Tag Archives: 2015

And the beat goes on: Celebrating 21 years of Vortex with Grant Dreyer

The legendary Vortex celebrates 21 years of pure psychedelic bliss this year at the iconic Circle of Dreams. With more than two decades in the running, the Vortex name has become synonymous with psytrance not only locally but on a global spectrum. In this exclusive interview, we chat to the one and only Grant Dreyer – the man behind the magic.

Vortex Eclipse oldschool psytrance
Eclipse 2002

Throughout his evolutionary journey, Grant has continued to live out his dream, spread the love and rally the troops for one of Cape Town’s most celebrated occasions; his dedication to the dance and his belief in the perfect party is clearly reflected in the alchemy of every seamless Vortex event. But what does it take to plan the perfect Vortex party remaining true to one’s own philosophy and having fun to boot? Let’s take a look behind the scenes.

Easter 2004 03 (Medium)
Easter Vortex 2004

With special thanks to Louise Harford.

PSYKED:
Thank you for joining us Grant and congratulations on the 21st anniversary of Vortex Trance Adventures. Wow. 21 years is a long time! Tell us a bit about the first ever Vortex Party; what was it like and how did it come about?

GRANT:
Hi! Thank you very much for doing this. 21 Years, it’s been a pretty wild ride! The first Vortex party was Essence of Fluorescence, and it was held in a warehouse in Woodstock, 21 years ago. Vortex originally came about as an attempt to be the first Electronic Dance Music nightclub in South Africa. When friends of ours came back from the UK and told us about the warehouse parties that they had been going to on that side, we decided to start it up in South Africa.

South African Psytrance Hippies by Hippie Van Minibus
“The gang.” Est: 1998

Continue reading And the beat goes on: Celebrating 21 years of Vortex with Grant Dreyer

Exclusive interview with Highstyle: We’ve got it good here

Our beloved Vortex turns 21 in less than two weeks’ time. This year’s instalment is shaping up to be massive with a lineup that reads as a “who’s who” in the world of top-notch psytrance –  home-grown and abroad. We spoke to Highstyle, another headlining act, ahead of the legendary event.

Highstyle is Corbin Todd Duff – a prolific yet illusive artist whose sound is best described as an underground psychedelic experience. Aged 24 and from Cape Town, Corbin was born a groove addict and has always been interested in experimental sounds. He is currently signed to Looney Moon Records but borrows inspiration from various other labels and sources to fuse into a unique melting pot of low end bass lines, twisted leads and darker atmospherics.  His fun-loving energy combined with a well-honed technical knowledge and a true passion for what he does, results in a fresh and crunchy sound that is guaranteed to pack the floor.

Highstyle psytrance south africa

With special thanks to Brandon Lee Menzies and Louise Harford. Continue reading Exclusive interview with Highstyle: We’ve got it good here

Around the world in 80 daze with Zyce

Zyce is the solo progressive project of Nikola Kozic from Serbia. Since his debut in 2008, Zyce hasn’t stopped producing, performing and releasing. After Hyper Cube, his first release on Synergetic Records in 2008, he worked with and released for Iboga, Spin Twist and Blue Tunes before launching a label of his own called TesseracTstudio at the end of 2010. His fourth and most pertinent work, Alignment, was released in 2012.  Zyce will be performing at Vortex Open Source ~ 21 Years of Trance this year – a milestone event for the local psy scene. Catch him at the Circle of Dreams in Riviersonderend for one epic celebration.

Zyce progressive psytrance dj

With special thanks to Louise Harford.

PSYKED:
Hi Nikola and thank you for taking the time to chat to Psyked. Please tell us how you feel about being included in this legendary line-up? 21 years of the best-ever party; is this a special occasion for you too?  What keeps you coming back to our beautiful country?

