Duo Blank

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Duo Blank are a Maltese electronic music group, and the principal name under which musicians Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia have recorded together since 1998.

History

Pre-Duo Blank years: 1990–1997

Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia actually started collaborating together in 1990 joining up with Jotham Saliba on vocals and Pierre Farrugia on synthesizers to record their first demo tape at Wave Studios under the name Q-Factory Incorporated. Being pioneers in electronic dance oriented pop in Malta at the time, this demo recordings landed them an offer to perform a song composed by Wave Studios co-owner Dominic Galea at the Festival tal-Kanzunetta ghall-Ewropa 1992.

Balzan, Cachia and Saliba continued to record more demos throughout the period 1993 till 1995 during which their style developed more from pop to Italo Dance. In 1995, under the project name Web, the trio released their first international single entitled 'Amazing' with the Italian Record Label Discomagic featuring Doreen Galea on vocals and dj's Manuel Bella and Andrea de Benedetto. In 1996, Balzan, Bella, Cachia and Saliba continued working together on an unreleased single featuring Bella's mother Carmen Scerry on vocals - this would end up to be the last project involving the duo with Saliba and Bella. In the following year, Balzan and Cachia teamed up with DJ David Dee producing various deep house singles which were later released under the Semitic Groove Foundation pseudonym.

First album and international techno release: 1998–1999

Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia actually established the Duo Blank name when signing the credits in composition and production of four tracks they produced together with DJ / producer Owen Bezzina better known as Owen Jay. Together with Bezzina, the duo produced the tracks Soyuz 1.01, Where's the Duck, Tokyo Underground and Metal Corrosion. Thanks to this project, Duo Blank's track Soyuz 1.01 would feature in their first international techno release thanks to one of German dj's Chris Liebing's first visits to Malta - the release entitled 'Hydraulic Blast EP' would be released under the German Label sOk under catalogue number sOk 14.

Duo Blank would release their 1999 album Hectic Electric under their own record label Noise Alliance.

More international techno releases: 2000–2003

Duo Blank would go on to release several international ep's between 2000 and 2003, one with German DJ Toni Rios on this label Danza Electronica, another with Belgian djs/producers Marco Bailey and Redhead on Invasion Records in 2001 and their first vinyl release on their own label Noise Alliance entitled 'Ain't No News EP' in 2003.

Touring the live circuit - releasing a live album: 1999–2003

Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia were the most active live act in the busy Maltese techno event scene between the period 1999 till 2003. The duo's energetic techno sets compounded with live Roland TR909 rhythms and synthesizer sounds generated a Doepfer A100 modular via antenna controller would warm up for the likes of major techno dj's and artists such as Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin, Chris Liebing, Ben Sims, Marco Bailey, Redhead, The Gadgets and many more. The duo summed up this busy live period in a live album entitled Transmission - Live at Nova released in 2002 under their own Noise Alliance label.

Bringing back the electronic roots: 2005–2009

Edwin Balzan and Frank Cachia played relatively few gigs in the period 2005 till 2007 during which they remixed various Maltese artists and shifted their style from techno to house and elecro. Testimony to this was their own label's second international vinyl release entitled Take More Control EP. This was a period where the duo took over an old vinyl record shop at Qormi (Fused DJing) and started a music production school whilst continuing to build on their extensive vintage synthesizer, drum machine and computer collection.

Hooked on the eighties - the making of Propulsion: 2010–2012

Duo Blank set about producing an eighties themed single entitled Stars on Mars in 2010 and eventually a studio album released in 2012 entitled Propulsion. The album featured singers Ira Losco, The Ophidian Twin and Karen Cachia. During this period the duo setup an interactive live setup whilst involving also graphic designer Yanov Cutajar in their album, animations, artwork, props and video branding. In 2012 the duo teamed up with 2diffusedpix to produce a video for their Stars on Mars single and an interview about their album and live act.

Throughout 2012 and 2013 the duo continue touring promoting the Propulsion album showcasing synchronised lighting, live vocoding and a mix of contemporary and vintage music equipment.

Current activity: 2013–present

Throughout the period 2013 the duo regularly issued mixes on their Soundcloud channel with contrasting contributions from Frank and Edwin - the former contributing mixes covering contemporary material whilst the later focusing on source electronic material from reknowned and also obscure electronic music artists. In 2013 the duo also contributed to releases of other projects namely Lahmar and Frank Blank who released digital material on their Noise Alliance label. Duo Blank are currently preparing material for forthcoming electronic dance music releases and are set to start working on their forthcoming themed album.`

Awards

Duo Blank have been awarded various times locally and (indirectly) internationally. The first award being international when they contributed to the soundtrack of the short movie entitled 'Genesis' which won Best Soundtrack in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival of 2001. Other local awards include: Best Dance Live PA act in 2002, Best Techno Act in 2005 and Career Recognition Award at the Malta Music Awards in 2013.

Involvement in the Artistic Community

Since 2015, Duo Blank have been actively involved in the Maltese Artistic Community by being founders together with six other artists of the Voluntary Organisation named "Electronic Music Malta".

Discography

Duo Blank
Web
  • Amazing (1996)

See also

Category:Duo Blank Photos


External links