Interview: J5 (Inner Shyne) Atrium Obscurum Texas
When and why did you start djing?
It’s actually kind of a long and strange story that I have for the most part kept to myself over the years due to how crazy it sounds. I have trouble at times believing the story myself and I’m living it. I’ll spare everyone the long and winding details though and just hit the main points.
The night before my 21st birthday which was Halloween 2001 I had an experience in which space and time were transcended and i experienced what felt like the totality of everything that ever was, is or will be all in one perfect moment. While in this state I had a vision of a future in which I was dj’ing electronic music for people to dance to with the intention of helping them to facilitate the same transcendental state I was experiencing in that moment. At the time I didn ‘t even like electronic music, had never been to a rave, but there was a realness and a quality to the vision that I could not ignore so from that moment on, I began taking steps to realize the dream. A few days later I went up to Guitar Center and told the sales person to give me everything I needed to make “techno music”, which is what I thought all electronic dance music was called and from that point on I’ve been working at it ever since.
For the first five years or so it was very much a solo journey. Turns out if you go around telling people you’ve seen the future and in it you are a dance music d.j, people will distance themselves from you in a hurry, but eventually I came across the Austin Psy scene and slowly worked my way into the community and eventually started djing. I hope one day in the near future to start performing my own compositions but until then I will continue to create mixes.
How did you end up playing psychedelic trance?
I started out studying and playing around with generic commercial trance and did so for a couple years but then one afernoon while taking a day-trip I stumbled across a winamp radio station playing psytrance and I knew instantly that this was the medium I had to pursue. In addition to connecting with it energetically I strongly resonated with what I perceived to be the idea’s and values of the global psytrance/goa culture at the time.
One of my favorite events you attended was AUM Festival in Arkansas, how has your role changed since that festival experience?
From my perspective not much as changed, I still have the same motivations today as I did back then which is learning a musical craft to help people transcend their restrictive realities through dance music. What has changed though is now I am more connected and involved with the scene in general. It’s a trip to think back to the AUM festival and how what was once a group of strangers in a van heading to Arkansas is now a close group of friends with whom l am grateful to be able to organize transformative gatherings with under the name Atrium Obscurum. After several years of pursuing the vision alone, it is nice to have a group of friends to manifest our collective visions with.
Your set times have varied from event to event, when has your favorite time slot to play?
That’s hard to say. It’s fun to play the time slots when it’s dark and people are full of energy and enthusiasm to dance but I often find myself in the position of transitioning from faster stuff down to the mid and down tempo ranges which normally happens on Sunday morning. I love being able to reintroduce elements of harmony and melody to a musical pallot that has been to some distant far-off Alien places and hopefully help people put the peices back together in a manner that is in tune with their heart consciousness. At least that is my intention anyways.
Currently, who are your favorite producers?
At the moment the artists who are represented by the Kinematic label are definitely at the top of the list. Terrafractyl, San and Tac, and Spacey Koala to name a few. When it comes to the more intense side of the spectrum Dylalien has been a long time favorite of mine. There is a quality and texture to his sound that is unlike anything else on this planet. When it comes to mid and down tempo music I have a deep appreciation for Dymons, Flooting Grooves, Ekoplex, and just about anything released by Ultimae and Peak Records.
If you described psytrance to someone who had never heard it before, what would you tell them?
In my experience there are different forms that the music can take. Some of the music out there sounds very mechanical and noisey, created by ego consciousness and sounds like what one might imagine a mathematical equation would sound like. However, sprinkled here and there amongst the robotic trance there exists a form of psytrance that has the sound and feel of something that is alive and breathing and comes from the realm where energy creates form from the formless. All in all it is not really something that can be accurately described with verbal language. It is something that has to be experienced and even still it can not be described because like everything else that composes reality it is uniquely created by and for the observer having the experience.