Interview with Voyager
Voyager is one of those musicians that has been around for a long time and you probably missed, and shouldn’t. Time to fix that – he’s got a new album on TechSafari Records and you can listen to it here and learn more about the man and his music from the interview we made with him for the occasion.
While you read, listen to the whole new album in the playlist below:
Q: Who is Voyager? Why the name?
A: Voyager is Thomas Dubreuil, composer and producer from France.
I chose this name because to me, music is a voyage in itself; a kind of active meditation that opens up to a journey within oneself. I like to see my music as a vector that allows this voyage, this conscious experience. The Voyager name also came because my music is inspired by all the things I see and hear while traveling the world.
music is a voyage in itself; a kind of active meditation that opens up to a journey within oneself. I like to see my music as a vector that allows this voyage, this conscious experience
Q: You’re no newcomer, can you share with us some of your history in Psytrance with your different projects?
A: I started making psytrance as a hobby around 1997 and the Altöm duo started in 2000, and really exploding in 2001 with the release of our first album Hologram on Neurobiotic Records (Neurobiotic will welcome later on other artists such as Zen Mechanics, Polaris, Bamboo Forest and Joti Sidhu). I then toured the world extensively, playing everywhere from the smallest and weirdest parties to the biggest events and festivals. I released another Altöm album in 2004, two compilations in 2005 and 2007 with remixes from big acts like GMS, Space Cat and Shanti. In 2007, I moved to Barcelona and started two solo projects: Voyager as a continuation of Altöm -psytrance with a melodic touch- and Ocean, a project more oriented towards progressive trance, which has seen some releases on Flow Records, Iono Music and Blue Tunes. All in all, I have released over 100 tracks so far.
Get to know Voyager’s travel in music wuth this retrospective playlist he made for Trancentral:
Q: Do you remember the first party you went to? Were you hooked at once? Any interesting story? 😉
A: My first party was a Trance Body Express (TBE) party in Paris around ’93 with my best school mates. I immediately knew then and there I wanted to be part of that “scene”. I still remember hearing the Jam & Spoon anthem: Follow Me, which was one of the first vinyls I bought then. That night, I discovered a parallel universe of colours, love and respect, all wrapped in a realm of soundwaves.
Q: Do you feel your first party experiences are still reflected in your music today?
A: Of course, because in a way, this music has always been avant-garde, both musically and sonically. From the start I thought that the psy scene and its music were modern expression of our human roots and traditions, like the state of trance or the tribal aspect of it. In my work, I’m always looking for new ideas, new concepts, new sounds, staying at the forefront of technology, perpetuating the tradition with increasingly modern tools. On the other hand, the “old school”, as some call it, has never left me. Music is a perpetual reinterpretation of itself, but with ever improving, ever changing techniques.
My first party was … in Paris around ’93 … That night, I discovered a parallel universe of colours, love and respect, all wrapped in a realm of soundwaves
Q: So now your first Voyager album – The Source – is out – tell us about it.
A: It was a fairly long process and it turned into a real life adventure. Some tracks were started a few years ago, tested, remixed intensely, and in some cases rebuilt entirely, until I reached the standard I wanted for them. I’m also a bit of a maniac so it was hard to let go sometimes. I tried to make a mix of all I like in psytrance, from psyprog at 138 bpm all the way to full-on at 145 bpm. I believe an album must have a variety of vibes, styles and bpms, like a journey. You also want to have a distinctive element, like a beautiful voice or theme: something that will touch you and leave an imprint.
It’s also a concept album. The Source and its cover reflect my own story: a voyager crossing the desert, discovering the Source and that it was already within him somehow. “Everything you are going to be, you already are. What you are looking for, is already within you. “ It’s only when I realized that, that I could let go…
Q: It is released on TechSafari, a Canadian based label, that you have been working with for a while now – can you tell us about that relationship?
A: I’ve known Eric (DJ Rikam/TechSafari Records owner/manager) for a long time. He used to be label DJ and one of the managers for Neurobiotic Records. We met personally when he came to visit in Barcelona in 2008. He’s real passionate about music and I think he’s always liked and played my music. A few years later, he booked me to play for his event Orion, the new year’s eve celebration in Montreal (Canada). I met my girlfriend then and started coming more and more to Canada. We became really good friends that way. I somehow motivated him to start a new label, as he already had the best people around him for music and graphics, as well as the taste, the knowledge and energy to run a quality label. I participated in TechSafari’s first compilation and after a while, Eric proposed to release my album. I didn’t hesitate long: we share the same taste and view on lots of things. He’s always believed in me and pushed me like nobody. He’s a professional in every aspect, so it’s a pleasure to work with someone like that.
Q: What do you think is the signature of Voyager’s sound? What can people expect to find in your music?
A: The feedback I get the most from people is quality music and top notch production. To me, Voyager’s trademark is crystal clear production and soulful music with intoxicating melodies, deep atmospheres and groovy gimmicks.
Voyager’s music is a blend of many things I love: from classical to experimental/modern music, with ethnic and spiritual music in good measure also. Its aim is to get you to connect with your inner self and fill you with positive energy. It will often contain touching melodies or themes, ethnic chants, strings, atmospheric soundscapes and “Altom-ish” gimmicks such as filtered rhythms/loops layers. I like to make all kinds of styles but people that know me generally recognize my music within 3 seconds.
Q: Future plans for Voyager?
A: First, the plan is to play the album everywhere: make people’s heart resonate on the dancefloors around the globe because I firmly believe that touching people and passing emotions through the music is one of my missions on earth.
Musically, there’ll a bunch of releases in the upcoming months: a collaboration with Audiotec for his album on TechSafari Records, a few other collaborations and a EP on Expo Records from South Africa. Remixes of the album by other artists and a remix contest are coming up as well. And, if I can handle it, I have plans to do a nice sample CD as well, because sharing the knowledge is important to me. I will also release some Ocean stuff that has been waiting for a long time because of the Voyager album.