Antispin Interviewed ahead of TRIBE 2014 in South Africa
Antispin is a night time psychedelic trance duo made up of Hugo Rendell and Dan Thomas [also known as Dan Sinerider which is one of his solo psy projects]. They’ll be playing at TRIBE on 13th December, a collaborative event between three of Cape Town’s premier psytrance promoters, Alien Safari, The Village and Organik.
Dave Mac hit them up with a few questions before their arrival…
I am sure you’d heard quite a bit about the South African psy scene before you played here the first time. Was it exactly how mates had described? Do you remember anything specific about your first impressions when you arrived at the first party?
Antispin: I heard first about parties in South Africa when told about Solar Eclipse gatherings in both Zambia and South Africa, some fiends went and returned with some great tales. I have to say it sounded very inviting! The first event we played was Alien Safari – Flying Circus 2011; first impressions, the attention to detail, the sound and the environment and landscape that surrounded the event were spectacular. Watching people jump up from sitting down and run as fast as they could to the front of the speakers when they heard that first kick drum.
Brits and South Africans are quite similar tranceheads. Most like to booze a fair amount, smoke a lot of pot and generally be quite loud and abrasive (in my opinion). From your travels or even locally, meeting tranceheads from around the world, who would you say are the most up for it bunch?
Antispin: I think we are quite equally matched when it comes to being up for it, you guys have the perfect surroundings for it, whilst we have to find every which way possible to dance the sun up, which often involves a lot of travelling on the European festival circuit.
On that note, what’s the psy scene like in the UK these days?
Antispin: There are a lot of psy parties happening all over the UK. London’s ‘Elixir of life’ has recently been putting on some greatly diverse line-ups. The squat and warehouse scene is still present with multiple events happening in the capital every weekend. Last summer saw the UK’s psy scene have its first festival happen with a ‘till 6am’ music licence and minimal noise restrictions – ‘Noisily Festival’. We had the pleasure of playing there and being surrounded by all of our friends from the UK for a whole weekend. This is something of a new experience as music licences have been quite stringent in the UK as well as having a couple of well loved events disappear of the map or not get going in the first place due to a LOT of different reasons.
You started Antispin in 2007. Were either of you producing music before this or was this where it all began?
Antispin: We had both started producing well before 2007. Dan started writing in a purely hardware studio at age 17. His first release was on Transient Records ‘UK Trance 2’ complied by Kristan Hugo. I got myself a computer in 2000 and dove into sequencing and arrangement straight away. I was already adept by the time we started Antispin.
Antispin happened after we both ended up living in Brighton. We wrote our first track together and a live set followed soon after.
Which psy artists influenced you the most, do you think, when you started to produce?
Antispin: Hugo – Deviant Species, Rinkadink, Grapes of Wrath, Entropy’s second album. . the list goes on
Music sales suck and it seems to be easier to get booked when you write daytime music or prog. I know every producer wants to say they do it for the love, but earning a living from doing what one loves is also pretty important. Do you guys have day jobs, do other music work or is it a Life of Psy?
Antispin: You have to do what you have to do to survive! Yes 10 years back you could pay your rent by releasing a track. Things have indeed changed. Dan writes music full time, three projects; Antispin, Sinerider and Divination whilst I [Hugo] have spent the last 5 years writing trance pretty every spare hour alongside temporary work installing Solar Systems and building Hybrid Power Generators. Surviving from solely running a duo project is a tricky existence! My new project Octognoma is in the final stages of completion before releases, E.P’s and the live show.
We often hear from old tranceheads how much better the scene was back then. (I was there, trust me it was great, but I don’t live in the past).
a) What do you remember from your ‘old days’ that you miss now in the scene?
Antispin: Being given a telephone number on a handwritten flyer and finding your way to that event at whatever cost. Before Social media before GPS. It was cellphones, roadmaps, woolly jumpers and winding down the window to listen out for that Doof . . . Doof . . . . Doof sound from afar. There was just something about that experience that was amazing.
b) And what’s better now than how it used to be?
Antispin: You just have to look at production standards at parties around the Globe; they have evolved, mutated and enhanced the whole experience without a shadow of a doubt. This has gone hand in hand with technology also evolving which, let’s face it, this scene embraces in all of its new incarnations.
Outside of psytrance, name an artist whose music you really, really dig…
There are too many. But one of the standouts has to be Squarepusher.
And finally a spiritual question…
Bacon or tofu?
Tofu flavour Bacon.