Category Archives: interview

Let’s Talk ~ COCODRILO

An artist I truly admire, expressing his heart through his music – Cocodrilo from Mexico.

After a discussion with Israel Holon Hisrav he inspired me to compose this writeup, not only as an interesting past, but an inspiration to upcoming artists and music lovers.

He started his way into the music around the year 2001 when he attended a local party where Tower Record DJs performed. One of them played psychedelic trance so since that day it became a passion and a lifestyle.

“After that day I started to become a music collector and immediately my best friend had time to buy a booth to play. It was there that I learned to mix electronic music at that time progressive house and trance. In 2003 I started working with a French label – Mandala Records and later meet Dj Dende and be part of Catalyst Records around 2006 where I could collaborate for the growth of the label by placing it on the scene plane. By this time I worked under the name of DJ Hisrav, playing DJ sets and it was during the year of 2007 when I started with the project called “In Lak Ech” next to my partner in crime, Haffman. I have achieved internationalization since 2012 playing in festivals such as Hadra Trance Festival (France), Aho Festival (Brazil), Modem Festival l & ll, (Croatia) Ometeotl Festival (Mexico), Goa Dupa Festival (Poland), Sonica Festival (Italy), Free Earth Festival (Greece), Poison Festival (Mexico), Freqs of Nature Festival (Germany), Blackmoon Festival (Italy) among others.”

Their style is unique within the Psychedelic trance scene and has matured to the passage of auditory and personal experiences over the years.

In 2012 he decided to create the first of his solo projects called Holon after maturing his own sound over the years on the project “In Lak Ech.” Conformed with a hypnotic line of trance music – Insistent, twisted, crispy, full of witchcraft and especially very psychedelic.

He recently signed on SquareLab Music based in France, so after a decade of work and synchronization with trance music, he decided to dive into the depths of time and create a dominant, aggressive and predatory sound with the project called “Cocodrilo.”

At the end, you will become a rapt prey, submerging into the depths of a psychedelic swamp of emotions.

“In 2018 I decided to found New Skulls Records based in Mexico after working and giving production courses for 5 years, and enrolling in the world of education, realizing it is one of the most satisfying activities I have ever experienced.”

This is how my vision was born, which was to form a group of skulls that evolve over time and that are determined to share their message through music.

In 2017, he decided to create his last project called Conami Kode next to Seggae with a more acid touch than the previous ones. He is currently concentrating on the label and in his 4 projects apart from being an active promoter of new musical talents.

~ COMPILATIONS ~

Mexican Vibes V/A Mandala Recs

https://www.beatport.com/release/mexican-vibes-compiled-by-dj-hisrav/933867

The order of chaos V/A Catalyst Records

https://www.beatport.com/release/the-order-of-chaos/260408

Holon V/A Catalyst Records

https://www.beatport.com/release/holon/444973

Holon ft New Skulls Vol. 1 – New Skulls Records

https://newskullsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/holon-feat-new-skulls-vol-1

Holon ft New Skulls Vol. 2 – New Skulls Records

https://newskullsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/holon-feat-new-skulls-vol-2

Holon ft New Skulls Vol. 3 – New Skulls Records

https://newskullsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/new-skulls-v-a-vol-3

In Lak Ech – The Hikury Tales – Album – Catalyst Records

https://www.beatport.com/release/the-hikuri-tales/1453222

COCODRILO

IN LAK ECH

Young Sound Driven Student, Ecoteric, Infuses Nature into his Music

Young Talent in SA:

 

EcotericEcoteric, a musical project freshly part of Mindspring Music and Technophobia Records.

Launched in October 2018 by Julian Venter, a student of 18 years old living in Johannesburg. He produces music that’s focused merely on the human soul. Ecoteric’s musical genres include Zenonesque and Psychedelic Dub, however, when in the studio, Ecoteric focuses more on the natural sounds and productions of Zenonesque and Dub music.

The young and ever nurtured musical project’s destiny is to enhance all listeners with situated frequencies, with an endless-goal to allow the listener to become more self-aware of his/her emotional soul-baby. Solely music allowing human beings to be at one with themselves and their surroundings, an eternal bond with Mother-Earth.

