meet him

interview - Hallucinogen site - January 2005


So first, how are you and what's cooking at the moment?

i am well - tired after travelling to australia, japan, and escaping the tsunami in thailand by 2 days..... and what is cooking, is vegetable stew, in my slow cooker.... just fry some onions, and stick it in the slow cooker with loads of veggies !


The last Hallucinogen tune [not counting remixes], 'E', was released on TIP.World's Twelve compilation three years ago and fans have since eagerly awaited new material. The new Twisted compilation, Unusual Suspects 2 features two new tracks under the Hallucinogen guise. Is this a sign that there are more to come?

yes... i have been doing a lot of 'Hallucinogen-style' tracks, but as collaborations with other names.... like some stuff with benji, tristan, joti, and merv.... my studio at the moment is scattered over my house, while i rebuild it for 2005 it was getting too uncomfortable to work in... so i got a new chair and computer desk.... that might encourage me to spend more time in it! i want to cut down on the gigs this year, and spend some time in the studio working on some trance stuff...
btw, `E` was never really supposed to be a hallucinogen track.... it was something i wrote for raja ram, sitting watching the rain drip down the window, after raja ram had explained the meaning of the word `saudade` in portuguese.


You've also written a Hallucinogen tune for the new Gran Turismo game on PS2. Did this affect the way you approached writing it and is writing music for games and perhaps movies something you'd like to do more in the future?

actually, because of the time constraint, i had to do it very i gave them the track i was working on at the time, which wasn't ideal for a driving game - it was 130 bpm or something.... i wanted to do a much faster track, suitable for driving. However, i am sure there are a lot of very fast tracks on the game, and it is always nice to have dynamics..... doing more work for games/movies is something i am definitely interested in...something i think i would be very good at... but it is a hard business to break into if u don't have the contacts.... in fact, i am offering a comission for anyone that can get me a nice game/movie job! hehe


Will this track be released somewhere?

i think solstice or sony are releasing a compilation album of the tracks for GT4


You've been working with Alan Parsons on a track, Return To Tunguska, for his new album called A Valid Path. How did that come about and what was it like working with him?

That came about because a mutual friend played him some shpongle, and then alan telephoned me out of the blue.... i didn`t really know his music so much, but i was a big fan of his engineering and production on albums such as pink floyd and al stewart. i did some pre-production at my studio at home, before flying to his house in santa barbara and spending a week working with him there.... it was great fun..he was a fabulous host, and a super-nice guy, so it was a very relaxed session.


The third Shpongle album, "Nothing Lasts", is finished and up for release soon. In what ways will the new album be a development from the previous albums and where did the inspiration come from this time?

I think the new album sounds very mature and confident... it is a summation of everything we learned using the live instruments on tales of the inexpressible... but also a return to the electronic moods of shpongle 1.... but done with a more modern and psychedelic approach. i never really know where the inspiration comes from.... i guess it is a combination of everything we experience throughout life.... movies,books,relationships,experiences... but we did have a slight concept this time, if that is what you are driving at....we wanted to make an album that is like dreaming... you move seamlessly in and out of different locations and moods.... 1 minute you are at the rio carnival, and the next you are flying over the abyss.... it has re-occuring themes...but really is one large piece of music spread over an album


When do you expect it'll hit the streets?

maybe feb/march? it depends on how quickly we can get the artwork wrapped up.... we are starting this week


The final tracklist, counting 20 tracks, has made people hope for a double album. Would this be the correct assumption or is it still 8 tracks divided into 20 parts?

it is still 1 cd. kind of like 8 tracks divided into 20 parts but each track is a different part of the Dream Sequence


Does the title indicate that this will be the final chapter of the Shpongle tale?

well, never say 'never again!' to quote somebody.... but at the moment it is unlikely we will do another shpongle album. that doesn't mean that raja and i won't collaborate again... we love working together....but we both like the idea of a trilogy. i like releasing music when people have limited expectations... before the 1st shpongle, there was no shpongle, so people didn't really know what to expect, and so the 1st album really got to them... then, already, when you start the 2nd album people have ideas and conceptions about how that album should be, based on their ideas of the 1st album....


Your collaboration album with Merv Peppler of Eat Static is up for release on Twisted. Someone said it might not be what most people would expect, so could you give us some hints to what we can expect?

umm.. i don't know really... we just had fun in the studio, trying to make each other laugh... if one of us worked on our own on a mix, that would be the test: it had to make the other person laugh, when they heard it. it is called 'Metal Sharon', and all i can say sounds like `Metal Sharon`!


Gargoyles is a collaboration between yourself and Twisted's #1 dubmeister Ott, counting two tracks so far. Can we expect an album some time in the future or are you both too tied up with your respective projects?

i would love to do more work with ott... but it is hard to get the time together as he takes so bloody long on each track!


Hallucinogen in Dub was released two years ago and was very well received. In what ways were you involved in its making?

I gave ott my multitracks for each of the tunes: they had 16 tracks of audio containing all the sounds of the original tunes.... then i left him to it. He would sometimes play me 'work so far', and i would offer comments... but usually the kind of things a friend would say, rather than a producer. I played the occasional bit of guitar, too...but ott did all the work....


All the tracks are indeed superb, but I think the ones that stand out to me would be LSD and Angelic Particles, especially the latter. I particularly love its Pink Floyd-esque sound and atmosphere. Do you have any favourites and how do you feel about the end result in general?

yes, i love angelic particles, too.... i don't often get to play a lot of guitar on a track... and so it was nice to have it woven into such a beautiful track. I think the whole album is great...


I've heard somewhere that Nocturnal Chainsaw Kerfuffle was remixed too. Is this true and, if yes, will it ever be released?

i can't remember.... certainly that was one of the multitracks i gave ott... but i don't remember a finished mix ever emerging...


Have you considered returning the favour and do "Ott in trance"?

yes i have... in fact i took his multitrack for track 9 of blumenkraft.. maybe after he does another album, there will be enough to do an 'Ott in Trance'


Speaking a bit about Younger Brother, your debut album - A Flock Of Bleeps - was released in 2003 and has received great response. The mix of dance floor tracks and downtempo material seemed to have worked out well. Did you enjoy working with Benji and have you talked about doing a sequel?

Yes, i love working with 'Bungus', and we are already halfway thru the next Younger Brother album.


Will it be a continuance of Flock of Bleeps, or are we in for a surprise?

this time it sounds more like a band. we played lots of live instruments.... benji is even singing on one of them! it will certainly be 'less trancey'


The release date of Unusual Suspects 2 has been postponed several times even though, seemingly, it was good to go in mid-summer. Could you elaborate a bit on the nature of these delays?

Yes... Twisted has recently taken a serious blow, by the bankruptcy of our main distributor, EFA.... this meant we lost a lot of stock and money, and had to find new distribution... i would urge fans of twisted to actually buy the CDs, instead of just downloading it, in order to see future releases!


Where do you see yourself in the future? Will you continue bending the rules of psytrance or do you see yourself moving to other types of music?

hmm... i would like to say "relaxing on a beach, somewhere hot"... but the reality is more likely to be huddled in the studio, tweaking away on some new bit of software.... as to the style of music... whatever turns me on at the time, i guess!




Interview by Shroomy