Thanks to the internet when, Ans went back to his homeland, England, they were able to keep their partnership. And so began a life-long journey of spreading the vibe they were experiencing in South Africa to the rest of the world. Nano Records has since become one of most established psytrance labels in the world, and continues to lead the helm releasing music from some of the best trance artists, as well as having a strong and honest penchant for selecting up-and-coming local producers.
‘We’re careful with who we choose to work with, they’re usually friends and people we’ve come to know quite well- if the sound is right and the person is right, we welcome them into the circle with us. As cheesy as it sounds to say, we’re like a close-knit family, and once you’re part of it, you’ll be looked after.’ Regan says simply. Releases on Nano Records have placed a good few local artists firmly on the global spectrum of psytrance music’s biggest talents and launched their rewarding international careers.
The likes of Protoculture, Commercial Hippies, Cooks, Headroom, Hydrophonic, Static Flow and Regan himself, are some of the local artists releasing alongside an incredible list of music producers from the UK, Brazil, Israel, Australia and even, stretching as far afield as Sweden. ‘Yes Psytrance from Sweden.’ Regan says with a laugh, ‘We really are connected to the other side of the world. It’s great because we’re always working with like-minded people- we’re all friends for life.’
The friendships developed mean that, as an international community, they all look out for each other. When local artists travel to gigs overseas, there’s a friendly face to meet them and a couch to crash on, on the other side. It’s really interesting to learn that they work like this- a far cry from the business class seats and hotel demands of the more commercial dance circuit, and it speaks volumes about the essence of their passion and life-long mission. ‘You can’t be driven by money in Psytrance! It’s always about good energy and spreading good vibes to the people who love the music. The common thread is a sphere of people brought together with a similar outlook on life.’
His event production company, Good Times Events, which Regan runs with his wife Monique, is no doubt one of SA’s premier event production labels. With the likes of Origin Festival, Cape Town’s Earth Dance Festival, and the new and irresistibly quirky Flamgangled Tea Party on their annual roster- all noted for their impeccable production, prove how the Good Times Event team are well entrenched and ultimately committed to providing the country with some of its best music events.
‘I’d always hoped to get into the philanthropic stuff later in life,’ Regan says of the charitable nature of the Earth Dance festival. ‘But intentions are a scary thing; when taking on Earth Dance it just kind of happened and we went with it, but it’s pretty great to be working with charities and bringing people together out of a notion to give back. It’s a truly rewarding creative experience. Music events are an amazing forum to promote good things- music ties it all together.’
2010 will see the 11th year Earth Dance has been held in Cape Town, and with each year the event, its production and without a doubt; the line up of entertainment, has just got better. ‘We started the Music Box stage 6 years ago and it’s great to see how it’s evolved. This year we’ve worked with Shaddoworkss, Red Bull Music Studio and Arcade to create a stage that has bands and electronic acts- a real mash up of what’s on offer in SA.’ Regan says, ‘It’s great to have the live/electronic floor, it peaks at different times and creates an interesting dynamic!’
Laughing Budda bringing some international flavour to a usually purely local festival line-up, is just the cherry on top of this years Earth Dance in Cape Town; an extra special addition for the loyal psytrance community, who support the festival with the same fervour and dedication each year. ‘The people that comes to these festivals are open-minded, they’re not into mainstream music, they’re open to new idea’s- and it’s all about bringing people together to spread the awareness of this. A place for all these interesting, creative, diverse minds to meet.’
Being so invested in the production side of things has taken Regan away from producing music himself. ‘I keep threatening to come back.’ He says with a smile. ‘And I will.’ But even with gigs that take him around the world, playing from Glade and Glastonbury in the UK to Portugal’s ultimate Psytrance celebration; Boom Festival; Regan, seems happiest orchestrating the local stomping grounds. His non-stop support and promotion of electronic music and sub-culture has its roots firmly in South Africa. A good thing for all of us- long may peace and dancing reign!
PHOTOS Deborah Rossouw
Click here to download our *EARTH DANCE SPECIAL* Podcast- mixed by Regan and featuring the music of some of CT’s finest bands & electronic acts playing at this year’s event.