ZYCE:
Hi guys. Thanks for having me. It’s a big pleasure for me to come back to South Africa! My first performance in South Africa was earlier this year in March at Love & Light and, personally, it was an amazing experience – one of the best for sure. I remember the many beautiful landscapes and the amazingly friendly people. I was extremely happy after receiving the request to play at Vortex Open Source  as I’ve heard so many good things about this festival; it is like a Grand Slam amongst the worldwide festivals, so I’m really excited on coming back!

PSYKED:
Tell us more about your extremely popular and slick progressive sound and the person behind the sound; who is your music for? What does it mean to you and what inspires you?

ZYCE:
I’ve been surrounded with music since a very young age. During my teenage years I was playing in numerous bands, but once I discovered psytrance I instantly fell in love with the music. I mainly started with the more psychedelic and full on sound, and then got into the progressive sound as well; this is why, I guess, my own music is a combination of both psychedelic and progressive. The rest I leave to life itself, as I believe it will become what it must be, and I feel strongly about my passion and mission because it has taken me around the planet, and this give me tremendous energy and inspiration, and for that I give a lot of gratitude.

zyce dj psytrance vortex psyked


PSYKED:
Since you were here last, you’ve travelled the globe and performed at some of the biggest and the best events; how does the Cape Town psy scene shape up against the rest of the world?

ZYCE:
From my experience it seems Cape Town has a very passionate and deep trance crowd with lots of friendly and polite people. It is always such a pleasure to see this on your travels; it gives what you do much more meaning when you feel its mutual and the same. So definitely from my experience it feels like one of the best trance scenes in world!


PSYKED:

How did you first get into psytrance and what other acts are you involved in? How adaptable are you when it comes to the sub-genres within trance music?

ZYCE:
*laughs*  I discovered the psytrance scene about fourteen ago. It was 2001, I was getting some herbs from some guy, and I heard some amazingly strange music I never heard before, and after staying a while, the music just went into me, and it was like I instantly fell in love! I even remember the first track and artists; it was THE DELTA – As a Child! So big thanks to DELTA, it surely played a vital role in where I am today.

zyce dj outdoor psytrance

PSYKED:
What can we expect to hear from you at Open Source this year? Do you have anything special up your sleeve?

ZYCE:

Yes indeed. I’m very excited. I’m working really hard on my new album; my idea was to have it all done by Vortex Open Source, but it seems that it will only be around New Year. This time around there have been so many events around the globe, and I’m using this to promote and test the tracks planned for the album. So Cape Town can definitely expect to hear most of my new tracks, as they will be released very soon!

PSYKED:
Performing, as you have, with some major names and labels in psytrance,  do you have any words of wisdom for the next generation of artists eager to join the party? You are always well represented on Beatport and you manage to maintain a high ranking profile. How do you keep it up?


ZYCE:
The only advice I have for future generation is based on my own experiences, and for me this is always about working hard – lots of work with vision and focus! Talent doesn’t count for more than 5% , there is no luck in this. Studio work will take you to the top and beyond, so for me hard work makes all the difference.

zyce dj


PSYKED:

Thank you once again, for sharing your special magic with the South African community. Any last words before we wrap things up?

ZYCE:

Looking much forward to see you soon in your beautiful country!

vortex trance open source 2015 psyked circle of dreams

Exclusive Interview with Killer B: The coming of age

Killer B is Bennie Koorts. Singed by Looney Moon Records in Italy, Killer B has over ten years’ worth of experience in DJing and production. In his early years, he was inspired by Tsuyoshi Suzuki, KoxBox and Tim Schuldt; his diverse musical style incorporates tight beats, groovy rhythms, twisted psychedelic sounds and driving bass lines. Killer B has performed at numerous benchmark events on the local psy calendar and maintains a strong affiliation with the South African trance scene never failing to draw a crowd. He currently manages Red Eye Productions which is well-known for keeping the Gauteng scene enthralled and pumping.

killer b tswaing

*Questions by Brandon Menzies for Vortex Trance Adventures. Edited and compiled by Batia Efrat for PSYKED. Continue reading Exclusive Interview with Killer B: The coming of age

Win double tickets for Vortex Open Source 2015 ~ 21 Years of Trance

Join us as we re-enter the sacred Circle of Dreams this year for Vortex Open Source 2015. People of all paths will once again come together for a five-day-long psychedelic journey set in the heart of a magical forest where a unique musical and spiritual experience awaits. Celebrate 21 years of Vortex to the sounds of international veterans and illustrious local talent at one of the most pivotal events of the season.

