Ahead of her debut track on Constant Circles, we invited fast rising producer and live performer An On Bast along, for an interview & guest mix on the radio show with Just Her.
So firstly, what is the story behind the name An On Bast?
I am very much connected to cats since childhood, so I wanted to have a cat-element in my artist nickname. Bast (or Bastet) is the Egyptian goddess of cats (among others). She even played the music instrument – Sistrum. Then the name was to start with an “A” as my name – Anna; I chose “anon” as it was connected to snowboarding – one of my sport hobbies. I decided to split the syllables though to finally have three part name An On Bast. I found it sounding cool and melodic like Boards Of Canada or Mouse On Mars – artists that I like a lot.
Where are you based and how has your home country or town influenced your music & career?
I live in Wrocław in Poland for six years now. With its parks, river and bridges it is very beautiful, medium-size modern European city. I like the atmosphere, people here seem to have more piece of mind and I don’t feel rush here. It makes me feel just good, I can work in my studio and the day is long enough.
Also it is one of the warmest cities in Poland, Spring comes week earlier, Winter week later 🙂
I lived in Poznan before for more than ten years so I’m very much connected to Poznan electronic music scene as those were the times I was starting making music. I have many good music friends there who had big influence on me back then from production to playing. We were just musically growing up together, I appreciate those times very much. It is great for me to be still in touch today and have different projects together.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
It is always difficult to talk about genres. Someone once said what I play is warm melodic techno. Surely I play melodies, spaces, some techno or more house grooves. I think I perceive it more in terms of energies maybe and imagination than certain styles. I feel good also to play experimental concerts. If it is about production, my Eps are usually found under techno, house, deep house genre. Albums, well that is little bit different. Producing an album is very special experience because I build the whole story within all the tracks to make one experience for the listener. So I never stop myself, don’t set the genre limit, au contrary I experiment with everything to find the best & new way to say what I want, to make feel / think some body something. My albums except techno & house are counted to IDM, downtempo, ambient, experimental. For me I guess it is just the matter of the story I’m telling, the feeling I put into it.
You are making your debut on Constant Circles with “Come Here” – how did you approach this project and how did the idea come together?
Yes, I’m very happy my track is part of the compilation. It started with a vocal sample that I put together my way, created the melody I wanted. Then I recorded the synth line. I put it into my sampler machine and I’ve noticed it has great potential when I played it during my live act with some nice grooves, the audience reacted highly energetic. So it was obvious that I will produce a full track with it later. This is how it happened.
What is your production process – is each project different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
Oh it is maybe fifty/fifty that the ideas come from my live act (programming the machines, cv/midi events/notes) and then I multitrack record in my studio or it just starts simply from some mood and then I patch modular synthesiser, or make a sketch in octatrack or DAW. Then I finish it in Ableton Live or Logic. The key pieces would be all – software, Midas Venice mixer, modular synth, other synths, drum machines, effects. I like to work with all of them together. I don’t like to gather gear just to have it. It is kind of sad not to use the instrument. So usually I have in my studio what I feel I need at the moment. But it is pretty cool mixture of modular, analog, digital world that lets me quickly express my ideas and experiment a lot.
Do you DJ, or only perform live, or both? What can people expect when they see you play live?
I play live act, that’s my thing from the beginning, when I realised that electronic music technology lets you be one-man-orchestra. I can build my strategies how to use, connect, program the machines, play the sounds to have lots of room for improvisation and create certain atmosphere with very deep details. My live set up now consists of 7U case of modular synthesiser, polyphonic analog synth Novation Peak, Octatrack and RMX500 effect. It is always energetic, sometimes deep sometimes happy. Sometimes both at the same time:) I love to play live and I do it for twelve years now. I love the feeling giving your best and share the energy I have with live music creation. That is also why I improvise a lot to have fun and feel joy and be able to pass these to the audience.
Can you tell us something that most people won’t know about you?
Besides music my big passions are sports, science and philosophy. I think I take a lot from attitude of the sportsman, inspiration from science discoveries and easiness to see from different points of view from philosophy.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
I’m very excited that Constant Circles compilation comes up already in April. Also I have ambient CD album coming up late March on Shimmering Moods Records from Amsterdam – I wanted to record this kind of more experimental album for many years. I’m also very much looking forward to my live concept album that will be released by Modularfield label from Cologne in May. This is going to be 12’’ with the recording of my live performance at Superbooth 2018 in Berlin.
My gig calendar fills up, I am looking forward the same to the clubs and summer festivals performances.
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
I wanted to reach journey flow so I played it in Traktor and recorded using external effects Strymon Big Sky reverb and Pioneer RMX500. I put mostly latest releases of mine, there are some old once too. No surprises though I hope you’ll enjoy it.
R A D I O //
Listen to An On Bast’s guest mix on our radio show with label boss Just Her: