Vortex Open Source Silo daytime trance

Exclusive interview with SiLO: I fell in love attending my first outdoor party

Karl Douglas, better known as SiLO, fell in love with psytrance at the early age of sixteen. Although he never envisioned becoming a DJ, he has always been musically inclined. While his friends were enjoying the playground, SiLO was playing the piano; and at the age of fourteen, he decided to add guitar to his list of musical talents. But it wasn’t until he attended a Mushroom Mafia party that he first considered producing and playing psytrance. SiLO’s earliest influences include Cosma, BLT, Protoculture and some of the old Nano Records material. His melodic and driving beats tell entrancing stories that captivate the listener. Catch him at Altered States – LUNAR for a two-hour set on Sunday, the 12th of March, from 13:00 to 15:00.

 SiLO psytrance South Africa

PSYKED:
Hi Karl! First off, tell us what it is about psytrance music that appeals to you personally? What got you hooked into this genre, initially?

SILO:
I would say [it’s] originality of the psytrance dance-floor to any genre of music. The underground Scarborough, Chapman’s Peak parties in the early 2000s were the first trance parties I attended while growing up in Hout Bay, and I was immediately hooked. I loved how the music spread across the landscapes, echoing freely – there’s something about the way psytrance travels outside – and the whole concept of camping out for the weekend with your friends; making new mates and connections; having new experiences with no judgement, and just good’ol rad vibes. Psytrance is like no other genre; there is a culture behind it than runs deeper than anything I have experienced in music. I fell in love attending my first outdoor party.

PSYKED:
Can you describe the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a DJ?

SILO:
I would say the challenges of being a DJ would be playing for smaller dance-floors as there is more expectation than you realised. It’s a great challenge though and can be an amazing experience too. It’s also challneging playing on really crappy sound systems – that’s a buzz kill for me. There’s nothing worse than a promoter who doesn’t jack up their equipment.

The reward is having people in front of you go bonkers while you are playing and the enormous reaction of the dance-floor as a whole – it’s one of the best feelings you can experience. A good comparison would be a surfer getting a tube 🙂

Vortex Open Source Silo daytime trance

PSYKED:
How was your musical style developed over the last couple of years, and who or what are some of your current influences?

Well, I would say my style hasn’t changed much over the years in terms of music production except for the production techniques which have helped the music sound clearer and more dynamic.When it comes to DJing, I general play the same sub genres of psy – psychedelic progressive trance and faster-tempo daytime full-on psytrance.

I would say my past influences would have come from artists like Protoculture, Hydrophonic, Cosma, Astrix, Rinkadink, BT, Wizzy Noise, Alien Project, Fatali and many, many other releases between 2002 and 2005. Currently, I’m really enjoying Nano Records, IONO Music, Digital Om and TechSafari, to name just a few – there’s great music coming out from these labels.

PSYKED:
You’ve played at most of the large-scale outdoor trance parties in South Africa including Vortex, Earthdance, Sprung, Origin and Jungala. What would you say has been your most enjoyable performance so far, and why?

SILO:
I can’t name one party in particular but I always love playing at Origin FestivalEarthdance, Vortex Open Source, Organik and Altered States, of course. The most recent gig I enjoyed playing was Origin Festival 2016. I played Saturday evening before Altruism and my set was extended for an additional 40 minutes so I played for just over two hours. That was my favourite gig this season thus far; lots of my old buddies from the early days were there jamming hard. It was a great feeling.

Origin Festival trance party

PSYKED:
Name one event that is still on your bucket list.

SILO:
To attend, it would have to be Boom Festival, Ozora and Universo Paralello.

PSYKED:
Before we wrap things up, tell us what’s next on the agenda for SiLO? Are there any new releases on the way or something special that you are working on right now?

SILO:
I just finished up a track with Jason (Brother Bear), a member of Earthtone and Altered States Sound Journey. It will be released sometime within the next month through a local label. I am also working on my first solo EP which will be stuff I’m writing a little faster than usual; this will also be released on a local label sometime this year. I am very excited about this – I’m taking a different journey into my sound.

Organik trance party Silo

PSYKED:
Thanks for the chat! We look forward to hearing your new releases. See you at Altered States.

Purchase tickets for Altered States online from Quicket before the 10th of March. Thereafter, tickets will only be available at the gate. For more information, visit the event page.

Altered states lunar psyked
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