 

❝The energies that drive us contribute to every magical moment of our existence, and when combined with the right touch of musical enhancements, we find that we all come across, just like our veins, just like the roots of trees connect each other, with love and compassion.❞

– Julian Venter

 Who/what influenced you towards your style of music and music in general? 

Julian: I began making music at the age of 11, I remember being seated in my cousin’s studio, observing him as he goes. Gilles Dice, the mentor, an incredible artist. The man who originally planted the idea of music production in my mind.

I started the music project Ecoteric last year in October because I felt like I had to make deeper music with meaning, emotion and intention. I felt like making a musical style similar to Adama’s. He inspired me to approach a more natural and organic feel and just like that my journey began.

❝Love earth, for she is our mother,
and she loves us.❞

https://soundcloud.com/ecoteric/leminin

 

Ecoteric lives for the moment of consolidations between people and nature because it is so ever beautiful to have a glimpse at a person and feel the love that person beholds for our Planet.

Tell us about your past/future festivals?

Julian: I had my first psychedelic festival experience when I was 13 years old, I also perform at this event called Mongi Wobble. After that day I knew what I wanted to do.

I had my first performance at Twilight last year November, I played a three-hour dub set at the chill area. At this stage I had already begun to produce my own music and the first ever track I finished as Ecoteric was called “Teria”. This track may get released by Merkaba Music. I then went on to perform at one Jozi Tribe’s events where I played a more progressive Zenonesque set. later on, I simultaneously got in touch with Technophobia Records as well as Mindspring Music, today I’m an artist on both their rosters.

I have been booked by:

Psyclical , even though the event hasn’t been launched yet, Psyclical hosts epic indoor as well as outdoor events.

Connexion NYE Open Air Festival by OneLove Productions

I am also collaborating with an incredible artist from Australia, his name is Gabriel Jack and he goes by the artist name Scionaugh. I have worked with a lot of different artists from around the globe and I have had only great experiences with them. Sarah Leigh Steensma is a driven companion in my musical production lifestyle and I seldom call upon her aid when I want to add extra energy into my music. She writes lyrics and provides powerful vocal material. I recently played a two-hour dark into bush prog set for Elysium Festival.

Upcoming albums and EP’s:

► Teria [Album], 2019 – Merkaba Music
► Leminin [EP], 2019 – Technophobia Records
► Osirus [EP], 2019 – Mindspring Music

Recent bookings:

► Twilight Open Air Festival V14, 2018/11/04 [SA]
► Gypsy-Xmas (Zenonesque Music Gathering), 2018/12/26 [SA]
► Saturn Surfers Earth Day Celebration, 2019/01/12 [SA]
► Elysium Open Air Festival, 2019/04/19 [SA]

Sets:

Teria (might get released on Merkaba Music)

Frequency of Thought Remix

Elysium Open Air Festival Set

Gypsy X-mas Set

What are you currently working on? 

Julian: I have exciting new work coming up such as my multi-styled album as well as my two EPs called “Osirus” and “Leminin” for Mindspring Music and Technophobia Records respectively. One of the many things that excite me the most is that I’m starting a duo project named ‘Shmangle’. This duo-project will have a more driving and progressive, as well as a deeper Zenonesque oil sound. ‘Shamngle.’ It will be myself and Luca Kovacich (Young Padawan) as ‘Shmangle’ and we are in the process of creating a guest mix to feature with Technophobia Records. This will be our first move as the duo.

Before the start of Ecoteric took place, I began two aliases which still exist today. The first would be Eopal. Eopal is my downtempo African tech alias. This music project is part of Suid Tronica Records. It would be my psytrance alias, although I haven’t quite settled with a proper launch for it, I am planning on putting together an EP and involving powerful artists from both South Africa and around the world.

 

 

What are your future plans in the beautiful world of music?

Julian: I am planning an Australian visit as Ecoteric, I will be going there and performing at various events as well as at Australia’s traditional Bush Doof Gatherings. This tour would only happen once I have prepared myself, until that day, I’m grinding!

I have a certified and completed mixing and mastering course with lead singer Justin Swart from ‘The Amblers’ behind my name as a music producer. Justin Swart is also the founder of Olive Productions. I also have the future possibilities of being booked in Sweden, Brazil and Israel to perform as Ecoteric.

Catch Ecoteric on IG and FB!

