11 Perfectly Strange Years – Interview with Perfect Stranger
Perfect Stranger is a favourite here @ Trancentral headquarters. He has always had his own special thing going, doing his own thing, following his heart and art and staying very true to what is Psytrance for us without never sounding like what people expect Psytrance to sound like. It’s been 11 years since he stopped his BLT project and started Perfect Stranger, and for that occassion he’s releasing a 3CD album (named “11”) with on Iboga Records. We hooked up with him via email to hear a bit about the album. As always it turned out to be an interesting experience.
While you read, why not listen to the new Perfect Stranger album:
Q: You are celebrating 11 years of Perfect Stranger with a bang – 3CD album on Iboga Records, aptly named “11”. What is the main reason for you to celebrate, really?
A: We are celebrating quantity over quality ; )
Q: So what does “11” offers us? The album is being pre-sold via Pledge Music – how does it feel to release through a crowd funding platform?
A: The album offers three CD’s, first is of Psy related remixes to my work in the last 12 years, second is Tech Psy and minimal related remixes, it’s marginally slower obviously, but it’s still psy minus the speed element. CD03 is me making a facelift to some of the tracks I did (not necessarily my originals, also remixed works of mine) that I really wanted to still play out, but couldn’t due to dated sound. In that CD there are two 3 exceptions which are original previously unreleased track with Twisted Sibling aka the Hayes bros from Australia, the remix I did to Perfect Ace and the licensed Octopus Remix from Platipus that I just wanted to have on this album, as this song means a lot to me.
I know to DJ. It has nothing to do with the actual DJing technique – that is very important also – but with the fact I have the ability to manipulate emotions very effectively
As for the Pledge, it’s really nice to have all the videos and all the attention – normally I am very much away from that. I’m also quite new to this so I don’t really have a clue. We will have to wait and see I guess.
Q: Following the previews you advertise on your Facebook page with the stories behind the tracks it’s obvious that you put a lot of thought into choosing what tracks will be here and who will remix what. Can you share with us some of the process of making “11”?
A: It looks like there was a lot of thinking involved in the process but truly it was mostly successful hunches that worked out well. Also, since being a good DJ means the ability to fix tracks with other tracks in a way that makes those tracks sound even better than when on their own, considering myself a good DJ choosing the correct remixers for tunes bears the same semantics . Last and not least and ruining the nice DJ fame crescendo – I always ask probable remixers what would they like to remix firstly. The remixer normally knows best
Read a previous interview with Perfect Stranger here.
Q: Any personal favourites?
A: All of them are so amazing I can’t choose
Q: You have been operating from the USA for a while now- can you tell us a bit about Psytrance culture in The States?
A: It’s little. People that like trance really love it, but it has little chance to actually develop into something bigger cause in 90% of US you stop serving alcohol at 2AM by law. That means that in the best situation your party will end 4AM. Trance thing apart of the music is the tribal thing of human beings dancing together through the morning etc., you know the drill. And that what made this community so powerful I think that feeling of unity when night becomes day (that did for me for sure) and when you can’t experience it, and your average trance party in the club starts 9PM and ends 3AM, its very hard to develop that kind of unity. There are of course the commercial productions that do very well these days, but, at least for my understanding as much as I respect and appreciate what they are doing, underground scenes grow from the bottom up, and as long as the rules are the small parties end very early and the outdoors are once or twice a month (California is 60 million ppl) – it will stay for better or worse a very little scene with great moments but still… little.
Q: Do you remember your first party? What did it do to you? Any juicy stories to share?
A: Yes I played a BLT set off DAT tapes in summer/autumn of 1997 in the infamous backyard of Forum club in Beer Sheva. I totally didn’t want to gig and basically was raped to do this by public demand (poor poor Yuli). I was really surprised that ppl actually danced and were ecstatic with the music I played that sounded like shit and was completely amateur (hey… just half a year before I learned you can make a tune on computer).
Q: What is left from that party in what you do today as a musician and a DJ?
A: I know to DJ. It has nothing to do with the actual DJing technique – that is very important also – but with the fact I have the ability to manipulate emotions very effectively (we all do but not all of us pay attention) and in many ways DJing it’s that little thing that your mom probably wished you wouldn’t do as it drives her crazy when you press on all her emotional buttons with just two words… Unlike the mom example that is not necessarily a positive one, on the dance floor it’s a very powerful weapon.
Q: Beauty contest question: You have to choose one track to present what is for you Psytrance – what would that track be?
A: It’s an endless list. I guess X-Dream – We Created Our Own Happiness, but then it could be Union Jack – Cactus, or X-Dream – Zebra, or Total Eclipse – Can’t Do That, or Doof – Double Dragons or Transwave – My Dear Medical Assurance, or Astral Projection – Power Gen, or…
Q: What in Psytrance culture makes you laugh?
A: The complaints remained the same over the years… And they are funny every time again
Q: Future plans?
A: To Make a Solo Perfect Stranger album. Now that I have my new amazing speakers and my (not so) new amazing hearing aids there is no reason not to do it.