Tag Archives: psy

Review: Freaky Forest 2016

By Christina Schild

I usually dislike the practice of narrowing something down to a description of five words, but there is something comforting about the condensation when trying to review the experience of Freaky Forest. An experience that takes places annually over the last weekend of November in the Tsitsikamma woods, bringing all sorts of folks out of the woodworks for what is easily becoming South Africa’s best trance party – or at least that’s what the talk on the soft, jiving dance floor was.

So here are the five words I would use to describe Freaky, in some sort of an order – scent, dance, clarity, goodness and beauty.  Well, maybe some more order than I think.

Photo by Jess Rose Hendriksz
Photo by Jess Rose Hendriksz

This year, it was my sense of smell that was particularly heightened at the party – whether from the incense wafting around the dance floor and camp sites as I gallivanted through the treacherous pine forest, the wholesome cooking aromas of the various food stalls and private kitchens and then those earthy, good, natural smells. The scent of pine needles in the air, the mud squelching between my toes on the most fun Sunday I’ve had in a while, or the sweaty reminder from my fellow party-goers that we were in the middle of a forest dancing rhythmically to sublime beats and hadn’t washed in days. Come Sunday morning I think we were mostly all smelling more sweaty than sweet after the particularly mind-buzzing and gloriously lengthy set delivered by High Style, having followed the feet moving magic of both Ben and Jack Source the previous night. For the hi-tech fans, Ben delivered a sneaky track that had many of us grinning from ear to ear! Earlier, we were treated to the grooviness that Cripz and Floating Grooves emulated which got the bums moving until Phillipa came on – bringing the girl power to the floor and easing us into the night time slots. Continue reading Review: Freaky Forest 2016

Win tickets for Earthdance Cape Town 2016

This year Earthdance International will be celebrating its 20 year anniversary. This year’s theme, Global Shift, signifies the beginning of a new era of deep peace-making and true environmental stewardship. Earthdance is one of many peace organisations, groups and projects that align with the International Day of Peace – 21 September. In this varied field of activist and public service groups, Earthdance combines music, community, social consciousness, support of charities and activism, asserting that peace is as much about living fully and thriving, as it is about protesting war. Continue reading Win tickets for Earthdance Cape Town 2016

New V/A Released by NANO RECORDS: A Taste of South African Psychedelics

Nano Records is proud to present ‘A Taste of South African Psychedelics.’ This special V/A is totally free for your listening pleasure and features 18 tracks (in WAV and MP3) from some of the finest psytrance producers in the country, as well as a PDF booklet showcasing extraordinary visionary artwork. Visit the website to download your copy for free. Also on offer is a limited edition Nano Records double CD from Psyshop. Continue reading New V/A Released by NANO RECORDS: A Taste of South African Psychedelics

Exclusive interview with Disco Volante: Melodies, groove and energy

Disco Volante is made up of Daniel Honor (aka Critical Mass) and Alex Inggs (aka Risky Business). Since inception in 2013, the act has continued to attract psytrance listeners far and near with their high-energy, powered by euphoric beats and melodic undertones. Signed by numerous labels including Global Army Music, PsynOpticz and Nexus Media, Disco Volante knows how to turn up the energy on dance-floors big and small. We’re psyked to welcome this dynamic duo to the line-up of our second collab event with Reboot on the 8th of July, DISCO DISCO, where we will be celebrating the release of their brand new album.

Disco Volante

PSYKED:
Hi guys! To start off let’s talk about your new EP, Clickbait. How long has it been in the making, and what kind of sound can we expect to hear from you guys this time round?  

DISCO VOLANTE:
Yes, we are adding the final touches to our new EP which we are expecting to release next month on Nexus Media. We can’t wait to showcase our fresh, new music! The last EP we released was in January 2015 so it has been quite some time. We have been working for months trying out different sounds and techniques, and our knowledge has grown quite a bit in the studio. Our new EP is definitely going back to our roots – the vision we had when we first started this project 3 years ago [which is] our interpretation of euphoric twilight/ full-on psy trance. You can expect loads of melodies, groove and energy on our new EP. We will be releasing the artwork and final track list during the next week or so.

