Alina & Alex- Giving Birth to New Forms
7 apr 2021 | Shankra Interviews

Tell us something about your project and how you two met

Alina: When we first met, no one would have thought that 12 years later we would be recording an album together. 

Alex:I don't even remember exactly how I met Alina. All I remember is that she had a very cool push-button phone back then. And about 2/3 years ago I started helping Alina with mixing her tracks. A bit later we started doing some small projects together. And so it all turned into the idea of making an album together.                                          

                                                                                    

How do you bring your individual musical experience in your project?

 When everything is natural and clear, when no one creates obstacles, then everything blends by itself, giving birth to new forms, experience cannot be deliberately brought into the project, it can only flow into it by itself and this should be the natural way.

                                                                                            

Sneak peek to your future project: what’s cooking?

Now we are working on the follow up to our first album and we also have the idea of making another ambient album.

                                                                                    

How do you tell a story in your music during your musical performances?

When we start a new project, we usually already have an idea of what we want to do, what story we want to tell. So at the beginning we try to figure out how to translate our idea into music. And once we are able to do that, we start to fill in the resulting sketch with different small details, so that the listener can go deeper into our music and get a better understanding of the idea.

                                                                                     

Is there a person, historical figure, musician or friend that really made an influence on you?

Alina: I am a huge library of thousands of people who have met me. One day in Tbilisi, I looked through the ajar door of a shop. It was full of books and a man was copying them into a large notebook. I don't know why that man came to my mind. I don't know who he was, but from that moment on, he was a part of me.

Alex: I have been influenced by so many people. Therefore it's very difficult to choose just one. But probably the person who has influenced me the most in my life is my friend Arsen, thanks to whom I started making music.

                                                                                        

 Do you have something that fuels your life, like a belief, a feeling, a dream? 

Alina: I'm not sure I can describe it in words. It's all more than can be described.                    

Alex: I have a similar situation as Alina. It would be very difficult to describe it in words. 

                                                                                    

One song that makes you feel really good:

Alina: That's the hardest question! How is it just one? Every day is different! And that's what makes me feel good!

Alex: Usually it depends very much on the mood, the day, the inner state and so on. But at the moment I can highlight this track by Tomas Dvorak - Mr. Handagote.

You will play at Shankra Festival for the first time in Sri Lanka. What do you expect from this experience?

Our expectations are pretty simple - we feel that within 7 days of the festival a new universe will emerge, an inexplicable and infinite neural circuit connects us all into one big family.

   

A special message to the Shankra Family!

Love

Check out Alina and Alex profiles!

Angebot - Feel the Vibe
9 mar 2021 | Shankra Interviews

 How did you three met and how was the beginning of your collaboration?

It’s actually quite a funny story. In the summer of 2019 I (Backhaus) got a phonecall from Bow Miller. He invited me to dj with him and Carbalido at a small cafe next to the club Culturebox in Copenhagen. At that time we had never played together, and we actually didn’t know each other that well – but we shared the same passion for deep and slow house music… It was a hot summer night, so there weren’t any guests at all almost – only two I think, and a bartender, but it actually turned out to be one of our best gigs, because of the connection between us. We have all played individually for more or less 15 years, and for the first time for the three of us, we found our soulmates musically. We had an extremely good night and lucky for us, the booker from the club next door was there, and booked us straight away for the week after. After playing at the club, from 11 pm – 9am, we looked at each other saying: ’we need a name for ourselves’ – and from that moment Angebot was founded.

Tell us a memory about your first festival experience

The first festival we went on together was Garbicz in Poland. That was so amazing! We had a great time there and met a lot of amazing people.That whole festival was one of the nicest experiences that year! It’s hard to put into words how much magic comes out from that polish wood – we were filled with so much good music and perfect energy afterwards.

How did you get in touch with electronic music?

Individually, for the three of us, electronic music started way back in the late 80’s with Depeche Mode, later on Massive Attack, Portishead and Kruder & Dorfmeister etc.. But our passion for the kind of vibe and music genre that Angebot is all about, also started individually back in 2014-15ish, which at that time felt like a totally new world opening up… That whole vibe, with dragging slow-mo beats, that wants to go forward is to us, a really nice and hot combination. Dj’ing that genre hasn’t really worked for us separately here in Copenhagen. Not sure why, but it probably has something to do with timing. Angebot was born at the right time. No one else in Copenhagen did what we did at the time on our home turf. Be Svendsen was out of town that day :)

Do you have any advice to young musicians that are approaching the world of music production?

Don’t do it – get an education J seriously, get an education – you can do both. But in general, follow your gut feeling in everything that you do. You can’t go wrong. If you have a burning desire of becoming a musician or a dj – jump right in to it. There is so much perfect and free online help out there, that were not there when we ’grew up’ – so do it. Just do it. Ask your local dj – everyone wants to help out. We hope. If not call us :)

How did you choose your project’s name?

