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Posted by abasio on 18 May 2016 - 03:41 PM
But first we need to make some tweaks to your music in order for it to appeal to a wider audience.
We'll have to get rid of this acid synth lines, people don't like those.
And the kick is too hard well need to soften that or maybe get rid of it all together, people are put off if it's too hard.
We like your melodies but we can't have them change through the track, people like consistency so well make sure people remember them.
People don't like songs with no singing do we hired you a singer, don't worry we already wrote the words so you don't have to.
Okay now one last tiny tweak: people don't have the attention span for 10 minute tracks so we've shortened everything to 3 minutes.
We love your music, you're going to be huge!
Posted by Ormion on 10 September 2015 - 11:46 PM
Dear Psynews members we're pleased to announce our brand new contest!
After the success of our previous compilations Psychedelic Sparks and Sideffect we are finally ready for our next psychedelic chapter. Ten tracks submitted and voted for by you will win a place in the tracklist of our new, still unnamed compilation. A compilation that will represent the talent, enthusiasm and love of music of Psynews.org community.
The submission period starts right now and it will last for 2 months. Then we will announce the voting period, so please stay close.
If you wish to submit a track please read carefully the following FAQ:
Q: What is Psynews Contest 2015?
A: A contest where artists can submit their tracks and have a chance to win a place to our brand new compilation voted by our members.
Q: How to participate?
A: First you will need a SoundCloud account. If you don't have one just visit: www.soundcloud.com and create one, it's easy and free.
Upload your track in your account and join the Psynews Contest 2015 group. Then go to your track, click the Add To Group option and select the Psynews Contest 2015 group. Your track will be moderated and if approved will be ready for the contest.
Q: What kind of music can I submit?
A: Any Psytrance and Psybient subgenres are welcome. Goa, Full On, Progressive, Suomi, Twilight, Darkpsy, Forest, Hi-Tech, Psycore, Psybreaks, Experimental, Proto-Goa, Deep Trance, Dub, Downtempo, Ambient. You name it, we want it.
However being a Psytrance contest we will only approve tracks belonging in the Psytrance family.
Other styles of electronic music like House, Techno, Drum and Bass, Eurodance, Normal Trance, Gabber, Electro, Dubstep etc. are not qualified for the contest. We are pretty open minded to any kind of experimentation and fusion and we are generally more tolerant of tracks that lie on the borderline of other styles (most likely Progressive), but we still draw a line.
Your track may be as long as you want, but overly long tracks (20+ minutes) may be frowned upon due to file size limit.
Your track must be complete. No demo or edits will be approved to the group.
Remixes of other artists' work are NOT allowed. You can, however, submit a remix of one of your tracks.
Your track may be uploaded in any format you want, but if you'll win we will need a WAV or AIFF file. (See below for more details).
Q: How many tracks can I submit?
A: The limit is one track per artist. A collaboration between two or more artists count as a different project, so you can have a track by yourself plus another one with another artist/s.
Q: Can I upload another track or another version of my track if I change my mind?
A: Yes, you can remove, edit or upload another track (as long as your remove your previous one) for as long as the submission period is on. After the deadline expires we will not approve any more changes.
Q: So what if I win?
A: First of all congratulations. Then we will need your track in 24bit/44kHz (at least) WAV or AIFF file, with no effects on master channel whatsoever and with at least 3dB of headroom.
Your track must also follow the following criteria:
No bootlegs, mash-ups, or copyright-infringing sample usage, especially when the source is pop music from the major labels. You must own the rights to all the music you plan to share!
Note: if you are a member of a collection society like SOCAN (in Canada), GEMA (in Germany), or other such organizations you do not actually have the right to distribute your own music here! We encourage all artists to cancel their membership with such organizations.
Q: Will the compilation be free and will I have to pay for anything?
A: Our compilation will be distributed for free. We will handle all the mastering and cover art costs.
Q: What if my track is already mastered?
A: That depends. If your track has been mastered by a professional we will review it. Our goal is to have coherent sound all along, so if your mastering does not fit the tone of the rest of the compilation we will need the unmastered version.
Q: Will Psynews.org hold any rights of my music?
A: No, Psynews.org is not a label. Your track belongs and will belong to you.
However the goal of this contest is to have a compilation with exclusive tracks submitted and voted by our community, so if you're already planning to release your track in a future album, EP or compilation we would prefer you to submit another one. Likewise if your track has already been officialy released we would need a fresh one.
Q: How long will the submission period last?
A: Two months. The period starts at 11th September 2015 and it will end at 11th November 2015 23:59:59 GMT. No tracks will be approved after the deadline expires.
Q: How will the voting be held and how will the mod team assure me there will be no cheating?
A: After the submission period is over there will be a lengthy period of time where Psynews members will listen and vote for their favourite tracks. After the voting period is expired the 10 tracks with the most votes will win.
Since this is not our first contest we have the experience to prevent any double accounts or other methods of cheating.
Q: What if I have any questions?
