Tag Archives: psytrance music

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

#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

Exclusive Interview with Sci Lab: Go out there and be yourself

Sci Lab, or rather Craig Marsh, discovered psytrance at the age of eighteen. During 2007, he studied sound engineering at Cape Audio College which better equipped him to start producing his own music. A jack-of-all-trades, Sci Lab is involved in many business ventures and projects. In 2010, he co-founded popular psytrance organisation Mungus Fungus and later, Spectrum and Reboot. His musical style can be described as hard, dark, progressive – and always surprising. Sci Lab’s high-energy performances showcase his keen knowledge of musical software and technology as well as his ability to fine-tune his sounds to suit any dance-floor. Catch Sci Lab at Vortex Parallel Universe for the first time ever on the 26th of March 2016.

Photo by Llewellyn Dredge.
Photo by
Llewellyn Dredge.

PSYKED:
Hi Craig! You’re not only a DJ and producer but a successful event organiser; has putting together your own line-ups and booking artists enabled you to make better music? Surely, you must know what gets the crowds going.

SCI LAB:
Hi Batia; thank you for this opportunity to chat about the psytrance community. Organising events has given me the understanding of how an event should flow and has definitely helped me out in my track selection as a DJ. As a producer, I am still trying to find my feet – Djing and production are two different ball games! Production requires a whole new level of discipline. Continue reading Exclusive Interview with Sci Lab: Go out there and be yourself

Win tickets for Imagine: a day party with Mandragora LIVE at Hillcrest

The Collective is psyked to present IMAGINE: a day party with Mandragora live at the Hillcrest Quarry. The rising star, who has continued to wow listeners across the world with releases such as “the Wild, wild West” and “Together,” will venture to the psy capital of Cape Town for the last party of the season. Embark on a musical journey like never before with Mandragora himself, as well as your favourite locals: Yeti, Bazooka Boy, Itone, Sway and B_Type. Full line-up coming soon.

IMAGINE_Mandragora_psyked

Psyked in the City is giving away tickets to the event. Stand a chance to win by following two easy steps below. Continue reading Win tickets for Imagine: a day party with Mandragora LIVE at Hillcrest

Review: The Sunflower Festival

Last weekend I joined 4700 party-goers in welcoming Spring at the first outdoor party of the season; the Sunflower Festival hosted by Nawty Media & Marketing and Fourth Dimension at the Cape Town Ostrich Farm. There was much debate about whether or not the organisers would be able to deliver a better experience than the more common “first party of the season” i.e Alien Safari’s Sprung which will take place this coming Saturday. But all in all, the Sunflower Festival was a huge success and I’m glad that I attended.

dance by Jackrabbit kiss by Jackrabbit
Photo’s by The Jackrabbit.

Despite the terrible weather that loomed, cold front and all, we braved the elements. It did help, of course, that we all came prepared, dressed in plenty layers of socks, gumboots and, you guessed it, onesies.

onesie by Dreamer. mask by Dreamer
Photo’s by Dreamer

The more adventurous stompers took the opportunity to get down and dirty in the mud, barefoot I might add, embracing the light rain that did fall now and then. That’s what an outdoor is all about, right?

mud by Jack rabit
Photo by The Jackrabbit.

Unfortunately, the weather did take its toll on the décor resulting in the actual dancefloor being opened late (around 6 or so) which was forgiven once the party got swinging in full force.

It was wonderful to be back in the great outdoors, stomping with hundreds of smiling faces around me, adorned in face-paint with nothing but nature surrounding us. No cramped-up clubs, no walls, no limitations. There really is something very special about an outdoor party.

venue by Wayne
Photo by Wayne.

The vibe did not disappoint. It was awesome seeing all those familiar faces and making a whole lot of new friends too.

heart by Marc Berman
Photo of Class A by Marc Berman Photography

There were plenty of photographers on the scene to capture the psy love. Namely DreamerE.K15 PhotographyShutterMonkey ProductionsStu Shapiropartycamsa.comWayneMarc Berman Photography and The Jackrabbit to name a few. View some of their pics at the bottom of the page.

The flower that was crafted by Artescape hung over our heads in true psychedelic glory and communicated what the festival was all about: rebirth and nature. And that wasn’t the only symbolic element of the jol. The weather decided to partake in our festivities and went from being cold and gloomy to bright, sunny and perfect for a day jam.

sunflower by marc berman2
Photo by Marc Berman Photography. 

At night, the decor really came to life.  Stompers were visually excited by spectacular light shows surrounding the DJ box.

night time by Dreamer.
Photo of Sunflower at night by Dreamer.

sunflower by Wayne
Photo by Wayne.

I woke up nice and early on Sunday, grabbing a little breakfast before heading down to the dancefloor for Tune Raider‘s high-energy set which was incredible. But then again, who could expect anything less of her? While jamming to her set I heard a fellow stomper refer to her as “the sexy side of psy.” I absolutely love that. To whoever you are, thank you. I will be using that phrase in my next write up about Pam.

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Photo of Tune Raider by Wayne.

The highlight of the event was, of course, Captain HookI was lucky enough to be front and center as he came onto the stage with his groovy glasses and awesome dreads.
captain hook by Marc Berman
Photo of Captain Hook by Marc Berman Photography.

He opened with his killer track “walking on marshmallows” and the crowed went ballistic.  His set was everything I imaged it to be and he kept the dancefloor grooving blissfully for an entire two hours.

captain hook crowd marc berman
Crowd goes wild for the Captain. Marc Berman Photography.

Captain Hook wasn’t the only DJ who ripped things apart though. I really felt the dancefloor love during Dj BruceDeliriantMAGNETOClass A and Orca‘s sets too, Watch this insane video of Class A live.

bruce by Dreamer.
Photo of DJ Bruce by Dreamer.

When I wasn’t jamming I was admiring the lovely scene before me, while sitting on the slope of a hill surrounded by other stompers who were also taking a breather.

Things rounded off nicely when StereoType played his Brainbug Nightmare remix.

We were having such a good time that we only started leaving the venue at around 5. Or should I say, we tried to. The mud did pose to be a bit of an issue, and there were many trancers helping one another jumpstart their cars at the end of the party. But it was totally worth the missions, right?

car by tauriq
Red beetle stuck in the mud, taken by Tauriq Hercules.

So what’s the verdict? Despite a few speed bumps along the way I do believe that the Sunflower Festival was an awesome intro to Spring. I can only assume that everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. Judging from all the smiles I saw, I think it’s a pretty safe bet.

sun girl marc bboots by Jackrabbit
Top: Photo by Marc Berman Photography. Bottom: Photo by The Jackrabbit.

I applaud the organisers for their hard work. Special thanks goes to Abby Chapel for hooking me up with free tickets, as well as my lovely friends, the photographers, the DJs and everyone else who made the event such a success.

Judging from Sunflower, I anticipate a mind-blowing outdoor season up ahead. And now that I’ve gotten a whiff of that beautiful outdoor fever, I can’t wait to experience it again. Next up… Sprung!!!

Swing by the The Side Show on Saturday night for the The Sunflower Festival After Party.

arm by Dreamer
Photo by Dreamer.

Entrance is free if you’ve still got your green arm band.