For twelve years, DIY was the only way that Balun has ever known, and doing it themselves was fine as they self-produced, self-recorded, and self-released most of their music. During that time, they’ve been able to create two albums, several EPs, sings, and remixes for El Columpio Asesino and Algodon Egipcio. They’ve played in their native Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and the United States, and put together interactive children’s concerts and live film scores. They’ve mastered the art of blending their unique electronic and acoustic sound.
But now they want to record that unique, surreal electronic dream pop sound in a professional studio setting so that they can focus their talents on the creative aspects of making music. After all those years of stirring the musical pot, it’s time to bring in maestro producer Lawson White so that they can serve up their songs that appeal to the senses. White, who’s known for working with new music ensembles Alarm Will Sound and So Percussion, along with Chromeo, Matmos, Bryce Dessner (The National), Glenn Kotche (Wilco), and last but certainly not least, Shakira, has a percussion background, which means that he brings a musician’s instincts to his production performance.
It’s not easy for Balun to shift from running the entire show to just specializing in the music, but they trust White and know that he hears not just the music that they’ve made, but also what they’re capable of making. As producer, he can handle the duality of their performance and their potential, and they’ve risen to a level where they can deliver.
In order for that to happen, they need Kickstarter help to run a crowdfunding campaign for their album, Prisma Tropical, so they can afford the professional expertise that White will provide, along with the costs of studio rental, sound engineers, mixing the songs and mastering the album, and commissioning the awesome artwork of New York City design collective Eye Bodega. Along the way, they’ll also be assembling a crazy-cool assortment of rewards for the crowdfunding supporters.
Of their intent to enhance their musical arrangements by welcoming White’s insights, the producer says, “The studio environment is going to be important to them. I think they’ll come alive when they get around the great instruments and the equipment. We’ll be starting from a blank canvas but with music that’s already so well developed. It’s an exciting proposition.”
Formed in San Juan Puerto Rico, now based in Brooklyn, New York, Balun was brought together by shared loves of experimental films, unusual musical instruments, electronic music, and their mutual pop sensibility. Oh, and their collective love for sweets, dogs, chocolate cake, and guilty pop karaoke sessions didn’t hurt. Together, the original founders visual artist Jose Olivares and composer Angelica Negron, along with Noraliz Ruiz, Shayna Dunkelman and Raul Reymundi, have spent the last five years exploring the musical roots of their Caribbean heritage, with a little influence from New York’s electronic music scene. They create an ambience of contemplation that sometimes feels surreal thanks to their lush tropical sounds and introspective lyrics that touch upon melancholy and whimsy, escapist daydreams and irrational fears.
Balun has raised almost half of the $10,000 in crowdfunding support that they need for this goal to be realized. By helping them reach that goal, donors can anticipate the rich sounds of that Puerto Rican/New York City musical heritage.