I have to go back to 1978 to recall my first electronic music influence. I was 5 years old, listening to my parents’ LPs of Jean Michel Jarre, “Oxygene” and “Equinoxe”. From this moment, I always felt drawn towards music genres filled with similar electronic sounds.
Where It All Began
Before I discovered my first psychedelic trance party, I was mainly listening to Dark Wave, Industrial Metal and EBM. In the early 90’s, I started to show interest in the rave scene but I never fully connected with the atmosphere. I was looking for something deeper. One of my DJ friends at the time told me about an underground genre of electronic music growing for a few years already: Goa Trance!
We decided to see for ourselves and went to one of the legendary “Luna Club” parties that took place in Germany. Antaro, Cosmix, Mark V. D. Vlugt and Planet B.E.N. were on the line-up that night. More than a discovery, it was a revelation to find a world beyond the music itself, with its unique spirituality and lifestyle, free from commercial interest, and with a strong desire to create new sounds and rhythms I never thought could possibly take shape.
The experience changed me forever. Within the same year, I had my hands on my first set of turntables and with a few records already in my bag, I started mixing. I haven’t stopped ever since.
In the late 1990’s, I first became known for my dark, twisted and aggressive sets, always playing the darkest hours of the night with relentless energy. Some of the most influential artists I had in my collection were Tim Schuldt, Xenomorph, The Delta, and Paps with his EP “Vibes from the Other Side” being one of my all-time dark psytrance favorite track, still to this day.
1999 © TIP Records
I had the chance to grow as a DJ during the golden years of psytrance. My records collection kept expanding with all the new sounds that psytrance artists were creating during these years, some of them more progressive, some more twisted, some more hybrid. As my musical awareness expanded, so did the styles of my sets.
I now play many different psytrance styles that I group under four main categories: progressive, full on, dark and old school. Before any event, I always prepare 3 or 4 different sets with carefully crafted selections of tracks following my inspiration and harmonic mixing rules. When I play, I alternate between these sets, following the vibe on the dance floor and bringing the best of my skills to offer creative mixes and a smooth experience to the audience in their trip through sound.
I started mixing with LPs on Technics SL1200MKII turntables. I am still using them to this day, although there was a time I wasn’t certain I would again. In the early 2000’s, as it was increasingly more difficult to find psytrance on LPs, I became interested in digital formats. These were easier to carry around, more suitable for warm locations and a lot more music was accessible digitally, including unreleased tracks. My first digital mixing experience was in 2000 using Stanton Final Scratch 1.1 with timecode vinyls. I was very excited about the potential of the system. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the audio quality satisfactory enough due to some reliability issues between hardware and software. I opted for CD players then.
I bought a pair of Pioneer CDJ-100S in 2001 to expand my versatility as a DJ. At the time, CDJs had become standard hardware at events, festivals and clubs. And while the CDJ-1000s had justifiably established itself for years as the CD player reference for DJs, I never felt that this model or any other CDJs I tried were successful at replacing the tactile control of turntables.
In 2008, I decided to have another go at software DJing, but this time with the support of MIDI controllers that offered new exciting mixing possibilities I only dreamed of before, such as editing, sampling and remixing tracks live. This pushed my DJ creativity into new territories that didn’t try to emulate vinyl, but instead allowed me to create more exciting and challenging performances while being able to reintroduce my turntables in my setup.