You started ding in 1998, how did you start djing? What were your early influences?
My first experience with mixing records was when a good friend of mine got a set of turntables when we were in 11th grade. He had a random collection and we had no idea what we were doing but it was so much fun we were both instantly hooked. A few months later I got my first set of turntables, as my 17th birthday present, from my dad. I started going to a record store in Ft. Worth called Neurovox. It’s there that I got my first introduction to house music and learned how to beat match. The guy who owned it was named Kevin. He helped me figure out what was what on a few different levels. I’ve always been grateful to him for that. I wish I could remember his last name. Haha. But he was a really nice guy and an awesome dj as well.
I would have to say my biggest influence as far as djing goes is my best friend (other than my wife) and mentor, Craig Howell aka Craig Lee. I met Craig in ’99 when I’d been playing for about a year. As Forest Gump would say, “We were just like peas and carrots.” He’d already been playing 10 years at that point. So it was pretty awesome having him as my personal house music guru. I still look up to him and go to him for advice to this day. Thanks Craigly!
Now that you have been djing for 15 years, what are your current challenges?
I would say that my greatest personal challenge these days is keeping the spirit of the underground alive in an EDM wasteland. Ha ha. It’s much different from when I began djing and going to electronic music functions. Much more mainstream now. But I’ve also been pleased with how underground music and culture have continued to evolve in the age of DJ Paris Hilton.
Since you have your bi-weekly show on www.myhouseyourhouse.net. “In the Spirit w/ Joe Holmes” (airs every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 6pm-9pm CST) how do you decide what to play and which guests to have?
It’s a pretty organic process. Just kind of happens naturally. I ask a lot of my friends and people that I come across that I think can really play and fit the vibe of the show. I’m always looking for quality guests. And am currently accepting submissions.
As far as deciding what to play. It’s pretty much the same thing. Just whatever I’m feeling at the time of the show. I try to stay current with track selections. But I don’t shy away from playing older stuff either. In my opinion great music is timeless.
Now that you have relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas from Dallas/Fort Worth – what are the changes that you notice when you dj?
Interesting question. Little Rock is a cool little town no doubt. It’s my home now. It was quite a system shock coming from Dallas though. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a big part of bringing underground house and techno here, where it wasn’t before. Along with my crew SoulCom, we’ve been amazed to watch our efforts develop into a nice little family type of scene.
As 2013 come to end, what are some release, events or even projects that you are working you are looking forward for 2014?
Well, let me tell you! Ha ha. I’m excited for 2014. I’ve got a few irons in the fire at the moment. Planning on throwing at least four real-deal holyfield parties here in Little Rock. We brought Brett Johnson, Demarkus and Chuck Love this year. So you know we’ve got some serious hotness lined up for 2014. I’m also in the process of working with John Walker, Josh Kynd and Craig Howell on pursuing our Horsemen project together through production and djing. We were also thinking of doing a quarterly party together in Dallas. So it should be a pretty busy year. Eek!
Is there a show from “In the Spirit w/Joe Holmes” that is your favorite or stands out?
The ONE Year anniversary show this past December is my favorite. It’s a two hour guest mix by my good friend John Walker. One of my biggest influences and one of the best djs I know. John did the guest mix on my very first show as well.
Do you have any shout outs or shameless plugs?
I wanna give shouts out to my beautiful wife Jessica and my spunky little daughter Jillian. And my whole ESP family Craig, Brain, C-Rod, Jenn-uh, Mookie, Kitty B, Ladd B., Scoe!, Mike J, Uchin, Rick and Amy, Carl Cue, Tony Jr., Ricky Simpson, Stephanie/David and clan, to my SoulCom crew Mason, Joel, Brad, Danny, Jacob, Bobby and James. and errbody else knows who they are.
House is a feeling – a spirited feeling!
Joe Holmes posts great music and event info on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joeholmez
“In the Spirit w/ Joe Holmes” airs every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 6pm-9pm CST on www.myhouseyourhouse.net.
Mixes can be found on Soundcloud as free downloads: https://soundcloud.com/holmez
Listen to the lyrics to Ladies in the back. Yeah that would be me. I’ve heard this track before but it went well to start of this 33 minute mix.
Littlz just started playing out in Dallas this past year so any time she has a mix up I always snatch it up quick. This one is deep tech, oh it gets deep on this one.
