Coming from Nashville, TN, Znataraja stumbled across the darker side of psychedelic trance in 2012. As a guitarist and fan of heavy metal, she instantly developed a deep passion for the genre. Since 2015 Znataraja has been blasting dark psy and psycore for crowds throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. As a label DJ, Znataraja represents Scared Evil Records (German/Norway), Australiacs Records (Australia), Twenty-Five Records (Mexico) and Atrium Obscurum (Texas and Mexico). She is the early stages of her production project.
In addition, she recently started her first record label, Sacred Macabre Crew (USA), and she is in the early stages of her production project. Hear her perform 3rd weekend of November at Tribal Tejas in East Texas.
Hello Znataraja, where are you from and how did you find psytrance? When did you start DJing and producing?
I currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee although I have lived in several different states throughout the US.
I randomly came across psytrance in 2012 at a Southeast regional burn called “Alchemy,” where I camped next to a sound stage ran by a collective called Nerdy Psouth. I was so intrigued that afterwards I began to investigate the genre and soon came across the “darkpsy” and “psycore” subgenres, instantly falling in love. A couple months after Alchemy Burn, I experienced my first psytrance festival, World Bridge (The Final Installment). Obviously after this my world was flipped upside down in the best way possible, and I set out to find everything I could about the music.
I started DJing and producing around the same time mid-2014, hoping it would help me better understand both concepts as a whole. Currently all of my productions are still very much a work in progress, and I have not released anything at this time.
How has your style changed over the years? Who were artists influencing you in the beginning?
I honestly cant say that my style has changed much over the years. From the beginning until this day, I have mostly been a junkie for the old school classic horror trance darkpsy vibes, as well as that of particular sects of psycore. In the beginning (and still today) the artists that influenced me the most include Miquiztli, Xikwri Neyrra, Necropsycho, Demonizz, and Silent Horror. Miquiztli specifically had the biggest impact on my path down this subgenre. I came across his (psycore) EP, Black Sessions, which was released in 2013 and carries the old school horror trance vibe that I still love so much today.
You are with the Sacred Macabre Crew and record label, what are things you’re proud of with Sacred Macabre?
What I am most proud of about Sacred Macabre Crew is the family dynamic aspect that it holds. Everyone involved (with the crew and the label) has pure intentions and brings great vibes to the table. Although our collective and label are still growing, I feel that we’ve had great success with kick-starting and promoting music in the southeast region by bringing out headliners such as CinderVOMIT (Georgia-based) and Mohinia (Montreal-based).
You are the newest member of Atrium Obscurum (TX and CDMX), what attracted to join the Texas based crew?
I was attracted to join Atrium Obscurum because you all are already family to me! AO is super professional all-around and has the right goals in mind with their projects at hand. Not to mention, AO books, releases, and promotes all of the music/artists that I am most passionate about! Side note – I cant say how excited I am to get together with everyone again for Tribal Tejas in November!
You just performed at Space Invaders in Guadalajara, what about this event did you love the most?
What I liked the most about Space Invaders in Guadalajara was the close-knit family vibe that the party had. Everyone in the Lisergica  family is always so welcoming and I feel so at home with their crew. Also one of the coolest things to me is that I was able to share a stage with some of my favorite artist like Demonizz [(Nocturne Noises Records /Dark-Valley Rec)] from Brazil), Xtraterrestre (GDL local) [Lisergica 25, Twisted Minds Records and Discordia Crew], and Xikwri Neyrra (GDL local) [Active Meditation Music, Acidmaniacs Records].
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