A: Reply directly to this thread or PM a Psynews admin or mod. Alternatively PM the Psynews.org team at Soundcloud.
Posted by Colin OOOD on 02 February 2016 - 02:53 PM
$0.02 - Apologies if this seems too hard; of course there are exceptions and you can't generalise about all psy fans or all artists or all events or all labels, but nonetheless this is a trend I've noticed, certainly over the last 10 years or so.
It seems to me that psytrance fans are more prone than other people to believing in unfounded conspiracy theories such as chemtrails or "flat Earth", or to trust charlatans and con-men like Wolfe, Icke or Jones, and if this is actually true I think I might know why.
As we can see from a quick glance at Facebook, committed fans of and participants in today's psytrance scene often believe that psytrance represents a vision for a way of being human that transcends our current paradigm:
- peace, one-ness and unity,
However an examination of these ideas as they apply to the actual mechanics of the psy scene reveals something different:
- Israel, one of the major centres of the global psytrance scene and home to a disproportionate number of well-known acts is only peaceful and "in oneness" if you ignore its ingrained, systemic anti-Arab racism and apartheid resulting from the ethnic cleansing of non-Jews which accompanied its establishment and the brutal, decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories which followed, which is supported by many (but not all) Israeli psytrance artists and promoters and at the very least ignored by those who go there to play;
- psy parties in remote locations often irrevocably change the character of the location and the local inhabitants (eg. Goa) and rely on unsustainable fuels and transport to occur at all, and sometimes leave an incredible mess - they are anything but sustainable, let alone carbon-neutral;
- the psy scene is based on a hierarchy at the top of which are a very small number of headlining acts who get the vast lion's share of remuneration and bookings whilst lower-order acts are not paid properly, if at all - that is if they even get booked (the 1% rules psytrance as it does everywhere else, and in the UK is often accompanied by pre-existing family wealth, just as in politics and industry);
- psytrance events and labels operate using exactly the same high-capitalist bad behaviour that we criticise everywhere else, for example the relentless spamming of release information on Facebook; the non-payment of royalties and withholding of accounting information; SUN and Ozora getting each other's Facebook pages taken down and copywriting each other's names, and Boom doing deals with Coca Cola, not to mention the exploitation of all but 1% of artists and DJs;
- like any other event, large psytrance events are necessarily organised to maximise ticket sales and other income in the first instance, with efficient and equitable resource use less of a priority;
- headlining acts often seem to use the same presets and templates leading to a homogeneity of sound and difficulty in determining who wrote a track from listening to it, and large festival lineups seem to change very little from year to year.
For some people, then, being a committed psytrance fan would therefore appear to involve firmly believing that things are different to how they actually are. This wilful denial of evidence erodes one's ability to discern truth from fiction in general, and leads to a susceptibility to manipulation by false authority and charlatans of all kinds.
Posted by Anoebis on 10 September 2016 - 10:11 AM
Finally... after years of waiting for you, and working hard behind the scenes for us (because, it was hard to let this album happen), we are super happy to announce the new (last?) album of Ra!
Pure deep melodic goa-trance with oriental melodies from the master! The release date will be in october, probably around the 5th or the 12th, we will update you on this!
The tracklist will look like this:
The first samples are on the suntrip shop, but long ones will be posted on soundcloud soon!
Enjoy this trip
Posted by johnb820 on 24 March 2016 - 01:01 PM
If you don't like what is being produced in Goa Trance, I suggest you produce it.
I don't care if all you do is spend a few hours in (name your favorite software). I want to hear it. Send it to me and I will listen to it. No two artists have the same interpretation/production style and Goa Trance is open to anything and everything.
If there is anything this genre has taught me is that it is the closest to good, honest, inclusive, expression that is not found in the vast majority of other genres. Of course, the labels have their own sound/interpretation that they like and want to release. If you don't like Suntrip or Neogoa or whatever, make your own label. I want to download and/or purchase your albums. Go search soundcloud for someone whose style appeals to you. Check around here on psynews. Lots of people post all kinds of crazy stuff, even a certain Bulgarian who happened to like steep mountains and had a thing for Boris Blenn.
There is no sense in being critical when you are a part of a genre that literally can be produced and distributed for free. It's your personal expression. I produce goa trance, I don't even know why. It's just an impulse. I have ideas in this head of mine that have to come out. I don't know if what I produce is even remotely good. That's not for me to say, but it's out there. And of course the greatest reviews I can give are contained within those tracks. Words are pretty meaningless.
