Exclusive interview with Bruce: be true, be you, have fun

Bruce Abrahamse is Solar AxisSpliff Politix, Synchronist or quite simply, DJ Bruce. Signed by Nexus Media, Bruce can be described as a true veteran of psychedelic trance. A respected DJ and an altruistic role–model to many, Bruce has nearly two decades worth of experience behind his name. His humble approach and experimental style is what sets him apart from the rest.

Growing up, Bruce listened to rock, metal, grunge and industrial genres. His early influences include 90s style Logos tracks, Patrick and Ben third eye and Steve Deli Virus – these were the DJs who originally exposed him to trance though there was not much speak of it at the time. “They managed to create their own unique style,” says Bruce.

“In the early 90s I was into Hallucinogen, Sandman, Total Eclipse, Astral Projection, Deedrah, X-dream, Delta, Etnica and Tsyuoshi.” Though he still listens to them all, Bruce says that there have been too many new artists since then to mention.

We chat to Bruce in an exclusive interview ahead of his performance at Vortex Open Source 2015.

bruce solar axis nexus media dj vortex

*Questions by Brandon Menzies for Vortex Trance Adventures. Edited and compiled by Batia Efrat for PSYKED.

Hi Bruce. Tell us a bit about your musical background; what made you decide to start making psytrance?

I have always loved playing around with instruments and recording and used to jam along to early goa with my little casio keyboard. I had been into guitar from an early age – I thought I was going to be a guitarist – and even used to DJ at friends parties in primary school. So I guess it was just a natural progression to eventually try my hand at this new music I was getting into at the time… goa psytrance!

Can you describe your most memorable gig?

Nope, I can’t remember a single one of them. Kidding! Although they do tend to melt into one party in my memory. The truth is, every event is unique and holds a special place in my heart but for very different reasons.

Do you have any rituals you use to ease into your sets? How do you typically prepare for a performance?

I don’t really have any rituals as such. Normally I try hit the floor for an hour before my set to get into the groove and warm up a bit. Then I might take five minutes for myself backstage to just centre myself and voice my intention for my set, to clarify my mind. Usually it’s a couple of sentences asking the universe to be present and for its creative energy to move through me. I don’t normally have any fears or anxiety before a set. I was lucky to have had a dad in a band when I was really young, so I spent a lot of time around stages as a kid and it was a homely place for me. It is still where I feel the most at home.

jungala trance party bruce dj psytrance festival south africa

What advice can you offer the up-and-coming DJs and producers out there?

Do it for the love, not the attention. Do it for your enjoyment, not for adoration. You must get joy out of it even if you are alone in your room, just you and the music. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and try new things, there are no rules, except: be true, be you, have fun!

psyked bruce vortex psytrance trance party

Which issues do you feel are currently challenging our local psy community?

Parties are now part of the cultural landscape in this city which is good in many ways as everyone deserves to have a chance to experience how trance culture can have a positive influence on the way they view life and live it. However, with the majority of people who are coming from a broken society, they bring the ills of society with them; theft, litter, aggression and so forth. It can take time for these people to learn and it requires much patience from our side. But certain behaviour is not tolerated, and we need to pull together as a community and become aware of our surroundings and friends at parties. Encourage each other to drink water and eat or rest properly when needed; walk our female friends to their tents and bathroom and never go alone at night. If you see something suspicious, REPORT it to a crew member or security. We can all make a difference for the betterment of our family.

Do you have any words of wisdom for the younger generation entering the scene?

There is spirit in everything and everyone. Learn to see it and appreciate everyone’s uniqueness. It’s not a race; the idea is to help one another along to move forward as one. Find ways of turning your party experiences into daily habits, like spending time in nature, creating strong friendships, smiling at strangers and dancing to the song in your heart.

dj bruce solar axis jungala psyked

Do you have any wishes for Vortex on the occasion of its 21st birthday?

It is crazy how fast time has flown; times have changed but Vortex has been there from the start and remain not only here, but on the front line, paving the way forward.

Which artists do you look forward to seeing in the Circle of Dreams this year?

Have you seen the line-up? Who wouldn’t I want to see on it? I’m gonna need some time to plan my party and find space to sleep and recuperate between all those awesome acts!

dj bruce organic psytrance
Do you think Vortex is ready to take on the rest of the world?

Not only ready, but capable of showing them a thing or two too!

vortex experience the magic open source psytrance 2015

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