".. sway between elemets of Shoegaze, Trip Hop, Dark Electronica, and even a few Gothic undertones.."
Bavaria are John Tejada and Kimi Recor. The name "Bavaria" comes from both artists sharing a commonality of similar childhoods that tie them to the Bavarian region in Germany. John Tejada, son of an Austrian father and American mother, came to the United States from Vienna, Austria at age eight. While Kimi Recor, daughter of a German mother and an American father, moved to the United States at age twelve from Bad Aibling, Bavaria. The two flourished in the musical arts, developing extensive backgrounds in musicianship, songwriting, and live performance. John Tejada is an electronic musician, producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist with an acclaimed resume of releases to his credit. Having founded his own Los Angeles based record label Palette Recordings, he has produced a multitude of catalogue hits since the label's early beginnings in 1996. His most recent accomplishments include the single "Somewhere" (2013, Kompakt), a full-length album entitled "The Predicting Machine" (2012, Kompakt), and a series of collaborative EPs. Kimi Recor is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who has recorded and toured with numerous bands over the years. Draemings, her current solo project, illustrates her immense talent, both sonically and vocally, for astonishing listeners by defying expectations. Her voice is of a singularizing purity that remains untainted by most associated trends heard in contemporary vocalism, and it has an emotional drive that resonates with honesty. Tejada and Recor have a musical partnership that spans over a decade. Their first project was on John's album "Logic Memory Center" (2004, Plug Research) where Recor provided vocals on the track "Strange Creatures." Recor also appeared on "Stabilizer" from Tejada's "The Predicting Machine." Over the years, they have recorded numerous pieces together between their own primary projects and finally realized that it was time for them to commit their efforts to a serious collaboration for a full-length release. Bavaria's sound is a highly crafted experience that pushes minimalism beyond its limits by blending Tejada's use of his modular synth and Recor's vocals. Although both could have easily layered their recordings with multiple instruments, they decided to omit live drums and guitars altogether and allow the uncertainty of modular synth patches to evolve and guide Recor's voice. The result is a colorful journey that captivates listeners upon first exposure and sets itself above an otherwise grey musical landscape so commonly traveled by today's releases.
Hello, how are you?
JT: Doing pretty good.
KR: I'm cold.
What are you currently listening to?
JT: I'm Listening to the Charles Cohen reissues. Got 1 and 2 and looking forward to 3. Quite ahead of its time.
KR: I've been listening to the Smashing Pumpkins in my car a lot, mostly because I'm too lazy to switch out the CD, but also because it feels really good to listen to the SP full volume while driving fast. Other than that I've been giving my ears a lot of spacious pretty music (Andrew Chalk, Deaf Center) and Modern Classical composers like Nils Frahm (#19).
What or whom inspired you the most when you began writing music? Did you have a specific sound/genre in-mind that you wanted to tackle?
JT: We've been working together for 10 years now in some capacity (Kimi appearing on my album "Logic Memory Center" 10 years ago). Being inspired by music and sharing that is a big part of our friendship, however I think in the past every time we've said "yeah something like this!" its just completely gone bad and was left for dead. In this case I really can't remember how it actually started. It was the most natural process and quite quickly we had the rough versions of the first half of the album. The first track on the album was the first track we did. Kimi writes the lyrics as I'm patching together a modular patch and getting some sort of structure to the music. Once the machines were sort of running on their own Kimi did that in one take and all of a sudden we had a song. I think it was a happy accident but it was instantly recognizable to us that we were going to keep doing this for a long time to come.
Genre wise there was nothing in mind at all which is my favorite part of our sound. The only thing in mind was that this would be modular electronics with Kimi's vocal. We both play instruments but decided to leave that out.
KR: Yeah, it happened pretty naturally. John is one of my favorite people to spend time with, and music is one of my favorite ways to spend my time...so it kind of makes sense that we finally started a project together.
Care to shed some light on your latest release; theme, favorite track(s), etc?
JT: For my part, musically there is that theme of raw modular synths/drums and nothing else. I did break that rule on "Everywhere" letting a tiny bit of piano sneak in. Lyric and story wise Kimi tells a great story throughout that I'm still discovering every time I listen to it which is great. My favorite tracks change a bit week to week.
KR: The vocal melodies and rhythms I ended up doing for Bavaria, are quite unlike anything I've really done before. I tried to compliment John's cool modular rhythms, and a lot of the time John would have me sing over something and then build the rest of the song around it. As much as the vocals tell a story, I consider them more of another instrument, rather than the "main feature" of the song. Thematically, it's a pretty dark record- my favorite track right now is "Delicate Destroyer". I wrote that song on a super heavy, dark day. I came into the studio being like "I'M FUCKING PISSED", and voila.... there's a song.
Do you plan on doing any national touring for said release?
JT: We both have full time projects so it would depend on our time and if there was actually demand for us to do any shows once the album is out.
KR: Yeah, it definitely depends, but never say never..
Got any other projects we should know about?
JT: I've got a new single on Kompakt titled "We Can Pretend," out Jan 13th and features Kimi on vocals!
KR: I'm releasing a full-length next year under my solo project 'Draemings', and I play noise guitar in a girl band called Tete which will be releasing an EP early next year.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
JT: Oh I'm drawing a blank here. If there's a good movie I think I'd just much rather watch it. I haven't done the Wizard Of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon thing since I was 10 years old.
KR: 'Beyond The Black Rainbow'
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
JT: That's an impossible question to answer for me.
Are you living your dream?
JT: That's what they keep telling me.
KR: I'm living SOMEBODY's dream.
Thanx Bavaria and Mike!
(If you haven't indulged) Bavaria deserve your attention right now...