Posted by Trance2MoveU on 13 November 2015 - 11:32 PM
Posted by Richpa on 19 October 2015 - 01:24 AM
The new chapter in the Dimensional Gateway series, Veil Of The Moon, ritualizes the annular Solar Eclipse with Goa trance over three different stages, making for the most fitting soundtrack to this event. Even though it has been more than four years since the last Dimensional Gateway compilation appeared (and in the meantime, the team behind Neogoa Records introduced other interesting ideas and concepts on releases such as The World Beyond, Svemirski Hod, and Celestial Transvibrations), this moment is perfect to return to our own roots and unleash fresh works by some new projects, but also welcome back a few of our contributors from the early days. Veil Of The Moon offers plenty of darker and acidic vibes, but yet it keeps the melodic aspect present in competent and solid Goa trance form. Mastering by Igor Čeranić at Deimos Soundlabs with artwork design by Richpa at Neogoa Design.
☽ Stage 1: Conjuration Through Three Astral Orbs
01 - Dragon Twins - Illa Tahin (145 BPM)
02 - Veasna - Dendrites (145 BPM)
03 - GoaD - Voids (146 BPM)
☽ Stage 2: Into The Throat Of The Lustrous Spiral We Dive
04 - Clementz - Black Dwarfs (145 BPM)
05 - GoaD vs. Proxeeus - Acid Implant (147 BPM)
06 - PharaOm - It's Alive (144 BPM)
☽ Stage 3: Driving The Possesed Spirit On Moon Chariots
07 - Proxeeus - Dagon (146 BPM)
08 - Negans - Silver (145 BPM)
09 - Cybernetika - Unknown Entity (153 BPM)
Mastering by Deimos at Deimos Soundlabs
Artwork design by Richpa at Neogoa Design
Compiled by Richpa
Listen on Soundcloud.com
Download: February 26th 2017
Posted by HappyHorse on 18 August 2015 - 03:50 PM
Is there a cheaper shipping alternative? 8€ is a lot.
It was not 'thaaat' bad.
It had its moments
You get 2CD's for arround €19,5 (postal fee + music) = € 9,25 for 1CD.
Do not forget Cronomi is a small operation, and not a registred company that can get official (big) discount from postal companies We do what we can...
BUT WE WORKED OUT A SOLUTION: cheeper shipping for EVERYONE
4,5 euro for shipping (from 19th August on)
I hope we can stick to the topic here: the music itself. Plz keep it positive.
+ Nope, we are distributing all our next releases 100% our self. No other label sells our CD's, we preferred to do it that way (like some other labels are doing too).
I hope we don't loose your respect for that We like to stay 100% independent. Just a choice we made.
Posted by Scandinasia on 14 July 2015 - 03:30 AM
Hello, people of Goa.
It is an honor to me to write this review of Proxeeus' debut album, entitled At the Mountains of Madness.
It is an honor, because this release has a special meaning. First of all, it is released on July the 14th, which is the French National Day, comemorating the Storming of the Bastille. And it is no coincidence that NeoGoa has chosen this very day to spot a fair light on the Proxeeus project, which proudly represents France in the Goa scene.
It is also an honor, because this very day is also the 5th birthday of the NeoGoa adventure. Introducing a new artist to celebrate this time of the year is definitely a great way to spread the Goa flag. Hence it is a good opportunity to recall that NeoGoa has been a brilliant label all over the years, constant in quality and innovation, and that had definitely left its print in this scene. I shall also add, as a personnal remark, that the very first full-lenghth Goa release that I ever listened to was Dimensional Gateway vol. III, and that from this day this label has been for me a criterion to determine the average quality of a newschool product.
Henceforth, I say to you, NeoGoa : a big thank you, and a happy birthday. I wish you eternal glory.
Now, let's talk music.
Behind the Proxeeus projects is Jérôme Lesterps, a rising artist who has spent a whole year building himself a reputation in the realm of Goa Trance. One year ago, he was anonymous. But after much work he managed to participate to some releases :
Stellar Discovery [Goa Galaxy] in summer 2014
Celestial Transvibrations [NeoGoa] in winter 2014
And now a full lenghth album released by a famous Goa label.
This rapid evolution can be explain by the peculiarity of his sound. A sincere acidic sound inherited from the golden days, with an extra supplement of smoothness and a rusty groove. It is with this musical signature that Proxeeus made me like acidic Goa Trance. At first I found it to be bizarre, but I gradually got into it, even though his music offered many little imperfections. Sometimes a bit bland, sometimes too fluffy, or too confuse, and pretty repetitive from track to track. According to me, the biggest challenge that Proxeeus had to deal with with the Mountains of Madness was to overcome these many issues to produce a brighter sound.
The title of the album in itself conveys us to an unusual destination. But the promise is clear. The journey will take us to an ascending spiral of altered mental states, until we reach the top of psychedelicness. Madness will be explored in its utmost glory, as mountains tend to be associated with something dominant and transcendant.
This is the hardest part of the review. Depicting sounds with words is not a natural thing, but it is important to put an impression on an artist's fragrance.
First of all, Jérôme Proxeeus remains here truthful to his former tracks. The album is characterized by a very strong feeling of organic-ness. While many Goa artists tend to focus on a story-telling structure with narrative movements, and resort to mythological motives, Proxeeus prefers to brew a mixture of sounds, like a sorcerer making up a potion. Psychedelicness is attained through the unfolding of many textures, through the cooling and warming of the beverage, through the chemical reactions that occur between the many drooling, peeping, bubbling sounds of 303 sparks cooking up amidst the bassline cauldron.