Actually we didn’t give it that much thought, but we have all been traveling several times in Germany, and angebot is a very used word there, because of its meaning. It means offer/sale. We always liked the sound of it. It kinda suits well in your mouth. So it was more that, than the actual meaning…which also makes perfect sense now. And then

we have a lot of free promo everywhere in Germany :)

 

Could you describe the process you go through in producing your music?

We get a lot of inspiration from listening to all kinds of genres of music. The three of us are kinda old, or at least up therewith age, and we have experienced a lot of stuff from traveling, having kids etc; all those things added up, makes your horizon go further. Meaning that we can listen to a nice authentic South-American tune, and straight thinking: ’This vibe is awesome, let’s work something out from this’ and then hook up in the studio and taking it from there. It’s all about trying different things out and suddenly you have a nice loop to work out from.

You got a totally free afternoon. What would you do?

If it’s in the summertime we would go straight under one of the central bridges in Copenhagen, where there is a nice winery, and share a bottle of wine. If it’s like a day today, we hook up in our mutual flat in Copenhagen and listen to music, chatting and dreaming about a world with no corona over a cup of tea. 

Do you have something that you always bring with you during your travels?

We always bring the slippers and the housecoats we stole from the last hotel we stayed on J

What are you looking forward to the most at Shankra Festival Sri Lanka 2022?

We are looking so much forward to feel the vibe, the island, the music and being together with a lot of wonderful people.

A special message to the Shankra Family!

Thanks for having us, and giving us this beautiful opportunity to be able to share our vibe and music with you.

We can’t wait to meet you all.

Koen- Dacru Records: Melodic & Psychedelic
8 mar 2021 | Shankra Interviews

You manage Dacru Records, prominent record label in the Psychedelic Trance scene. How did you start your journey in this project?

It was back in 2001 already that we organized a first party with some friends. It all started out very small, but over the following years a lot more events followed. And after already binding a couple of good artists to our organization and arranging some bookings and tours for them, it was the next logical step to form a proper label.

 

According to you, what are the most important goals of a record label?

There are many goals to achieve, but in general it’s working together with the artists to produce the best possible release. It’s the artist’s responsibility to create a timeless piece of music and the label’s task to put it out there in a way that as many people as possible can enjoy it. And have some great memories for the rest of their lives.

 

How do you choose to collaborate with specific artists?

For the artists that we really ask to join our label family on a long term bases, it’s important to have a good understanding. Of course everything starts with the music which needs to be good and suited for the label. We focus on the melodic and psychedelic. Apart from the music we also need a good personal and professional connection with the artist, otherwise it will not be something for the long turn. Luckily we have been blessed to work with many talented artists who are already with us since many years.

 

One musical experience you lived that really affected you

Difficult to pick just one experience. I’ve had some great times seeing Astral Projection and Man With No Name, they never fail. I’ve seen DigiCult play hundreds of times leading to many great memories. Maybe some of the best experiences were in the early years when we didn’t even know who was playing. Can I pick something non psytrance? I have particular fond memories of a Manu Chao concert at a festival in Belgium in 2001.

What do you think about the sustainability, ecological development and future of the psychedelic culture?

I am sure that many people in the psytrance scene do their best to consider the environment, probably more than in other subcultures. But of course there is always room for improvement, and that goes for everyone both the organizers and the visitors of psytrance events.

Do you think that music may have an effect on society and on people’s lives?

Maybe not the music only as such, but the whole subculture that comes with it of course it effects your life and chances your view on things. I like to think in a positive way. I guess the effect on society won’t be all that much, but for sure it would be a lot more sad if we weren’t there.

Over the years, we welcomed many artists from Dacru Records at Shankra Festival. Do you have feedback from them about their experience with us?

Yes! I have heard many positive stories from the Festival in Switzerland. Especially everyone always speaks very highly about the venue and its beautiful setting.

Many Dacru artists will play at Shankra Festival Sri Lanka 2022. Will you join us too? What are your expectations?

I am actually considering that yes. In 2003 I spent a few weeks backpacking in Sri Lanka on my first trip outside Europe. It’s a great country! I would love to return with some friends

and enjoy it again. And having a look at the line-up and hearing from many people, it seems like there will be a lot of friends there.

A special message to the Shankra Family!

I can’t wait to trance and dance with the Shankra Family and I really hope it will be possible in 2021 already!

System 7 - A Kind of Spiritual Depth
2 mar 2021 | Shankra Interviews

System 7 has been exploring new sounds since 1990. How would you describe your musical journey?

