London trio Maria & the Mirrors are emerging from the ocean with their new EP Gemini: Enjoy My Life, released on Exotic Pylon Records. Their follow-up to 2011’s Travel Sex, Gemini is a joyously pounding riot of tribal chanting and otherworldly electronica, all set in a Gothic ice cave. Wonderland talked to the band about Jubilee apocalypses, shamanic epiphanies and where they buy their PVC.
Both Gemini: Enjoy My Life and Travel Sex sound like tropical-apocalyptical visions of hell. What does hell look like?
Tom Jones belting out a Stereophonics collaboration whilst the thronged attendees wave Union Jacks in the direction of a dingy carrying Steve Redgrave and security forces establish a Thameside security zone to stop anyone attempting to assassinate Will.i.am whilst Royal Lotto victors unpack their Team GB2012 hampers, jubilee rotten! Or Portsmouth, it’s a grim old town! Rusting submarine hulks and Juicyfruit on the jetty.
Simon Reynolds called you “the missing link between Bow Wow Wow and funky house.” What do you think about that? And is there a missing link?
I’ve never really checked out Bow Wow Wow, but there are visual similarities, and apparently they had a percussive/tribal slant. It’s nice to be called anything by Simon Reynolds! I would like to think of us as the missing link between Boney M and Beltram.
Who is Maria and who are the Mirrors? Where does the name come from?
The name was from a line in Andy Warhol’s ‘From A to B and Back Again’ describing the scene at the his studio (“when I would get there in the morning the same people I’d left the night before were still there, still going strong, still with Maria and the mirrors”) – Maria being Maria Callas on the Victrola.
The name makes me think of the Velvet Underground/ Nico song “I’ll Be Your Mirror”. Who, dead or alive, would you be a mirror to and why?
I would like to mirror Mick Karn – I could pick up some great style tips, master the fretless bass, learn Greek and Japanese cookery, grow a pencil moustache and hopefully hear some unreleased Dali’s Car material.
Tell us more about your new single? The video is incredible. Who made it? And is all the hair real?
The song tells a story in the Chalkan dialect common to the South Altai republic of a secret lagoon near the town of Oskemen. The shaman of the town suddenly awakes to the sound of the radio one night – the song playing is one he has not heard before: a new track by Tiesto. The shaman begins to undergo an epiphany as he endeavours to use his vision quest to summon the power of Trance/Electro-House to the town. The video outlines the details of his attempts to will the spirit-power of Rotterdam into the lagoon and spread the music of Ferry Corsten throughout Siberia. The video was made by our Kentish friend James Stringer. All the hair you see is 100% natural.
By the way, where do you get your PVC?
An eccentric yet benevolent Turkish wholesaler near Kentish Town.
What can you expect from a Maria and the Mirrors gig?
Blood, sweat, tears, drums, drum machines, special FX, glitter, singing, slammin’ beats, noisy times, more sweat and more tears.
We are playing Faust’s Avantgarde Festival in a few weeks, and an Arts Festival in Amsterdam shortly after! We’re also doing Incubate Festival in Holland in a couple of months, and releasing a Japanese album in the autumn as well as a UK one soon after.
Words: Sophia Satchell Baeza