I’m a super Sugarpill fan. This is a great mix, it’s only 37+ minutes long but every single track is Sugarpill – except the last two. Hell. Yeah.
Stoked about this. This is an older mix but I was just looking through Audio 1’s soundcloud to see if there is anything I missed, looked for moombaton seriously – AND FOUND THIS GEM!! It’s a super Michael Jackson tribute mix. It’s fun & it’s Micheal Jackson. It’s just back to back tracks, it’s a full mix.
One could really date their self by saying, “Oh I remember when this track came out.” Even Eli says during this mix, “Yeah, I’m playing 20 year old songs.” This is a recording from Eli’s new radio show on Thursdays at 8 PM www.RadioLily.com featuring classic rap, R&B, reggae, disco & funk. Tasty. Check the link for schedule for Radio Lily.
I just downloaded all of these so I’ll have great music this weekend to bump in my car and at the gym. Much love to you all.
Hunter Vaughan Live @ Sandaga 813 Dallas, TX
I’ve followed Hunter on Soundcloud for a while & heard his remixes so this mix REALLY is different from the rest of what is uploaded there. It’s absolutely beautiful & soulful. So refreshing to hear something new from an unsuspecting place. Describing phrase: hyper sensual lazer love. He performs on 9/20/12 at the Lizard Lounge.
I’m a mega fan of John Tejada so I was all over this the SECOND it came up on my feed. It’s minimal. It’s the musica ting ting. Last time John Tejada was in Dallas was for the Sounds Like.. event in February. Yeah it’s about SOMEBODY brought his back!
Sorry not a free download but it’s stupid if I didn’t show some love for this! Would you believe that Mala is the the Godfather of (what is now known in the States as) dubstep by listening to this? Far cry from tear out dubstep, no? Oh this is just beautiful. It’s a track from his album In Cuba – it’s on iTunes now.
AHH! I’m was so stoked about this since Stephan Jacobs doesn’t have many mixes available online. This is a majority of his own tracks, so wonderful! I’m disappointed that I’ll be missing his set at Art Outside next month this year but I’ve already heard him so I highly recommend that you do.
Just like the title of this mix reads, this is creepy. Darker, industrial licked mix. He’ll be performing in Austin September 29th Holy Mountain a dj set. I dig this type of stuff, dark but danceable. Most importantly it goes somewhere. I can’t stress enough how mixes shouldn’t be the same level the entire way through, different levels of energy here.There is also an interview to go with this mix, it’s in Dutch (What a wonderful time to learn a new language!) so you’ll have to translate it in your browser.
Free download is over H E R E C L I C K F O R D O W N L O A D Timeless beats of the universe! I’ve already listened to this 3 times – at least. Beats Antique. Is. The. Shit. A hybrid of musical styles for those who enjoyed playing the piano classically in middle school then performed in the marching band in high school who ended up turning into rave royalty then growing up to be music snobs who write about music. Or something like that. Something for EVERYTHING. Perfect timing as Beats Antique is in Dallas THIS FRIDAY at Trees!
Yesterday was a “let’s have a park party” weather. This next Sunday there will be a park party from Masdelux! In the meantime, download this mix to hold you over. This mix has bad ass songs like Lemar 50/50. Hi! This is song was my theme song in 2004 because I was going through a break up & he was all blabbing his mouth – ANYWAYS the point is there are some real gems in here that are going to rehash the past through hip hop & R&B. Sweet memories.
Wonderful weather this weekend in Dallas. Fall is coming. Hope you all have a great week filled with cute puppies! xoxox
The free download is available on the Spin website. Ah, this a great drum & bass mix that is perfect for the sophisticated ear, soul filled highs with dance able basslines. Perfect. This mix was created for Spin mag as a celebration of Makoto’s new album release. You can get that on the R&R Records website.
Here is a mix from 2015, as bonus.
Also check him out on Instagram:
You’ve been heard playing a variety of genres over your 10 years of djing. This summer you’ve played midtempo psyglitch & glitch hop. What current producers do you currently enjoy playing out?
For the last year or two I have been focused on playing psychedelic bass music like PsyGlitch and PsyStep. I have been playing a lot of material from Australian producers like Kalya Scintilla, Mr. Bill, Hypnagog, Barry Koota, and Sun Monx. I am also very inspired by a lot of stateside producers like Bird of Prey, Sixis, Desert Dwellers, Mr. Rogers, Heyoka, and Cheb I Sabbah.
