Swiss born Nicola Capobianco‘s (aka Liquid Soul) visit to South Africa is long overdue. The melodic prog-trance maestro has been wowing dancefloors for 10 years and then some; unfortunately everywhere else but here. Once a Euro trance DJ and producer [in the 90’s], he traded his white glove and whistle for something more psychdelic and meaningful by creating his Liquid Soul moniker in 2001. We hit him up with a little cyber chat ahead of his first SA gig in March 2013.
“I changed to psy music because I found much more freedom to let my inspiration flow without boundaries.“
After years of performing alongside big commercial names such as Tiësto and Armin van Buuren, what made you decide to start Liquid Soul and produce music for the underground?
I changed to psy music because I found much more freedom to let my inspiration flow without boundaries. But I am still in love with trance as you can hear in my productions.
Speaking of the underground, here in Cape Town, psy is the biggest single music scene and fairly mainstream when compared to Europe for example. Despite it’s obvious global popularity it remains underground. Why do you think that is?
First of all, I think the scene still has a bad image to some. Then I also think that the scene wants to keep the “underground” feeling and does not look for mainstream popularity which is cool since we have huge and high quality parties worldwide anyway.
If someone who knew very little about trance asked you what the difference is between what Tiësto or Armin does and what you do, how would you describe this to them?
Sure! I am not as cheesy as they are, but I follow the same concept of uplifting and emotional music which lets you feel high and puts a smile on your face.
The psy and prog trance scene tends to stand alone from the other genres, globally; you don’t often see psyprog artists performing at big mainstream electronic festivals. Having said that you’ve done two big remixes for Paul Oakenfold. Do you get much opportunity to meet and mix with the more mainstream producers?
Actually I have received a lot of offers to do remixes for mainstream artists which does make me proud in a way, but I choose the tracks carefully and say no to many offers as I dont wanna go too commercial or cheesy. Bit I think it‘s a good thing to play at mainstream events as it gives me a chance to show my music to people who might not ever hear it.
How aware do you think the DJ MAG Top 20 DJs are of the psyprog scene and of its top producers?
I think they are aware; I see Neelix made it this year, but to be honest it‘s hard to enter the list without a massive promotional campaign.
Travelling and performing sounds like a great life, but actually it can also take its toll. Many hours in airports, in hotel rooms, probably quite a lot of time on your own etc… do you ever wonder how long you’ll keep it up or do you just love it too much?
I do think about how long I can go on, because it’s often hard as you say, especially the flights. You often don‘t get to sleep properly too, but in the end its an awesome job and I still love it.
Your sound is large, full of layers and complex melodies. Outdoors and in big room clubs with large crowds this must work well. What about smaller events indoors? Those intimate 200/300 people on a dancefloor events? Do you ever get to play those?
Yes of course.Some countries have a small scene so I do these gigs often and it offers me a nice balance between the major raves. I also play DJ sets once or twice a month in a small afterhour club in Zürich ‘cos I like the atmosphere and the close up energy that only small dancefloors can provide.
And lastly, what turns a dancefloor from good to awesome?
When the smiling crowd gets in a trance and becomes one.
Liquid Soul will be playing at the Love & Light party on 8 March alongside Symphonix and a host of leading SA Djs.
Join the Love & Light Facebook Page – for further details.