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Review: Vortex Parallel Universe 2016

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.

Photo: Aumega Photography
Photo: Aumega Photography

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.

Photo: Aumega Photography
Photo: Aumega Photography

Continue reading Review: Vortex Parallel Universe 2016

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#EasterVortex: Exclusive interview with SINERIDER (UK)

UK-born Dan SINERIDER has become a prominent name in the world of psytrance ever since he released his successful debut Pure Tones back in 2014 through Twenty4seven Records. SINERIDER was first inspired by psytrance in 2000 and later went on to create his own melodic compositions – infused with his cheeky and grooving signature sound. Since then, SINERIDER has continued to travel the globe – delivering his hard-hitting beats to eager audiences at some of the most anticipated outdoor festivals. We chatted to the man himself ahead of his performance at Vortex Parallel Universe in South Africa.

sinerider psytrance

PSYKED:
Hi Dan! Let’s start at the beginning. Have you always been musically inclined?

SINERIDER:
I have always been into music although I didn’t know that I would do anything with it. When I was young, maybe eight years old or so, I did some keyboard lessons as an after-school activity. Later, I became interested in drumming and so my parents had to put up with that for a while – only as a hobby in my early teens. I also taught myself some guitar. I used to hang out with friends and practice a bit but I never formed an actual band with original songs. After school, I became more interested in art and graphics so I went to college to study that. It was only when I turned eighteen and started going to parties in London that I became interested in electronic music and DJing. I enjoyed DJing but I was young with no contacts in the scene so I turned to production. During which time, I met a friend who had some studio equipment. I have been writing music since then (2011).

PSYKED:
What made you choose psytrance?

SINERIDER:
Psytrance was the genre that I heard at the parties I preferred so, naturally, that became my chosen path.

PSYKED:
A lot has changed – technologically speaking – since you started producing in 2001. Have these innovations helped to shape your music, or do you still rely on more “old-school” (or less digitally intensive) production techniques to fine-tune your sound?

SINERIDER:
Interesting question. I would say that I am somewhat set in my ways. I don’t like to put too many gimmicks and effects into my music; so in that sense, many new plugins and techniques are not that interesting to me as an addition to my studio. I am however very pleased with how much better computers are at handling the projects and occasionally, there is a new feature or synth that makes life a bit easier when trying to get a great sound. The main thing for me that improves things is experience; now that I have built a proper studio, the mixes are just getting better and better without so much guess work.

psyked in the city

PSYKED:
Sinerider is not your only brainchild; you also perform under the aliases of Antispin and Divination. How do these acts/sounds differ and what are the benefits of working on more than one project at a time?

SINERIDER:
Working on more than one project can be hard because of the amount of time required to try and keep three projects active in the scene – from releases to promotion, this can be a very big job. However, it’s nice to have more than one project as it allows space for new ideas and creativity which may improve the way you look at a certain track from another project next time you open it to work on. In terms of differences between the projects, I like to try and keep each sound quite defined.

Sinerider has always been a tribute and evolution of the music that I enjoyed most back in the London/UK scene growing up. I see it as uplifting trance music but with a powerful backing track centred around the 140 to 145 BPM range. This year, Sinerider is going a little heavier and more full power to make room for my latest project, Divination.

Divination will begin releasing later this year.  I am very excited about it. Music wise, it is the culmination of all the sounds that I have loved, utilising all the production skills I have picked up over the last 13 years researching trance production. I guess some people call this sort of music full-prog or psygressive. It lives around 136 to 139 BPM. It is not dissimilar to artists such as Zen Mechanics, Ace Ventura, Symbolic and Vertical Mode who are all my personal favourites in this sub genre. But as you will hear, it has my touch and ideas on a variation of this increasingly popular sound.

Antispin

Antispin, as you may know, is a collaboration project between myself and Hugo Rendell (Octognoma). It’s a blasting but minimal night-time project which is influenced by artists such as Scorb and Absolum, but also draws from genres like drum and bass and bass music from the UK. I often felt there were far too many sounds in other night-time music to suit my taste. I believe that great power can be drawn from a slicker, more minimalistic style approach.  This project centres around the 145 to 148 BPM range.

PSYKED:
Having lived in the UK and Vienna, and toured extensively across the globe – what’s the one thing that you think remains the same in every psytrance scene around the world?

SINERIDER:
The thing [that matters] for me is the people. The core of any good psychedelic event is the great, friendly and inspired minds that frequent the party scene across the globe. For many of us, the music is an important part of the scene but there’s always been more to it than just a “rave”. There is a lot more to the “Goa” scene. It’s a lifestyle and it’s own travel-based culture; it attracts open minds year in and year out to create a special experience, together.

sinerider psytrance dj

PSYKED:
You’ve performed at some of the most recognised international festivals from Ozora in Hungary to  Universo Paralello Festival in Brazil to Noisily Festival in the UK.  Tell us about your most memorable performance so far.