I try and keep a balance between glitchy, world, and psychedelic vibes.
Is this a change from what you like to listen to in your non-djing time?
When I’m not DJing I like to listen to psytrance (Progressive Psy/Full On/Psybreaks) downtempo (Trip Hop/Lounge/Ambient/World) and bass music (Glitch Hop/Trap/DnB).
I heard your going to be playing trap music soon. What do you think of trap music, any tracks stand out to you?
I have only been playing trap for a few months now, it’s really just something I have been dabbling with for local gigs at clubs and bars. It’s a nice middle ground for me and a mainstream audience. It’s still bass music I love combining the tempo of dubstep (without the in your face shrill sounds) and some elements of rap (rolling hi hats and deep bass) that people can really groove to. As far as trap goes I would say some of the top producers right now are Flosstradamus/Diplo/Baauer/Drankenstein/UZ.
Even though it’s been a while for you, do you remember what made you start djing?
I got introduced to electronic music at a pretty early age, 13. I was already collecting a lot of electronic music on vinyl and cd. It seemed the next logical step to start DJing. I was obsessed with the culture and would collect anything that had to with electronic music, books, magazines, movies, flyers. After reading mixing tutorials on the internet and watching a local DJ (Jason Hatfield) mix in my bedroom, by age 16 I was pretty much hooked on DJing. From then on I would buy records at a local shop (The Volume) and hit up shops (Core/Spinmasters/Bills) every time I went to Dallas with family. Started doing house parties at 16 and playing out at local raves by 17.
Right now there is a lot of talk all over the dj world about dj not mixing live, what is your opinion on that type of performance?
It’s 2012 and the world is changing. Technology is changing too and if you don’t keep up it will leave you in the dust. A lot of what you are speaking of probably has to do with the fact most DJs are mixing on laptops now. For some reason people have lost respect for DJs when they make the switch to laptop DJing. It has made DJing accessible to the masses because almost everyone owns a laptop and can afford a cheap DJing program. This is good in some ways but horrible in other ways. It’s like owning a drum kit and saying you are a drummer or a rockstar, just because you own the equipment it doesn’t make you good. Also a lot of producers are DJing their tracks on programs where you can preset your mix or have it arranged ahead of time. This is great for producers who don’t specialize in DJing but want a way to showcase their music in a DJ setting. I have been using a laptop to mix on for the last 6 months and I love it. Do I use the Sync button? No I don’t, its not even very accurate and there are bpm readouts on every program and on cdjs so just quit being a lazy ass and manually adjust your beats like every one else.
Since you’ve played outdoor festivals this summer, how would you compare that to the atmosphere of a single night event? Any preference?
I love playing at festivals. I think it’s great having an entire weekend to pace yourself and be able to hear a wide spectrum of music throughout the event. Also being around artwork and being involved in activities like workshops and ceremonies is awesome. Plus having vendors and being outside and getting to camp out adds to the experience as well. It basically encompasses all of my favorite things into an entire weekend of fun, yes I love festivals I can’t express it enough. I would pick a festival over a club night hands down every time.
Excited about your planned tracks with Murcielago, a producer in Texas. Describe what we can except from this collaboration.
We haven’t sat down and worked on any tracks just yet. Both of us have just been tossing around some ideas on what we would like to do. We have had a few jam sessions with fellow Pinealien producer Psymatik and dabbled with different styles. Hopefully we will be working on some hybrid tracks that incorporate elements of PsyGlitch, DarkPsy, PsyStep, and Psybient.
Any shout outs & thanks.
Yes shout outs to all my crews I’m involved with Pinealiens, 903 Bass, and Beatdown Krew. A lot of love going out to the Atrium Obscurum crew for helping me be involved in the Texas Psy scene. Shouts to Moksha music and Jordan Moondoggy for having me out to Arkansas recently. Respect to DJs and Promoters like SoundShaman / InertG / Banjos to Beats for pushing the PsyBass/Glitch sounds in Texas. Shouts to my family and close friends who have supported me throughout the years and who have kept on believing in me.
Tell me where you’re from, where you currently live.
