Interview: Animal Print

Bolivian siblings Animal Print have done an excellent job of reppin’ their home country to an international audience, thanks to past outings on respected imprints such as Kompakt and Resopal Schallware.

The latest record to come from their studio finds itself on Systematic Recordings, a label which the pair have released on previously, having had a track featured on the 2019 released 15 years of Systematic compilation.

We caught up with them both to chat about their new EP, what they might look for when scouting for new label partnerships, how they handle working together, and more. Get the full discussion below.

You recently returned to Systematic Recordings for the release of your new Change EP, tell us about the original tracks in your own words?

Marco: We have been working on this EP for over a year, so we are very excited that it will be released this month. Initially it had three songs: Agape, Change, and Eros, but we decided to only include the last two.

The concept revolves around the different stages of love, as it begins with Eros, evolves into Agape, and at some point everything becomes confusing, as the lyrics of Change express. FLU is an incredible Italian singer who has worked with labels such as Afterlife and Ultra Music. We instantly fell in love with his voice, so working with him for the main song of the EP was a very pleasant experience. The lyrics were developed based on the concept that the EP had, so we are very happy with the final result.

And it also includes remix work from both Glowal and Pongo, what is your opinion on those?

Marco: We have been following Glowal’s work for some time, we consider them one of the most avant-garde projects of the moment, as we can see in their latest works. It was an incredible surprise when we sent them the original song, they liked it so much that they agreed to do a remix. Marc Romboy proposed Pongo for another remix, I must admit that now I am a fan of their work. Both remixes complement each other and go in different directions, giving the EP more versatility.

Anibal: Both are great remixes. We really like the music of Glowal and Pongo. They are very innovative artists.

Previously you’ve also made appearances on labels like Resopal Schallware and Kompakt, what kind of things do you consider when deciding which labels you send demos to?

Marco: Working with labels as important as Kompakt or Systematic is a dream of every artist and it has made us value aspects that didn’t concern us before. I think that the sum of many factors makes us evaluate the labels with which we would like to work and with which we work and not only the musical identification. I think that the treatment of the artist, the formality of the legal aspect, the concept of the label, the graphic design, and the promotion of the music are always points to evaluate.

And which other labels might we expect to see Animal Print on in the near future?

Marco: We had a hiatus with production, but the pandemic gave us the opportunity to focus on music, something that is hard to find. We have many new songs that will be released in the coming months, I don’t want to mention the labels yet to keep the element of surprise, but we are very happy with the new music we have for the months to come.

Do you have a favourite label, outside of the ones you have released with?

Anibal: We really like what labels like Frau Blau, Exit Strategy, Feines Tier, Innervisions, and Multinotes are doing, among others.

You’re of course a duo, how do you typically handle studio sessions? Do you always go into the studio together?

Marco: I think that being two people it is very difficult to coincide in order to start a creative process. For me it is very difficult to find the right moment and the right inspiration, even worse when you do it with another person, even though we are brothers and we work very well together.

Usually for the beginning of each song we work separately, and then we show it to the other person to work on it together. Now I am living in Copenhagen and Anibal is in La Paz, so we are sending each other all the projects to work on back and forth.

And how about DJ sets, how do you usually split the responsibilities between you both?

Marco: As brothers we have a connection that is difficult to match with anyone else, we know each other very well and I think that can be evident in our shows. For us it becomes more of an internal game of launching a song that surprises the other and waiting for his response based on people’s feedback. We never prepare sets, we improvise as we go.

Anibal: We understand each other very well in the booth. We never plan anything and we try to contribute with our own sound. There is an interesting dynamic between us in our DJ sets.

What’s your favourite thing about the other person?

Marco: Anibal is my older brother and since I was little he was always taking care of me and supporting me in everything. He has a very big and noble heart so it is amazing to work with him, even though we argue 95% of the time.

Anibal: Marco is a very creative composer. He really enjoys music in the same way as me, and he is very optimistic and determined.

And what is something you each bring to the table in terms of Animal Print?

Marco: I believe that in musical terms and in production, Anibal focuses more on the rhythmic part and I on the melodic part. I think we compliment each other quite well since he has a better eye for things that I don’t see sometimes, and vice versa.

Anibal: I’m always trying to find new sounds and music. I don’t like to repeat tracks in every gig. That is why I spend a lot of time finding new stuff (every kind of music, not just electronic).

Thanks a lot for answering our questions, is there anything else you would like to mention before we go?

Anibal: I hope that with our work, people can realize the different cultural aspects that our country of Bolivia has, which is not always the traditional image that people have of it.

Marco: Thank you for inviting us, I hope that those who read this have a safe return to the clubs and we hope that people will support our new Change EP that comes out at the end of the month on Systematic.

Animal Print ft. FLU – Change EP is out November 26th on Systematic.