The music acts as a warm fluid, a psychedelic lava that progressively enters the mind to make consciousness boil like a strange philtre. And this is precisely what I like about Proxeeus' sound : it's liquid, and it proceeds by waves. It has amplitude, regularity, roundness, just like water. Warm water.
When I close my eyes while listening to this music, a biologic scenery unfolds in my mind. Many Goa artists tend to create a vast, cosmic sonic space, to fill it with energy, and to shake it with a sismic energy in order to create spacequakes, thanks to heavy basslines. Proxeeus does not. Instead, he occupies the space with a muffled bassline and dense textures that gives a feeling of an inner resonance. It's a bit of an underwater sensation that, combined with a organic input provided by the acid loops and the hot tempo, plunges your body in an amniotic bath. It is a carnal music, but in an intimate, cocooning sense. The heat of the music is the heat of a breath ; the pumping is a heartbeat ; the fluidity is like blood running.
Adding up to this biologic theater, there is an underlying cyberpunk theme. Machines meet hot organic fluids. Living organs are connected to computers through wires. Sinister atmospheres of an uncanny laboratory go through the tracks. A mechanical menace is heard echoing. And accross the Galaxy, malevolent cyborg aboard their starships seek to rapture the living. The coldness of steel responds to the warm vividness of the body.
And that is very interesting, because it highlights the relationships between the actual Jérôme Proxeeus, a being of flesh and bones, and the metallic instruments which he tries to make sing.
But overall, it is an introvert music with a silky touch, a deep music aligned with the body's frequencies which uplifts organic memories from time to time, a shamanistic beverage with a retro sci-fi accent. The global mood of the track, with its deepening reverberations, put you in a stasis suitable to a psychedelic experience, and the constant buzzing of coloured spots all around the tracks puts the mind into a hallucinogenic state that soon becomes a form of enlightened madness.
The story takes place in a far future. Mankind is rotting in decay across the Galaxy. Machines are supreme and lead the Milky Way, while sloth and slunder have paralyzed most of humans. In the dark suburbs of one of the largest human colony, a rumor has spread. There is a new drug that circulates underground, an illegal substance with legendary properties that people struggle to obtain. Its name is ayahuasca, a synthetic product famous to awaken ancient memories from one's ancestors.
But Proxeeus is a young hacker that isn't interested by drugs. One day, as he enters confidential files of the deep net, a mysterious entity appears within his occulus rift. It is a living hologram, a artificial intelligence made up of algorhythms who claim to be Hanuman, an ancient Hindu god. As Proxeeus talks to him, the divinity progressively takes possession of him. Hanuman's goal is to counter a conspiracy, machines plotting to enslave manking to a higher degree, a mechanical menace that threatens the colony and beyond. That's why he reveals to Proxeeus a code – the Vimana, to hack the machines, but his brain cannot handle it. To make his plan work, Hunaman sends the human to collect as much ayahuasca as possible, so that the god penetrates further into his mind, and expands it from the inside.
As he is tripping high, Proxeeus deviates from his course, and enters a dimension against which the junkies warned him about : the Mountains of Madness, a range of hallucinogenic peaks against which consciousness is wrecked. As the hackers sinks into insanity, Hanuman seeks the cybernet for the help of another hologram : Chandra.
The final track tells depicts the ruins scattered around the Sea of Tranquillity...
1. Across the Galaxy
Dark, mysterious, stomping. A modern track with a bassline reminding me of Etnica – Intense Visitation, and cool electric FX. 08:36 is mind-opening. A-
Deep. Twisted. Dedallic. A bit funky. Somehow recalls me of Miranda. A-
I didn't expect this more full-onic bassline into Proxxeus' universe. Some metallic, scrapping sounds recall early psytrance. A slightly bit itchy for my taste. But I liked a lot the oriental climaxic melodies, which are very hypnotic. A
4. Mechanical Menace
Very shamanic. Crazy and ritualistic. I would definitely dance to this one. A-
5. At the Mountains of Madness
Some rare acid spirals in it. The bassline is awesome. Hard scratching acid. The climax is profound. A
Classic acid trance, with some oriental highlights. B/B-
7. Chandra Knows
A very futuristic track with a compelling cyberpunk atmosphere. A-
8. The Sea of Tranquillity
You guys know that I don't like Goa downtempo. So, I won't rate this track :/
Overall : challenge succeeded. Proxeeus has refined his sound, and created an amazing album. He now stands as the new Semsis, even if he incorporates modern influences that recall early psytrance 1998 style (like X-Dream).
Examples of Semsis :
Not bad. The moon looked photoshopped. Overall it reminds me of a little something...
Cool music that is excellent to regulate your mental states. It's not surprizing that Jérôme Proxeeus found therapeutic virtues in this form of Goa Trance. GJ.