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Tx. After a brief stint in College Station I made my way to Austin where I’ve been for most of the last six years. I’ve taken a few extended vacations from Austin. One to Asheville, NC, where I got engulfed in the magic of the psytrance community, and one to the west coast on the annual fall hippie migration to the Nevada dessert and norCal. Austin is where I always end up though, and it’s a great place to be. There’s so many things going on all the time that you’re always able to find something fun to do and there’s a great EDM/Burner community.
What kind of music & parties did you first go to?
Ha, oh man! Big raves for sure.. My first party was Meltdown in Dallas and I was blown away from the start. Most of my first parties were more mainstream raves in Dallas and Austin. That was all when I lived in College Station and I was into the more mainstream producers and genres like house and breaks. Dubstep wasn’t really on the scene yet, but I always had a thing for DnB and 2-step.. It wasn’t until I moved to Austin that I started going to more underground warehouse and house parties though. I kinda got sucked into the Austin EDM scene when I got here. There were so many fun parties that weren’t in downtown clubs and it’s a pretty close-knit community, really most of my friends here I’ve met through electronic music scene. Then one day I found psytrance and nothing has been the same ever since..
When you started djing, you played so many different things. As your style has progressed how would describe it?
Oh I’m still all over the place when I dj. I’ve really tried to build my collection to be able to play just about any vibe of music from chilled out to tripped out to danced out and my influences are across the board: dubstep, breaks, glitch, idm, dnb, psytrance, house.. I try to find music that combines elements of all those into something that can’t be described by a single genre, and instead look for what a track does to me when I listen to it. I guess that’s why it’s always been so hard for me to answer the ‘what do you play?’ question, it really depends on when and where I’m playing but ‘psychedelic bass music’ is usually a good blanket term.
I’ve definitely come a long way from some of the first SoundShaman sets. That was around 2 years ago, and I was playing a lot of Mimosa, Heyoka, Vibesquad, mostly the west-coast bass music pioneers, and it all had that ‘slow and low’ dubstep/glitchop vibe. Now I tend to go for music that’s more upbeat and cerebral and really works it’s way into you and takes control. It took me a while to get comfortable playing more complex music and utilizing the dj software I use (Traktor!). I like being able to shift the bpm’s around in a set rather than staying in one place the whole time. It really gives me a lot of freedom to read the crowd while I’m playing. If people are really into it, I can keep going with that vibe and if not, I can switch it to something totally different. Or sometimes everyone is really into it and I’ll switch to something totally different anyways =P I’ll do things like go from a heart-opening emotional track into the nastiest wall of sound you’ve ever heard into something so goofy you can’t help but laugh at. I guess that’s a good metaphor for my dj’ing philosophy: take it serious, push peoples limits, but don’t forget to make it fun!
As you’ve tour different festivals & events, what experienced really made you love what you do? Any challenges?
I think SoulRise was one of my stand-out dj experiences. I played a 3-hour set at sunrise that capped off an amazing weekend, so many of my friends dancing and vibin’ out.. It definitely gave me a feeling of ‘this is why I do it’. There’s been many other moments like that.. Any time everyone is really into the music and feelin it, it’s an awesome feeling to be up there in the dj booth when that’s going on.
I suppose the biggest difficulty has been getting myself into the dj booth at the right time and place. Early on I would always get stuck on the chill stages at weird times, and end up having more people dancing than the main stage, or end up playing an awesome set to 3 people.. It took a while to get given the better time slots, but honestly now that I’m getting booked to play more festivals, I enjoy the challenge of putting together a set to fit a certain time, regardless of when it is.
What are some producers that you encourage others to listen to?
I’ve been really digging all the stuff from Australia I’ve been finding. Merkaba/Kalya Scintilla, Goosebumpz, Blatwax, Meat Axe, Mr. Bill, Sun in Aquarius, Mindbuffer, Circuit Bent, Hypnagog.. Luke Mandala and Jpod out of Canada are pretty sick too. Street Ritual out of California has some great artists like Thriftworks, JOBOT, and Knowa Knowone.
As Re:Growth nears, what are you looking forward to?
I’m really excited about Old Growth! The venue looks prime, so many friends and amazing musicians on the lineup, and friends and family from all over the country will be there.. It’s gonna be a great time! I’m playing at 1:30pm Saturday afternoon, which is one of my favorite times at a festival so look forward to some vibey daytime grooves!
Do you have any shouts or thanks to give?
