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5 posts tagged

Interview

Interview for Shankra Festival

I spoke with Giulia from Shankra Festival organization about my first festival experience, my latest works, features of my tracks, and some aspects of Trance music I dislike.

Give us an overview of your latest works (releases, EP, other projects): is there something you’re particularly excited about?
My release schedule was quite busy lately: I have released a new single on Digital Om Productions a few months back, followed by a very unusual release on Iono Music, and just in a few weeks from now my collaboration with Mechanimal will be out too which I’m really excited about. Also, my radio show hit the 7th year anniversary last month, quite a milestone!

Could you describe to us your first festival experience?
If we are talking about the festivals specifically and not indoor raves, I think my first experience was in 2005 at a festival in Crimean Mountains. It was something totally different to me comparing to the club parties I used to attend to a lot these days, and I still love that almost a surreal feeling that you are in a parallel reality.

Which would be your advice for young people that would like to start your profession?
I would advise to lower down expectations and research the industry. I’ve seen a lot of young producers expecting to make a living on a debut album release, or start touring worldwide as soon as they get signed to a record label. Sorry, but this is not how things work, success won’t happen overnight. Also, it is your job, as an artist, to work with the audience and to grow your fan base, music alone is just not enough.

Lower down your expectations and research the industry

What are the most characteristic features of your tracks?
I’m a huge fan of cosmic exploration, science fiction, and technologies, and I’m trying to implement these features in my production. You won’t hear a yet another speech sample about LSD in my tracks, but rather a robotic vox, space-themed leads, and Trance atmosphere. I also like to build some storyline behind each track, some deeper meaning.

What aspects of the Trance scene you prefer/dislike?
To me, Psytrance is much more than just a music. It’s a culture that unites people despite their age, occupation, skin colour, and faith. I love it.
However, with the growing popularity of the genre, we now hear a lot of ‘copy-paste’ producers who make nothing but cliches, like triplets pattern is being an example. It’s now much harder to filter out that ‘noise’, otherwise you just end up listening to 200 new arrivals on Beatport which sound all the same, sometimes even DJ sets sound the same.
Talking about the scene in general, I like how the production of the events keeps getting better each year, thanks to the festivals like Shankra.

You got a totally free afternoon. What would you do?
I would probably dig some new music or work with my media library to add tags, organise them into playlists etc. I’m kind of a freak when it comes to that!

Organising some music on my way to the airport

Do you have something that you always bring with you during your travels?
As a DJ and producer, I can’t go without the laptop. Whether I have a spare hour on the plane, in the airport, hotel, car, or even at the backstage, I’m always trying to use this opportunity to get some work done: organise music library, listen to demos, reply to emails, write a blog or edit a vlog.

You won’t hear a yet another speech sample about LSD in my tracks, but rather a robotic vox, space-themed leads, and Trance atmosphere

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Shankra Festival?
I have two points of view on that. From the artist’s perspective, I absolutely enjoyed the professionalism of the Shankra team: it was a top-notch organisation which I appreciate and respect a lot. And from the dancefloor perspective, music is certainly what I enjoyed the most because this is my biggest passion and this why I do what I do in the first place.

What do you think about the festival’s location?
Shankra location is breathtaking! I think it contributes to the overall perception of the festival a lot. The music, the deco, the people and nature come together in a mesmerising experience.

The Alps and the landscape are breathtaking

A special message to the Shankra Family!
Thanks for keeping the spirit alive, you’re awesome!

Link to the original post
Text — Giulia Buonarrivo

Apr 27   Interview

Interview with Trance Magazine

TranceMag is a leading Trance music site who shares the latest reviews, interviews, and hosts TranceMag Sessions every Sunday. After making the guest mix, Daniel Lesden has been invited to chat with TranceMag stuff writer Florin about his background, second album, expectations, and opinion on the Psytrance scene.

Hi, Daniel. We’re glad you’re able to take some time to talk to us. Hope you’re doing well.
Hello and thank you for having me here. I hope you’ve enjoyed the guest mix I did for TranceMag Sessions recently.