A powerful, tranquil space | The Yoga Room

Clouded walls with glossy, fine golden lines spiraling around each other, the interior of  The Yoga Room creates a comforting and safe feel as you walk in.

Situated up in Vredehoek, the studio opened doors in July 2017. Suited for all levels, no matter where you’re at, the small classes are created to fit each yogi. I spent some time here during Celebrate Spring with 30 days of Yoga by Yoom. It involved some dedicated early mornings, of which now have become a healthy routine in my life.

I spoke to Elsa van Niekerk, the founder of The Yoga Room, about her goals with regards to the studio and asked her to invite us a little into her background.

The Yoga Room

E: It is just over a year old and I love what it is growing into. I wanted to create a smaller, more intimate yoga space in Cape Town and offer authentic yoga, i.e slow it down a bit, allow space for meditation, breathing, just being. My aim is to make it as inclusive as possible and it’s wonderful to know that many of our clients started doing yoga here for the first time. It really is a studio that caters for all shapes, sizes, and ages. Our teachers are also very experienced which allows us to focus on individual attention and guidance. It has been a great experience so far to build this studio right in the heart of the community.

The first time I did yoga was at a gym in London. The class was taught by a woman well into her 60’s – I was fascinated by her energy and walked out of class feeling great.  It took some time to build up a practice though, but now it is a great way to tune into myself. To really get in touch with my mind and body. I did my training in New York at the renowned ISHTA Yoga School where I found my spiritual home – their teaching philosophy of focusing on the individual and drawing from the teachings of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda inspires me.

Physically it’s made me much stronger and being an asthmatic since birth it has helped me tremendously to learn how to breathe properly. I’ve seen countless times at the studio how much benefit people get from being in a calm space, away from the rush of  life, focused on breathing and moving and tapping into themselves

Elsa, what advice could you provide the beginner yogi, or perhaps someone that has never tried it?

E: I realise it’s daunting to start something new and it seems there is an expectation that you need to look or be a certain way to do yoga. But you really don’t need to live a certain lifestyle, chant, say ohm or be able to touch your toes to start a practice. It really is not about that! So my advice would be to find a beginners class and try to stick to a routine, come a few weeks in a row and slowly build up the confidence to get to know the different poses and breathing techniques.

The diversity of our classes – it ranges from Gentle Yoga for the older practitioner to moms & babies yoga.

The Yoga Room

You can check out the class schedule here 🙂
Yoom Yogi
INSTA:

GET UNRAVELED | Yoom Yogi

As part of the CELEBRATE SPRING with 30 Days of Yoga Challenge by Yoom Wellness, my experience at Unraveled was unforgettable. The classes were strong, vibey and filled with energy.

Situated in Cape Town’s ever-popular Bree Street, Unraveled Yoga provides their own signature style of Vinyasa classes, much needed for the ultimate fulfilling day. Maya Pratt, the founder, gives us some food for thought:

My aim for the studio is to merge the beautiful and chaotic qualities of city life to the essence of yoga – finding your peace/stillness/tranquility within the mayhem of everyday life.

 

Our aim for the Celebrate Spring Challenge was to create awareness around yoga. How has yoga benefited you?

M: As a person, it has opened up a space to be totally present and become more aware of how my body works and moves. I’ve always liked to be active, in different ways, and yoga was a great addition that also brought a mindful component to movement. Now I am an instructor and a practitioner and love finding the balance of enjoying my yoga and being able to share it with others.

 

What advice do you have for someone that has never tried yoga?

M: You’ll never know until you try – pick a studio, pick a class time, commit to it and show up. Do that again and again and you’ll definitely find a sweet spot. Of course, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but love it or hate, you will learn something about your body or about your mind and you can always take that with you.

I regret going to yoga – said no one ever!

You can check out the class schedule here 🙂
Yoom Yogi
Bloggerinspo

 

SAWLEAD GROUND in SA

Sawlead Ground is a promising Cinematic Progressive Trance duo from Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Maor Nachum & Ram Erez, both graduates at BPM College, always working hard on fresh tunes, exploring different sounds and genres, taking their music to the edge.

Maor Nachum, currently in Cape Town (sadly not for long) brought heat to the dancefloor at Anomaly’s event Anomaly ft Sawlead Ground Maor Dane Stirrat Brett Aitken Venture last week Friday.

