Liquid Bloom, also known as Amani Friend has built a solid reputation for himself in the conscious festival community over the past decade. Best known for his work as one half of renowned downtempo bass duo Desert Dwellers, Liquid Bloom was Amani’s original music project. Amani is also one of the main people operating prominent conscious bass label Desert Trax, which he operates along with his Desert Dwellers partner Treavor Moontribe. Delivering a steady stream of releases in 2018 with a rich discography of deep chill, psychedelic bass, and world beat releases from the likes of Random Rab, Luke Mandala, and Living Light, the label recently released a remix compilation for Whispers of Our Ancestors. Originally released on Liquid Bloom’s debut album Shaman’s Eye in 2006, the new compilation features a myriad of perspectives of the classic tune from various artists across the Desert Trax roster. Liquid Bloom is currently on a worldwide tour featuring stops at prominent festivals such as Earth Frequency in Australia and Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Oahu. Check out this interview to learn more about Liquid Bloom.
What inspired you to create the Whispers of Our Ancestors remix compilation?
In 2017 I went through the earlier Liquid Bloom albums from 2005 and 2008 and recreated many of those tracks with updated vocalists and instrumentalists, which became the “Re:Generations” album and subsequent “Re:Gen Remixes” series with remix collaborations with ATYYA, Mose, hedflux, Drumspyder and many others. “Whispers of Our Ancestors” was a track on the first Liquid Bloom album ‘Shamans Eye’ that didn’t make it into the Re:Generations offerings, and since it was such a loved track by many, I wanted to bring it into the fold and let some producers work with those sounds as well. What started as a few remixes quickly turned into a full range of dynamic musical offerings, as more and more producers from our label Desert Trax got on board. I like the concept of creating a kaleidoscope of remixes in many styles and genres stemming all from one track, and I have helped produce similar offerings with Desert Dwellers over the years (“Seeing Things’ and ‘Saraswati’s Twerkaba”).
How do you split your time between your various musical projects? Is that challenging?
The majority of my time obviously goes into the Desert Dwellers project, along with Treavor Moontribe, since it’s inception in 2001, and also our label Desert Trax. Keeping up with the Desert Dwellers tour schedule alone is quite a task in itself. The Liquid Bloom project has been around the same amount of time but has had a slower momentum of growth. I have put little bursts of energy and time into it organically since 2001. The past few years though it has gained much more recognition and is appealing to a wider audience so I have devoted more time to develop it into a more well-rounded project and offering, working with musicians like Porangui and Kaminanda in the studio and on stage. It’s definitely a challenge juggling many projects, but I love challenges and I stay well organized and have diligence and patience to see things through. I think collaborating is a big key to success as well.
What is it like to be an independent electronic artist in today’s music industry? What are the best and most difficult parts?
Despite the current trends in the music industry, it’s a really exciting time for us. Last year Desert Dwellers played over 70 shows and traveled all over the world, and we are experiencing more and more growth each year. I think that is because we are always trying to reinvent ourselves and keep our sound fresh while also maintaining true to our core “sound” and ethos of ‘Music Beyond Borders.’ We signed some amazing new acts to our label like saQi and continue to explore many cutting edge genres of music and producers. That being said, we work really hard to maintain this growth and we are constantly traveling and away from home. Touring is often really tough, but really the only sustainable way for artists to support themselves in today’s music industry and it’s a challenge for new artists to even get to a place of getting gigs and finding an agent. So we are grateful we have such a busy tour schedule but it can be exhausting for sure! But it’s better than having a regular 9-5 any day!
What are your goals this year for the Liquid Bloom project, Desert Dwellers, and the Desert Trax label?
For Liquid Bloom I am working on completing an EP with my friend and collaborator Kaminanda, and also working on new music and our integrated live show with Porangui. For Desert Dwellers, 2019 is really exciting as we recently completed our new album BREATH which was a project three years in the making and will be released in April on Black Swan Records. Now that our album is complete we will be working on some Desert Dwellers remixes for artists like Bluetech and many others. Our label Desert Trax continues to grow and bring forth interesting releases each year, and 2019 will not fail to deliver the goods!
Listen to Whispers of Our Ancestors.