We most certainly have! Thank you :-) Let’s start off with a little introduction for our readers. When did you get interested in electronic music, PsyTrance in particular?
Formally speaking, my music career began five years ago with the debut release on Ovnimoon Records, but my love and passion for electronic music has started long before that — around the age of 11.

Could you tell us more about your early musical background? How did it all start for you as a producer, and what were some of your influences?
Since childhood, I knew for sure I wanted to connect my life with music, and to encourage my initiative, mom bought me a Yamaha keyboard. The best present I could ever dream about! The same year (1999) I got my first ever PC, and that was a starting point of my experiments with music. In fact, I have written about my first music production experience — an article in two parts with all the behind the scenes details and even samples of my earliest music (spoiler alert: it sounds terrible, you’d better not listen to this).

As for influences, well, you have to realize that a 13-year old kid had very limited access to music at the end of 99—early 00’s. I desperately tried to find any piece of electronic music, so overall my musical taste was very broad: from Prodigy’s Breakbeat and Scooter’s Happy Hardcore, to Nitzhonot of Cyan, Goa Trance of Astral Projection, ‘Classic’ Trance of M.I.K.E. Push, and even some really crazy 180-BPM Trancecore stuff, like Beyonder and Rebellion. But I get used to calling all these diverse genres by one simple word — Rave.

I get used to calling all these diverse genres by one simple word — Rave.

What was the first track you heard that you instantly fell in love with? What about the first record you bought?
Speaking of Psytrance music, Astral Projection’s “Mahadeva”, Yahel’s “Last Man in the Universe” and Man With No Name’s “Floor-Essence” were definitely some of these tracks.

Taking a look at your productions from last year, one is treated to an outstanding line-up. However, Enuma Elish seemed to steal the show, due to it being widely supported by both well-known Trance artists and listeners, catapulting you into the limelight. What’s the story behind the track title and production? Could you share your experience while making it?
I’m glad you like Enuma Elish, and thanks for asking because there was an interesting story, indeed. I received a personal request from John 00 Fleming to make a “138-140 BPM driving monster”, the kind of real Trance he’s been hungry for. And that was perfect timing as I felt the same.

You know, all those modern dancefloor tricks like build-up and drops that we hear in today’s Psytrance music are fine, but sometimes I feel that ‘Psytrance’ misses the ‘Trance’ component. I wanted to make a straightforward track with a hypnotic vibe, a track that awakens emotions, even if it’s considered as old-school today. So, inspired by the old 00.db tracks, as well as by many of my personal all-time favorite Progressive and even Goa Trance tracks, “Enuma Elish” was born.

And just to tease you a little bit, “Enuma Elish” is gonna be remixed by a UK artist.

I wanted to make a straightforward track with a hypnotic vibe, a track that awakens emotions, even if it’s considered as old-school today.

Your work has appeared on some of the world’s best Trance labels (specifically those more underground Trance oriented) like JOOF Recordings, Pharmacy Music and Digital Om Productions. How important, do you think, is their support for a young and talented artist like yourself? How hard is to maintain the consistency and authenticity of your sound?
JOOF Recordings, Pharmacy Music, and Digital Om Productions are some of the best labels in underground music with a huge cult of followers. But what’s most important is the people behind label names: they are truly passionate about what they do, real professionals. Their support means a lot. And it is an honour for me to work and learn from them.

It is nice to have a unique signature sound of course, but when an artist uses the same sounds over, and over and over again with no any development, to me it’s more like laziness rather than “signature sound”. That’s why, from time to time, I go out of the comfort zone to make something totally different, and Surreal, released earlier this year, is a testament to this.

You are one of the most versatile producers nowadays, managing to successfully balance Progressive and Psy, integrating a lot of melodies, and pushing your sound in an exciting direction. What is most important to you when making music? What message do you want to spread with your sound?
I think the most important thing is to stay true to yourself, regardless of trends. It may sound selfish, but first of all, I make music to express myself musically. If you try to please everyone, you won’t please anyone. And I am very grateful to all the people that follow me throughout this journey.

If you try to please everyone, you won’t please anyone.