Sawlead Ground has been releasing music for more than 2 years on some of the biggest
labels in the scene – Spin Twist Records, Blue Tunes Records and Alien Records, collaborating with artists such as 4i20, Modus, Unicode and more. Some of their EP’s have reached #1 place on Beatport’s Top 10 Psy-Trance Releases Chart.

Interview by Tarryn Hardwicke

What were the first inspirations that drew you towards making your own music and overall joining the music scene?

SG: As a kid, I went to a lot of trance parties and always imagined myself on stage playing and blasting the dancefloor.

What has ultimately been your most memorable festival/party and explain why?

SG: Definitely, EQUINOX Experience Festival here in South Africa! The production, the amazing venue, the incredible vibe of the people, the togetherness. It’s the best we have experienced. After our sets, we even stayed for the whole festival and just couldn’t stop smiling.

Which musicians inspire you and your career?

SG: Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Stephan Bodzin, Captain Hook, Freedom Fighters, Modus… the list goes on!

Where would you say that you see yourself 5 years from now? 

SG: Traveling the world, playing and spreading our/my music. I might even decide to live outside of Israel for a bit. Who knows. Maybe I can get an apartment here in Cape Town! 😛

Do you have any advice for any upcoming musicians that are joining the industry? If so, please share it with our readers. 

SG: Think out of the box! Don’t stop exploring, producing and promoting your music. Always make music that you love. Play your music to your closest friends – they are the best critics!

You mentioned that you love our Mother City, Cape Town. What has been your most epic experience thus far? 

SG: Cape Town is for sure one of the best cities we have been to! The best experience was at Boulders Beach when one of the penguins decided to taste my Israeli flesh…….:P He did what?!

We love your videography! Please, could you tell us more about it! 

SG: We love being creative and finding the humor in every situation. Through these videos, we can connect with the crowd in a different way showing them another side of us. If nothing else, the film shooting days are sooo much fun! It’s a gas. We do everything from taking footage to editing it ourselves and always add our extra own special touch to the tale.

Do you have any tracks or videos that you are working on at the moment?

SG: We are always producing and thinking about new music and videos. We are working on a series of 2 – 3 episodes (depending on the footage) of the shows we played in ANOMALY & UNDERGROUND SOUND, plus some of our personal experiences from your awesome country. On the music front, we have made a couple of new Sawlead tracks with a fresh vibe. More deep and melodic but still powerful and groovy! We are almost ready to launch those so keep an eye on our pages for more info. SG aside, I’m also starting my own solo project exploring different types of electronic music production with no boundaries. Lately, techno has been resonating with me which inspired a couple of exciting tracks I have in the oven.

WOW! Exciting stuff. Are there any upcoming festivals/parties that we can get amped for?

SG: Yes there are a few parties down the line but cats out the bag… EQUINOX Experience 2019…say no more! 😉

Tell us, what is your SPIRIT ANIMAL  and why?

SG: Probably a dog, absolutely love them and I’m quite a sucker for a scratch on the back of the head 😛

 

 

Finding Freedom Inside Prison With Yoga

I knew I was going to cover Yoga as a topic this week, however, I had no idea I would be blessed with the opportunity to speak to SevaUnite about the Prison Freedom Project at Pollsmoor Maximum Facility in Cape Town.

Yoga and Meditation assist in the relief of suffering and rehabilitates the mind, body and soul. It brings a state of acceptance. This can alleviate the pain of prisoners who have wronged others, or sustained severe trauma.

Men are getting up at 5am to find some space and quiet to practice yoga.

SevaUnite began in 2010, conducting a series of Yoga rehabilitative classes at Pollsmoor Maximum Facility in Cape Town to the admissions centre, male juvenile section and the women’s unit. There is a Mindfulness Correspondence Course also available for volunteers and following this, there’s a Teachers Training Course that they can enrol in, should a passion begin to blossom.

Lee-Ann Olwage Photography - Finding Freedom Inside
By Lee-Ann Olwage

Lee-Ann Olwage Photography - Finding Freedom Inside
By Lee-Ann Olwage

A SevaUnite Volunteer, Shale Tinkler, shares some insight into his journey with the organisation and his own experiences with yoga/meditation.

