Exclusive interview with Berg: it’s all about the vibe

Shlomi Berg started playing with synthesizers at the age of fifteen. Now he’s signed with Blue Tunes and Spin Twist Records and is one of the world’s greatest psy-prog DJs, performing at top trance festivals all over the globe. He’s remixed and collaborated with the likes of Neelix, Coming Soon, Capital Monkey and Symphonix. Berg’s unique style is punctuated by his signature bass-lines, grooving melodies and trippy high-tech sounds.

*These questions were compiled by Batia Efrat.

 berg_psytrance_dj_psyked

PSYKED:
Hi Berg! It’s so great to chat to you at last. Tell me a little bit more about your musical style and how it’s developed since your first EP?

BERG:
Hi Batia! Thanks for the interview. When I started my project four years ago, I tried to bring something else to the scene. Something no body had done yet. I began making my own style of bass and after I discovered it, I just kept going with it. My first EP compared to today has a lower BPM and less instruments. Nowadays I’m working with 138 BMP and adding more instruments such as more leads and melodies.

PSYKED:
Has music always had a place in your life?

BERG:
Of course! I remember going to school and on the way recording myself singing some ideas for new tracks. *smiles* I always knew that’s what I’m going to do in my life.

BERG_psyked_progressive psytrance

PSYKED:
Your trademark sound is catchy but distinctive; how do you avoid sounding like all the other progressive DJs out there?

BERG:
It’s not that easy to be unique in the industry; it’s hard actually. But I am trying as much as I can to maintain my own style. In the end, it’s always good to listen to others artists and to get some inspiration and bring into one’s own style too.

PSYKED:
What do you listen to when you’re not mixing?

BERG:
Recently I have been listening to Vini Vici; they’re really talented and open minded. If you haven’t heard their album yet now is the time!

BERG_psyked 1

PSYKED:
You’ve performed at festivals all over the globe; what kind of location do you prefer – the beach, forest, mountains, city and so forth?

BERG:
I think the best locations are open air parties (mountain, forest etc) because most of the open air parties are massive and also, the sound is much better outside. Sometimes clubs can be better than open air parties – really, it’s all about the vibe. If the vibe is good then the party is good. But in terms of location, I prefer open air parties.

berg_DJ_psyked in the city_interview

PSYKED:
Is being a DJ really as a glamorous as everyone thinks? What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects for you personally?

BERG:
It seems like it’s a sweet life to be a DJ – and it is. (Kidding). It’s not that easy to fly very weekend, living from one jet lag to the next. I work 24 hours a day and I am always online on my phone. But in the end, I like my job. It’s always been my dream to live the DJ life.

PSYKED:
Have you ever experienced an epic fail on stage – if so, what was it?

BERG:
Yeah, two years ago I played at an open air party in Brazil. Ten minutes before I finished my set, the volume turned down so that you could barely hear the music. I thought it was my fault but then I realised it was from the main mixer. I turned off the music and walked away from the stage. Everyone sat down on the grass. It took them about ten minutes to finish the mixer and when it was fixed, I finished my set.

BERG_DJ_psyked in the city

PSYKED:
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?

BERG:
Lately I have been collaborating with someone I have always wanted to work with. I still can’t say who it is but I can say that he is from another scene. By the way, we have already started a track and it sounds sick! I can’t wait to release it. :)

PSYKED:
Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you’d like to share with our followers?

BERG:
I have played in roughly fifteen countries in my life and I must say that South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, is one of my favourite places! The place, the people, the vibes are incredible! You guys know how to jol. Love you and thank you for supporting! I’ll see you at Sunflower Festival.  AWE _/|\_

BERG_psyked in the city

Exclusive interview with Querox: it comes from the heart

Toby Liyah, better known as Querox, set forth on his musical journey in 2008. Since then, the Berlin born muso has sky-rocketed in the world of progressive trance with countless hits behind his name, including The Girls Stuff, Berlin Soundtrack, Keep Walking, Because Of You and The Last Kiss. Having performed at some of the most iconic festivals across the globe, he’s due to make his first ever appearance in South Africa at Sunflower Festival. Enjoy our exclusive interview with the man himself.

Querox_HALFMOON FESTIVAL_thailand_psytrance

PSYKED:
Hi Toby! Let’s start at the beginning: what genres lead you to become a progressive trance producer and DJ? Is it true that you come from a Punk background?

QUEROX:
Hey. First of all, it’s so nice to be here with you :) Well *laughs* yes, this is true. You know those crazy times – the guitar on your back, dyed hair and very big shoes, eager to go to all the crazy Punk Rock Concerts in your country. I was the singer/songwriter and guitarist of my band called Vis; we played 100 % garage punk rock. I also had another band called Prypjat that was hardcore D-Beat. It was great.

