Nikki S interviews Sinerider - one of the psy scene's fastest rising stars
Reported by Nikki S
Submitted 12-10-14 15:30
After the global success of his début album Pure Tones and a succession of hit tracks over the last few years, Sinerider has taken the global psychedelic trance scene by storm, and has firmly established himself as one of the world’s top psy trance acts. In between all of the jet-setting and rocking the biggest events and festivals across all corners of the globe, we caught up with Dan Sinerider, ahead of his forthcoming gig at Astral Circus in London on the 24th of October.
Hi Dan, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to catch up with us! It’s always very exciting coming across such phenomenal UK talent, and the UK seems to be overflowing with talent and great acts at the moment. Can you tell us how you got involved in the psychedelic trance scene?
I began attending psychedelic trance parties in July 2000. I was recommended to go to a venue in London called the Drome, a legendary club which hosted some of the best parties ever made in the UK. I had been previously to Glastonbury festival a few years before and my friends told me it had a real festival feeling but in a club and it was nearly every week, I had to investigate. The sound quality was never much to talk about there and I didn’t even follow the music at the time. It had a chill-out room as big as the main floors and another huge area like a festival market place. The vibe and the people I met there was the main reason I continued to go and eventually I became interested in being a trance DJ.
Now, Sinerider isn’t your first or only artist name. When did you first start producing psy trance, and how has your sound evolved over the years into what it is today?
This is true, I like all music and most styles of psy trance so over the years more projects have accumulated. I was first introduced to music production in 2001 by a friend who actually had the equipment needed to make a track. As back then the first software instruments were only just appearing and computers were still nowhere near powerful enough alone to make tracks without some seriously expensive hardware synths.
After I made my first track, I built a computer with a friend and began the collaboration project Compressor. We played for a couple of years in London but I left the project in 2003 to pursue a music university degree in Brighton on the South Coast of England. Sinerider was born at this point and I began to build a new set with a new computer.
A couple of years and EPs later on my home label 24/7records I decided with my friend Hugo to start a slightly tougher sounding project we named Antispin. After some deliberation we decided to try and release the Antispin album before I tried to to do the Sinerider one. It came out in 2012 and was a great success. We recently played as both Sinerider and Antispin at the legendary Ozora festival in Hungary with a great response for both sets.
Last year when I was desperately trying to finish the Sinerider album I stumbled upon some of the newer progressive stuff coming out at the moment and as I produced some electro tracks a few years back with Atomic Drop from Brighton, I thought I would give it a go for fun. This then gave birth to Divination, my new progressive live set which I am scheduled to play all over the world over the next year alongside Sinerider and Antispin.
Sinerider's Ozora Festival 2014 mix
Wow, that must keep you very busy! Here in London, Compressor was a very well known and loved act in the warehouse scene and at big events like Antiworld. With all of your globe-trotting and jet-setting your passport must be getting very full! Over the past couple of months you’ve toured across Europe for the summer festival season. What has been your most memorable/best gig to date, and why?
Definitely Ozora 2014 was the one for me. It was an honour and pleasure to showcase my new album for one of the first times since its release, after Raja Ram and Chicago in the afternoon — a great slot to be given. Then from what I remember we had the biggest floor of the whole party on the night we played Antispin, which was proceeded by our mentor, hero and good friend, Scorb.
You’re currently based in Vienna and have just built a new studio. What inspired the moved from the UK to Vienna? Has this helped you creatively? Have you had any language barrier challenges?
I’ve been slowly making a move to Vienna over the last year. I’m always back and forth to the UK and gigging on the weekends. As I’ve been planning to move here for a few years, eventually I decided to build a studio. Now it’s just about complete so I can clean up the mess and move there properly. I have always loved to visit Austria, and 24/7 Records is based in Vienna, so it seemed like a reasonable plan.
I now work more closely with the label and live very close to my long time friend, label manager and producer Materia. Language-wise, most younger people speak good English if you push them to but I personally want to join in and learn German now as there’s always moments when it would be very useful — particularly at parties when people’s brains aren’t always in the mood to speak a second language to you all night!
So let’s talk tunes and production. Your early releases Rewired, Timewarp/Cruise Control feat. Avalon and your remix of Sonic Species’ Bend The Future caught everyone’s attention in 2010/11, but we then had to wait around 2 years before getting our hands on your Pure Tones album … which has been well worth the wait, and has quite literally taken the psy trance scene by storm! Why was there such a gap in between the releases? Were you working on and perfecting your album the whole time? How do you know when a track or album project is ready to release? How much tweaking and live testing do you tend to do?
We chose to finish the Anitspin project first, and then I also had some challenges making new tracks to replace the Sinerider tracks I had started a long time ago to make sure the album was current and what I am feeling today. The plan was always to have more than one set to offer when going on tour and now it seems to be working quite well, although I’m sure fans of individual projects may feel the wait between releases is sometimes a bit longer than other artists.
Tell us about your musical background. When did you first start producing? How did you get into it? From the sounds of the chord progressions, harmonies and melodies in your tracks I’d say you’re classically trained. Tell us more…
I don’t really have any formal musical training, I did some piano lessons when I was about 8 and also owned a drum set for a year or two around 11 as well as learnt a few chords on guitar during my punk metal phase. Mostly I was a skateboarder between 12-19 and then parties took over. The main thing is I have spent very many hours producing to get my sound and I really think anyone dedicated and determined will eventually get a result that others will enjoy.
