Hallucinogen Interview

Hallucinogen – Simon Possford
Date: 02-06-01
By: Children

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
Alesis Quadraverb
Ensoniq DP4 FX
roland sh101
korg ms 20 and 50
Eventide DSP4000

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……..