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Psibindi talks all things music including her new collaborative EP 'Sentient Rays' on Aphid Records, her band Sentience Machine and 10 years of Psy-Sisters!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 04-04-22 14:38
Psibindi is a well-known respected artist in the Psy-trance scene and has been for or a long time now. Not just for her amazing Psy-trance productions and DJ sets but also for launching the incredibly successful Psy-Sisters platform. With her fourth collaborative release ‘Sentient Rays’ just out it was inevitable we were going to grab Rena aka Psibindi for a long overdue catch up!
You have been working really hard in the studio and just released your fourth collaborative EP ‘Sentient Rays’ with Aphid Moon and Mechanimal on the legendary Aphid Records. Tell us all about the release, the inspiration, the production process. What it’s all about?
I’m really excited about this release. It’s been great to get back into the studio and write some banging psy-trance with maestros Jules (Aphid Moon) and Nick (Mechanimal). A lot of time, energy and hard work has gone into perfecting the production. It’s been a few years since our last collaborative release ‘Elliptic EP’ so we wanted to take our time to develop the production style and concept for this EP.
‘Sentient Machine’ with Aphid Moon is inspired by machine intelligence and its ability to perceive and be conscious. Both Jules and I wanted to explore how we could manipulate my vocals to sound like AI, communicating concepts beyond our imagination but retain an element of my signature glitchy Indian talas. The track is sonically deep and evolves into a spectrum of sentient voices intertwined with a thundering groove.
‘Luminous Rays’ with Mechanimal explores heightening our visual imagery and senses. The spoken verse at the beginning invites you to experience this. The driving energy and arrangement develops into a euphoric crescendo. It’s a real sonic beauty with all the characteristic vocal effects that Nick and I love to use.
You’ve had so much support on this feisty release, especially from DJ Jaguar on Radio 1. Tell us how this came about and what it means to you.
Firstly, I’m so grateful to DJ Jaguar for all her support for the release. She hand-picked ‘Luminous Rays’ for her International Women’s Day show in 2021 and championed psy-trance for the first time on her award-winning BBC Introducing Dance show on Radio 1. It was a dream come true for both Nick and I to hear our music played for the first time on BBC Radio 1 and for psy-trance to be given recognition on national radio.
Jaguar then teamed up with DJ Jasmine Takhar of BBC Asian Network to feature ‘Luminous Rays’ on BBC Asian Network’s Introducing show. This was another breakthrough achievement for me, as I’ve always wanted to hear my music played on the station. It’s a real turning point for BBC Asian Network to playlist psy-trance, particularly as psy-trance originates from Goa!
You have just recently celebrated International Women’s Day. This year’s theme was ‘Breaking the Bias’. As the founder of Psy-Sisters global platform, I know you are really passionate about supporting women in the music industry. Tell us about this….
This year is a special one for Psy-Sisters as we reach our milestone 10-year anniversary! I’m incredibly proud of the collective and all our achievements over the past decade. We have featured hundreds of creative women on our platform and held two successful all-female DJ line up events in London.
This year we had the opportunity to join forces with Manchester based promoters and record label Audio Addictz to combine our energies for International Women’s Day.
AudioAddictz are a pioneering crew founded by Lee Owen-Taylor and Angela Carr, who have been bringing ravers together in the North for years to enjoy their spirited parties. When they invited me to headline at their International Women’s Day event this year it felt very synchronised. Angela aka DJ Mutated Pony is passionate about celebrating female energy. They chose to host an all-female DJ line up event to commemorate International Women’s Day featuring DJ sets from renowned Psy-Sisters: Mutated Pony, FlibbertiGibbet, Lorraine, Ellen and a special set by AudioAddictz Live.
The event was the perfect opportunity to officially kick start Psy-Sisters 10-year celebrations with the AudioAddictz family, and a glass of prosecco!
Psy-Sisters has big plans for our 10-year celebrations…Watch this space!
You are also very involved in raising money for the global Set For Love DJ appeal by charity Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. How have these gone, and do you have any more in the pipeline?
Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is an inspirational charity that creates fundraising initiatives for the dance music community, in support of children in crisis. I did my first DJ live stream for their Covid 19 Relief Appeal in 2020. The appeal raised over £60,000 and these funds were used to support people in developing countries who had been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Following the success of this fundraiser, the charity and I were keen to encourage more female DJs to participate in future fundraisers. I set up a Psy-Sisters Set For Love fundraiser, inviting guest DJs to do a ‘Boiler Room’ style DJ live stream from Music Box Radio in central London. We’ve hosted four Set For Love fundraisers featuring psy-trance and techno sets from DJs: Nuky, Sati, Bahar Canca, Ebru Al, Florescence, Jacki-E, Jesika Jane, Dot Dash and myself. Collectively we’ve raised over £900! Set For Love appeals are continuous throughout the year so we’ll definitely be doing more.
DJs [L-R]: Bahar Canca, Sati, Psibindi, Ebru Al
You’ve branched out into live music with your alt-rock band Sentience Machine. Why did you start a band?
I love producing psy-trance and making people dance with my DJ sets. That synergy between the DJ and dance floor is pure joy. I also love the raw energy of singing live on stage with a rock band. It’s a whole other experience and another outlet for my creative expression. I started my music career at the age of 11 as a singer and songwriter so it’s at the core of my creation. There’s a lot going on in the world right now and songwriting is like therapy. I want to project what I perceive and feel through my lyrics and voice. I’m very fortunate to have a talented band to work with. We are like a family growing together on this journey. Our gig at the iconic Dublin Castle last November was our most powerful performance yet.
The band released their second single ‘Microscopic Enemy’ during the pandemic. Can you tell us more about the relevance of this single?
‘Microscopic Enemy’ is a hard-hitting expression about lockdown life, reflecting on the winners and the losers during the pandemic. It’s a bold song that caught the attention of top music curators who gave the record rave reviews. Converse US also supported the record by playing it at 109 stores! The record reached a new audience and sparked conversation and debate, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. The music video visually brings the song to life too. We were very fortunate to work with Cineoteric Films, production assistant Reshma Biring, artist Bonnie Bee, photographer Emma Brown and Geomatrix Design who collectively created a striking video and brand image.
What’s next for Psibindi, Psy-Sisters and Sentience Machine?
Aphid Records and I are currently busy promoting Sentient Rays EP. It’s good to see gigs picking up again following the pandemic. I’ve had some great gigs so far this year; The Magic Tribe, AudioAddictz and most recently the legendary Tribe of Frog. I’m excited about my next gig in May which is an invite only UK micro festival called Deevstock. I’m collaborating with top psy-trance producers Colin Bennun (OOOD), John Phantasm and Coral as well as working on my own psy-trance productions and a new live set.
Psy-Sisters is also busy with our 10-year anniversary preparations and new promo campaigns in the pipeline, so lots going on with the collective too!
Sentience Machine will be back at Dublin Castle on 24th April and then we will start playing gigs outside of London. We’re playing our first gig at Reading Facebar on 6th May and we’re also on the bill for a Ukraine fundraiser at The Horn in St Albans on 22nd May alongside: Symhatree, TMCF, Amad Knox, Kingfisher Band, The Kick Pistols, Laura Dannan plus a mystery celebrity guest to be confirmed!
Our next single ‘Human Stigma’ is scheduled for release in the Summer. We’re thrilled that the single will be mixed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios!
To follow Psibindi and her associates click these links:
Images courtesy of Emma Brown Photography, Rupert Hitchcock, Kdagostim and Angela Mazur. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
New Techno Rising Star DKLUB talks about his debut release White Rock on Onhcet Republik!
PAN expands on many things including his new album 'Hyperbolic Oxymoron' due for release on the 14th April 2022 on PsyWorld Records!
N-Kore talks Jean-Michel Jarre, unfinished tracks and fatherhood!
Celebrating International Women’s Day and Ten Years of Psy-Sisters with Amaluna
A Catch Up with John Phantasm ahead of his upcoming set at the Tribal Village 4 Day Outdoor Event in Kent 6-9 May 2022!
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.