Blond:ish talks techno, human piñata’s and a free Depeche Mode remix

BLOND:ISH got their kick-start into the music world after they claimed the World Air Guitar Championship title in Montreal in 2008. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of gigs, music releases and a never ending mission to spread love and expand consciousness through music. As members of the notorious Kompakt and Get Physical families along with a slew of other labels, Anstascia and Vivie-Ann have carved out a niche thanks to their dark, sensual club music, sultry DJ sets and outrageous, fun-loving attitude.

In 2010 they packed up and shipped out of Canada to soak up all the energy and inspiration London had to offer. The influential city provided the perfect location for their musical endeavours. Stardust manifested itself in several key moments of pure magic over the following years; from an old friend connecting them to the Kompakt family and their first release with the seminal label, to M.A.N.D.Y’s Philipp opening a spine-tingling set in the wonder of the Mexican jungle with ‘In My Head’ and welcoming them into the Get Physical crew.

A slew of original productions and gigs all over the world helped to reinforce their undying love for music and demonstrated that, where words fail, BLOND:ISH’s music speaks. Remixes for several high-profile artists showcased their ability to put a sly electronic BLOND:ISH spin on a myriad of styles.

Hello Anstascia and Vivie-Ann. It was a night called Blond:ish at Cherry nightclub in Montreal on a Wednesday where you both held a residency, which is also where the name Blond:ish originated. What was the vibe of the night like with it being mid-week? I’ve heard it got pretty crazy?

Anstascia: The vibe was insane… all of Montreal’s freaks would come out to cause trouble every Wednesday. Every week was a different theme like pirates of the cherrybean or whatever we could think of that added to the silliness. Once we hung up this really annoying guy who was a regular to the ceiling with a rock climbing harness (he volunteered) and people donated $5 to charity to beat him with a plastic baseball bat. Human piñata! Hilarious debaucherous fun!

Your sound cannot be categorised to one genre so how would you best describe it to somebody who has never heard your music before?

This question is always better accompanied by sound bites. Romantic timeless techno:ISH and rolling house, all with a twist of sexiness.

Would you say your personalities are reflected in your sound?

Viv: Well I don’t think the ability in our personalities to tell bad jokes is reflected in our music, at least I hope not, but the organically living, and constant curiosity part of our personalities shines through. Maybe the romantic side too un poco!

I read you both got into electronic music at a young age of around 13yrs old. Where did the exposure come from that initially had you intrigued?

Viv: I was in Hungary at the Balaton Lake on vacation with family walking by a forest rave and heard Mr Vain playing. That was the beginning of the end for me!

What was the clubbing scene like in Montreal? Did you both have regular clubs and events you used to attend?

Stereo the institution! Spent the whole weekend there sometimes doing some serious research and development!

When did you both get your first gigs and how did the opportunity arise?

Viv: My first gig was during a grand prix in Montreal at Guy Laliberte’s (owner of Cirque du Soleil) playground of a house. They were absolutely legendary parties back in that day. All the DJs were tired and/or sleeping but I didn’t have my vinyl or CDs but they really wanted someone to play so I used the other DJs vinyl and it went super well, people were freaking out. Then a good friend of Guys came up to me and was like I’m opening a club in Rome in a few months, do you want to be my resident and that’s how it all started!

Anstascia: My first time DJing was at a friend’s after party. Everyone was too wasted to change the music and I didn’t have records or anything with me so I used YouTube and found my favourite tracks, and just used the volume fader to mix in and out. Everyone loved it!

Anstascia I believe Depeche Mode were a massive influence for you growing up. How did the opportunity to remix ‘Should Be Higher’ come about?

Our amazing managers hooked up the opportunity but also told us that Depeche Mode had already refused the last 8 remixes of the track that was done for them by various artists. We were obviously super excited and up for the challenge!! What an honour that they said yes to ours!

One of my favourite original tracks of yours ‘In My Head’ I heard played at VIVa Warriors in Ibiza by the man himself Steve Lawler which had a massive reaction when the vocals kicked in. To me vocals are a strong part of your productions, are they a base you work from or do they fit around the initial track you have laid down.

We almost always like to have the vocal and work around that. That’s been the strongest way to work for us but in the instance of ‘In My Head’ we came up with the vocals after the track was completed with a bottle of wine in the studio of course!

You both moved to London In 2010 where you still live now if I’m correct? What was it about our capital that attracted you to the UK?

Viv: We wanted to move to Europe to get away from the Montreal craziness and be able to focus in the studio which is exactly what we did. The fact that London’s language is English and we could both live there, as we have European passports was the main draw.

Anstascia now lives in Ibiza during the summer season (2 days a week), and I live in Barcelona. London was amazing for music, and was great for our career, but we cannot deny we‘re absolutely loving it here in Spain!

Amongst other acclaimed labels you are signed to the notorious Kompakt and Get Physical records. What is it like working with Wolfgang Voigt, Jurgen Paape, Michael Mayer, M.A.N.D.Y, DJ T and Booka Shade and how much do you learn about the industry from them?

We mostly work with Philipp Jung and Michael Mayer, as they’re our techno daddies. I guess that makes us German? Everyone on both labels are equally amazing and brilliant to work with. We couldn’t be happier to be part of such amazing labels.

We had the honour of reviewing your latest release ‘Wunderkammer EP’ which was produced by taking field recordings and finding inspiration during a month of downtime in Mexico. Can you explain some of the ideas and processes used in recording and producing the tracks?

We basically had our trusted field recorder on hand anytime we were anywhere in Tulum so we caught some great sounds around us like the coconut guy on the beach or various street vendors. It’s amazing what sounds are around you when you pay attention! Our intention was to go to Tulum and record all of the fascinating instruments we could find along our journey. We recorded local musicians playing a hangdrum, Indian harmonium, digiribone (cross between a trombone and a didgeridoo) and even random things we can’t pronounce inside caves with incredible acoustics. One night we heard a vendor on the street while we were in the studio, he was chanting something in Spanish really beautifully. Viv ran after him so fast with no shoes, she must of scared the shit out of him, and  when we imported it into the track we were working on (birds eat birds) it miraculously fit exactly in key. That’s what we call serendipity!

As a duo you both bounce off each other really well. How would you both describe each other in 5 words?

Viv’s is “super woman geek tease ish”
Anstascia’s is “sarcastic wino hippy lover ish”

What are your current top 10 tracks?

01. Blond:ish – Birds Eat Birds
02. Butch & C.Vogt – The Infamous (Robytek Yx Shield Re-Edit)
03. Mariano Mateljan – Pigeon Boxer
04. Bodj – Tea Party
05. Yaroslav Lenzyak – 27 April (Dubphone Remix)
06. Blond:ish – Stolen Romance Feat. Audysea
07. Blond:ish – Wunderkammer
08. Nicson & Skinnybone Love – Detroit Pow (Pezzner’s Other Mix)
09. Doubtingthomas – Apikoros
10. Society Of Silence – Styx

Where can we catch you playing over the summer? Are there any gigs you’re really looking forward to?

August 8th – Flying Circus with the Famjam – Sankeys
August 30th – a secret beach party in London stay tuned for round 2!!!
September 4th – ENTER – Space

Ladies, it’s been a pleasure and I would like to with you all the best with your continued success.

About the Author

UK based former DJ and promoter, co-owner, director, writer & creative at Decoded Magazine. Studied at the University of Wolverhampton graduating in Graphic Communication & Typography (BA Hons). In house video editor and avid MMA follower with a keen ear for dark, twisted, hypnotic, tribal progressive house and techno.