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D'Cuckoo co-founder Candice Pacheco is an ethnomusicologist, instrument inventor, sound designer, software engineer, composer, performer and founding member of D'Cuckoo, the all-women ensemble whose multimedia output crosses the boundaries of pop, techno, dance and world music. Umoja (the Swahili word for unity) served as the title and the cultural vision for D'Cuckoo's 1994 debut on RGB. The band relies heavily upon Pacheco's passion for technological innovation.
Pacheco has also collaborated with ambient music maestro Brian Eno and the Grateful Dead's world music explorer, Mickey Hart. In 1994, she composed and produced the first full-length CD-ROM film soundtrack for the Hyperbole Studios interactive feature film The Vortex: Quantum Gate II. Released on RGB, The Vortex is a showcase for Pacheco's masterful composing, sampling, and engineering skills.
On her second RGB solo release, Candice Pacheco achieves an otherworldly synthesis grounded in the beats and voices of planet Earth. Drawing on the talents of ten singers and four instrumentalists, she conjures images of ethnic choral performances in space cathedrals and post-millennium techno dance parties in ancient Arabic mosques.
If Then...Else realizes a universal musical language which assumes a myriad of forms, from the bubbly pulse and snappy polyrhythms of the opening track "If Then," with its intriguingly layered voices weaving serpentine patterns, through a dazzling array of earthy and atmospheric textures, to the concluding techno-tribal chant "Yin Yang."
"Jagabadai" joins the brittle, lyrical twang of the oud and the jittery polyrhythms of dumbek, finger cymbals and tambourine with electric guitar drones and compelling drum track. "In the Never Rose" features a choir of female voices wafting like veils in a perfumed breeze, bearing foreign-yet-familiar traces of a sitar-like guitar and enigmatic electronic textures, while the brief "Habitat 13" invokes a peaceable kingdom in the far reaches of time.
If Then...Else takes a trip through a series of imaginary worlds brought to life by an artist using leading edge music technology to fulfill the promise of a global culture.
A native of southern California, as a child she was drawn to the multicultural environment of the San Francisco Bay Area. She made the move on her own when she was 14 and never looked back. While earning her degree in music composition at Sonoma State University, Pacheco helped develop the Electronic Music Department and Music Theory program. Later travels in Asia, Indonesia, Polynesia, and Europe, further broadened her exposure to the music of the world.
Back in San Francisco, Pacheco performed with Balinese gamelan, East Indian vocal, and West African dance and music ensembles, as well as various pop bands. It was in the San Francisco Underground Marimba Ensemble that she met Bean (Tina Blaine), with whom she co-founded D'Cuckoo. The group relies heavily upon Pacheco's passion for technological innovation. She instigated the creation of their unique electronic marimbas and drum triggers, as well the DCckoo Midi Ball, a 4' wireless helium-filled sphere that triggers sounds and visuals when bounced around by the audience like a giant beachball .
With If Then...Else complete, she has moved on to the next D'Cuckoo album, a Middle Eastern crossover experiment with Susu Pampanin, and a virtual band in the vein of This Mortal Coil.