The original impetus for System 7 came in 1988/89 when we found ourselves immersed in the Acid House cultural explosion in the UK. Right from the start, we were picking up on the psychedelic aspects of this musical movement, and we thought it would be really cool to use some of the distinctive synth and guitar sounds we had developed previously with our psychedelic rock band Gong in a dance music context. Pretty soon after that we found ourselves working with Alex Paterson in the formative period of The Orb and we became initially well known, as System 7, in the Ambient House context. We were now active in a very wide open and energized creative field, and we started to hook up with some amazing collaborators and started developing new skills. It’s been a fantastic journey since then. Two other big developments were starting to play live as System 7 in 1990, and a few years later splitting into two parallel sister projects. These are System 7 for more dancefloor oriented techno and trance, and Mirror System wish focuses on our ambient, chillout and downtempo side.

 

What is your personal process of music production?

We work together, sometimes also with collaborators. A track can start with a groove, or with a sound, or a sample, a concept. Or it can start with something we just hear in our heads and try to reproduce in the physical world. We then build the final track working both separately and together, until we reach the mixing stage where I do most of the work. I am pretty good at finishing things, and I also get involved in the final mastering process. We like to try out early versions of tracks out at live shows or in DJ sets as well – this can really help.

 

What are the main features of System 7 and Mirror System music?

Well we’d like to think that we augment our distinctive System 7 and Mirror System sounds with killer grooves and great production! That’s what we strive for. The distinctive aspects of our sound are our way of blending grooves with our floating dreamlike textures, which give a kind of spiritual depth. We’ve been doing this for a long time, so we have our techniques pretty well sorted, for Mirror System at slower tempos and System 7 at faster tempos.

What inspires you the most in creating your music?

 We’re always looking for ideas that are fresh and new. We’re not into remaking the same old stuff, although we sometimes make completely new sounding versions of older tracks. We need to feel an excitement about what we are doing and to feel that we are still learning. Indeed, if we’re not still learning and improving it would remove a lot of the motivation. But inspiration ultimately comes from within. Often the best musical ideas just come to you and invite you to bring them into manifestation. In some ways we are channels.

  

How did the process of creating music change you, if it did?

I have been making music professionally for a long time now, and it’s the only job I’ve ever done. So I can’t really imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t making music – it’s in my DNA.

 

An art piece, a book, a movie that you would like to suggest us.

“Far Journeys” by Robert A. Monroe. A book that is hard to describe, and is pretty mind-blowing. We named a track after it on the Mirror System “N-Port” album.

 

One peculiar story you heard during your travels:

We’ve been fortunate to play many times in Japan, where we’ve had many interesting experiences. One of the best ever events we played at was the World Festival of Sacred Music, at a famous temple in Miyajima island, near Hiroshima. The festival was overseen by a Tibetan Lama, a representative of the Dalai Lama, and the stage was by the sea with a floating dancefloor, looking out towards the famous Miyajima torii gate. There were many different groups of musicians from all around the world, with System 7 the only electronic artists. Our set went down a storm, as most of the audience were into dance music, but we were unsure how well we had been accepted by the other festival participants as they were mostly with a more live-playing musician approach. At the closing ceremony, which included a magical performance by Tibetan monks, the Lama made a speech, and to our astonishment he said “And I’d like to particularly thank System 7 who made that wonderful electronic sound. I was in the audience with the abbot of Miyajima Shrine and we felt a great joy in the crowd, and the abbot and I agreed that there was a pleasing element in their sound similar to our mantras.” This was the best compliment we have ever had!

 

We will have the opportunity to enjoy your music at Shankra Festival Sri Lanka 2022. What are you most looking forward to?

We’ve been to many places in Asia but never to Sri Lanka, and we are really looking forward to discovering this country.

 

A special message to the Shankra Family!      

Keep safe and keep well, and remember we all have to look after each other in these difficult times.

 

Laughing Buddha - Let the Journey Unfold
19 feb 2021 | Shankra Interviews

What and when was your first encounter with electronic music?

I was thrown in the deep end when a friend of mine returned from Goa in 1990 and took me to some parties in London such as Gumbo, Little People, Ahimsa, Focal Point etc. I had kind of missed out on the 80’s rave scene as I was more focused on playing guitar, so my first rave experiences were proper Goa parties drenched in fluoro and full of colourful freaks!! My life was never the same after that…

What inspires you the most in creating your music?

I feel inspired by my experiences on the dance floor and by creating that space for other people to immerse themselves in. To me, Trance music is a kind of active meditation that allows us to experience a completely different consciousness for healing, exploration and FUN! I feel honored to be a facilitator of this.

How do you tell a story in your music during your musical performances?

I just like to get into the flow and let the journey unfold with the help of the people on the dance floor… we’re all writing the story together ;)

What’s the story behind your artist’s name?

I actually inherited the name Laughing Buddha from my partner in Cosmosis, Bill. He had been using the name before we started working together and we used it for our releases on T.I.P. Records. When we went our separate ways he kept the name Cosmosis and I took Laughing Buddha. However, I do think it suits me very well :D

Do you think that artists still play a role in society? What effects can he/she/they have?