One night, all of the sudden, I went to the wrong party, and they played this insane electronic music that they called psytrance. At that point I totally fell in love with it. Step by step, I got my own equipment together to start making my first mix. I kept mixing and training really hard for a quite few years, annoying all my neighbours, before I started to perform. The musical background that I had from before really helps me nowadays in production.

Continue reading Exclusive interview with Querox: it comes from the heart

Win tickets for Valley of Psy – The Muses

Located far away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town city bowl, Valley of Psy brings something new to the psytrance calendar. With monthly and bi-monthly events hosted at the Bush Pub, the organisation has earned its reputation as the go-to indoor/outdoor party within the Southern Peninsula. Frequent acts include local legends Myzo, Hiyarant, Zion Linguist, Eqlipse, JustOne, Disco Volante, Psyqlopz and Rubix Qube to name a few –  accompanied by banging sound, a super relaxed atmosphere and affordable drinks to quench your thirst.

the muses_valley of psy_cape town_trance party_psyked

Standa chance to win tickets for Valley of Psy – The Muses featuring Myzo, Tune Raider, Sway, Mystrix and Eqlipse. To enter: Comment on this photo and tag your stomping buddy. Remember to use the #psyked hashtag.

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Win double tickets for Elevate The Mind by ETM

Enternal Trip Media is celebrating seven years of mind travel with MARK, KILLAWATT, XUENO, PSYOPSFRACTALCRUZADO MOTION and RAPID STATE. Join us at the new Mercury Live on the 22nd of August 2015 for a party like no other ♬♪♩♥

ETM_psked in the city_competition_trance party

Want to win tickets? We’re giving away a set of double tickets to the event. Stand a chance to win by commenting on this photo and tagging your stomping buddy. Remember to use the #psyked hashtag.

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#Psyked: Sunflower Festival 2015 ft. Skazi, Upgrade, Querox, Berg and friends

Start outdoor festival season with a BANG this spring at Sunflower Festival 2015. Just as the sunflower awakens each dawn to follow the sun across our sky, now is the time for our hearts to come alive and look towards the summer. Since the dawn of time, people of the earth have celebrated the return of spring through music, dance and love. We invite you, once more, to be part of the transition from winter towards the warmth at this year’s anticipated event. Expect only the most acclaimed local and international DJs and live acts, performance artists, body painted characters, fire dancers, LED hoopers, graphic poi artists and so much more.

Sunflower festival 2015_psyked in the city_cape town

The line-up:

INTERNATIONALS

Skazi (Israel)
Berg (Israel)
Upgrade (Israel)
Querox (Germany)
Continue reading #Psyked: Sunflower Festival 2015 ft. Skazi, Upgrade, Querox, Berg and friends

Review: Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire 2015

“It’s winter,” they said. “It’ll be cold,” they said. “We’ll wait for summer,” they said. But they were wrong. If you were at the Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire, you’ll know I mean it when I say that it’s a gathering unlike any other. So intimate and entrancing that it’s almost impossible to forget. That’s why on Saturday the 27th of June, I was on route to Riversonderend once again, ready to kick up the dust and brush off those winter blues.

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I arrived as the sun was setting; waves of tranquillity passed through me upon entering the sacred space – the Circle of Dreams, my favourite venue of all time. I watched as the scene shifted from day to night. The lights slowly set aglow. I thought about the Shaman’s ceremony which had happened the night before and regretted missing it. Unfortunately, the nine to five can’t always be avoided. But none of that mattered right then.

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Sad Paradise had just closed shop and Headroom’s captivating beats imploded through the forest. There’s no doubt that Vortex had stepped up its game since last year, providing ample heaters and fires to keep us warm and snug. Not to mention the stupendous décor. By the time DJ Mark took the reins, it was all systems go. Continue reading Review: Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire 2015

Exclusive interview with DJ Mark: I knew when I started that I would never give up

Mark Cullinan AKA DJ Mark is easily one of Cape Town’s most known and loved DJs. Praised for his full-on psychedelic style and an ability to blend older and more contemporary sounds, Mark continues to draw a massive crowd no matter wherever he performs.

Interview Psyked in the City

*These questions were compiled by Brandon Menzies.

Psyked:
Hi Mark. First things first; what inspired you to embark on the path to becoming a psytrance DJ? And how did you first become exposed to the festival scene?

Mark:
I’ve always been interested in electronic music; I used to listen to some house when I was still in school. One day I found myself standing on the floor at a mammoth psytrance festival; it was the millennium. I was in awe! I turned to two of my mates and said, “I want to play at these jols,” and I pointed towards the DJ. Two months later, I had a mixer and two discmans, and that’s where it all began.

 

Continue reading Exclusive interview with DJ Mark: I knew when I started that I would never give up

The spirit of South African psy.

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