So many! Pretty much all my friends all over the country, many of whom unknowingly influenced my dj’ing in some way or another, for listening to my dj sets and supporting my efforts. My brotha from anotha motha and all-around homie for life Joshuasca, who has been a huge musical influence in my life since we met. DJ Nod, the only person to play dubstep at World Bridge, for showing me both Traktor, and what it means to play a vibe rather than a genre. Brian, Jessica, and the rest of the Atrium Obscurum crew for all the awesome work they’ve done for the psytrance scene in Texas, and for booking me to play their festivals! Lydia and the Synergy I.D.E. Crew from Austin, where I played my first gig as SoundShaman, for constantly pushing me to evolve musically. All my friends from Asheville and Atlanta, who invited me into their tribe with open arms and showed me how awesome the psytrance family was! And everyone in Austin who has been coming to my gigs and rockin out on the dance floor for the last 2 years.. And thanks to you Ally for doing this interview with me!
You’ve been a part of the Dallas electronic dance music scene for well over a decade. Tell me how you went from being on the dance floor to being a dj
Well, I’d have to say that I’ve been at least a bedroom DJ the entire time I’ve been a part of the EDM community in DFW. When I was 16 my parents bought me a set of decks and a mixer for Christmas. Imagine my excitement to hear that my dad was going to take me to Guitar Center and let me get whatever I wanted, he didn’t really know about equipment of that nature and wanted me to have the best. So I walked out of there with top of the line everything for the age we were living in. But I didn’t have any records! So a couple friends of mine who played Drum N Bass who had a pretty extensive collection of records (but had really crappy equipment) started using my house as a place to play… and party, and I got the luxury of storing, and being able to use their record collection. A while later one of them got pretty bad into drugs and sold off his share of the vinyls to me for 40 bucks and the other one went away to college, at that point I had a whole collection of vinyls. I still actually have them, It’s always nice to lisnten to them, it totally brings back memories. It wasn’t until 5 or so years later that I wound up at my first psytrance party and my musical tastes as well as equipment took a drastic change from the DNB and UKG that I was playing in my much younger days.
I’ve noticed that you’ve been playing more on the techno side of things. What are you planning with for your next set?
You noticed correctly! You are always so informed about the subtle nuances in electronic dance music! But seriously, a couple of years ago at the first river party in New Braunfels, TX I was a little lifted and I heard Sean Anderson playing his Pointbender project really late on Satuday night, the speakers were down low because the police had already been there and nobody was dancing except me and Dawn Soleil Psychedelique. I was hooked! The slow pulsating rhythm and the eerie psychedelic sounds layered in the most simplistic way just left me feeling speechless. So, I went home and started fevorously downloading as much Techno as I possibly could and started playing it. For this next upcoming set, I’ll be playing very similarly to what you’ve heard from me in the past (no country western this time…lol) but I have a lot of new material that I’ll be playing with. I was starting to feel stifled by the lack of new music so I went out and basically revamped and replaced my entire collection. It’s going to be very fun, groovy, psychedelic, and most importantly, booty shakin!
Serato, Traktor, Ableton and CDJ’s. What are your views on the new digital revolution?
Well, I think that the digital revolution is a great thing. I really enjoy the freedom it gives artists to really explore multiple facets of music all from a very convenient, easy to carry, package. Gone are the days of lugging pounds of vinyl, making sure there’s a wind deflector at outdoor parties so the wind doesn’t pick up the needle and stop the music, and making sure that vinyl stays in the shade so it doesn’t melt. As long as the artists that use it are using it to really explore new horizons and not to just be lazy, I think it’s great!
There are a slew of bedroom djs out in DFW who want to start playing out, what is advice you have for them?
My advice to new DJs that are just playing at their own homes is to practice, practice, and practice! Once you feel comfortable enough to allow other people to hear you, try and get some friends to let you play at a house party of theirs. It’ll break you in so that you aren’t scared to play in front of people and, if you are good, you might get a booking elsewhere. Burn events are good practice too. At those events, you’ll get practice playing on a sound system that is bigger, plus if you aren’t great nobody will boo or yell at you (radical self expression, right) unless you are playing psytrance at 8am when everyone is sleeping and/or hungover. And if you are good, more exposure, leading to bookings. It’s all a very organic process, at least it was for me.
Downtempo, drum & bass, moombahton, psytrance, techno. What do you listen to normally? Right now, what do you enjoy playing the most?
