It feels like LISH have been around forever on the psytrance scene, such has been both their impact and their consistency in releasing quality music. In my opinion they are one of the few production teams that have managed to successfully bridge the gap between progressive psytrance and progressive & tech house, by fitting as comfortably onto the lineup of an outdoor psytrance party as they do at club events such as Pacha. On June 15 the duo arrives in Cape Town for their first ever gig on our [hopefully] sunny shores. I dug a little deeper to get to know the boys…
IDM: Wow you guys really are the original Israeli prog producers! Well done. I remember when your tracks first appeared on the scene. It was at a time when ‘full-on’ was very much at its peak and Astrix & Skazi were making a big announcement on the scene. What made you guys think differently and decide to produce progressive at a time when the scene was so overshadowed by full on music?
During our first years as listeners we used to listen to Goa Trance music. Later on we were exposed to Scandinavian Progressive Trance and Tech Trance which we just loved so as soon as we started to produce music more seriously, our influences naturally came from these kinds of styles and we tried to create music with the same vibe, rhythms and atmospheres.
Although Full-On was growing each day, we believed in the music we produced and just did what felt right for us.
“A friend of ours always said that our music is irresistible for the girls and when the girls are on the dance floor, everyone else will join them.”
IDM: Does it please you now to see that progressive has become so big and has really taken over from the full-on scene?
LISH: We have been producing this kind of music for more than a decade. We’ve had good times, we’ve had bad times but we’ve been able to see the changes happening in front of our eyes and are grateful for that, especially when the change has been in our direction [laughs]; it is great to be able to play our music without feeling like a ‘second choice’ for the crowd. The amazing thing is that we haven’t had to compromise with the style of our music.
IDM: LISH flirt a lot with both techno and progressive, although your tech stuff always has strong trance influences; in those early days, how did you see your sound fitting in at outdoor parties when the music was so fast and furious?
LISH: We were always mindful that good music will keep people dancing. A friend of ours always said that our music is irresistible for the girls and when the girls are on the dance floor, everyone else will join them.
Although our music was slower we always keep the energies levels up and this blend naturally fits well with certain timeslots at outdoor parties once people have had enough of the ‘fast and furious.’
IDM: Of course today LISH can headline any major trance event but since you also have strong techno influences in your music, do you also play a lot of indoor club events?
LISH: As we’ve been producing more progressive house music the last couple of years we played quite a lot in clubs that are more familiar with the House and techno such as Ageha club in Japan, Pacha Brazil and many others.
In the last year though we have decided to focus our LISH project more on progressive psy trance; we have actually formed a new project named ‘Stereo Talk’ which will focus on Progressive\Tech\Deep House and the first track is about to be released.
IDM: Your name, of course, comes from the first 2 letters of your first names. How long did it take you to decide on this in the beginning? Can you remember any other names that almost made it as your producer name?
LISH: The name Lish came up really fast and from our first release we used this. We don’t actually remember which names we had in mind except for one – ‘Quakeadelic.’ It was inspired by a video game we use to play at that time, but we have never used it, and we glad for that.[laughs]
IDM: How do you guys feel about the new “Israeli progressive psy-tech” sound that is now being produced by all the old full-on guys?
LISH: We can understand the Full-on guys that are trying to make Progressive. Some of them have been working for many years and used to play every weekend. Suddenly, the entire scene changed from one style to the other and they were almost in the shadows. In the end it’s a good thing for the scene as well, since they bring new sides [ideas] to progressive.
IDM: What is a typical day in the life of LISH when you are at home in Israel?
It really depends, we have some weeks that we have more time, so we are in the studio night and day, creating and mixing our new tracks and almost forgetting ourselves; when we’ve got the muse we trying not to stop it. On the other hand there are weeks we have less time since we have gigs and tours, also Lior become a dad almost 2 years ago and naturally he spends more time with his family. Usually during this times Shay will work in the studio on new tunes and then we join forces for few days in the week for short sessions.
IDM: Can one still earn a living just from producing underground trance music or do you do commercial studio work too?
LISH: It’s possible to earn a living from music although it’s harder when there are two people.
We also produce also some Pop and Hip-Hop music, offer mixing and mastering services and also teach private lessons.
Lior also used to teach music production at a college and now he actually works for the audio plug-ins company called Waves.
IDM: Full on became boring because everybody copied each other and it started to sound the same. It seems that many new progressive tracks are starting to do the same; a triplet in the middle is an example of this. LISH has always maintained originality and not pandered to ‘new trends,’ it seems. Which electronic artists (trance or otherwise) impress you right now in 2013 with their originality?
LISH: Yes we also feel that it has started to happen with progressive as it used to be with full on and we have also used the ‘famous triplet’ in our tracks occasionally although it must be said that our collaboration – ‘Lish & Ace Ventura – The Light’ was the first one to bring this rhythm back to the trance scene which was originally use in the Goa trance days.
We do find unique artists that have their own style and colour and those are the artists that everyone is actually trying to copy such as Ace Ventura, Neelix, Atmos, Ticon, Captain Hook, Liquid Soul etc.
But we also find great producers who have their own unique style. Unfortunately the crowd usually wants to listen to the music they like and to what they are already familiar with. That’s what makes it harder for artists who wish to be unique to avoid following the ‘formula’.
IDM: Last question: South Africa. Many Israeli artists often say our dancefloors are like Israel. What do you guys say?
LISH: We’ve heard only good stories about the scene in South Africa but have not played there yet, so we don’t really know how to even compare it. What we do know though is that we are very excited to come and play there for the first time.