Psyked in the City is giving away 2 x tickets to the event. To enter, follow the instructions below.

vortex trance open source 2015 psyked circle of dreams

Continue reading Win double tickets for Vortex Open Source 2015 ~ 21 Years of Trance

Exclusive interview with TRIP: Something higher than materialism.

DJ Trip is Ryan Davis from South Africa. Growing up, Ryan says that he never envisioned becoming a DJ, let alone a successful one, but music has always been a part of his life. As a youngster, Ryan listed to heavy metal, rock, punk, reggae and classical; and spent hours in record stores at any given opportunity. He was also exposed to many musical genres at home. “There was always music in the background and I learnt to appreciate the value of music in my life from a very young age. I even studied piano for a few years,” he says.

After being introduced to psytrance by Moog of Mushroom Mafia in 2003, his life took an unexpected turn and changed forever. Ryan found himself hooked on psytrance and felt determined to get behind the decks as soon as possible so he bought his own equipment and started a collection of trance CDs which gave him the diversity to play any sub-genre of trance.

Moog instilled in Ryan the valuable lessons required in order to advance in his career such as how to read the dance floor and conduct himself as a professional artist. “Moog taught me to have fun with my choice of music and to express my passion for trance through my sets,” says Ryan. Indeed he was a significant mentor and inspiration for the up-and-coming artist who was just beginning to learn about the psy scene and the art of DJing.

Ryan’s first big gig was in Mozambique in the December of 2003. He later went on to play for a collection of production companies in Joburg and eventually started up his own production company called Psychotic Productions. Ryan’s lively sets invigorate and captive audiences of all ages and paths.

We chat to Ryan about his upcoming performance at Vortex Open Source 2015 ♩♪♬ Experience the Magic in an exclusive interview below.

trip

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

PSYKED:
Hi Ryan. Tell us more about a distinguishing moment in your life that led to actualising yourself as a psytrance DJ and producer
.

TRIP:
After Frozen Ghost and Hiyarant performed at one of my Psychotic Production parties in August 2008, they invited me on a two-week-long crash course in CuBase. Upon my return home – armed with a copy of CuBase, VSTs – I bought a kick-arse sound card and monitor; and the stage was set to start producing my own music as Synthetic Alkaloid. Continue reading Exclusive interview with TRIP: Something higher than materialism.

Review: Earthdance Cape Town 2015

It’s crazy to think that Earthdance Cape Town was born sixteen years ago – I was only six at the time. What’s more impressive is the fact that Earthdance International has been going since 1996. Having grown up in Cape Town, I regularly heard whispers about the event and consequently, decided that it would be the outdoor festival I’d attend upon turning eighteen. Since then, celebrating my Birthday at Earthdance has become a tradition (one that I hope will continue far into future) and this year was no different. On the 19th of September 2015, we were on the road to Nekkies Resort in Worcester once again. We arrived just after lunch and right in time for a good helping of Dan Scot’s progilicious beats.

kfox aumega psyked earthdance
Aumega Photography

By the time we set up camp, K Fox had taken over. The sun was out – a true reminder that outdoor season had begun. We explored the venue a little and I allowed my bass-loving friends to steer me into the DnB tent. When we finally made our way towards the psy stage, my eyes were greeted by something from a fairytale. Fanciful colours cascaded down from the imaginative Sky Temple – created by the talented Carin Dickson of Artescape. (Another notable display of incredible arts and culture could be found in the Psychedelic Dream Temple with its entrancing array of visionary artwork). Continue reading Review: Earthdance Cape Town 2015