From what you announced recently, we learned you are working on your 2nd artist album. Could you share some details about it? What inspired the album and what sound dominates throughout?
I am a huge fan of cosmic exploration and science fiction. Pretty much every track I’ve made so far was inspired by one of these themes, and the album I am working on at the moment is no exception. The album is still in the making, but I would say it gets a more full-on-ish type of sound, more aggressive, more “high-tech” if I may call it this way.

Does the album have a name yet? Also, will it be released on JOOF, like your previous one, Chronicles Of The Universe?
It has a couple of working titles, but the final name is yet to be decided. As for the label, I’d keep it in secret for now. Let it be a surprise!

You have mentioned a few collaborations and a remix will be featured on the album. Could you tell us with whom you have worked? What were you looking for when it came to picking the producer (or producers) to collab with?
AudioFire is an amazing producer I have worked with, perhaps you’ve seen my recent announcement about it. The remix was done for some folks from Serbia, producers I admire a lot. I’m afraid, that’s all I can say for now.

When picking a producer to collab with, I look for similarity and otherness at the same time. Both of us have to like each other’s music in the first place, that is for sure, but at the same time, we have to use a slightly different approach. What’s the point, otherwise? Same as in a dispute, I believe the best solutions are born from the collision of different opinions.

I believe that a track has to have some storyline behind it, some plot that would open up the listener’s imagination.

Is there one track on the album that perfectly describes your style and sound you want to present to the listeners?
I think the album production teaser I’ve shared recently sums up the overall album vibe perfectly. If you enjoy that teaser, I guess you should love the whole album, too.

What is the most important thing for you in a track? Do the listeners have to search for a deeper meaning?
I believe that a track has to have some storyline behind it, some plot that would open up the listener’s imagination. Someday, I want to make music while also accompanying it with a short film and written a story, so people can experience my vision as a whole. So yes, listeners certainly can find some deeper meaning in my music.

What are your expectations from the album in general? What message do you want to send?
I had expectations before, and it didn’t end up well. Expectations are no more than guessing of the outcome, and the outcome is something that you cannot control. What you can control, however, is your own actions. So rather than set high expectations for something that may or may not happen, set yourself a habit of doing your work well, do it on a regular basis, and on the best possible level you can. And this is exactly what I’m doing with music now — just doing my best.

Expectations are no more than guessing of the outcome, and the outcome is something that you cannot control. What you can control, however, is your own actions.

What is your opinion on the current Psy-Trance scene and the modern sound that people are attracted to?
We can certainly see a growing interest for Psytrance music these days, some Psytrance acts are now playing at the world’s largest festivals along with commercial Trance and House DJs in the lineup — something that wasn’t possible just several years ago. And I like it, because a growing audience opens up more possibilities to the scene. As you probably know, I grew up in Moscow, and what I remember is that many good party promoters gave up on organising Psytrance parties simply because there were not enough attendees to cover the costs for a venue rent, good equipment, artist fees etc.

I believe that since Psytrance has gone mainstream, more people will demand smaller underground parties as well, which would give a second breath to the clubs, party promoters, and artists. Commercial and underground music are two sides of the same coin, like light and darkness, they exist only because of each other.

What do you think needs to change about the scene? Any producers out there at the moment that you are really enjoying?
I like the fact that entry threshold for electronic music in general becomes easier, and more people can afford making music. More people in the scene means more ideas, more talents yet to be discovered. And this is great.

However, the professional side of music has many more questions than answers available. As a result, we see a lot of low-quality tracks flooding music stores, or up-and-coming artists who have no idea how record labels work. And I’m trying to change it by making knowledge more accessible and widespread. That’s the reason why in August 2015 I launched the “Advice” series, where every Wednesday I answer the questions people send me. Together we make the music scene better, and I’m very grateful for the massive feedback I receive from the music community, fellow DJs, and producers.

As for producers I really enjoying — oh yes, so many good artists around. Just listen to my radio show!

We see a lot of low-quality tracks flooding music stores and up-and-coming artists who have no idea how record labels work. And I’m willing to change it.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years, in terms of your music?
As I said above, I don’t want to fall into the trap of expectations, so hopefully I’ll just continue to follow my journey.

