Pandhora creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. Their openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made them a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in their own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to them, so enjoy your reading and check out their latest releases.
Hello Pandhora, nice to have you here and chat about your new release ‘Floating Consciousness’. It has quite an intriguing name and each track tells a different story. Can you give us more details about the meaning of each and why you chose to name the tracks this way?
Hi good to be here too! Yes indeed, this EP has been conceived as a concept one. We took inspiration in the philosophical work of Epicurus and his definition of these states of consciousness : Ataraxia, Aponia & Euthymia. This is our interpretation of Ataraxia, Euthymia & Aponia. Ataraxia being an absence of disturbances of the spirit, Aponia an absence of physical pain and finally Euthymia both combined.
Each track has its own story, atmosphere & sound". Ataraxia is a progressive downtempo song, building up throughout 5 minutes to reach a climax at the very end. Aponia is a breakbeat dreamy journey told by our dear friend & singer Sanguinello. Finally, Euthymia is a deep & progressive upbeat track with an almost orchestral breakdown.
We’re super curious to hear the different opinions about it and how people felt while listening!
How and when was this EP produced?
Each track has been produced in different periods of our lives. Ataraxia and Aponia take us back to 2014 when Mynox (Amine) was learning music production in Montreal. At this time, Pandhora didn’t even exist and these two tracks remained works-in-progress for the better part of the past six years. Euthymia was started in early 2016 when we shared a flat in Marseille. At this time, we were trying to write more music with guitars and Ableton was clearly a convenient playground to experiment with this. The track also remained unfinished because we couldn’t find a way to wrap up the arrangement, mostly because it was too cluttered and needed extra sound design work. In the same period, the vocals for Aponia were recorded by Morgane through our good old SM-57 microphone. We often browse our drafts folder and look at them in a new perspective. As time passes, you begin to see projects in a different light, through the prism of past experiences.
At some point in 2019 we decided to rework these tracks and assemble them into an EP. We recorded the guitars, vocals and keys again, sound designed everything new, as well as mixed these tracks in a new light. We finished working on these during the first lockdown in spring 2020. Then, we were just waiting for the right moment to release these as our release schedule was really busy in 2020.
So all the tracks have been started many years ago, how did it feel to come back to them recently with all the knowledge and skills you acquired throughout the years?
It feels quite nostalgic and challenging at the same time. Keeping the essence of the music we made years ago is no easy task. It’s like renovating an old building. We wanted the music to sound modern while remaining fragile and deconstructed. The majority of the work was sound quality related but we also added a couple more melodic touches to enhance it. It was a really interesting process to work on & off an EP for almost 7 years.
This EP was released as an independant one. What made you choose to do so? Did you feel that this EP had to be released without a label?
Yes! We released this one through french distributor Alter K. These tracks feel different from the tracks we sign on labels: they have a genuineness and fragility that we want to protect. Remaining the owners of our recordings was important and we didn’t want to put this EP in the industry’s circu. It needs special care and feels home, here with us. It also means we are able to promote it however we wish to, with our own budget, allowing us to be creative and try out new ideas.
We noticed that in your recent work, there’s a more present psychedelic touch ; and that applies to all tracks, however the genre is. Could you say that you sharpened your sound signature during this past year?
Being home for extended periods of time gave us the peace of mind needed to engage in deep studio work. No touring means less exposure to the industry which in fact helps broadening sonic horizons. Subconsciously we take in everything we listen to, whether in a coffee shop, in a club, on the radio… These lockdowns allow us to discover new music, revisit classics, and mature our own taste. This is most likely why you can spot this sound signature in our recent work.
Finally, what’s next to come for Pandhora? Another busy year with a lot of new music to be released - both as singles and EPs - as well as many remixes from our originals. Our next release is a remix for Hungarian artist Yöurr who is releasing an EP on Art Vibes early April. We also have a collaboration with Rasi Z, a great producer from Vancouver, that will be featured on Art Vibes’ spring compilation.. And another EP coming on Pipe & Pochet this Summer. Lots of new music & sounds. We are looking forward to playing music for dancing people soon. We might have this chance in August! Thank you for having us :)
Written by: Sparklers Tribe