Posted by draeke on 25 May 2015 - 03:33 PM
Well Guys, this is THE announcement that many of you were waiting for... it's finally happening!
I have been giving hints for the last 2 years since I've asked the authorization for the very first time to Pleiadians Maurizio.
We still had to discuss further details of the release but finally last week I went to Ibiza and stayed at Max's where Etnica's studio is and where we signed the final deal
Before announcing it properly I wanted to make sure everything was OK and that I would encounter the final approval of both members of Etnica, and all went very well.
I am very happy to say that this release will really come true.
And the edition will be special, not two but THREE CDs.
More details will come later...
Here is the proof:
Posted by Trance2MoveU on 23 March 2015 - 04:34 PM
Title: The World Beyond
Date: March, 20 2015
02 - Chapter II: The Journey (Across The Silver Sea Of Eternal Life) (100 BPM)
03 - Chapter III: The Gate (Facing The Keeper Below The Human-Form Mountain) (136 BPM)
04 - Chapter IV: The Sphere (Ascending Towards Star-Eaters To Become The One) (146 BPM)
I realize that every journey begins somewhere and to get to the World Beyond, this is the first step. But to me this is 17 (yep 17) minutes of stumbling around in an attic like the ghosts in Scooby Doo. Dark ambient when done well captures a feeling and propels the listener where the artist wants he or she to go. This sounds like a collection of noises that I skip every time. Perhaps it will appeal to some and that's good. No big deal, I don't get opera either and people love that sh*t.
Chapter IV: The Sphere (Ascending Towards Star-Eaters To Become The One). This track is an acidic napalm blast peering through darkness at the outset. Growling 303's are readily apparent and it sends electrical shivers through the atmosphere. 23 minutes of hurtling through the cosmos, top down system up! A perfect blend of old school rawness with modern sound and production. I believe all the old masters who delivered subpar post goa releases (looking right at you MFG and Pleiadians) should listen to this and learn how beautiful and raw goa trance can be today. A third of the way through and I already think this is one of the greatest goa tracks ever produced. The intensity is maintained as is the atmosphere and I realize I am in the presence of greatness. The break is palpable, a thing alive. Perfect. Sublime. Ruthless. Mystical. You heard Homer.
Posted by Agneton on 12 December 2016 - 10:46 AM
Not visiting/ interacting frequently enough here to really have in-depth knowledge on the matter, but to be honest, SixZeroFou4, 75% of the times I see a post of yours, you're complaining about haters I dunno, I feel like your hate towards the Psynews-haters is more visible than the so-called hate of the Psynews-haters towards Psynews
Just a little observation, I might be wrong...no need to take it too seriously anyway
Posted by antic604 on 11 October 2016 - 09:23 AM
There are three things for me here:
- warm vs. cold sound - it's a matter of control and at the same time of the randomness given by instruments: in old days a lot of parameters - oscillators, envelopes, filters, resonance, etc. - were controlled by voltage, which was analog and wasn't ideally precise, you had musical keyboard keys that responded to velocity and strength of touch, you had knobs that wouldn't be perfectly transmitting the twists; you had mixers, effects and even cables that'd introduce additional noise - all this contributed to the sound being fuzzy ("warm"), with tiny fluctuations and random changes on a micro-level and the notes would sound ever so slightly different every time. This stands in contrast to the very digital, infinitely precise world of today's VST plugins;
- sequencing - in the old days, synthesizers and DAWs would only allow you to store basic information about your tune, usually based on MIDI format, which covered broad but still pretty limited range of information; as a result, the synth/computer usually was only generating overall "shape" of the tune (which notes and tracks play when, etc.) and while recording for the CD / DAT tape the artists needed to tweak the individual parameters - faders, filters, effects, routing, etc. - manually. This was leading to music sounding more like live performance, with more unpredictability, soul and "happy mistakes". Contrast it with today, where you usually "dump" tracks to perfect and written-in-stone WAV files as soon as they sound good enough, copy & paste various segments over the time-line, put some highly controlled (i.e. the filter envelopes drawn by mouse) effects on top and there you go.
- musical education - this one I'm not sure about, but my gut feeling tells me it is the true - because the point of entry is so much lower today, i.e. anyone can pirate Ableton Live and VST plugins and publish their stuff on Soundcloud or Bandcamp, most people releasing music lack any musical knowledge and their creations are influenced mostly by what they hear around, trying to copy what they like (and are able to). Hence the huge uniformity in sound, resulting in very few artists actually standing out with their own, unique style.
So, to answer the original question - no, "cold" in itself isn't inherently good or bad. Like anything else, it should be used as a tool to express artist's ideas, thoughts or feelings.