Let’s bring it a little closer to current events. This year marks the 5th anniversary of your monthly show, Rave Podcast, so congratulations! How does it feel to have reached this milestone?
Thanks! Frankly, it was unexpected. I was like, “okay let’s see what we have for the February edition… hold on, is it February 2016 now? I’ve launched the very first episode in February 2011, so this must be the five year anniversary, jeez!”. Time flies! I’m really amazed how many people became regular listeners of Rave Podcast throughout these years, and I really appreciate each and every one.

Staying on the subject of the podcast, what is the concept behind it? Following that, how do you choose your guests?
At first, I started the podcast just to share the music I love, and the basic concept was to show different music genres — hence the name, “Rave Podcast”. But Rave Podcast is more than just a show, reflecting my ever changing musical taste.

By the end of 2011, I had changed the concept to not stick only to Psytrance as the main genre, but also showcase artists from all over the world. At the moment, artists from 27 countries have made their guest mixes for Rave Podcast. Just imagine how big and diverse the Psytrance scene is!

Having a radio show with a loyal following is also a huge responsibility because at some point it affects people’s taste. When choosing a guest, I’m trying to showcase a very broad spectrum of musical beauty: from deep Progressive to uptempo Fullon, from mellow to harder sound, from up-and-coming producers to the world’s largest names. It’s a fine balance, and it looks like we’re doing well so far.

We’re curious, outside of DJing / Producing, what else do you do with your time? Besides the album, what else can we look forward to from you? Any confirmed gigs?
These days, artists have to do much more than just music, so when I’m not making music or DJing, I do everything else: business negotiations, work with the audience, marketing plans, website, blog, social media, dealing with the press, just to name a few. Speaking of personal time, I love running to keep my body healthy and mind clear.

Before the album, you’ll hear a remixes EP of my tracks, including my own 2016 mix for one of my older productions. This one is gonna be really interesting.

As for gigs, I have a lot of requests from both promoters and party people in USA, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, Japan, Brazil and India, just to name a few, but none is confirmed so far. Maybe it’s for the best as I’m trying to use this time wisely to finish the album. Studio work and active travel are two things that can’t be be easily combined.

Is there a track in history you wish you would’ve written, or have been there to witness it being made?
No, I don’t think so :-)

Silly question, but do you have a pet? If not, what would your ideal pet be (you can even go with an imaginary one, if it’s more interesting)?
I don’t have a pet for now. I believe that a pet (whatever it may be) is not just a toy, it’s a living creature that needs attention no less than a person, and spending extra time is something I can’t afford at the moment. But if I had a pet, I think it would be a cat — I just can’t resist their cuteness!

Any last words for our readers and your fans?
I would like to thank all my fans, colleagues and the people I work with for their support and experience. I sincerely appreciate it. And thank you for the nice interview, TranceMag! Can’t wait to see you all on the dancefloors around the globe!

Link to the original post
Text — Florin Bodnărescu

Interview for TranceFamily: album behind the scenes

The interview for GTranceFamily reveals Daniel Lesden’s upcoming album behind the scene details.

Hi Daniel, congratulations on the new album and thanks for taking the time to speak with us today?
Hello guys, and thanks for your kind words! It’s a pleasure to talk with you again.

Can you share with us how the idea of ‘Chronicles Of The Universe’ first came about?
Oh, I’m very fascinated about the Universe, the Cosmos and all that bright dots above our heads! I think understanding the Universe is the most important goal for us as a human beings, because it can answer so many timeless questions like ‘where we come from’ and ‘where we are going’. My previous EPs were also connected to the cosmos in some way, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to make a full length album based on this same theme.

I believe that our Solar System is very unique place, all the planets are so different but at the same time are so harmonic with each other. It is after all our home. I get my biggest inspirations, which really made me want to start working on my album during my evening running near the sea where I live. Every time I saw a sunset it made me wonder how the Sun could be so far (150 millions km away!) but still look beautiful and warm, so I guess the Planets, which we can’t see through the naked eye must look amazing too.