SINERIDER:
What a question! It’s so hard to choose from so many great shows and vibes worldwide but I have to say one that sticks out a lot for me – and I’m sure Hugo (Antispin) will agree – was the Antispin Live set at Ozora 2014. This was an amazing experience for us for several reasons. There were such terrible storms days before that certain parts of the event had to be shut down for a few hours. We were among the fortunate DJs who got to play without rain. It was midnight on the third day if I recall correctly, and people were really ready to explode. The energy was amazing and we enjoyed one of the fullest and most alive dance-floors of the whole event. Not only that but our favourite night time act, Scorb, was playing straight after us so we ran straight to the floor and got crazy to celebrate, still vibing off the set – unforgettable for sure.

PSYKED:
Is there anything special you are working on at the moment? When can we expect your next release?

SINERIDER:
There are new releases in the works for all projects as usual. I have devoted quite a lot of time to Divination in the last months, so there will be a steady flow of releases coming from that project throughout the year on many of today’s most respected labels. There will also be remixes and collabs with some of my favourite artists such as Zen Mechanics, Symbolic and E-clip. Many new Sinerider tracks are on the way including the collab with Waio which is due for release soon, as well as a remix of the Desert Dwellers “Sacrament” track from their last album – set to release on Sourcecode. Transmissions alongside other remixes of the album will come later this year.  There are some other nice surprises to watch out for, although I don’t want to give too much away; so keep checking my Soundcloud pages for more info as it emerges.

psytrance party Sinerider

PSYKED:
Any last words before we wrap things up?

SINERIDER:
I would like to say thanks to all those who support my sound, no matter what project you like. Wishing everyone a great year and many fantastic mind-blowing trance adventures for 2016! See you on the dance floor at Vortex Parallel Universe.

Vortex South Africa

Win double tickets for Vortex Parallel Universe 2016

Enter a space where bodies and minds can run wild; Vortex Parallel Universe returns this Easter to present a magical three-day-long psytrance experience. Located at the majestic Hillside venue in Calendon, this year’s instalment promises nothing short of psychedelic bliss. Come and celebrate the beauty of dance in a majestic river-side space that is surrounded by 100-year-old oak trees to the sounds of Avalon, SINERiDER, Future Frequency and Divination, as well as your favourite local talent (see full the full line-up below).

We’re giving away two tickets to the event. Keep reading for competition details.

trance party in South Africa Continue reading Win double tickets for Vortex Parallel Universe 2016

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 Jay OM a.k.a Journey

Jay OM is the solo project of Milan-born Giampiero Mastino, the founder of popular UK trance label Free-Spirit Records. Jay moonlights under many names including Journey, Omsphere, Sonic Wave Control, Crocodile Rangers and even Star~Trip, as he delivers his diverse psychedelic and progressive beats to listeners across the globe. Jay OM will be performing at #EasterVortex 2015 as part of his South African tour celebrating “ten years of living life as free-spirit.”

This interview was conducted by Batia Efrat, on behalf of
Psyked in the City.

jay om 1

Continue reading Exclusive interview with Jay OM a.k.a Journey

Win double tickets for #EasterVortex 2015

Calling all light seekers, explorers, travellers, mystics, dreamers, dancers and creatures of the night; you are invited to celebrate the magic of Vortex’s 21st Birthday in a four-day psychedelic exploration of the mind, body and spirit. Join us as we shift into a parallel universe surrounded by music, harmony and love to the sounds of Raja Ram / 1200 MICROGRAMS – the Godfather of psytrance – as well as Shpongle, Jay Om, Lucas, Kairon and your favourite local acts, including Broken Toy, Lose & Found, Headroom and friends.

vortex

Psyked in the City is giving away a set of double tickets to the event. Stand a chance to win by following three easy steps below.

Continue reading Win double tickets for #EasterVortex 2015

Raja Ram: Godfather of psytrance to play at Easter Vortex

Raja-Ram-300x300Raja Ram, the Godfather of Psytrance will be in South Africa for the first time to play at Easter Vortex. Raja Ram turns 75 this year! He is the ringmaster, the “godfather” who has been at the forefront of the global psytrance (r)evolution since the early nineties. Known for spreading his love of psychedelic music far and wide, this poetic flutist, DJ and producer has inspired more artists worldwide than any other individual in the scene. In the early 90’s he was part of the Goa trance duo, The Infinity Project with Graham Wood and in 1994 he formed Tip Records which became the leading Goa Trance label of its time. In ’95 he formed Shpongle with the legendary Simon Posford and has gone on to release four critically acclaimed albums with a fifth in the pipeline. He started DJing in 2000 at the grand age of 60 and soon after started 1200 MICROGRAMS with long time friends, Riktam & Bansi (Growling Mad Scientists – GMS) and Chicago. Their debut album in 2002, simply called 1200 Micrograms has often been cited as one of the most defining psychedelic trance albums of all time and heralded in a fresh new sound that became the template for psytrance as we know it today! With each track named after a psychoactive substance the album takes the listener (and dancer) through nine powerful trance states of full on music. Here’s a little taste of what to expect.

Easter Vortex Information Date: Friday, 3rd April – Monday 6th April 2014 Venue: To be confirmed Tickets: R350-R420 For more information check out the Facebook Fan page here. (Post courtesy of: www.capetownatnight.co.za)

buy ticket now vortex psytrance quicket