Camila Fuchs - Singing From Fixed Rung
Camila Fuchs (meaning fox in German) are the London based experimental electronic duo of Camila de Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini (from Mexico and Munich respectively). After pursuing solo endeavours in various projects both Camila and Daniel left their native countries and gravitated towards London due to its vibrant and eclectic attitudes to different cultures and the arts.
Meeting whilst studying at Goldsmiths University through a shared belief in the combined importance of aesthetics and music to bridge borders, they began working on music together. Starting as a predominantly laptop based project, the duo soon discovered a love for analogue and modular equipment that saw them deviate from their known track, it would prove to be a decision that founded the notion of 'Singing From Fixed Rung'.
Focusing on pooling their collective thoughts and influences they placed equal onus on both the sonics and aesthetics. Taking inspiration from Oskar Schlemmer's Bauhaus style, they utilise it's rejection of gender stereotypes to subvert the roles of traditional electronic duos and androgynise the production and performance process, to place focus back on to the emotional enjoyment of music. Choosing to wear translucent morph suits and bald caps makes them appear almost naked in front of the audience and allows them to take advantage of the power inherent in fashion to adopt characters inside the music and use it to convey an emotional message in response to their surroundings.
The duo have been gaining notoriety with impressive live performances at ATP festival and Mutek Mexico. The latter of which subsequently led the pair to a South American project called 'A Musica Da Gente' ('Music of the People') where they taught electronic music to school children in favelas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which led them to writing the opening track 'Striking Doubt'. "The experience was beautiful" reveals de Laborde, "it was completely new for both of us. A place filled with so much joy and at the same time fighting for hope."
When it comes to musical influences both de Laborde (vocals and keyboard) and Collini (synthersizer and drums) are self described sponges, taking inspiration from a smorgasbord of genres. Collini brings expertise from an experimental techno and Krautrock scene in his native Germany that provides the foundations for the duos own stylistic ideas. Also pulling from the likes of Aphex Twin, Oneohtrix Point Never, The Knife and Kraftwerk, with the mournful, tender delivery of Camila de Laborde's uniquely introverted and esoteric lyricism takes its cues from the likes of Lhasa de Sela and other South American singer/songwriters.
One of the undercurrent themes of the album stems from this cross pollination of cultures that is at the very heart of Camila Fuchs existence. Living in a post-Brexit Britain, the rise of Trump across the pond and the persecution of citizens in de Laborde's native Mexico, 'Singing From Fixed Rung' is an emotional and thought-provoking response to world events from the perspective of a pair made to feel increasingly on the outside looking in. “We live in London and we're both from abroad. We enjoy a multi-cultural and pluralistic society full of heritage and influences, it has filled us with sadness that these values have become less attractive over the course of the album's production. Our way of living as young people roaming freely without borders is seriously and increasingly being questioned. This vibe of cultural living, based on tolerance and open-mindedness, still intact but slowly fading away.” explains de Laborde.
It is this fragility and trying to explore the beauty in it that informs most of the album's lyrical themes and soundscapes. At times their music is delicate and others chaotic and maintains a feel of a cinematic soundtrack to a story unfolding. “It's always easier not to show your feelings these days, especially when it comes to being fragile and uncertain. At the same time it's important to still believe in beauty but not in a superficial sense of a world trying to hide away its problems through hedonistic pleasure but trying to find the beauty in everything no matter how dark.” reveals Camila.
The album title 'Singing From Fixed Rung' is a symbolic choice, describing a position that the duo find themselves in reflecting their outlook on current events and a desire to reach to common goal. It also describes the significance of the EU spanning collaboration of artists and labels; The Lumen Lake (an artist run label from London), Schamoni Musik and SVS Records (Munich) that helped make this release possible confirms Daniel. “A ladder is held together by rungs – bridges which help it fulfil its purpose. Camila felt that the songs sound as though she is stood somewhere singing out."