Posted by Anoebis on 06 October 2016 - 10:44 AM
Too much going on, I think in 1 month, you know artists... They want to re-record everything 10 times (yes yes, this is analog stuff, not software)
As for the album, they are SUPER motivated, basically in the long talk we had it is clear they are SUPER happy with the goa revival, so they can make music again they LOVE Its no coincedance they were mostly gone during the full on wave
Posted by Insejn on 27 July 2016 - 08:43 AM
I a run up to the release of Nervasystems new album Brainradio Mark was kind to answer some questions about his musical background, creative process and views on scene & music. Here it is!
Q: When & how you first heard of psychedelic goa trance and how you got involved in it?
It all started around the early 90s. There were many factors involved. The cultural landscape for a young person in their early 20s was fast changing. The rave scene in the UK was starting to explode. Ecstasy and raving was taking off in a big way. Id discovered the drugs and the rave culture, but the music was still a bit random, there were all these different tunes being played at raves from happy hardcore to acid, to jungle, techno and everything in between.
But then I went to a party in Bristol where I live called Elektrik Orgasm and it changed everything. Elektrik Orgasm was set up by two guys: James Menteth and Adam Clarkson. They had come back from Goa, this is the early, early 90s. James was mates with some of the Flying Rhino guys and knew various people from the crews that set up the London labels (FR, TIP etc). Theyd all been in Goa together in the past few years, partying to the early sounds, this is before the labels, just before. Everybody came back to their own countries and started setting up labels, parties etc. For Bristol, it was Elektrik Orgasm. Those parties were epic, hard to describe in rational terms today. You really had to have been there. The music was new, different from every other thing going on then, edgy, trippy and people got pretty high This is where I heard a different kind of music, a bit like the acid stuff, there was the 303 sound, but a little different, more trancing, a story in there, and more psychedelic. The music was still on DAT tapes. Then I heard the first TIP record and the first Simon Posford productions and I knew something was up. Id been making electronic music for a short while with my friend Darren Beale, techno stuff, ambient stuff, but the weather was changing and we started making the early Nervasystem stuff together. We started to make some tunes, sent them off to a few labels and they started to be released.
Q: What were the early influences. What are your current favorite artists, sub-genres?
Well, there were so many influences. A friend of mine, Darren Beale, was making some hardcore stuff, and wed heard the early Eat Static stuff because they came out of the Ozrics who Id seen live many times (in fact, one Ozrics gig at the Treeworgy Tree Faire in late 80s blew my head off and was a big influence on me). I also loved some of the German techno stuff especially Hardfloor, Drax, and some Harthouse things, there was some really amazing ambient music being made, Aphex Twin, Autechre, FSOL that appealed, the early electronic music scene was exploding here. Hardfloor I loved, the 303 and acid thing was a big part of it. Simon Posford was incredible in those early times, his productions were inspiring for sure. Graham Woods writing in The Infinity Project I admired. I liked various things in the early days of the whole psychedelic trance thing. I always liked Doof, Process was something else, different, techy Sean has a very English sensibility in the music he made then, he has an original and unique touch in what he does and I rate him very highly as an electronic musician, I wish he still put out records.
I don't really listen to much contemporary trance music I must admit. If I had to say anything I listened to recently I would say I like Electrypnoses last album. The sound design was great. I liked some of Dick Trevors last album, his stuff is always entertaining and so chunky and meticulous, but I listen to so little trance its unfair for me to comment really. I just hear it when im at parties really, I always try to catch a few sets before and after I play to hear what people are doing. Sometimes I dig it and sometimes it bores me stupid. I tend not to keep up with things. I like to look elsewhere for inspiration, I think theres something good about that because too much of this music is so similar, so homogenized. I listened to a trance compilation the other day, a big comp with a lot of big artists from the scene, and to be honest, every tune was like it was by the same artist, same kick drum, same bassline and sound. That to me is nonsense, it sucks, its so boring. If anything, I think one reason why people seem to be returning to the original 90s goa stuff and sounds is because there was a diversity of flavours in the music then which is lost to some extent now, so I feel quite strongly on this, inspiration should be pandemic rather than limited to a small niche of defined formulae.
Q: Do you have any formal musical training / background or were you self-taught?
Self taught. I had some guitar lessons in my teens. The studio side of it started with making tape recordings on cassette and messing with things to get sounds. Recording was always a thing for me, and ive always loved messing around with electronic music devices, but its all been self taught and by watching people first, then getting my hands dirty. I seem to have a knack for it too which is lucky, it always seems quite intuitive to just take whats available and make something interesting with it.
Q: After a string of successful releases on V/A-s with Phantasm, Matsuri, Psychic Deli you went on releasing a co-op album with Aether, then a solo 13 Amp Fusion and vanished from the surface of the earth.
