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.
*These questions were compiled by Brandon Menzies.
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?
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.
Bruce Abrahamse is signed to Nexus Media. Although he goes by many names, including Solar Axis, Spliff Politix and Synchronist, he is more commonly referred to simply as Bruce. The respected DJ is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s psytrance greats with almost two decades of experience behind him. Known and loved for his humble approach to life, Bruce can be described as somewhat of a guru in the local psy scene, inspiring beats as well as brainwaves. Catch him later this month at Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire.
Hi Bruce! It’s a an honour to chat to you today. Tell me, what originally influenced you to become a psytrance DJ and producer?
Bruce: Playing and making music has always been my favourite form of expression. My dad played guitar in bands professionally for twenty odd years and had an incredible vinyl collection that I immersed myself in as a kid. It gave me a deep love for a very diverse range of musical styles; as far back as primary school, I was frequently asked to DJ for friends parties. I think I was twelve or thirteen when I played my first ‘set’ on two tape decks and a guitar amp busting out Snap, Metallica and The Time Warp in the same hour *laughs.* As a teenager, I used to play guitar in little garage bands and then, once I got bitten by the goa bug, I guess it was just the next natural step to try mix and make this music myself. Continue reading Exclusive interview with DJ Bruce: With imagination and intention, we can create magic→
The first time I met Jonathan West was in March at Altered States. It was the grand premier of the Psychedelic Dream Temple. I’d never seen anything like it; a mobile art gallery showcasing the works of fifteen visionary artists including Aumega, Jacqui Van Staden, Liquid Faeries,Flowmotion, Sean Ravenhill, Rossi Toltech, Franny Erasmus, Brad Briscoe, Jake Grayham, Hakim Hasan, Raphael Araujo and Pixel Pusher.
After chatting to Jonathan for a short while, I began to understand that The Temple however was not just an art gallery but rather a platform to inspire and expose concealed creativity from the core.
The party doesn’t have to stop just because outdoor season is over. Spectrum & Reboot will be bringing the heat this winter with a once-off winter event starring your favourite locals PLUS an international guest who you won’t want to miss. Venue to be announced shortly. GUESS the mystery international artist and you could win a set of double tickets.More details below.
In light of the Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire which is just around the corner, we chatted to a handful of S.A’s homegrown psytrance pros including K-Jos (aka Jos Veldhuizen). Here’s what went down in our exclusive interview.
*These questions were compiled by Brandon Menzies.
What influenced you into becoming a psytrance DJ?
When I was in high school I used to be into goth and death metal. I despised just about all electronic music back then. Some of my friends started listening to drum & bass and house, no matter how much I tried to discourage them from doing so. Eventually I decided to join them to a party just so that I can criticize them afterwards. It turned out to be very different to what I expected and I had a lot of fun; and so the clubbing began. After a few years of clubbing I wanted to get more involved and in 1997 I bought a pair of turntables from money that I initially saved for a car.
After getting the turntables I bought a collection of drum & bass vinyls from a friend and started collecting House on the side, until one of my friends made a suggestion of becoming a psytrance DJ. That must have stuck because shortly thereafter I started collecting psytrance on the side. In a short period of time the “side collection” of psytrance took over and I decided to put the House aside. I fell in love with music, the people and the parties; my love of psy hasn’t stopped growing since then.
The outdoor party season in South Africa has come to a halt but that won’t stop us from celebrating one last festival in true psychedelic style. This winter, Vortex Trance Adventures invites you to embark on a journey back to the beloved Circle of Dreams in Riversonderend for the Phoenix Festival of Fire 2015 – a tribal gathering like no other, complete with a waterproof tented dance-floor, free hot showers, serviced flush toilets, massive bonfires and forest camping.
It was Saturday morning, the 25th of April; we were on the road to Buffalo Drift at last – the home of Jungala Festival 2015. My excitement mounted as finally we passed through the gates. The sounds of Rob GonZo’s techno beats emanated in the background and we decided to scout the dance-floor. It was twelve o ‘clock, already the venue was bustling.
I strolled through a quasi-market filled with colourful stalls selling dream-catchers, crystals and clothing, and past the Prema Shanti Healing Sanctuary. The Psychedelic Dream Temple lay ahead with its collection of visionary artworks – as curated by Jonathan West. Then I saw it: the dance-floor. What a sight to behold!
The castle-like structure towered before me and we moved into the oasis. Unfortunately Broken Switch was unable to perform due to unforeseen circumstances so we were treated to some extra Rob GonZo magic before Nick Grater got behind the decks.