Each of the tracks on the album tell a very different story but all carry a similar theme linking them together. How hard was it achieving this but at the same time creating each with it’s very own sound?
Being honest with you it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I watched a lot of documentary films and read numerous scientific journals to double check facts. You can actually see many parallels between the tracks and the planets they are about.

I think understanding the Universe is the most important goal for us as a human beings

For example, Mercury is a solid rock with huge metallic core and no atmosphere. And despite it being the closest planet to the Sun, the opposite side is very cold and if you look up from the Mercurian surface you’ll see absolutely dark skies. So I tried to create this feeling by not adding any pads or atmospheric sounds. The tech-groove and percussion’s and even some kind of dubstep sounds which you here in the breakdown relate to the metallic core. It has pretty minor melodies with a few evil laugh effects because, well… ‘Mercurian Night’ is a pretty scary place!

Another example is the next track, ‘Ishtar Terra’. Unlike Mercury, Venus has very tight atmosphere, so it has a very low and heavy ambience. It has a very hot temperature, so the track runs ‘hot’ all the way through, almost with no breakdowns.

Or ‘165 Earth Years’, is actually how much time it takes for Neptune to make one orbit around the sun. It is a story about one of the most atmospheric planets in our Solar System so of course I had to put this into the track.

You can also hear how the track tempo’s reduce down from 138 BPM to 130 BPM from first to last track in the album, symbolising the various orbits form the nearest planet from the sun, to the furthest.

During the album production process, I tried not only re-create some scientific facts, but also create a my own fascinating story for each track, which with a bit of imagination, makes you wonder and really travel through the Universe. Did I achieve this, well that’s up to the listener to decide.

Neptune Skies by Greg Martin

We’re interested to understand how long it took you to finish the album from it’s initial conception through to final mastering?
Talking about production, I started working on the album in May 2013 and finished in October 2013, whilst at the same time making few extra tracks. I finished remixes for Lyctum’s ‘Galactic Society’, Ace Ventura’s ‘Presence’ and of course my latest single ‘Space Form’, which is pretty fast I’d say.

Searching for label was something that took a very long time and if I am honest was quite frustrating. You just send a demo out and can only hope you hear back from them. Unfortunately you’re not able to speed things up or to do anything else other than just wait, which can be very painful.

Full cycle from initial idea to release it took nine months, so I’m very happy and it was totally worth it to know the album gets released on the 10th February.

It took me took nine months from the initial album idea to signing it on the label

Your new website that goes with the album provides the listener with an extra dimension with both it’s visuals and write ups. What was you thinking behind this and how much does it go hand in hand with the album?
It seems my brain is the so called ‘visualising’ type and whatever track I listen to, I always have some images in my mind. Depending on the track I am listening to they can be pretty abstract or specific.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people who without their assistance the website would not have become the success I dream’t it would be. Simon Waring for the well written texts, Dragos Zavadschi for technical assistance and to all of the artists and agencies who’s images perfectly illustrate each track: NASA, Max Mitrofanov, Billelis, Joe Vinton, Mirai Art Studio and Greg Martin.

Creating a great album as you have done is one one thing but getting it signed to such a respected label as JOOF Recordings is something else. Tell us how this came about and your excitement when you first found out?
First of all you have to know I am a very big JOOF Recordings fan from a listener’s point of view and have been following this label since 2006 and have over 100 of their releases in my collection.

I have enormous respect for John 00 Fleming and with any doubt I can say he is the person who inspired me the most to start my musical path. I guess now you can understand how happy I was to find out ‘Chronicles Of The Universe’ would be released on of the most respected and my all time favourite label.

Whilst I can’t give away too much at this stage, the album is just the beginning of my relationship with JOOF recordings. I am currently working on further projects and hope to be able to share with you more about this very soon.

We wish you all the success you deserve with your new album and can’t wait until it’s release.
Thanks a lot for the chat and your kind words! I sincerely hope the listeners will find similar sentiments in the album as I did writing it.

Link to the original post
Text — Simon Waring

Interview for United Stated Trance Movement

Daniel Lesden’s interview that has been made for United States Trance Movement.