Out of everything that you listed, I am listening to a lot of downtempo, moombahton, and techno. I really love moombahton, like a lot. I played a moombah set the last time I played the Pubstep weekly here in Denton. The crowd went insane! Something about it, it’s slow enough for people to keep up with it yet high energy enough that it just hypes the room. Plus we’re in Tejas so, everyone loves anything that has that south of the border feel to it. Lately I’ve found myself listening to a lot of late 90’s Trip Hop. Which strikes me as odd but I’m finding so much of the roots of the music that is coming out today in that low-fi gritty sound that is Trip Hop. Sadly, the genre only lasted for a very short time and then fell apart. Plus it’s super fun to cut into Downtepo sets. As far as what I like playing most, it’s hard to choose. I like to play different things at different times for different reasons. I’m too indecisive to choose just one.
Let me know if you have any shouts & thanks to make!
Shout outs! I would love to thank first and foremost my loving partner for being so supportive of me for the last year of the wicked journey of life. I’d also love to thank all of the people that have touched me, inspired me, loved me, and pushed me to go beyond. I’d like to thank Ally Fiesta of HydroSupraLicked.com for interviewing me, and for being my friend for so many years. My good friend Jared for being there in the beginning of it all, Erin Lee for widening my views on music, and life; Lydia for teaching me that through darkness you find the light. I’d like to thank all of my family at Atrium Obscurum, Jessica, Brian, Melody, Keith, Willa, Sonty, Sarah, Juju, gosh the list just keeps on going and going! Thank all of you for putting up with me over the years, I know I haven’t been an easy one to deal with and for a while there I was a super hot mess. I’d like to lastly thank my blood family for always supporting me and being so wonderful and kind. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for each and every person who has been a part of this existence. Thank all of you for co-creating reality with me. I love you all.
How did you end up in the psychedelic trance scene?
I happened upon the scene thanks to my Brother who took me to my first Psy festival. It was actually thrown by the Audiognomes in August of 2005 and was called Dreamfields. I was struck by how open people were compared to the “traditional” Raves that I had attended in my younger years. And the Music! I had of course listened to Psytrance for some time at that point, however I never got the chance to see it in person (rather than listening to my brother mix in the basement, which was cool when playing video games), which is a dramatic difference. Having come from a highly diverse musical background, I felt very quickly that I had found Home. I had found a group of people from completely different backgrounds, brought together by this music. By early June of 2006, after The Chilluminati threw the first Sacred Earth Open Air, there was no going back for me.
Tell me about Audiognomes, where are you all from?
The Audiognomes was originally a primarily Madison, WI based organization. Through out the years we have had some members move on due to careers, family, graduating college, etc. So as time went on we began asking people from around the midwest to join us, and we currently have quite a diverse group. Being an Audiognome means becoming part of a Family and we are quite selective in who we ask to join. We base it on our impression of a person, not just their skills behind the decks or with producing, but their drive, ambition, and personality. We’re driven not by ego, but by our passion. Each of us is driven by our passion for this music, and our wish is to be a conduit for the music that we bring.
Updated mix, downtempo, soundscapes.
How would you describe the music scene is in Wisconsin?
The music scene in Wisconsin has changed over the years. Back in the early 90’s through the early 2000’s there were gradually larger parties to the point where every other weekend there would be a Rave in Madison, heck, Daft Punk played in Madison in 1996 (I was too young at that time, pity). Then it kind of fizzled out for a while. Counties around the state had passed strict sound codes and there was fewer properties where a private event could be held. I went to three Raves between 2001 and August 2005, one was the last big outdoor party in Wisconsin called Rejuvination, and the other two were eight hours away in Illinois… I was under 21 at the time and that made it hard to be at a club/bar where most people played after the big Raves ended, and also where the Psy scene in Madison really started in 2003.
I gradually I fell out of the loop due to my age. And then Ben started telling me about these club parties that I couldn’t go to with this awesome music… However a majority of people preferred breakcore, dnb, house and techno oriented genres and had a general distaste for anything including the word “trance”, as a result many events or clubs would not even consider Psytrance. After our primary venue in Madison closed. We were quite limited as to where we could play in Madison. We have had bars let us do monthly events for a time over the years, but the audience wasn’t building to what the owners wanted. We’re working on spreading our name around town to fix that. But in the mean time I have these wonderful festivals to play at, which are usually a few hours away, however well worth the trip.
