Mixing It Up30.01.2014
This week Mix N Blend released two brand new tracks. ‘Rebel Gun’ featuring blues artist Sannie Fox, and ‘Mercy’ featuring maloya singer Yaelle Trules. New music outside their comfort zone: we talk to the boys about the tracks.
MAHALA: The two new tracks are definitely a Mix N Blend of different styles which really makes it unique. Bob Marley meets Coldplay meets the Eurythmics… where have you drawn your influences from this time?
MIX N BLEND: I think ‘Mercy’ came about from driving around Reunion, listening to a french psychedelic dub band called High Tone that my girlfriend at the time was really into. They’d stayed at her house when they were out in Reunion and she played them all the time and got me hooked on their soun. Lee & Ross basically sprayed a really fat brass line on it, and then Yaelle did her thing with the vocal and really added a different flavour. So with that I think it evolved from a sketch and people who wrote on it just added their own unique flavours as they went along.
‘Rebel Gun’, well with that Sannie wanted to make deep dark dubby stuff when we were bouncing around ideas for a track. It just so happened I had a sketch of something like that lying around. Andre from Machineri put some pretty bluesy guitar down, I edited it and then Sannie added what she does best to it. I’m not really sure we were shooting for a particular sound with that. I just know both of those musicians are really really talented and if you let them loose on a sketch, you’ll always get interesting results. Rob Nel, who is an absolute don, also played bass on that track. So yeah put all those people together, and interesting things will result.
Why just the two tracks this time and not waiting to release a full EP?
I just think these two tracks go together. I don’t really think they needed anything more, they stand by themselves and that’s fine. We have a four tracked that we need to finish up in the coming months, and then I think, 2nd album time.
Both of the tracks have a much more chilled out, relaxed feel to them, especially compared to Mother City and Lost in Music. Is this a new direction you’re taking in your music? And if so why?
I think we just tend to make styles we like, that we’re excited by at any point in time. That Mother City E.P. we made with SFR, so it was very much a group effort and you can hear Jules’ sound all over that E.P. These two, I (Jon) kind of made as I love deep, dubby stuff. The next E.P. will be completely different. So will the album. I think that’s why I love what Mix n Blend stands for. It stands for not sticking to one style.
You have played at major music festivals all over South Africa, can we expect to see a lot of you on stages this year?
I hope so, that’s up to the festivals though. One thing I can say is we want to do Mix n Blend as a full band thing, we have another alias that we’ll DJ under mostly now. I just want to say a big thank-you by the way to Henk van Der Schyf from Park Acoustics, who got all nine of us up there last year, Rezonance and all the guys that take a punt on booking a nine piece act.
South Africa seems cursed to lose a lot of its finest artists overseas once they make it big. Are we in danger of losing you overseas?
No I don’t think so. Most of my friends from overseas, from Europe and all over want to do one thing, and that’s move down to Cape Town. I think we’re pretty blessed to have an incredible lifestyle down here. Aside from which, we’d have to make it big wouldn’t we?
In ‘Mercy’ and ‘Rebel Gun’ you feature Yaelle Trules and Sannie Fox respectively, how did they enter into the fold for these tracks?
Yaelle we met after we tripped out to Reunion for the second or third time two years ago. We saw her singing at Sakifo, Kev and I looked at each other, and we both just knew we had to make a track with her. We got on email, and yeah it just went from there..
Sannie I met through friends, and as we got to know each other, we started talking about writing some stuff together, and then made it happen.
Have a listen to the tunes!