Aether was Alexis Cousins. Alexis was around at the earliest times of Elektrik Orgasm in Bristol. We lived in the same house in the 90s and decided to work together on music. At the same time we set up the Elektrik Orgasm Record label with James Menteth whod been doing the parties for a few years previously. That was it really. We wrote the first 5 Elektrik Orgasm Records or so and did the Mama Matrix Most Mysterious album. I worked well with Lex, he was very good, has a really ear and a feel for the aesthetic and groovology of things, can be abrasive, but always funky. We worked together until 2000, then i split changing times, life changes, I split, went to Australia for a year and when I came back everything had changed. Alexis went on to form Jnr Hacksaw a kind of weird electro / psychedelic / breaks mutant musica, while I released a 13 Amp Fusion published around year 2000 on Process Productions, Sean Williams label, consisting of my solo material and some leftover collaborations with Lex.
I had a long time out of the scene from 2000 up until about 2012 really where trance didnt interest me and I was so far away from it in my life and general modus operandi. I lived in Devon over that period, and just had a bit of a sabbatical to see my children grow, and to chill out. I got asked by Yoni Dagan from Psilosiva in Israel around 2011 or 2012 i forget to come and play a party, and it was such a surprise as I hadnt thought about doing it for so long. I went to play the party, and it was interesting to see the whole thing again and to play the music again. It inspired me to write some new things. Id kept my hand in with regards to the music technology, and so I put together a little system and started writing. Gigs started to happen again around this time and I met Tal Hazan from Anjuna Records who expressed interest in releasing unreleased 90s material. I had a collection of things that for one reason or another never came out, and we decided to put them out on an album, that was Time Travel which was very early material i wrote with Darren Beale. I wrote the 4 album around this time, and most of the 3 album (some of which was gathered from earlier music experiments from a few years before) and decided to put them out on my own label Voodoo Voltage which i made to release those things essentially. I may release some more things on it in the future, who knows...
Q: Do you have any musical side projects in other genres of electronic music or otherwise?
Well, not in electronic music currently. I use Nervasystem for what Im writing right now, including any weird kind of stuff. The Nervasystem 3 album was pretty out there, a kind of montage, ambient electronic psychedelia without formal structure or generic consistency, but I really liked it, it was hard to define it I suppose. I wish more people would listen to that album, I think its really good, all the music is real on that, all the playing, its not all samples, its myself and a bunch of guys playing, plus all the electronic music, its a trip for sure. Most people listen to the trance music I guess, but Ive always done the weird, ambient psychedelic stuff.
I also do a lot of recording in Bristol in a studio I have run for the last few years called The Tape Rooms. I use analogue equipment to make records, tape machines, old things with tubes and transformers. I have recorded and produced albums with many artists over the last few years here in Bristol. Two artists I work with very closely are Cloudshoes and Dubi Dolczek whose records I record and produce. The indigenous music scene is very vibrant here right now, I love doing the analogue recordings with musicians, working with the vintage equipment, processes and techniques its a world away from the trance scene, but I love it!
Q: How would you describe your creative process? Are you starting with a clear vision and idea for a tune, or just toying around until something interesting surfaces?
Its always different to some extent or another. Usually I just feel like doing something. Ill sit down and start getting noises. I find the initial stages of getting a groove together and a bit of a mood or feel is quite easy. I dont plan it out. I just go at it. Its experimental most of the time, I use trial and error, it comes down to taste, and extracting things usually rather than adding, or maybe not. adding first, then extracting. Sometimes whole sections, whole swathes of crap have to be taken out, you may have gone with something, tweaked, tweaked, got somewhere, tweaked some more, only to find that, damn! you tweaked too much and lost it. In those cases the best thing to do is fuck it off. Brutal but honest. This is my approach. Im quite strict in my approach, its the German side of my brain, structured, as opposed to the English side, eccentric. In general the more I do it, the better I get, you get into training with it, on the technical side anyway, but again, I find I have to shake up the processes every now and again too, to stop myself getting too comfortable, I try different ways of doing things, different tools etc. Im always trying to change something or push it in someway, things need to evolve.
The very nature of the constraints of the technical side of writing trance or whatever means you already have a form to some extent to go with, much easier than creating a non-generic, non specific piece of music. So beginning, is usually easy to some extent, its the continuing and finishing that can be difficult. I tend to work intensely sometimes, for days on end, and at other times I dip in and out constantly. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all for a bit (I did this for 10 years once!!!). Sometimes it can drive you crazy...
Also, its very much different now as opposed to the 90s. Then it was all synths, analogue gear and samplers, mixing desk etc. Now theres so much that happens inside the computer and the software is so sophisticated, and the awesome power of the technology is staggering really, we take it for granted and of course things can always get faster and more streamlined, but its pretty awesome what's happened with music software. Of course there are still folks who want to use an all analogue thing, and some of the vintage things, but really, for me with electronic music, its always had an alchemical allegiance to its time and place, and theres something about utilizing the technology of the era you find yourself in which feeds directly into the music of the time defining it culturally somehow. This is why I use the computer instead of going all old school on it. I know folks who go this way, and YES, the sound of analogue is awesome, theres a magic there, but thats not to say the digital sound is worse or anything, its not but it is different, and that took me a while to get used to when I came back to writing again, but its interesting again. I love the environment, or lack of one, in the DAW and using software. I thought about going modular at one point, and still have a hankering after it, but I think it would only be really useful for me if I was to get some kind of live thing going on, and at this point Im just happy to write and explore the options available Maybe I will go modular at some point, Ive certainly enjoyed using other peoples and I sometimes miss analogue synths, but theres so much scope to do all that they used to and more now, and the sound of the new generation of software is extremely good now.