Hi Daniel, how are you doing? Thanks for taking some time out on your busy schedule. We know you’re swamped in the studio, we can discuss that in a bit.
Hello guys, it’s a pleasure for me to talk too.

For those who may know not you on this side of the pond, tell us briefly on how Daniel came onto the Progressive Psy scene.
I loved trance music since early childhood and tried to write some of my first tracks at the age of 10; but only in 2011 I decided to become a professional artist to spread good music around. I graduated Moscow-based Audio School, and as the result my first track «Contact» was born, lately released as my debut EP on Ovnimoon Records. Followed by that, my second and third EPs were released on Synergetic Records. That’s how my path started.

You grew up in Moscow right? But you live in Israel. Tell us about the move.
Yes, that’s right. You may love Moscow if you are a tourist, but for me huge megapolis with mostly cold weather wasn’t the best place. Now I live right near the Sea with 8 months of summer during a year — the place just makes me happy!

Artist influences? Who do you look up to?
One of the artists who inspire me a lot is John Fleming. Being more than 20 years in his musical career and still doing his best, surprising fans with each new release — that’s what I would like to do too.

Your monthly show Rave Podcast features some great guest mixes along with an hour from yourself, showcasing some of the best of the underground scene. How has that been going?
Looking back in time for almost 3 years (the show was born on February 2011), the first episodes did not have any guests and was mixed terrible (laughing). Rave Podcast is a bit more than just a monthly radio show, it’s a reflection of myself in musical way. You can listen to the show from the first episode and see how my tastes have changed and skills have improved. Each month I try to do my best, so I hope you’ll enjoy Rave Podcast for some more time.

This year we saw some great remixes along with your Mars One EP. What do you have in store next? Anything you can tell us exclusively?
Probably you know about my forthcoming studio album because I announced it public already. But by the secret, you’ll hear another release from me before the album. Its going to be a single — purely a dancefloor track with slightly tech-groove, which is an experiment from me.

What does Daniel do for R&R (Rest & Relaxation)?
I live a healthy lifestyle and love running, especially since I live in Israel and can run along the coast where there are amazing views of sunsets at the Sea. Running for me is something like active meditation — when I’m running I feel the road under my feet, music in my ears, and nothing else in my mind.

You have an upcoming album in store. What can you tell us?
From start to finish, it will be a complete musical journey, where each track is connected with each other and related to the album title. I definitely can say that this album has consolidated all my musical vision and skills in a one place. Can’t wait to let you guys listen it to it!

Your productions have been supported by some major artists in the scene. How does one take in the great feeling?
There is a lot of work behind each track, so of course it’s amazing when your job is appreciated and supported by big name artists. I am also very grateful to my listeners. Weather its a small comment from someone from Brazil, or detailed feedback from guys from Germany, I want to thank every single listener around the globe — your support is the best guys!

Where can we see you play next? Any confirmed events?
I just recently settled in another country, so I didn’t have as many bookings last time. On a positive side it’s gives me a chance to focus on studio production, so that’s how I spent last several months. There was talks about my India tour this Fall, but it was delayed probably till 2014. Hope the album will spread my name across party promoters a bit; and I’ll be able to rock on the dancefloors around the world.

If the world was ending in 24 hours, what would you do?
I’d organize a meeting with my family members who live in several different countries. Spend time with my family and friends — priceless.

Is music production full time for you? If not, what else do you? Your wife probably takes up most of your time right?
I would like to have music production as a full time job, but it’s not just yet. I would like to be able to produce even more music — is one of my ultimate goals. Isn’t everyone dreaming to do what they love to do? :-) So for now I have another full time job, related to web marketing. My wife married a musical freak guy who spends 18 hours per day sitting on a computer, she has great patience. I am very grateful to my wife that she lets me do what I want and supports all my crazy ideas.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be? USA? New York?
The whole world is new for me, so I would play with huge pleasure equally, everywhere. Weather it’s an underground club in the UK, a desert rave in Israel, forest trip in Europe, or a huge area in USA.