PSYKED:
Will there be any more releases from Disco Volante coming out this year? 

DISCO VOLANTE:
Most definitely. We are writing loads of tracks for compilations on different labels (this is also why our EP has been so delayed). Our next release will be with our good friend DJ Ganeisha’s compilation Science of Music Vol 3. We also have more tracks on the way that will be coming out on other friends’ V/A’s including DJ Guapa Lee on Replicant Records and Chemo Boy through Global Army music. We’ll be announcing more soon. Continue reading Exclusive interview with Disco Volante: Melodies, groove and energy

#WinterVortex: Exclusive interview with Prefix

Prefix is the psychedelic project of John Vichos. Growing up in Johannesburg, then moving to Cape Town in 2014, Prefix was always musically charged. But it was only after DJing genres such as tech house, minimal and techno for a few years that he discovered his love for psytrance and techno could indeed be merged – and so, Prefix was born. His memorable stage presence and versatile style never fails to attract a crowd. This year, he will be making his debut performance at Vortex Trance Adventures – Phoenix Festival 2016.

prefix psytrance

PSYKED:
Hi John! Tell us about your ascent into psytrance – apparently you attended a festival in 2007 and that’s what got the ball rolling?

PREFIX:
To summarize, I had a buddy from Cape Town who I would see during December holidays when I would go travel to the coast from Johannesburg with my family. We would swap the music. Being from Cape Town with its exploding psychedelic culture, most of what he would share with me was psytrance. It became infectious, and eventually I had him take me to my first outdoor which was Earthdance Cape Town in 2007. It was the first time I had ever experienced music and a gathering with such effortless power; it was truly a gathering of tribes. That’s when I got bitten by the bug.

Continue reading #WinterVortex: Exclusive interview with Prefix

How to become a seasoned psytrance veteran

Are you hoping to attend your first-ever trance party in the near future? Maybe you’ve been around the block a couple of times but still don’t feel like you’ve earned your psychedelic colours.  Either way, these handy tips will help you cruise your way to psylebrity stardom in no time. *Please note that this post is satirical.

1. Plan your parties according to whether or not there will be material wristbands.

festival material wristband

Remember that the more wristbands you have, the more experienced and awesome you are. Brownie points if you carefully craft all your wristbands into a belt for your saddle bag.

2. Give unwarranted party advice to strangers.

party advice

This includes telling other festival goers to smile more, or attempting to rile up those whose body aren’t moving fast enough for your liking.

3. Forbid anyone from displaying any kind of grief for the duration of the party.

festival advice

It doesn’t matter what happens, you’ll deal with it later.

4. Offer a deep and meaningful quote about “living in the present” to anyone who asks you for the time.

time is illusion

5. Silently (or not so silently) criticise anyone who disagrees with your substance of choice.

you know nothing

6. Wear something that appropriates someone else’s culture just for the sake of it.

cultural appropriation bindi

And stand by your decision with conviction when people call you out for it. (Disclaimer warning: No, we’re not being serious).

7. Complain about how much better parties used to be in the “good old days.”

good old days

8. Act as the middle man in someone else’s drug deal.

drug deal chronic

You have so many connections. You’re so cool.

9. Critique at least one DJ for being too progressive for your taste.

i am so bored

10. Judge anyone who is wearing shoes.

barefoot earthing

Explain to them what earthing is, and why it’s so important.

11. Show off your tattoos to someone else who also has tattoos.

tattoo show offs

12. Brag about how you know the “organisers.”

I'm so cool

13. Envelop someone in a hug when they’re least expecting it. 

awkward hug

Preferably someone you’ve never met before.

