Coming from Nashville, TN, Znataraja stumbled across the darker side of psychedelic trance in 2012.…
There is a video from 2008 when your working with Ocelot & Alpha and you all line up and do breathing for inspiration. (This video is hysterical if you haven’t seen it yet.) Do you have any method to creating music?
Haha, yes I still remember our session it was big fun. We were sitting under my loft bed writing music and trying to answer the questions from the video guy. Actually it was more a joke then showing how we seriously worked together, but we used the breathing session as voice samples in our track later. The actual method depends on starting with a concrete idea, maybe a voice sample or a melody & I build the track around this central element. Sometimes it’s a groove which came to my mind or I start with a kick and bass line combination and add some random noise/ fm pattern. At a certain point there comes usually the whole picture of the track to my mind and its finished when it felt right to me.
Originally you played in dark metal band when you were a teenager, now your playing intense dark metal. What lead you to psytrance? You still go to metal shows now?
Yes and I hated every electronic music until 1996. It was a day, I chilled at my friend’s house and he was always into electronic music at this time, usually techno and house but somehow he had one double cd of the tantrance compilations. I immediately felt in love with this style of electronic music, so it happened coincidentally. Soon after my first contact I tried to find out where I can visit psytrance parties. It wasn’t easy at this time and visited several small psytrance events around Hannover. Later on I spend several years on the big psytrance gatherings in Northern Germany. In 1999, I started DJing, bought my first mixer and CDjs, later turntables as well. In 2005, I started to write my own music, which finally leads to my live act and the side project -z- (alpha & antagon). Since I´m living in Mamburg, since 2007, I´m again visiting some shows of dark/ extreme metal bands. My favorites are now “Der Weg einer Freiheit”, Dark Funeral or Anaal Nathrakh. Pretty crazy shit lol!
You’ve worked with an impressive list of trance producers, if any, who else would like to work with? Do you enjoy working with other artists or prefer a solo project?
When I started writing music it was always a dream to work with guys like Ocelot, Kindzdadza and Cosmo. Their music was definitely a big influence for my own sound. At the moment I have no concrete artist in mind but I´m always open for collaboration tracks. Working with other artists is usually very interesting and the result is often more interesting to listen to because you have to different styles which are melting together (if it´s well done). It´s challenging to make a nice mixture of both sounds without sounding like you are just cutting 2 different tracks together.
You & Alpha have a project called -Z-, what made you both come up with the idea for -Z-? What is unique about your project?
We where looking for a name with the letter Z, because both of our artist names start with an “A”. Sadly all of the names which came to our mind where already in use by somethin or someone, so in the end we decided to call the project -Z-. Then when our first EP was released we recognized that the letter alone is a pretty bad idea because it´s impossible to find it by internet search engines and we added both of our artist names in brackets hahaha…
What is unique about the project is first of all the live performance because we actually play several instruments live on stage (bass, drums, synths). Secondly we try to melt several pretty different styles of electronic music together such as Dark Wave, Dark Psy, EBM, Indsutrial and even classical influences.
What gear do you use while creating music vs performing?
for studio production, I usually use Cubase sometimes Ableton Live or Logic, together with a virus ti and loads of software processors. On stage, I always use Ableton Live because it´s much better for real time interventions and live mixing. My live set is usually a mixture between my own tracks (or parts of them), samples and some live played software synthesizers.
I just wanted to add this bad ass album cover for Cerberus (Kasatka – Antagon – Extraterrestrial) because I looked over the details for a good 20 minutes. It’s an Akrashik released this past April. You can purchase this at beatspace (>click here<).
August 31st: Guadalajara “SPACE INVADERS 2013” ANTAGON LIVE – Las plantas de los dioses
September 7th: Mexico City
September 14th: Tijuana