I consider myself to be mostly self-taught. My music degree is in theory of sound for film and sound art installation and the concept of emotional impact from sound on its listener. I have never spent a long time practicing music theory or playing a certain instrument, I have just got better at making myself do the long days and consider the emotional impact on the dance floor.
When you go into the studio, what are your main influences? Where do you get your motivation and inspiration from for starting a track?
I am very picky and have a very clear concept of what I am trying to achieve when going into the studio. I only have a few favourites whenever I go to the mind of each project. For Sinerider I would have to say Protoculture, Astrix and Headroom lead the thinking. I also like Flip Flop and more recently Sonic Species for the inspiration in morning full-on style.
Over the years you’ve collaborated with Avalon, Sonic Species and many more. Who has been your favourite producer to work with, and do you have any exciting collaborations or remixes in the pipeline?
Joe from Sonic Species is a very fun person generally and we’ve been good friends at parties for years, which works great in the studio as well. We plan to do another collaboration this year. I’m also currently working on a collaboration track with Zen Mechanics and have plans to do a track with Tristan this year also as well as a Materia remix.
You’re signed to one of the most forward-thinking and cutting edge psy trance labels — 24/7 Records. How did this come about, and how has being with such a fast rising European label helped to introduce Sinerider to the psychedelic stages around the world?
I have been signed to 24/7 since the first compilation back in the Compressor days, which is approaching 12 years or something. It has grown into a killer label and I’m proud to be a part of it. The quality is a must for us, maybe attributing to slightly less releases as a label but always something special. We have big plans and releases coming this year which include a new album from French genius Plasmotek, who signed with us about 2 years ago, not to be missed!
Now that your album is out and tearing up dance floors globally, what does the future hold for Sinerider? What projects do you have in the pipeline? And what tour dates are on the horizon?
Sinerider will continue alongside my other projects and I have many tracks on the way still for this year. For tour dates please check www.soundcloud.com/sinerider-music, there are a fair few things shaping up but I haven’t released all the dates yet. Highlights in the near few include Tribe in South Africa this December and Maitreya Festival in Australia early next year.
For all of us studio geeks, talk us through your studio set up, and what set up do you like to use when playing live?
MacbookPro Quad-Core 15"
Access Virus TI Polar synth
Dynaudio BM6a monitors
UAD satellite duo plug in processor
RME fireface400 sound-card
Livewise I like to sequence unique sets for each party with special edits and mixes not always on the released material, as well as fx control in Ableton Live used in conjunction with iPad 4.
Quick fire questions (… that we’ve all be dying to ask…)
Mac or PC? Mac
Cubase or Logic? Logic
DJ or Live? Both .... Live & DJ
Favourite soft synth? Diva
Favourite hardware synth? Virus TI
Favourite piece of kit? UAD satellite
What’s best for kicks: samples or Bassism? Both
What studio monitors do you use? Dynaudio BM6a MK1
Sample packs or synthesis? Synthesis
T-Tracks or Waves? Waves
What’s your favourite plugin or fx unit? UAD satellite.
And most importantly … what’s your favourite drink? Water
Now… you’re originally a UK artist and you’ve played at some of the most kicking events the UK has to offer such as Noisily Festival. What have you heard about Astral Circus events? What are you most looking forward to? And why should everyone that loves psy trance come down?
I’ve heard that Astral Circus is one of the fastest rising parties in London with a rocking crowd, and that they like to showcase cutting edge talent and artists with album projects. So I am honoured and very excited to be playing all of my brand new album tracks! Don’t miss out!
Finally, as one of the psy trance scene’s fastest rising stars, with a strong impressive collection of releases and tour dates under your belt, do you have any advice for the aspiring DJs and producers out there?
Be hard on yourself, work hard, trust your taste! If you don’t have taste, give up: we don’t need any more shit music, and remember there is no shame in promotion these days. Since the internet grew artists can remain humble in the mind but can not expect the world to fall at their feet if they don’t tell anyone. There are thousands of bad DJs out there who are very good at Facebook and they will rise above you even if you are rocking and you know it if you forget to show it there! Just saying.
Thank you Dan for catching up with us... we look forward to catching your set at Astral Circus, London on Friday 24th October!!
You’re welcome... looking forward to playing at Astral Circus very much!
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Astral Circus pres Sinerider, Omsphere, Quanta, Dataura, Nanosphere & many more
Friday 24th October
Brixton Jamm [map]
22:00 - 06:00
£10-£15 +bf advance/MOTD
Advance tickets from http://www.astralcircus.net/ and http://www.onlinestall.com/
Click here to buy tickets
Now into their 3rd year of sell out parties, the Astral Circus crew returns with another night full of psychedelic magic and creative energy.
Astral Circus is a realm of self-expression and mutual insight. We endeavour to cultivate an interactive experience that stimulates beyond the senses, and unlocks the innate creativity possessed by each and every one of us.
Let's animate our vision - together!
Decor by InOrbit and Cognitive Dissidents, visuals by Psyentific Visualization.
Info & guest list: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.