It’s that time of the year where Ultranoize welcomes you to a festive gathering of psychedelic X-Mas cheer! This year will be especially merry as Ultranoize celebrates its 5th year anniversary of hosting their X-Mas event. We’re proud to present this massively festive line-up featuring international Virtual Light and top local talent. (see below)
We’re giving you the chance to score free entrance for you and two friends as well as a bottle of Jägermeister or Tequila.* Plus, we’ll send a gift coupon to the value of R50 to spend on Fyah-fly’s psychedelic playthings to everyone who enters. Keep reading to find out how you can win.
Psyops is Sean Marais from Cape Town, South Africa. First introduced to psytrance by his best friend in the year 2000, he became entranced with all aspects of the psychedelic trance scene – including the music and décor – which soon led to the inception of Psyops . His diverse musical style ranges from ambient to minimal, day and night-time psychedelic, and more. Psyops says that his music is about telling stories and taking the listener on a journey. One thing’s for sure: it’s almost impossible to remain still when he’s playing. This year, we’re psyked to see Psyops return to the Circle of Dreams for Vortex Open Source 2016.
Hi Sean! Let’s start at the very beginning (it’s the very best place to start). Do you remember the first time you got behind the decks? We’d love to hear about that definitive moment when you decided to become a DJ.
PSYOPS: Well, I can’t really remember the first time but it must have been at a friend’s house back in the day – 15 years ago – messing around on vinyl. We rigged big speakers and faced them outside, blasting underground hip hop and DnB but my first gig was at Gonzo’s in Plumstead in 2006. That was a rad moment in my life.
Veritgo is none other than Ricardo Rivera Alvarez. Born and raised in Mexico, Vertigo discovered his affinity for music at a very early age. By the time he was 16 he had already begun performing at prominent local events in his hometown, Gaudalajara; not to mention producing his own music. The Vertigo project came to life in 2013 and was signed to Blue Tunes Records shortly after. Since then Vertigo’s energetic progressive style has continued to gain recognition across the g lobe. This year we are psyked to welcome him back to Cape Town for PsynOpticz #MagicOfJungala where he will be performing alongside international headliners such as BLiSS and Mystical Complex.
Hi Ricardo. Thanks for chatting to us today. You broke into the scene at a really young age! How did you first come to discover this genre of music and what inspired you to start creating it yourself?
I discovered it through my love of music. As soon as I heard my first Infected Mushroom album at the age of 16, I was already hungry to explore more about (what was then) a new world for me. So one thing led to another and a few months later I was already writing songs – even before attending my first festival. When I started to play, I realised how great it felt to see a crowd dancing, jumping, playing, or just being happy with the music and, with time, how music can be a powerful tool for the mind.
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 Adventures – PHOENIX FESTIVAL on the 24th of June 2016. We caught up with him ahead of the big event.
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. Continue reading #WinterVortex: Exclusive interview with Psy Mantis→
After a self-imposed trance party hiatus for the past four months, I was really looking forward to Vortex Parallel Universe. Easter Vortex, as it’s affectionately known, has always had a special place in my heart; not only is it hosted at my all-time favourite venue but each year it promises a stellar line-up that can’t be missed.
Die-hard Vortexers may swear by the Circle of Dreams but in my humble opinion, Hillside Farm is an equally magical venue with its enchanted forest-like atmosphere and majestic canopies. This year, the dance-floor was moved ever so slightly – creating more space for stompers to get wild. And I loved how the arrangement of stalls made the party seem like a little gypsy village.
After arriving on Sunday morning, we were shocked to see how many people were leaving the party due to hectic weather conditions the night before. Nevertheless, we were prepared to weather the weather for this worthy cause! We arrived in time to catch the last bit of Deliriant (or rather the King of Psy) before Avalon came on, taking us on rhythmic journey which left me with goosebumps.
Early Bird ticket sales for VORTEX Phoenix Festival of Fire 2016 will close on the 31st of March so if you haven’t yet purchased your ticket, now is the time. Buy your Early Bird full festival pass today and save R60! Tickets are available online from Quicket or at selected retail outlets (see below).
After hearing whispers about Altered States for a number of years, I finally vowed to experience the magic for myself at LUNAR 2015. After a very special weekend of fun in my all-time favourite venue, the Circle of Dreams, I decided that Altered States had lived up to its reputation as one of the smaller and more underground psychedelic gatherings, and that I would return – year after year. By the time that the next edition rolled around, I couldn’t have been more excited.
On the 11th of March 2016, I was on route to enjoy the festivities once more. We arrived just before the sound journey – an Altered States tradition which helps to set the tone for the event as well as encourage more intimacy and openness among party-goers.
Earthtone was first to deliver his beautiful beats to our hungry ears. I loved the fact that the Headspace venue was being utilised as opposed to the Circle which is routinely used as the main dance-floor at Vortex Open Source. This slight change in setting brought with it a special ambiance that is unique to the Altered States event.
When I made my way back to the dance-floor, ScamAntrix was behind the decks dishing out her psychedelicious sounds. I couldn’t help but marvel the scene before me; as the sun began to dip in the sky, shadows cast on the purple-infused dance-floor.
Hips swayed and arms swung loosely as people enjoyed the vast space available to them. Dala was next up to lead us through the sunset. After an ear-enthralling two-hour set, it was time for Bruce – the master of night-time psy – to take the stage.
It was such a pleasure dancing beneath the stars as I watched the trippy projections and light show inside the DJ box. Bruce’s driving beats pulsated from my core and spread throughout my body like electricity. Before I knew it, it was time for the legendary Moog of Mushroom Mafia to take over. To this moment, when I shut my eyes I can still feel the vibrations of Moog’s hard-hitting bass lines rattle the earth beneath my feet. The music went from strength to strength with System Theory, who led us to the witching hour, and then Talking Decks.
As an avid fan of dark psy, I can attest to the fact that Altered States never disappoints when it comes to piecing together a killer night-time line-up. Though I will admit that I was fast asleep in the comfort of my tent when the first droplets of rain came down and Drifter took to the decks.
I was roused from my sleep sometime during Kalahari Kris’s performance which was – as always – an absolute treat. I can agree with Kris when he says that high energy music makes for high energy people. That was indeed the case when the beats from Canadian guest, Nailik of Grasshopper Records, imploded through the speakers.
The party was heaving by the time that Absynth got up to play his set. During the course of the morning the dance-floor continued to fill out with freshly-faced troopers joining in for some Sunday fun. Silo followed shortly after to raise the energy with his signature sound. Regretfully, I was not able to catch his entire set but fortunately, it’s available for your listening pleasure below.
I am told that the music was concluded on the highest of high notes thanks to Prefix who is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s most loved DJs. I am sure I am not the only one who was still smiling by the time they arrived home after a spectacular weekend. Altered States prides itself in creating a space where party-goers can feel safe to express themselves, to meet new people and catch up with familiar faces.
When it comes to their events, it’s not only the music that can’t be faulted but the incredible vibe and sense of harmony that this event aims to promote. A huge thank you is due to the organisers for making us party-goers feel so completely at home, and for reminding us of the essence of true psychedelic trance music.
To the amazing beings I met and new friends that I made, I hope to see you at the next gathering – and the one after that. After all, LUNAR has become somewhat of a family reunion for our little psy scene – and it’s all thanks to your continued support. We are so lucky to reside inside the psytrance capital of Africa.