Exclusive interview with Iliuchina aka Reality Test

At only 25 years of age, Iliuchina (aka Veronica Iliuhin Loren) is already one of the most prominent names in the world of psytrance. The talented Berlin-born DJ is signed by a number of international labels including PsynOpticz, Spectral Records and Magnetika, and has shared the stage with world-renowned acts such as GMS, Electrypnose and Astrix. Iliuchina is loved for her dark psychedelic style and driving basslines which have captivated audiences around the globe, from Germany to Portugal, all the way to Mexico and Australia. This year Iliuchina will return to Cape Town to perform at Jungala Festival 2015.

iliuchina

*These questions were compiled by Batia Efrat on behalf of Psyked in the City.

Psyked:
Hi Nica! It’s so great to finally chat to you. This year will mark your third annual performance at Jungala; you clearly have a huge South African fan-base. Tell me a bit about where you affiliation with PsynOpticz first began.

Iliuchina:
PsynOpticz were there with me from the very beginning. They contacted me in 2012 – maybe even before – and invited me to come and perform at Zone Festival 2012. I guess my EP release back then with Spectral Records helped me get a lot of good exposure. It was only my second EP – The thriller. So, Zone Festival was my second live show and international gig ever. I love working with PsynOpticz for many different reasons, but the main one is that, ‘til today, they give stage to new artists. And trust me, it’s not happening a lot in our scene. PsynOpticz helps grow these artists, and I can say for myself that without them, I would not be at the same place as I am today.

Psyked:
You’ve made mention of having a special appreciation for the “gees” of our local psy scene; how do South African parties differ from those abroad?

Iliuchina:
Oh, *smiles* I can talk about South Africa for hours. Let’s start from the fact that I wear a necklace with Africa on it 24/7. The scene in SA is special. The crowd doesn’t come to the parties to get hammered, they are coming to listen to their favourite tracks from their favourite artists. Sometimes I feel like I can play the same track twice and no one will notice, because they are inside a trance, but in SA I have to pay attention to every little detail in the music I play because the crowd is actually listening. I always say that I feel like I’m making my music for South Africa and, along the way, other countries like it too.

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Psyked:
Your new side project Reality Test is noticeably different to your “signature” Iliuchina style. What inspired you to take a progressive approach and is it ever difficult straying out of the comfort zone, so to speak?

Iliuchina:
My progressive journey started not so long ago; it began on the last day of Jungala Festival 2014 while I was dancing to Vertigo, which was the last set of the party, and I fell in love with this style instantly. Slowly, I started to feel that I was changing the Iliuchina style and I actually became depressed by that; I want to evolve but not to change. So I decided to start a new project to release the other side of me without mixing it with my first project. I am in my comfort zone, I work on both projects at the same time, depending on my mood.

Psyked:
Having grown up listening to the likes of Deliriant, Shift and Rabdom L, do you think that you’ll always have a special place in your heart for darker twilight and full-on sounds?

Iliuchina:
Of course. If you hacked my PC, the only psytrance you would find there would be South African psy from 2005 to 2010, as well as some Major7 tracks. I never listen to psytrance at home these days because it becomes too much for me. After working on a track for 15 hours a day, I need something else, some other inspiration. But I will NEVER say no to some Twisted System or an Artifakt track 😉

Psyked:
Your debut album has been in the works for quite some time, do you have a release date as of yet? What can listeners expect from this album?

Iliuchina:
My album is a big thing for me, I’ve been working on it since 2013, but I haven’t felt like “this is it,” you know? I have been producing music for 8 years now, and I can honestly say only 4 tracks are 100% complete in my eyes, and I’ve released more then 30 tracks from then until now.

The tracks are: Queen of nature, LSD block, Perfect Drug – that I made with Orca and will be released soon through MMD and Replicant records – and my new unreleased track with Menog that will be released on his new EP with Spectral records.

Now imagine how hard it is for me to produce a full album that I will be satisfied with. I don’t want it to be just an album; I want it to be the album! I can promise that it will be released this year, it’s half way there, but it will be released through Spectral records.

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Psyked:
There’s no doubt that your job requires patience, perseverance and passion; what’s the average working day like in the life of Iliuchina?

Iliuchina:
Yes it does. But I love it so much I can’t imagine myself not doing it. I usually wake up early, make myself a big cup of coffee and go straight to the studio. The best inspiration comes for me in the morning when my head is clear of daily things. Even one Facebook conversation can distract me from working the whole day, so I usually turn my phone off, and try not to reply to anyone anywhere. It sounds a bit weird but sometimes, in the middle of the day, I will go sleep again for 20 minutes, to have again my “morning” inspiration. On a free day, I will work between 12-15 hours. There is always something to do, if not a track so create new sounds, or study a new synthesizer.

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Psyked:
As a female DJ in the scene, did you ever have the sense that you had “more to prove” somehow? Or have we as a generation moved past underlying sexism/stigma in the industry?

Iliuchina:
Yeah, even today there are some labels and producers who ask me the question, “do you produce your own music?” I take it as a big compliment. I don’t feel like I need to prove more because I know what I’m doing, and if someone doesn’t like it or doesn’t think I did it on my own, it’s his personal issue.

Psyked:
Do you have any advice for up and coming psytrance artists who are looking to break into the scene?

Iliuchina:
Something that I learned last year is to evolve with the music. Eventually, we want to be in a position where we can live off music, so the secret is to evolve, not to do the same thing over and over again.

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

Iliuchina: I think we covered everything 🙂 Hope to see you all on the dance-floor at Jungala 2015!


Win tickets for the event here.

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3 thoughts on “Exclusive interview with Iliuchina aka Reality Test”

  1. Its rare for me to say this … but nica has not released a single track that i do not like …ever single sound is engineered to perfection .. just love it … and it was an amazing pleasure to have her come and play a uk exclusive set for AudioAddictz & Tynepsyde Live

    Peace Love & Light x

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