14. Choose one spot on the dance-floor and occupy that spot religiously. Even if that means physically assaulting people who cross your path. 

wild dancing

Just close your eyes and feel the music, man.

Did this post make you chuckle? Share it with your friends.

Win double tickets for Jungala Festival 2016

PsynOpticz Records is proud to welcome you back onto the forest floor for one of the season’s most anticipated events, Jungala Festival 2016. Since its inception, Jungala has continued to present its world-class productions without fail. This year’s instalment is no exception with a line-up featuring some of the globe’s hottest psychedelic talent including Ital, Stereo Plug, Eclipse Echoes, Pragmatix, Aho, Obliviant, Diksha, Justin Chaos, Psydeva, Synkronic, Heterogenisis and Nailik – as well as your favourite local acts (full line-up below).

Psyked in the City is giving away two tickets to the event. Keep reading for more info.

trance music South Africa Continue reading Win double tickets for Jungala Festival 2016

Review: Altered States of Africa LUNAR 2016

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.

trance party Altered States
Photo by Manipulating Light

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.

daytime trance party Altered States psyked
Photo by SLouw

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.

Photo by Nova Brand
Photo by Nova Brand

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.

Photo by Manipulating Light
Photo by Manipulating Light

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.

Altered States of Africa 2016
Photo by SLouw

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.

psytrance music dancing
Photo by Nova Brand

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.

Photo by Nova Brand
Photo by Nova Brand

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.

altered states review
Photo by Joffree Hyman

Win tickets, accommodation and merchandise for Ultranoize OUTDOOR

Ultranoize has cemented its place in the hearts of psytrance lovers across Cape Town. Now it’s time for the organisation to spread its psychedelic wings to bring you an outdoor party experience at the place where it all began. Praised for its scenic mountain views, lush grassy dance-floor and close proximity to the beach, Hangklip Hotel is the perfect location to host a full-force outdoor festival featuring some of the freshest, and most recognised, local talent.  We invite you to come and celebrate all things wonderful, warped and psychedelic.

Psyked in the City is giving one lucky trooper the chance to win free tickets, accommodation and some epic prizes! Keep reading for more info.

Ultranoize Outdoor competition

THE PRIZE:
– 2 x tickets to the event
– 1 chalet that sleeps 2 people
– 1 x Ultranoize T-shirt
– 2 x MMD Records albums Continue reading Win tickets, accommodation and merchandise for Ultranoize OUTDOOR

Exclusive interview with Nailik (Canada): I wake up and make music

NaiLiK is Kilian Johnson; a twenty-year old psytrance DJ and producer from Montreal, Canada. NaiLiK first discovered psytrance in 2010. Shortly after, he began to produce his own music with the guidance of a friend. By 2012, he was full immersed in production and regularly performing at local gigs.  His “big break” came in 2013 when international artist K.I.M put him in touch with the label manager of Grasshopper Records, DJ Hatta. NaiLiK joined the Grasshopper family in December 2013 and has continued to create and perfect releases for various labels ever since. With his cutting-edge style, characterised by atmospheric sounds and driving bass lines, NaiLiK’s powerful high-energy beats never fail to uplift the dance-floor. Catch his two-hour performance in South Africa at Altered States LUNAR 2016.

killian nailik dj psytrance

PSYKED:
Hi Kilian! For starters, tell us when you first fell in love with psytrance and what motivated you to get behind the decks?

NAILIK:
I first fell in love with psytrance after discovering the music through a friend; I was already into electronic music but lacking something with a bit more drive and energy. When I heard psytrance, I kind of said “this is it –this is what I’ve been looking for.” Then I began going to parties around Montreal; getting involved with the scene came with that. I got into DJing by impulsively buying gear one morning after I had gone out… I wanted to figure out what was going on behind the decks so I dove right into it and a bough a controller to play around with.

