DJ Psy Mantis Vortex Phoenix Festival

#WinterVortex: Exclusive interview with Psy Mantis

Psy Mantis is the progressive DJ project of Craig Horn. With over 11 years of experience in the local psytrance scene, Psy Mantis is known for delivering the chunkiest beats to his loyal listeners. His musical style can be described as dirty progressive with an emphasis on banging bass lines and cheeky vocals. This year, he’s set to make an appearance at Vortex Trance AdventuresPHOENIX FESTIVAL on the 24th of June 2016. We caught up with him ahead of the big event.

DJ Psy Mantis Vortex Phoenix Festival

PSYKED:
Hi Craig! First off, let me congratulate you on becoming the label head for Natural Beat Makerz Records in South Africa. What inspired you to make the move from PSR Records?

PSY MANTIS:
PSR Music was a great label. It was where I found my sound: fat, dirty and chunky. But life is change. I started finding what I liked on other labels as well. When some of the PSR Music producers moved over to NBM Records, I took a real look at the label and saw it was run like a family with full support of all artist and DJs. So, it was just the next logical step.

PSYKED:
Who are your biggest influences or role-models in the industry right now?

PSY MANTIS:
There are quite a few. I love music so I’m always looking for new and different sounding tunes. Definitely the NBM records producers Elfo, Gonzi, Meis, Saivor and Groove Inspektorz to name a few but I’m also really digging the sounds coming from Mexico from artists like Satori and Dream Vibes.

DJ Psy Mantis Vortex Phoenix Festival

PSYKED:
When did you first discover psytrance, and what made you want to become a DJ?

PSY MANTIS:
When I first began DJing, I played house music and speed garage in the late 90s.Then I met Royston and Moog from Mushroom Mafia. Royston always told me my music was kak *laughs.* So he threw me in the deep-end at a party, and after my first psy set, the psy bug bit me hard!

PSYKED:
Describe the best and worst aspects of your job.

PSY MANTIS:
The best is when you’re standing on the stage and you have worked hard on what you going to play – especially when you’ve got fresh, unrealised tracks – and the crowd is just eating it up. It’s the best feeling in the world. The worst? I love what I do too much for there to be a worst.

DJ Psy Mantis Vortex Phoenix Festival

PSYKED:
If you had to name three of your all-time favourite psy tracks, what would they be?

PSY MANTIS:
That’s a hard question. There are so many. But at the moment what I love playing, and what rocks a dance-floor, is the classic “Human Disgusting” from Gonzi and Saivor; also “Facken Beautiful” from Satori (not yet released) and “Shrouded” from Querox.

PSYKED:
Are you working on any releases at the moment/ What are you working on right now?

PSY MANTIS:
Andre Muller (Militant / Singularity) and I have just started a side project called Neutron Flux. So we are working on some nice fat, chunky stuff. We played around with a track called “Mario’s Obsession” that works well on a dance-floor but we are heading into a different sound with more intelligent bass-lines.

DJ Psy Mantis Vortex Phoenix Festival

PSYKED:
So, considering you’ll be returning to the Circle of Dreams very shortly, could you share with us one of your most memorable Vortex moments from the past?

PSY MANTIS:
Wow there are so many memories. I think the thing that I look forward to the most is that Vortex is like a big family which comes together. Mostly everyone knows each other and there is this amazing sense of all being one big psy tribe, and rocking the shit out the dance-floor!

Psy Mantis DJ psytrance

PSYKED:
Before we wrap things up, do you have anything else you want to share with our followers?

PSY MANTIS:
I really want to say thank you, as cheesy as it sounds.Without your support, we the DJs and producers are really nothing. See you at Vortex!

Trance party South Africa

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