What was it that drew you to becoming a DJ?
I was bored with just updating the website. I kid. I was drawn to become a DJ not only because of what you can do with an audience, but also in a large part due to my Brothers influence. It looked fun and I wanted part of it. But I was always too nervous to start, wasn’t sure which “style” I would play. For quite a few years people would ask continuously “When are you going to start playing like your brother?” I always said I was taking my time, and I was. I was watching how it was done and I had some very good teachers. Also I was really bored with just updating the website.
How long did it take before you started playing out?
Quite a while considering all the bugging at every damn festival or party I would go to about when I would become a DJ like my brother.
Again, I kid.
In all honesty it took me two to three years before I was ready to take the plunge. I feel like waiting that time has helped me take into perspective the feel of the audience. It has given me a different point of view that I take into consideration. Yes, I could play 200+ BPM for an entire set, but I then think “What would I do if I was in the audience?” Playing that fast is intense, not only for me but for the audience, you have some control of your audiences emotions and it is important in my view to take that into consideration.
On a side note I have not posted a mix in a few years… I’ll do my best to change that. However over 120 mixes are located at www.audiognomes.com
How did you get interested in music? When did psytrance come into the picture?
My parents were a strong influence. My dad played bass guitar for our church and my mom had a record/tape/cd collection that rivaled most music stores (seriously her whole collection took up 2 whole walls of her apartment). Between the both of them, there was definitely more time listening to music than there was watching TV growing up. My progression to psytrance begin in 1991 when I was first introduced to “techno” by a show Jason Bentley had on the NPR station in California, called Metropolis, every night at 8 PM. From there I learned about raves, became an avid attendee and fan of the “club kid” culture and then learned about these secret parties they would throw in the Mojave. Everyone I talked to were crazy passionate about those parties. How the people were friendlier, how the open air and scenery just made the mood of the party better and how alien the music was. I finally got myself on the proper phone/usenet group lists that announced these events and went to my first desert party in 1999. It was true love immediately. I never wanted to go to another dirty California warehouse rave again and didn’t have to with 4 different crews throwing down a party at least once a month.
When you first started DJing, what was the vibe/crowd/venue like?
I first started DJing in my backyard at the private parties that ATLpsy would throw for the GA/NC psytrance family, the SpaceCamp parties. So the vibe was nothing but pure, the crowd was small, real intimate, and full of love and the venue was perfect as it was a home field advantage so to speak….lol. I have so much appreciation and love for all of the guys (Brainlizzard, Pyite, Puskara, Ika, Psyonic and most of all for CinderVomit) that helped me with gear and support; let me plug in my headphones and hear, watch and learn what they were doing; and more than anything, gave me the strength and encouragement to take my psytrance experience to this next phase, from dancer to DJ.
What are some differences that you notice in the psytrance scene that vary from other EDM subcultures?
Hrmmmmm…..in no particular order I would have to say:
- Audiophile-tuned speakers….psytrancers are extremely particular and finicky with achieving crisp and concise sound.
- Tends to be more of a spiritual overtone to the event, at least to the “heads”
- Attendance on average I would have to say is older, possibly (and I use this loosely) more mature than your typical EDM scene.
- Sadly, psytrancers do up the art/deco aspect more often than the EDM scene these days. The art was one of the most amazing aspects of the first generation of raves and it seems that the more commercial EDM gets the focus on the visual art has slipped away to nothing but a banner some lasers and a VJ, if you are lucky.
- Most of all I would have to say though that psytrancers are more likely to treat you like family (the good kind that is) than any other group I’ve encountered. I’ve got more friends all over the US and the globe just because of our common bond of the music and the love for our scene.
Tell me more about the crew that you’re with, AtlPsy?
As Atlant-aliens, we used to be limited to psytrance parties in North Carolina for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, the different crews that threw down in NC were great, but the 3.5+ hr drives were a little rough sometimes. The silly thing though is that we really didn’t know of each other until Tribe came along and Moksa formed a “tribe” for Atlanta. Together we discovered that we each had a skill or commodity to contribute to putting on our own shows down in Atlanta and thus a great group of clowns and shenanigans was born.
Psytrancess will be performing at Embodied Awakening 2.5 hours East of Dallas, TX at Armadillo Acres.