By their calculations, Anstascia D'elene and Vivie Ann Bakos will bring more than 100 years of raving experience to Miami when they perform as Blond:ish at Trade Friday, June 9. Sure, the pair met in Montreal in 2008. But as anyone who's been to Nevada's Black Rock Desert will tell you, Burning Man years are like dog years, and by that measure, Blond:ish has been together for a lifetime.
The duo's connection is apparent even over the phone from an airport lounge in Turkey as D'elene and Bakos share Canadian sarcasm and perform for New Times an a cappella version of new music that’s certain to heat up the summer dance music charts.
“Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip, ah hah! Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip, ah hah,” they sing.
“You remember the Martians from Sesame Street? We love them and just finished a track with a Martians sample. We’ll definitely be using it at Trade and playing it all summer,” Bakos says.
As a youngster growing up in Canada, Bakos aspired to be a computer hacker. Equally unique in her goals, D'elene sought the acceptance of nerds. Both say they failed miserably. Eventually, their broken-heart trails converged and they created a midweek party in Montreal. Every Wednesday, they would promote, party, and DJ at the nightclub Cherry.
As their Blonde:ish party grew, trips to Miami for Winter Music Conference ensued. From the antiquity of their rave log is a Saturday night at Club Space in 2006. They attempted to transition from Space to the Sunday School for Degenerates party at the now-retired Pawn Shop. But something was lost in translation: In a legendary display of confused tourists, they arrived at an actual pawnshop, had a laugh, and marched on.
These days, Bakos and D'elene are savvier travelers. Their original productions and DJ sets are inspired, in part, by their travels and spiritual encounters. Tribal dudes chant and hum on the duo's new track, “Moonbow.” Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, provides the vocals in Blond:ish's remix of the legendary English band's “Should Be Higher.” Plus, they're driven to share their passion with the world, one listener at a time. “A lot of people have never heard of us. Some people don’t take us seriously," D'elene says. "We’re doing our best to show that our music speaks for itself.”
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After their set at Trade this Friday, Blond:ish will move on to its series of Abracadabra parties, which take place in dreamy locales such as Ibiza and Mykonos. The events promise to pack the pair's musical growth into an epic summer of shindigs. It's all part of the DJs' upward trajectory of the last year, which was only marred by the time their DJ gear was stolen in Morocco.
There's one other problem: Both bandmates are in relationships and admit international DJ globetrotting and the required time away can be challenging.
“Honesty, transparency, and red wine are important," Bakos advises. "And coconut oil for lubricant.”