Silicon Sound prepares to blast into the realm of collective unconscious at Pan Galactic Space Disco
Reported by Tara
Submitted 16-01-12 20:17
German-based French psy trance DJ and producer Johannes Regnier aka Silicon Sound has been fueling the dance scene with fresh uplifting releases since 2003. His production style is a medley of Goan soundscapes, tribal rhythms and European influences, colluding to make earthly electronic beats that would sound as at home in a South London club as they would suit a beach in Goa.
This Friday night London has a rare treat in store as he's headlining the psy trance room at Pan Galactic Space Disco at The Crucifix Lane (formerly Jacks) alongside Aphid Moon, Mechanimal, Kristian, Zeus, Psibindi and DJane Amethyst. With visuals by Spiral Productions and decor by Global Village, this promises to be one of the first decent parties of the year. As the excitement builds, we decided it was definitely time he made his HarderFaster debut...
Despite producing some kick ass records and having releases going back to 2003 you have remained fairly inconspicuous as far as online profiles go..Ö so can you please tell us how you became involved in the whole music business Ė and how did you get into producing trance?
Well, I discovered techno and trance in the early nineties. Before that, I was always into music, playing different instruments, different genres, jazz, classical of course... Actually, there was a radio station in Paris called Radio FG, with great resident DJs Ė Garnier, DJ Deep, and many of my friends and I discovered techno through it. I remember, the very first time I listened to this radio station saying myself something like: ďOk, this is the music I was waiting for!Ē It was love at first sight. I loved everything about it, the aesthetic, futuristic and sensual at the same time, the DIY ideal, the independence and (relative) anonymity of the artists. Music without a face, but with an essence, a soul. A few years later, I bought a computer, a sampler, a synth, got into production and eventually gave a demo to the guys from Moon Spirits Records, and they signed me.
Your tracks seem to have a very earthly and organic feel to them, what inspires you to make music the way you do?
Itís always difficult to say why we sound one way or another. I like to keep things intuitive, raw. Maybe thatís why it sounds Ďorganicí. I think itís often the small mistakes and imperfections that make electronic music alive and interesting.
Who have been your biggest influences musically through the years, and who do you listen to when you are chilling at home?
Biggest influences, thatís also difficult to answer, there are many. Without a doubt, concerning psy trance, Iíd say everything from Flying Rhino, Spiral Trax and Dragonfly Rec. And of course X-Dream, Logic Bomb and Cosma. But I must say I donít listen much psy trance at home. I listen mainly to jazz, and techno, anything from Delsin Records, Mathematics Records, or Mote Evolver, for example.
What have been the most memorable moments of your musical career, and what goals do you have for the future?
The most memorable moments? Probably working and exchanging ideas with other artists I admire: Blue Planet Corporation, Jaia, Sonic Species. Meeting other producers, sharing the same influences, the same vision, thatís what I love the most. Goals, I have many, canít detail much for the moment.
When you sit down to start a track, do you have a specific idea in your mind of how you want it to sound, or do just go with the flow?
Yes, I generally do have an idea of how I want it to sound, but thatís just the Ďcanvasí Iíd say. In most cases, I look for two things: first, the main idea, the essence of the track; and second, the small incidents that could bring new ideas. Both are generally related.
In the age of expanding music technology, as a music producer, how important is it to have an understanding of music theory?
It depends what you mean by Ďimportantí. I donít see it as necessary, because the musical content in psy trance is not overly complicated. But in order not to re-invent the wheel or repeat oneself, itís sometimes good to know at least a few things. Music technology, to a relative extent, is fine for the technical side of our work, not so useful for the musical part of it. And after all, to be able to break the rules, itís always better to know the rules beforehand.
Iíve seen a picture of your studio, and it is crammed full of hardware! What is your favourite bit of kit and why?
I love all these machines, itís my small electronic family. Iím really attached to my Nord Modular, as it was really a big part of my sound when I got into production. I also love the Elektron Machinedrum, very nice and inspiring machine like every Elektron gear, the Roland MC 202, the Sherman Filterbank.
But equipment is not so important anymore. Since many years, a computer, good monitors, and a good room are enough to make tracks that sound good.
Howís the psy trance scene in France these days? If we came over to party, which
events or festivals should we go to?
Iím not living in France anymore (Iím in Germany now), so I donít have a close look at the scene there. But I think itís quite stable, last time I played in Paris, the crowd was full of energy, enthusiastic. Concerning festivals, there is of course the Hadra Festival every summer, I think itís getting bigger year after year, itís most probably the biggest psy trance summer event in France. The Arcadia Summer Festival too, I heard it was cancelled last summer, but itís definitely a very nice event, with an eclectic line up. Hopefully itíll happen next summer.
Whatís been your favourite gig or festival to date? And is there anywhere that you havenít played yet that youíve always wanted to?
I canít possibly say which one is my favourite, but I have fond memories from many nice small parties in eastern Europe with a great crowd and very good local djs with a great taste in music.
Best festivals: Ozora is always nice, Sonica 2007 was beautiful, Voov 2004, Green Spirit in Thailand was cool too, and of course some summer festivals in Japan. Really, I canít possibly decide which one is my fav.
Youíve been collaborating with some of the sceneís top artists including Sonic Species and Jaia, do you have any joint ventures coming soon with anybody else?
Yes, some tracks together with Gabriel/Blue Planet Corporation, and more tracks with Jaia, as soon as his new album is finished!
Some people are saying that the world is going to end in December 2012: if thatís the case, what are the three things youíd do before it all finishes?
Youíve managed to catch a spaceship with your friends and family and escaped before the world ends, but youíre only allowed to take five albums with you. What would they be?
Coltrane Ė A Love Supreme
Mingus Ė Mingus Ah Um
Crosby, Still, Nash & Young Ė Deja Vu[i]
The Martian Ė [i]LBH 6251876
Koxbox Ė The Great Unknown
And of course Iíll try to catch this ugly great aunt Iíve never liked, throw her out of the spaceship, and bring with me 100 more albums.
Youíre headlining Pan Galactic Space Disco at the Crucifix Lane next Friday night, alongside Aphid Moon, Mechanimal, Kristian, Zeus, Psibindi and many more. What surprises do you have in store for your fans? And why should people reading this whoíve never heard your music before come and check it out?
Deep, trippy, futuristic music, old classics and new tracks... But Iíll keep the surprises for the party of course!
Thanks for your time Johannes! Looking forward to meeting you on Friday!
Thanks a lot for the interview. See you Friday!
Images courtesy of Judith Escobar and Johannes Regnier. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Psy Trance. Chillout / Leftfield.
PSYCHEDELIC TRANCE ROOM
Silicon Sound (neurobiotic recs. - germany)
Aphid Moon (aphid recs. - uk)
Mechanimal (mutagen recs. - uk)
Kristian (dejavoo / dacru recs. - uk)
Zeus (roots/pointzero recs - uk/sa)
Psibindi (aphid recs. - uk)
Djane Amethyst (mutagen recs - uk/sa)
Monkey Logic (liquid recs.)
Sofire b2b James Compressor (24/7 recs)
RobinTriskele (Triskele Mgmt/UK)
Dino Neutrino (A.T.A.R.I. Project)
Kaptain Kairos (aphid recs/psychedelic circle)
Cosmic Flying Circus (aphid recs)
Visuals by: Spiral Projections
Deco by: Global Village Productions
Crystal clear Function One Sound Systems rigs in both rooms!
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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.