Bantwanas’ Blanka talks to us about their new EP, Gus & Lib
Hot on the heels of releases on Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream, and their very own Kollektiv imprint, Bantwanas are back with a two-track EP called Gus & Lib.
Leading the charge for the organic Afro House scene, Bantwanas deliver a mesmerizing foray into their sound while fusing African elements with edgy electronic production.
Title track, ‘Gus & Lib’ serves up a soulful slab of rhythmic guitar lead that perpetuates throughout adding emotive harmonic vocals on a backdrop of energetic and very danceable grooves.
Ingelengele’s addictive percussive rhythm and enigmatic lead fuels the subtle undertones of this beautifully written track with its Moog type bassline and the stunning vocals compliments of Danny Ndaye.
Blanka on the new EP…
What is the story behind the Gus & Lib EP?
The title of the EP is taken from the names of my great grandfathers Gustyekeketye and Libalele.
The track channels them through the lyrics ‘siyalubona uthango luphelile’ which means ‘we can see the kraal is falling apart’.
The bigger meaning is assuring the ancestors that we will continue to rebuild what they’ve left for us. Excited we finally got to translate this piece of art into music .
When it comes to Bantwanas, is there a certain position that all of the members perform or are roles quite interchangeable when it comes to the writing and production of the tracks?
We really don’t have roles. I think my role is being the designated driver for the whole crew – lol.
But on a serious note, I think the crew comes with ideas and we just put them together.
What is the usual process for meeting and creating the vocals for your tracks?
It generally begins with a voice note then we lay down the instrumentation before recording the vocals.
We record everywhere as we do quite a lot of travelling therefore most records are recorded on the road.
How did you meet Danny Ndaye?
I met Danny in 2014. He popped into the school to enquire about the courses we offer.
We hit it off immediately. We have been recording ever since.
Is there any specific instruments or plugins that were crucial to the creation of this EP?
Omnisphere and the Native Instruments Kontakt.
Our approach is to really try and capture the instrumentation in its organic form.
Are there any ideas or guidelines that you have felt have helped to increase the quality of your productions over time that you feel could benefit other artists?
One is knowing the production process and separating all the stages of that process.
We start with composition and mapping our ideas. We then go into refining those ideas into sections. We then lay those sections down.
After that Ryan and Blanka sit through the advanced production process.
We then send it off to the mixing engineer to get the mix right for us and from there it goes to the mastering engineer.
I think the biggest thing is knowing that there are extra ears in the process of refining the production.
Does Bantwanas have a set list of active members or does it change from EP to EP?
It changes from EP to EP.
Even though the current members are always part of all the EPs that have been released thus far.
What are the future plans for Bantwanas?
To open up for Rufus Du Sol and really start touring South Africa and the world.
More music is coming though.
Bantwanas’ ‘Gus & LIb’ will be available everywhere on September 18th 2020 via Bantwanas Kollektiv.
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