Any last words for your fans and our readers at US Trance movement?
Don’t look at a neighbor’s playlist and modern trends, but love music that your heart really cares about, let the music be with you!

Link to the original post
Text — Douglas Marrero

2013   Behind the scenes   Interview

Interview for TranceFamily Community

I gave an interview to TranceFamily Community, one of the leading Trance music page and entertainment website. The interviews covers a lot of my background and personal life.

We know you’re from Moscow but tell us did you grow up in the City or Suburbs and what memories do you have from your time there?
I grew up in Central Moscow and it’s a great city with so much more to do these days than in the past. I will always remember it for being cold and wet most of the time but you get used to the weather.

Was your family musical and did you learn to play any instruments as a kid and at what age?
Some of us are, we have a few artists as well so I guess you could say there is some creativity yes. I got my first Yamaha PSR-330 at the age of 10 and pretty much taught myself to play it, so no formal training really.

How did you spend your time as a kid and what sort of things did you used to like to do?
I’ve always been into games and puzzles as I like the challenge they offer when you’re playing against an opponent or challenging yourself to solve something. I was also into ‘Lego’ in my early years as were most boys at that age I’m sure. I got my first computer when I was 10 and then everything changed for me. At first I was on it pretty much from the moment I got home from school until I went to bed, playing games mostly. Then after a few years I started experimenting with music software such as Modplug Tracker and Re-Birth RB-338 and was instantly hooked.

What about the things you used to get up to with your mates?
We used to do normal things most people at that age would do. I’ve got fond memories of us trying to get into raves and clubs by convincing the bouncers we were old enough and most of the time it worked. A big part of the scene was house parties, a lot of these would have the biggest and loudest sound system you could imagine, so there certainly was buzz about the place. I could go non stop through a weekend, each night at a different event or club. Then get up on the Monday morning bright eyed and ready to go and I never needed to take any drugs to feel good. I guess it’s part of my make up so I’m definitely not going to complain.

Describe to us the style of music you used to listen to growing up and what was it about this that attracted you to it?
When I was quite young I used to like Prodigy, Scooter, Marusha and others on that sort of wave length. It was a good mixture of Techno and Breakbeat, which I liked. Around 1998 I got more into the Hardcore and the subgenres ‘Gabber’ and ‘Happy Hardcore’ as well as Trance and its ‘Progressive’, ‘Goa’ and ‘Dream Dance’ styles. This changed once I started going to raves and events and I was more into the likes of Ferry Corsten when he used the alias System-F as well as Rank 1, Push and so on. Weirdly I also had a passion for the more Techno sound of things from the likes of Mauro Picotto and Yves Deryter. Around 2004–2005 my musical tastes transformed again and I re-discovered the beauty of ‘Goa’ and ‘Psychedelic’ Trance. That was the golden era of full on sound as I used to call it. I loved the melodies and 145-150 BPM, hell yeah!

Can you remember any events you went to and tell us your memories of one of these?
I remember the first ever ‘Gatecrasher’ rave in Moscow in 2004 with Motorcycle, Gabriel & Dresden, Prodigy and Bobina as a few headliners on the bill. It took place at ‘The Gaudi Arena’, which for Moscow ravers is a legendary place. It’s located in an old industrial area of Moscow and the event was just massive. I will probably never forget the feeling of being around so many people who were all there simply for the music.

Is music your biggest passion and if so why?
To me music is no different to the air that I breath, it makes me want to get up every day and I couldn’t imagine a world without it. I took the decision towards the end of 2011 that if I was going to make this work I needed to concentrate 100% of my time on it and the only way to do this was to go professional. With the backing of my family and friends I took the first steps on this path and haven’t looked back since.

What other things are you interested in and do you think these have any bearing on the style of music you produce?
I have a deep love for everything to do with the Universe and its infinite complexity. The fact we know so little about the galaxies and stars that surround us excites me immensely. I find myself drawn to the potential discoveries that we can only dream of. I try to use this outlook in my productions and remixes by pushing the boundaries further and further each time. Technology also excites me and I love how the likes of the Internet has opened up a completely new opportunity for artists like myself. Whether it is collaborating on a track with someone on the other side of the world, or interacting with my fans. It brings like minded people who share a passion together like nothing else we have seen before. Outside of the musical sphere I love cooking, this goes back to the days I used to be a chef. There is no better feeling than sitting down with your closest friends and family and sharing a good time around the table.