What role do you play in SevaUnite and how long have you been involved?

I have been volunteering with Seva Unite since mid-2016, teaching yoga to offenders at Pollsmoor.

How can we as the public get involved with SevaUnite?

To get involved as an instructor or by making a contribution towards expenses, contact Seva Unite via their Facebook page or email leela@sevaunite.org. donations of any unused yoga mats are also welcome.

Describe some of your most memorable experiences whilst working with the organisation.

My most memorable experiences mostly involve seeing the powerful impact yoga has had on those practising. Over a 90 minute session of postures, breathwork and relaxation, tense, guarded facial expressions and body language visibly soften and become lighter, more gentle and open.

Some practising have reported that yoga helps them feel more calm & peaceful and deal with anger and stress in a positive way. Others mentioned how they were able to gain deep insight into themselves and their past and gain hope and a more positive outlook for the future.

My very best though, was once, after a deep relaxation at the end of a class when I asked how everyone was feeling. One responded with “I feel like I’m not in prison anymore”. I think this illustrates yoga’s potential, even in physical confinement, to bring about a powerful sense of inner freedom.

Lee-Ann Olwage Photography - Finding Freedom Inside
By Lee-Ann Olwage

What inspired you to start Yoga/Meditation? 

I was introduced to yoga by someone close to me, thinking that it would be a good form of exercise. While it definitely has been hugely beneficial for my body, what really keeps me coming back to my mat are the profound benefits I feel in my mind and spirit. When I practice consistently I feel more peaceful, more cheerful and more connected to those around me and to life itself. Yoga has helped me learn self-discipline and continues to help me learn to know and love myself.

SevaUnite also helps collect unused/unwanted clothing, toys and household items and allocates it to those that are in need.

All photography was done by Lee-Ann Olwagehttp://www.leeannolwage.com/

Check out more info on SevaUnite at http://www.sevaunite.org/

For some YOGA on Insta checkout my personal page: yoga_for_days

I hope you enjoyed this read and have a wonderful weekend! 😀

Some quality time with Disco Volante

Interview by Tarryn Hardwicke

The future looks promising with  Psymedia | Recess pt.2, Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire 2018 and more on the cards, it’s sure game. Disco Volante, the collaboration between Critical Mass (Daniel Honor) and Risky Business (Alex Inggs), give us the break down of their journey.

How did Disco Volante come about?

DV: We were big fans of each other’s music and a specific style of psytrance. Before we even wrote our first track together, we were coming up with a name for the project.

What/who inspires you and your music?

DV: It’s more of a feeling/emotion that we want to convey that has come from moments at parties over the years. When we find those notes that bring across that feeling in the studio, we know that we’re on the right track with what we want to play out.

What is your most memorable concert and why?

DV: In SA, probably Masqued Ball in 2014. We had worked super hard for the set and had a perfect response from the crowd during as well as after the set. Overseas would be Metagenesis in Mexico and Crystal Matrix in Portugal.

Do you have anything that you are currently working on at the moment? If so, please tell us!

DV: We’ve just released our 2 track EP ‘Back of Beyond’ Nexus Media. Currently, we’ve got remixes for Shift and Technicolor as well as a collaboration with CoRupt.

What upcoming parties will you be playing at that we can all get excited about?

DV: Off-hand we have Psymedia, Vortex Phoenix of Fire and Seeds of Freedom Festival (Portugal) coming up with more to be revealed along the way.

What has been your favourite part of Disco Volante’s journey?

DV: Getting the opportunity to travel, showcase our music and experience different cultures abroad.

Do you have any advice for today’s upcoming musicians wanting to join the industry? If so, what would it be?

DV: Be prepared to dedicate the next 10 years to reach your goal. There’s no fast-track to success besides hard work when it comes to your own productions. Also, finding your own unique style is the best way to set yourself apart from everyone else.

How has social media influenced your reach and your music in general?

DV: It’s a necessary evil. It would be great to just write the music and perform it, however, it’s hugely important to stay in touch with your fans. Platforms such as Youtube have such a big reach for our tracks in comparison to Soundcloud which helps spread our music around the world.

Describe yourselves with a meme.

Disco Volante Meme

HAPPY FRIDAY