Sometime after that I realised the guys that I really appreciate were all making their own tunes, and that was the standard for real artists I was listening to. I wanted to get into production but I didn’t know how to go about it. Long story short: I met a guy who was making music – hip hop actually – and I asked him to guide me through the basics of production and he did. Once I got the basics down, I started to build a really basic studio and I went right for trance production. I continued with that and eventually studied audio in Montreal which helped a bit. I have just been practicing non-stop since I started, really!

PSYKED:
Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration right now?

NAILIK:
Luckily I was picked up by one of my favourite label so a number of my label mates and their sound is a huge inspiration to me. This includes guys like Spectra Sonics, Mirok from Grasshopper as well as many other super talented DJs like Brainiac, K.I.M and Tron. Also, when I go out to parties or listen to fresh music at home, I always find something that I can appreciate which drives me to try and keep getting killer with my music production… These days, there’s a lot of out-of-this-world production!

nailik psytrance dj montreal

PSYKED:
Let’s talk about your first EP – what can listeners expect to hear?

NAILIK:
My first EP will be four solo tracks I believe – so a small variety of my sound can be heard throughout the release. Tracks will range from about 142 to145 BPM with lots of energy and drive during the tracks. There is a lot of atmosphere and flowing leads on top of a heavy rolling kick bass. I’m excited to get this out there at last and hear what people think. It’s been a work in progress for many months now.

PSYKED:
Can you describe an average day in the life of NaiLiK?

NAILIK:
At the moment, I’m living here with my girlfriend. (I arrived before New Year’s). Really, an average day is quite easy and relaxed. I wake up and make music; I also freelance doing some audio work for advertisements and such, but it’s quite chilled and usually music-oriented which is super nice!

dj nailik psytrance music

PSYKED:
How does our local psy scene compare to that of Canada’s? 

NAILIK:
The scene here, of course, is massive and very much alive. In Canada, it’s quite small however in Montreal, Quebec, it’s fairly large – I’m grateful for that. In winter we have indoor parties that range from small to about 700 people at times. In the summer we have many festivals happening almost every weekend with about 1000 to 1500 people attending. We have one bi-annual festival which is world-renowned and top quality, namely Eclipse Festival. It’s taking place this year in July which I will be back for. All in all, it’s a bit different but it still shares many similarities as the trance scene does all around the world.

PSYKED:
If you could relive any one of your performances, which would it be and why?

NAILIK:
I don’t know if I could pick one to relive; I love playing all the time and presenting the latest of my music so I am more concerned with looking forward at what’s to come. I always enjoy each performance as much as I can in that moment.

dj nailik

PSYKED:
Is there anywhere in the world you still dream of playing at?

NAILIK:
I would definitely love to break my way into the European circuit and get over there for the festival season! I think that’s the main goal for a lot of producers because there is so much opportunity and so many parties with world class music happening so frequently there during the summertime. But I hope to play all over the world as I think most young artists do. My main focus is always to get better with production quality and the gigs will follow if all goes well; so the dream is to continue making music and just hope it takes me lots of cool places – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

PSYKED:
Do you have any words for up-and-coming producers and DJs who are trying to break into the scene?

NAILIK:
I would say that the main thing is put in the work, and never give up on getting to where you want to go. It’s a very long, tough road to become great at anything, and there are a lot of people who want the same thing. So the deciding factor for me is how much work you are going to put in and how hard you are on yourself. I think having an attitude doesn’t do you any good – always remember there is room to improve and don’t take criticism to heart. Make good connections and have fun with it, always; the opportunities will fall into place if you are persistent and maintain the right attitude!

dj nailik canada altered states

PSYKED:
Before we wrap things up, tell us what’s next on the agenda for NaiLiK?

NAILIK:
I have a lot of releases coming in the future and will keep on doing my thing. After my EP is released, I’ll work on a few vs. tracks with cool guys from around the globe and get working on the next EP at some point after that.

PSYKED:
Thanks for the chat! We’ll see you at Altered States – LUNAR.

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