.
Their sultry, sticky tracks are sumptuously layered and coated with positivity and inspired by the summer of love, and whilst we are reliably informed that there was no plan in the making of the Blond:Ish brand; its clear that the girls seem to know what works.
Ahead of a new album due out later this year and a Flying Circus tour of Australia this month alongside Audiofly and Martin Buttrich; we grabbed a few minutes with the girls in a hotel lobby to find out why flower power is alive and well:
(Pulse) You have literally just landed in Melbourne and you posted on Twitter yesterday that you have just had your first shower in 4 days. What the devil have you been up to?
Viv: We were on an Indian reserve at Desert Heart Festival.
Anstascia: It’s about an hour and a half from San Diego. We had an RV but we couldn’t figure out how to work the water or find any towels – so we just had baby wipe showers. Viv didn’t care. Most people were raving for three days, it was back to basics and we loved it.
Live shows are now so important for electronic acts and you guys are known for really putting your personality into your sets. How do you approach getting up on stage – any pre-set rituals?
Viv: Honestly we just feed off the crowd.
Anstascia: We do a lot of prep work before each gig but with new music we improvise, we just test different types of songs and try to go with the flow. There are no rules. If the vibe is amazing Viv will be on top of the speaker or the DJ booth.
Burning Man has really been quite the platform for you guys – does the festival hold a special place in your heart?
Viv: Of course, the past five years has shaped both of us, what we are going for, what we are interested in. Its opened up our spiritual world.
Anstascia: It effects how we think and how we do things and it has spawned the likes of similar festivals such as Desert Heart Festival. It’s a hippie vibe.
And are vibes something that is important to your music, something you feel you need to express?
Viv: We are making music now because we can express certain things through that music better than we can talk about it. The best way I can explain it is that we have just finished an album on Kompakt, which really was a challenge for us. One we wanted to partake in because in an EP you cannot create a journey and we wanted to do that.
Anstascia: We wanted to tell a story and use some external creative influences. I don’t want to say hippie but certainly it has some eastern vibes, its free spirited and south American. Its hard to put into words but we hope the music speaks for itself.
Lets talk influences and musical families – how important has the support from Kompakt and Get Physical been for your development?
Viv: Kompakt gave us complete freedom to do whatever we wanted with our latest album. Right now there is a certain certain type of creative vibe which we really tried to harness. They have these 94 bpm raves, which is kind of about the healing power of music, but it was more than that, it wasn’t so much about raving but listening to the sounds like soundscapes, even listening to the silences in between notes. Our friends, which were into techno, are now getting into these slower vibes.
Was it nice to be disconnected like that?
Viv: It was amazing, just to wake up on the beach to do yoga and not think about travel, breathing fresh air, walking amongst the nature is great.
Anstascia: It was also super inspiring. We met a bunch of artists randomly on the beach or in the hotel who all had the same vision. We used a lot of those artists on the album. It all came together perfectly.
How important is it to slow down in order to be creative, to have some time to pull yourself back and refocus?
Anstascia: For us creative energy doesn’t grow on trees. You need to be able to take it slow and let the ideas flow.
Viv: Sometimes you just need a couple of days to peel back the layers.
Anstascia: You can’t force it. Last year our busy schedule really affected our creativity so we really made the decision to stay home and work. Sleep helped.
You are touring so widely and so much and with some really great acts. Who do you particularly enjoy touring with and why?
Anstascia: We love Audiofly and M.A.N.D.Y as well as Martin for the Australia tour. We all get along, we all live in Barcelona. They are our brothers and their wives and girlfriends are our friends too. The M.A.N.D.Y boys are our techno daddies.
What you looking forward to most about the Australian tour?
Anstascia: We are looking forward to seeing our friends and fans. It’s the vibe.
Viv: Canadian and Australians really get along.
Is there one track you promise to play whilst you are in Australia?
Viv: Yes let me think…
Anstascia: Easy, Pacha – ‘One Kiss’ (F.O.S. One Mix)
Blond:Ish will play alongside Martin Buttrich and Audiofly for the Flying Circus Tour, hitting Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Flying Circus Tour Dates
Photographer: Moses Pini Siluk
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