Badajalash: Psychedelic Shaman
Reported by Andy Force
Submitted 13-12-11 18:59
As the supernova of psychedelic progressive trance explodes to the farthest corners of the cosmos and the well oiled cogs of electronic music revolution continue to spin on their 4 dimensional axis, a glance across the Southern Hemisphere casts light upon the most recent phase in the life cycle of this burgeoning scene.
Originating from Argentina, Selknam Records is the creation Of Alejandro Macias, a musician and producer also known as Badajalash (aka DJ Psyxel) whose stellar new compilation "Beyond Time and Space" beautifully envelops the diversity and ingenuity of this global phenomenon.
Progressive music's slower pace allows more room for for deeper grooves and intricate soundscapes, making it very attractive to those in search of the psychedelic sound. Emerging from this are a breadth of different tastes, heavy night time beats to flowery morning rhythms, and in this album Badajalash has captured a snapshot of this techtonic shift in the musical landscape. Ale, along with his fine selection of artists are riding on the crest the wave of musical evolution, so we tracked Ale down and sought answers about what brought him here.
The compilation by Badajalash "Beyond Time and Space" is available to download for free here: http://www.ektoplazm.com/free-music/beyond-time-and-space
How did you first become interested in music, and who were your early and formative influences?
Music has been always part of my life. My father had a big vinyl collection, from Jimi Hendrix to Brazilian music, so every weekend quality sound waves were coming out the speakers. In the 80s I remember listening to Michael Jackson, Kiss, Iron Maiden and Queen cassettes with some old Pioneer headphones. I was lucky to have the chance to listen to all kind of music and learn that there are good songs and bad songs, no matter what style or genre.
What instruments do you play, do you use any in your music?
I always loved drums but unfortunately my fate as a drummer was doomed by the size of the flat where I used to live. Many years later I got an electric guitar and that’s where the challenge started. At that time AC/DC were one of my favourites bands. I loved Angus Young's guitars solos though I had to be satisfied playing Malcolm Young's rhythmic chords. The first time I played the guitar in my Badajalash tunes was in the reggae bit my Be Free track released in 2010 by Swiss label Audioalchemists check it here. It was an awesome feeling. I plugged my Stratocaster into my Fender amplifier, put the mic on and recorded it straight away.
How did you find your way into the trance scene, and what or whom has influenced the sound that you produce?
Since my childhood I was always attracted to Asian cultures. I remember I had an old cassette of Tantra (disco project of Italian composer Celso Valli) called “The Hills of Katmandu”, that was the first track with “trance” ingredients that I had listened to in my life.
In the late 90s I heard about “Goa trance” and after some internet research I went to a record shop and to my surprise I found one of the legendary “Distance to Goa” CDs. Then in 2001 I moved to London (UK). I used to go almost every weekend to psy parties. Chichime parties were the best night out! Wonderful crazy memories enjoying DJ Kristian and all residents, as well as the guest artists sets (Haldolium, S-Range, Mino, Astral Projection, to name but a few).
Every time I am at home watching movies, every time I go to live concerts or even when I am on the streets, new ideas about music come to my mind. That’s where I get “humus” to make my tunes. I think the more variety of music you listen to the more new ideas come to your mind. When I begin a track I start with the beat and bass and from there I imagine the story I want to tell. No story no song.
The progressive scene seems to exploded with good quality and diverse music emerging from all over the globe, what are your thoughts and where do you see things going from here?
Nowadays it’s amazing the variety of psy progressive music from around the world. The style will keep evolving and evolving, more crossovers tracks will show up and more people will listen to it. Everyday I see many people that used to listen to only full on, dark trance or even trance, feeling attracted to this fabulous style. It makes you dance and fly. It lets you breathe & relax.
You have just launched Selknam Records, what inspired you to do this, what is its mission and what can you tell us about the first compilation?
The idea about my own label has been there almost since I started djing, around 2005. The concept arrived in 2010; a professional net label releasing free download albums, taking care of each release as a whole, meaning each stage of the “making of” will have soul and dedication.
The “empty products age” is slowly coming to an end. Art is about expressing the Universe through our self. Money is necessary but making art for the sake of money is pointless. Artists must be recognised for their job, if they perform live they must get what they deserve, but making a “product” in order to hit the charts has no real meaning.
After a bit of research I decided that the best thing would be to release free albums. No intermediaries just straight to the people.
We usually think that because something is free it has no quality, though I believe that this will change in the future. If we imagine a world where the focus is not money but the creation itself (a song, a painting, a book and so on), then we realise that there are no limits. That’s where I think most of us are pointing.
About the label’s name it comes from an extinct tribe called Selk’nam (also called Onas by their neighbours the Yamana) was on my mind since my teen years. The last pure Selk’nam died in the 20th century and this is where the name of the first compilation came to my mind: Beyond Time & Space http://www.selknamrecords.com.ar/news. Their legacy, as all the ancient tribe's legacy, is knocking at the door because we know that in our times there is something blurred, something that has separated us from our essence.
Furthermore Selknam Records covers all the psy progressive spectrum. Deep atmospheres, twisted sounds, futuristic FX, driving basslines, mellow synth lines, funky beats, and so on, it's an analogy, that’s what we experience in life, all kind of states, moods, black and white and all the colours inbetween.
The first Selknam Records compilation has just been released (7th November 2011) and it’s available for free on the Ektoplazm network (http://www.ektoplazm.com/2011/beyond-time-and-space) and Selknam Records website (http://www.selknamrecords.com.ar/download).
The album includes tracks from Solar Spectrum (aka Braincell), Cimi (aka M-Theory), Wizack Twizack (presenting his new project Circle), Zentrix (crystal clear sound from Canada), Short Circuit (amazing melodic australian psy proggy producer), Radioactive Cake (owner of Glitchy.Tonic Records), Harmless Prankster (australian funky progressive beats at its best), Odd Sequence (his triplet bassline track will definetely shake the dancefloors), Onionbrain (head of Uroboros Records) and Badajalash (my project) .
The art cover is awesome! The main character is a “klóketen” (that's how young Selk'nam were called when they were participating in the Hain, a Ceremony to become adults). It was made by Bolivian graphic designer & music producer metzÁnima http://www.metzanima.com. His digital art is as wicked as his music and hopefully he will release a track on the second Selknam compilation.
The man in charge of the mastering was Ralph Solar Spectrum http://www.solarspectrum.ch, member of Rastaliens and Braincell, should I say more? He did a brilliant job giving cohesion to “Beyond Time & Space”, a dodgy task considering the songs included in the album are not just one style of proggy music; dark, experimental, melodic and funky.
What are the future plans of Selknam Records?
There will be a second compilation coming soon (first semester of 2012) and there are two more albums in process: one will be a Badajalash – What You Do / What To Do rmx LP and the other metzÁnima – Heartcore rmx LP The idea is to go further and further.
Will you be coming to Europe anytime soon?
Oh yeah! Before this year ends I will start organizing Badajalash 2012 European Tour UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Russia will be on the agenda. I’m already very excited about it!
Images courtesy of Alejandro Macias. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.