It has been a long time since your Cydonia days [Dino’s early 90’s psytrance project]. When last did you listen to one of those tracks and have you ever considered remixing any of them?
Yeah I have listened to a few of them and I was quite surprised by a lot of them that they didn’t sound so bad after all these years, but the production these days is so much better so it’s hard to fit them into a modern day set.
Cydonia was great Goa trance but Tortured Brain was cutting edge in my opinion. Do you still get requests for classic tracks like The Dealer to be dropped? (PS: A remix of this due, hint, hint)
Well its funny you should say that because The Dealer is one of the tracks I’ve been thinking about bringing back to life, but let’s see if I can find any of the parts. I’ve had about ten studio Macs since them days and samplers and stuff but I’m seriously thinking about it.
3. 138 IDM seems to be the new 145 in some circles of trance. What’s your take on slowing down your DJ sets and productions?
Basically for me I started of playing underground club music; techno, rave etc. before trance, and in the beginning of the trance time when it was really underground the music was 130 IDM to 135; In my opinion it’s a much more sensible speed in many ways firstly, because the sound is fatter and there is more space between the sounds and then not to forget funky! Also when you are working at 145 it’s very limited the kind of basslines etc. much less space to fit in melodies and stuff but I don’t want to get boring either. But the main reason for me why it was a bad idea is because it gave birth to the mentality that faster harder more crazy equals better which is far from the truth and my way of thinking is that music should be stylish, original and memorable. Trance music lost all those qualities the day that everybody thought it was ok to do the same 16th bassline every time. Okay when Xdream did it great but, everybody doing the same signature things in every track really ruined the trance as we once knew and loved it, so for me the move from 145 to 138 is what stems from the scene getting diluted by certain people in the scene. So now I think this is just a healthy way of refreshing the music back to the state it originated from which is how it was in the Dragonfly [seminal 90’s UK trance label] days and Concept in Dance days,[Dragonfly compilation series], all 130 to 135! Also a very important point is that if you look at all other music genres from trance to techno to house to electro they all sit around the 128 to 134 IDM area so if you want your music to be played by anybody else except a small group of trance djs you have to be around that IDM nowadays.
Since your first set here in South Africa in 1998 you’ve come back every few years. Naturally each time your sets have evolved but it has always been your own signature psytrance sound. What’s in store for Rezonance this year?
I will play two kinds of sets not to disappoint my diehard fans who expect to hear something more close to my old sound. To be honest I think whatever kind of music I play whether its slower or faster it always has my kind of twist on it which is crazy basslines some tech flavours and trance influences but I just would like everybody to have an open mind to all kinds of music because trust me, there are too many killer tracks around in the scenes at the moment to just play one kind so if you are open minded you will, for sure, be going to a much fresher place musically and with lots of diversity so I hope everybody will like it.
Psytrance used to be the ‘rock n roll’ of dance music but these days there’s a lot more diversity in electronic music. What’s the most exciting thing to happen to the genre in the past 5 years?
I think the fact that all the djs from all kinds of music are not sticking to their particular styles; they are fusing lots of flavours together. Say ten years ago if you saw Tiësto he would just be playing commercial trance, now he plays electro, techno… all kinds and same with a lot of the other artist so the fact that people are prepared to cross music barriers now makes it much more open to play a more interesting selection of music in a set. I think that’s the most exciting thing about the last few years of music seeing a progression and development of new styles.
You are a legend in DJ circles (particularly psytrance but other genres too) – name one DJ that has always impressed you over the years.
There are too many djs and bands that I have loved over the years so it would be hard to name one, but I just love fresh quality music no matter what style it is, as long as it’s got a certain magic to it and rocks the party. Anyway I’m looking forward to coming to Cape Town again. See you there happy Xmas.
I see you are back making Deedrah tunes. I listened on your Soundcloud page. Sounding phat mate. Are you excited to be creating new Deedrah tracks?
Yes! I am so thrilled to be reaching the final steps of the recording of this album. It took me a while and I’ve experienced a few hard and tough moments but now it’s all coming into place and I am very happy about the sound. I am having lot of fun mixing it, and the overall sound is somewhere at the level I wanted. But you know while I am still at work and before the release date everything can move quickly . All files are there and I use my Fat Bastard mixer which has a hub to link the digital world to the analog part of my studio so I can easily recall the setup and usually after my set I first go to the studio and modify what I think could work better. Having the dancefloor in mind this time , it s still a very personal album and I am having issues trying to categorize it or to put a particular label on it . Pure Deedrah shall I say.
I am sure you have been playing them out at gigs before completion. Have they been well received?
Sometimes yes , sometimes a bit less ‘cos it all depends on many parameters and as I am playing live it’s hard to change a track list quickly. But as I see it from my last tour with Kromepressings (my label) or as Deedrah it’s all working as expected . I am very proud, actually, to play this music and I get great pleasure seeing people dance to it…
It has been a long time since you were last in South Africa. Are you looking forward to coming back? What do you remember of the place?
You bet! I am dying to come back and I just hope this time it won’t be 4 years before return! I loved it the first time I came and I look forward this time… big time!!! Actually I can’t understand why it s been so long, Dave! [smiles].
I think I saw somewhere that you were teaching electronic music production in Ibiza. Am I right?
Yes I did some sessions in Ibiza , but I am on a more important project called the EMC (electronic music consulting), involving master session and studio building consulting etc . Basically something that would teach you from ground up how to build a studio , use it , and play the music you want to produce in it . This project has an international dimension although it will be based in Sao Paulo at first. I hope I’ll be able to give you more news about this sometime in February .
How is the music scene in Ibiza these days?
I left Ibiza after 11 years last year. I live in Barcelona now. The scene is very active there. Somehow I found that Ibiza could be very limiting… I am looking to diversify my activities away from just dance music and I needed to take a break from the Balearic madness!
Which artist (electronic or not) is your current favourite to listen to?
The past several years have been a tough ride for music labels and selling of CD’s. Has there ever been a time when you thought of giving up on psytrance like some producers have?
Evolution is part of the human story. I do believe it applies to everything… means that you must adapt to new environment or you die no? I have been pretty sad seeing the Trance scene collapsing those last years, after all what we achieved to build all together, worldwide: but what can we do: still believe, hope and love this music….I have never thought about leaving the trance scene, but I am more & more involved in my techno projects (iBZ Recordings / Take No System): this is where I come from originally and this gives me a good balance…
Did moving to Ibiza change your approach to your music making?
My friends were a little worried when I told them I was moving there 8 years ago: it did not affect my style at all. It was just a personal decision moving there, not an artistic one: trying living a better life with family.
Which country still remains your favourite to play in?
I would say Japan for the crowd, SA for the craziness and Portugal which is the biggest scene in Europe for such a small country.
Which music artist (electronic or otherwise) would you say had had the biggest influence on your life in music?
You have been to South Africa a few times now. What’s your impression of the South African psytrance scene?
Wild & Crazy: love it… see you there guys!
Rezonance NYE Festival 2011-2012 kicks off this Friday for 3 nights and 4 days of New Year blasting.
Don’t miss the action!!!