Q: How and when did you start to make Goa (and ambient with Raja Ram) ?
A: I started making trance in about 1992… before this i was in a psychedelic dub/ambient band called Purple Om … we started doing a few gigs at raves/acid parties , and hearing the tune ‘the age of love’ by jam n spoon on a savage acid punch made me want to make dance music. I met raja at butterfly studios when we were both working on separate projects… we got on well together and decided to do some music together… so i worked on some of the T.I.P stuff, but we also wanted to something different, maybe not a dance record, so we did vapour rumours… but i was doing ambient stuff before trance…
Q: Do you project to release a new Hallucinogen album after “Live” ? A sequel to “The Lone Deranger” ? When would it be released ?
A: Well i don’t know when the live album will be released, as all the live recordings are crap… so if i can get a good recording we will put it out. i am also trying to clean them up a bit at home. As for new stuff, i have been busy with the shpongle, but i started some new hallucinogen stuff last week, actually (Jan 2001) so hopefully by the end of the year i should have enough new tracks for an album.
Q: Could you describe us the new Shpongle album with Raja Ram ?
A: It is a lot more world music than the last album… there is a ‘psychedelic latino’ track – is that a new category? i don’t know if it is more commercial than the last album, but i think it is more accessible at any rate. We used a lot of live musicians…. a couple of singers, a cello player and a gtr player. The album is a much more ecelctic mix than the last one, spanning cultures and genres.
Q: Which of your own psytrance and ambient tracks do you like the best ?
A: Well i have a soft spot for ‘LSD’, as it was the first trance piece i was happy with… ‘Snarling Black Mabel’ i also like… i would be happy to hear music like that on a dancefloor… but my favourite trance track is probably Deranger… i find it psychedelic and squidgy, and musical. To be honest tho’, i hardly ever listen to my trance stuff once i have done it, (unless i am DJing it). As for ambient stuff, i think the best piece i have done ever, including any of the trance stuff, is ‘..And the Day turned to Night’. Normally whenever i finish a track, i immediately see all its flaws, and want to start another tune straight away, thinking “I can do MUCH better than that!!”, but once i had the ‘day turned to night’ on DAT, i was unfeasibly chuffed! it was the first tune i have done that satisfied my artistic urge to create, for more than a week… it wore off eventually tho’, hence the new album…
Q: Your favourite psychedelic Groups & Albums ?
A: Pink Floyd- Wish you were here,the wall, dark side of the moon, Ozric Tentacles- Erpland ,Pungent Effulgent, Jimi Hendrix- are u experienced? i suppose those albums have lasted the longest for me… from childhood, thru my teenage years, and even now i listen to them sometimes. As for trance stuff, my taste changes everyday… i have always loved X-Dream, sometimes Juno Reactor, Dado….um… some of the Infected Mushroom stuff is really great, sometimes GMS… and of course the stuff we release on twisted – Tristan, Dado…i really look forward to Benji’s album (prometheus).
Q: Where does your inspiration come from when building a Track ?
A: I always find this a weird question….i guess my life experiences and people around me inspire me…
Q: Tell us your recipe to make a good Hallucinogen Track ?
A: Well, always try to use the freshest ingredients… Start with a nice juicy Kik Drum (stay away from all that Organic crap…. i prefer mine Genetically Modified to the Max, and hopefully Chemically Enhanced). Meanwhile start the bassline cooking on a high heat…Beat together and whisk the crowd into a frenzy. Mix in all the Fresh Herb you can find. Sprinkle a touch of Flour Power, and Snare Roll into a 4D shape. Hopefully your Filter sweeps will rise nicely. Baste in Love, and add lots of Sauce!!
Q: What kind of equipment do you use to make your Tracks ?
A: Apple mac G3 233Mhz not enough RAM
Logic Audio Platinum
Mackie 32 8 bus mixing desk
Kurweil K2000 keyboard
Akai S3200 sampler
Akai DR16 hard disk recorder
Ensoniq DP4 FX
korg ms 20 and 50
Q: Future projects ?
A: Possibly a Younger Brother album…. a new hallucinogen album… who knows? more of the same, but different…
Q: Is there another artist you’d like to work with ?
A: Someone who can play the Kora well, or the celtic harp….um…. a good female singer, like Bjork.
Q: I’ve read somewhere that you prefer to make Ambient Tracks . what do you like more on ambient than psytrance ?
A: I like the freedom of being able to create any kind of tune without the restriction of a tempo or four-on-the-floor kick drum. There are certain rules you have to follow to make a trance track (ie. between 125 – 160 bpm) otherwise it won’t be ‘trance’. But ‘Ambient’ in my mind covers such a wide range that you can do pretty much anything you like. It doesn’t have to be a dance track.
Q: When & where was your best party ? And your worst one ?
A: Well i have been to some spectacular locations…. mountains, desert, coast, rainforest …. but i suppose the ‘best’ depends upon what you actually experience, which can get fairly deranged when certain chemicals are involved…. so i think my ‘best’ and my ‘worst’ were probably the exact same party… it was in the english countryside somewhere in oxfordshire… i had been spiked with a ridiculous acid punch, made by some psychopath on day release… and ended up escaping to a poppy field, stampeded by hallucinated wilderbeast, while the party is burned to the ground and the police are rounding everyone up with nets…….. and this was just during a breakdown in one of the tunes! When the kick drum came back in i was blown like a leaf back onto the dance floor, only to be washed ashore 6 hours later……..