Are you driven by the ambition to be successful?
I’m not the sort of person that says to themselves I would love to play this event or collab with such and such a producer. I normally get on with it and try to give my best in everything I do and push myself further each time because I just love what I do. It seems to be working and 2013 has been a great year for me so far with a lot more to come. Hard work and determination are two key attributes you need in this industry and not forgetting the encouragement of those around you to keep you on track. My ultimate goal would be to follow this path for the rest of my life. Who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their days doing something they love!

Outside of music what dreams and desires do you have for yourself?
Traveling is probably one of the biggest I can think of. I love discovering new places, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, this opens your mind and broadens your horizons and can only help on our own journey through life. As for choosing one place to travel to it would have to be Mars (and back!) :) I think this may well be possible at some point during this century and as I have a love for all things to do with the Universe this would have to be my ultimate destination.

So what does family mean to you?
Simple, it’s the most important part of my life! When I first made the decision to go professional I was expecting them to convince me it was the wrong thing to do and to get a normal job. It was in fact the opposite, they supported my decision and backed me 100% so I have a lot to thank them for, especially my wife. Without the support of your family around you life is so much harder, so I am blessed to have such a great family.

The tools of any artist or craftsman are important so tell us about your setup?
I run a quad-core i5 iMac with a 27-inch screen pretty much maxed out as well as an i7 Macbook Pro running Ableton Live and just love it! A Novation 25 SL MKII keyboard/controller and a Allen & Heath XONE K2 controller. It pretty much does what I need it to but I’m looking to invest in some better monitors to round it off. As far as plugins are concerned I love Sylenth1. I find it so easy to use and it sounds solid at the same time,as well as a NI Massive for its sheer flexibility no matter what I need it to do.

How much time do you get to spend in the studio?
Not as much as I would want to if I am honest! It can range anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on my current schedule. I tend to get into a state of mind when I’m in the studio and focus on what I’m doing, so you could say I work alone pretty much. It’s simply about getting the balance right.

What currently inspires you?
If I had to choose one artist that inspires me the most it would have to be John 00 Fleming. He is a legend and has been doing his stuff for the last 20 years and still manages to surprise everyone with another masterpiece time and again. He’s remained true to his routes with his underground style and at the same time achieved commercial success around the world. I respect him not only as a producer but as a person.

Tell us how you go about working on a new original or remix?
The idea comes from something I see or hear and then I build a storyline behind it. I find by visualising an image or a short scene in a movie I can start to build the emotion for the various parts but not necessarily in the right order. Once you have the basic building blocks then it is about making sure the script takes the listener all the way through to the end with just the music.

Your tracks are played on the likes of Open Up and many others. How does it feel to know your hard work has paid off?
It means the world! The support from various DJ’s and radio shows gives me the further drive to continue on this path. I have a long way to go but if I continue to do what I love then the hard work will be worth it.

I know you won’t tell us but still I have to ask. Are you working on any collaborations at the moment with anyone we might know?
I’ve been asked to do quite a few collaborations recently and whilst I would love to pick these up I have been concentrating my time on finishing my new studio album. I just finished the sixth track and it should hit before the end of the year. Once I’ve got this nailed I’ll be looking at doing some great collab’s and have some things already lined up for early 2014.

Life is about more than the music but it plays a big part in a lot of peoples lives so rather than ask a question we thought we’d leave it to you to close things off.
Words are sometimes not enough to convey my thanks to those that have supported me and given me the strength to move forward and chase my dream. These guys know who they are and I am eternally grateful for your support and backing. Just as important are you guy the listeners and your appreciation for my music. The reaction you get from people who buy or share your tracks is the ultimate recognition any artist dreams of so thank you!

Link to the original post
Text — Simon Waring

2013   Behind the scenes   Interview