Q: What does the psychedelic mean for you in music?
Lots of things I guess. Too complex I guess something to do with music that takes you somewhere in your mind, if you like. I always thought a nice definition for psychedelic music was, something for you mind as well as for your feet. I always liked that Country Joe and the Fish album title: Electric Music For The Mind And Body... thats close to it, I suppose, if one needed a classification.
Q: Your recent album is full of collaborations with old-school artists and friends - do you prefer to work alone or with others?
I like both. You always learn new things when you work with people, you have to compromise sometimes, which I find it incredibly difficult to do, and sometimes I dig in and refuse to where as other times I will stand corrected and know that the compromise was worth it as it took things in another direction. Its push and pull writing with someone else, sometimes its good to exercise ones will and other times its good to just let go of the reigns, Working with Sean Williams as I have consistently over the years on many different projects, has been wonderful, we always get something of interest that I feel we would not have found had we tried to achieve it solo. Working with Tsuyoshi back then was interesting too. He had a slightly different approach to everyone Id worked with up to then, I dig the Japanese approach to artistry, its different mindset in certain, distinctive ways to the western approach. Of course all these differences are breaking down in post, post-modern society but they were still in place in the 90s....
Hopefully collaborating will enable you to go someplace you never went before, or to somehow add to things Its a very rewarding thing potentially, and a source of many happy memories. I love to collaborate, its somehow difficult on occasion, sometimes it can a challenge to express ideas correctly to your collaborator, especially if language is a barrier, but ultimately these reasons, amongst other make it an enriching and rewarding experience in the long run. Sometimes its good to have a sense of cameraderie.
But I like to work solo, too. Theres room for both.
Q: Can you live off of making music alone? Or are you a chartered accountant by day?
Music is my life. I make my living from music. Gigs, releases, and recording and producing, occasionally I have done live sound, but not so much recently. I always need more gigs. I always want more gigs. Promoters - call me, Im up for it! It can be tough, but this is what I am, this is what I do.
Q: You already commented on digital revolution aspect of writing music, but whats your take on social networks, declining sales of CDs / Vinyls in favour of digital downloads?
I see it as generally good. Its great having the ability to put things out there and to talk with and network with people with such ease. There are also downsides. Oversaturation. Devaluation. Goldfish bowl memory. Everything changes, sometimes quick, sometimes almost too quick. I see it as generally good what's happening with digital technology. Some aspects i dont enjoy. I take what I like, and discard the other things. I still prefer to talk with people in real life, its so much more complete. I do miss vinyl records and labels and the industry, but its just nostalgia, those days are gone and we are ever changing, things move on.
Q: How do you feel about the psychedelic goa trance scene changing over the years? Whats better, whats worse?
Im no expert, and I really dont keep that up to date with all the latest and greatest to be honest. I like a few select tracks from the early days and a few things from more recently. There are so many different sub-divisions in the psy genres now. I think the general quality of music has watered down, things are too generic, too similar, theres not too much which really stands out from the crowd. I miss diversity in the music. There are always exceptions of course, like i said before, I quite like some Zenon stuff, i liked some of the Procs album, it was different and weird. Zeitgeist - Tasteless, Pointless, Significant I liked the skill in making it, again its strange for the genre, underground for sure, but I like to sniff out different stuff that pushes the envelope a bit. But in general the genre is all a bit samey. I do miss the epicness of some of the old parties, the vibe too was different somehow in some older parties. Perhaps it has something to do with the world, how weve all changed since then, I dunno. Again, there are always exceptions, good parties still happen, perhaps just not so many of them. Ones view on all this tends to change over time. A good tune is still a good tune and a good time is still a good time.
Q: If you were tasked to write a promotional blurb for your newest album Brainradio, what would it say?
I actually wrote one:
Here it is! The brand spanking new Nervasystem album.
It's good. You should buy it. Twice!
It's not retro. It's not generic or boring. It's psychedelic as fuck. It's music to wobble your jelly and slap you round a bit before blissing you out on a cruise through the zone and across the universe to far shores and trails of stardust.
This is the new music.
Get hip, speed up, run backwards, love each other.
Love and lashings of Frequency
PS....It's even better than that as it's got some of the finest artists ever gathered in one place both from the golden age and into the future.........
It's all there and more...........pushing forward to the further place, in the zone eternal.................waves of energy, pulsing and throbbing forever from the other to your binaural receivers..........
Yin Yang Yes No Stop Go.
Peace. (for everyone)
The original blurb contained a good deal more swearing and bad language and it was thought best to tone it down by the powers that be in order to not cause offence to the elderly and those with sensitive dispositions