Absolutely!! To me, art of all kinds is fundamental to society. It brings people together to form communities and gives them a voice. Without art we are just machines carrying out the function of survival. Artistic expression is an important part of what makes us human and can bring about huge changes in society.

Share with us a funny moment that you experienced in your job.

More memorable than funny, one experience that comes to mind was a few years ago when I was on tour in Brazil. It was my birthday and I was playing at the wonderful Progressive Festival in Curitiba. I wasn’t expecting anything, but at the end of my set a cake was brought onto the stage and 3000 people sang Happy Birthday to me in Portuguese!

Do you have a specific memory connected to Shankra Festival?

The last edition of Shankra was amazing. I had a great slot right before Juno Reactor on the main night and the dance floor was completely packed. The energy was incredible and right in front of me the whole time were two guys dressed up as Vikings going totally nuts and waving their axes in the air!

You will play your music at Shankra Festival Sri Lanka 2022. How will you prepare your set?

I never prepare my sets. Each performance is mixed live and spontaneously in the moment to suit the vibe and energy of the dance floor. However, I will of course be preparing plenty of new blasters to open the psychedelic portal for you all ;)

A special message to the Shankra Family!

Every experience I’ve shared with you guys has been amazing… can’t wait for the next chapter. Love you all!!!!

Suduaya - The Magic of Life
9 feb 2021 | Shankra Interviews

What does your artist name mean? How did you come up with it?

From 2003 to 2006, I was playing with a band, we were experimenting electronic sounds with instruments. At the same time i was listening more and more psytrance and chillout, and in 2006, after a 3 months trip in Sri Lanka & India, I decided to start a chillout project. I didn't have a name yet, but on my way back to France i had the idea to use the nickname my friends in Sri Lanka called me with, Sudu eya, which would mean something like white brother in sinhalese. It meant much, as it was my first conscious dive into spirituality and in a culture so far from our own in Europe. It blew my mind, gave me a fresh start in life, new perceptions, and a sense of taking control on my own life instead of following what society wanted me to follow. Musically it was so interesting too, so it made sense to have a name connected to that, and I blended those two words together.

How did your musical journey begin? How would you define your musical genre? Tell us more a about your musical projects!

I started to play the violin at the age of 5, guitar at the age of 13, and electronic music came up at 17 years old, so there is a lot of music I went through and discovered before finding what would be the best for me to express what I want to. I love funk music, old school rap, roots reggae, dub, but heavy metal is a big part of my musical DNA, I connect that to classical music, in the power it emits. I love classical Arabic music, and Balkan music has my heart too.

You recently released an album during these unpredictable times…why “Starseeds”(title of the album)?

Starseeds represents the balanced connection between ourselves and the Universe. I got inspired by something new I have been doing for the last two years, growing my own food. There is a power in that, it's grounding, and it resonates within, that's the real magic of Life, that's what I wanted to be seen in the artwork as well, the seeds we plant on Earth are the seeds we plants in ourselves, the process is healing, at least that's how I experience it.

Tell us a little bit about your production process!

I'm working on Logic Pro X, and it starts simply by messing around with sounds, playing melodies on my keyboard, slowly building something up with pads or beats, and suddenly things start to take shape. I like the workflow with computer music, it's different from having something running in your mind that you want to put on paper, it's more like what comes up in this particular moment, and I love that, I love the idea that a composition would never exist if I would have decided to work in the afternoon instead of the morning, or being in a place or another when I put some ideas out, I find it fascinating.

How do you find inspiration to produce music?

In the present moment. Everything that led to this moment has a part of it there, it can be anything.

Do you have any advice / tips to emerging artists that are trying to enter this musical scene?

Be true to themselves musically, and never give up their freedom. Also always check your contracts, many of us tend to be excited when we start to have deals opportunity and sometimes don't read or don't try to understand deeper the terms of contracts.

You have been at Shankra Switzerland in 2016, how was your experience? What is your best memory?

Shankra was so nice, the first thing I remember is that at the time of my psytrance set it was pouring rain, so much that some drops were leaking from the stage roof. We managed to cover all equipment, and what made it so amazing is that almost nobody left the dance floor, they didn't matter the rain, it was so good, to see people stomping full power, such energy, I loved it!

You are going to play at Shankra Festival 2022 in Sri Lanka…how excited are you?

I can't wait, specially because of the connection I have with Sri Lanka, it's like the birth place of this project in a way, so it means a lot to me, and it will be the first time I play over there. The two months I spent back then changed my Life, the people I met, the places I've seen, Nature, culture, history, spirituality, it's a beautiful country.

Discover more about Suduaya's music.

Shankra Festival