A Sit Down With DJ Perfect Stranger
Perfect Stranger is Yuli Fershtat, a unique voice within the Psychedelic Trance scene for almost two decades, who managed along his career to melt boundaries between scenes and genres and gain the respect of the crowds and his fellow producers and DJs as leading figure in the scene worldwide.
"I really dislike genres and boundaries. As hard as it makes it in places that prefer defined sounds for selected music genres, I believe in music that is influenced by various genres, that is rich and reaching with its ideas."
How did you go about selecting the alias Perfect Stranger?
Its a really good name, huh! I just happened to like the name a lot because of Sandmans Goa Trance track released in the 90s, and also being a Deep Purple fan I knew that name before. It always rang a bell for me, so that was my chance to grab it. I am still quite surprised it was vacant for so long.
Who or what inspires you to follow this profound path in your creative process?
I was familiar with Goa trance before, but I didnt favor it any more than the Rock n Roll I liked at the time. In the second half of 1992, I went backpacking in India. The crescendo of those 6 months in Goa turned me onto psychedelic electronics and culture. The trigger that inspired me to make music came much later. Its more of a Forrest Gump story than a psychedelic adventure. On my birthday in February 1997, three of my best friends at the time gave me a check to purchase a synthesizer. They thought I should make this music. I merely obeyed their wish, and look what happened. My creative process was mainly fueled by the need to go into the studio and write music. On top of that, there are my daily life experiences, my musical life experiences, and what I want to promote within my music. I have a certain calling in my life and what I do has both a reason and value.
Do you remember your first gig? Do you remember how you felt? How do you feel these days before a gig?
Yeah of course! It happened in 1998 in the Forum Club Beer Sheva at the notorious back yard there, that was active between 1995 to 2000 more or less. It was pretty off the hook these days at the backyard I was playing it hard to get with the club I actually honestly didnt want to play at all ( I also thought that my music has to suck balls as I was producing hardly one year ), but since they asked nicely and few times, I said ok lets give it a go But on a more serious note, I just understood suddenly that if I want to continue making music in the studio I have no other way but to actually DJ it, cause I would be probably the best ambassador of my own music ( as each and every one of us ). How was it? Like a first sex. It was over before I could notice it was happening.
Looking at your albums and tracks over the years, you always go back in time and dress old tunes in new clothes. Free Cloud holds the latest example, Clear Vision '07. What brings you to do that? Are you having a dialogue with yourself in a time tunnel? Were you always happy with the outcome?
There are many times I have looked back and said to myself: This track I once made, could be re-dressed with todays clothes, and sound 10 times better than it did 8 years ago. Quite a few people told me during the years Ive been making music that my music sometimes comes ahead of its time, and then its harder to digest. So taking old material, that was in a way ahead of its time, with certain ideas, is really interesting, and it seems the output has not been bad at all.
Youve performed all over the world. Which is your favorite festival and/or country youve performed at? What has been the most rewarding festival experience and why?
Australia is my favorite country to perform in. My favorite festival, and most rewarding, would probably be Eclipse 2012. There was full total eclipse, I played two unforgettable sets, and I enjoyed heaps of awesome music for a few days.
How did Digital Structures come about?
I am a sole owner of Digital Structures for a few years. I thought it was natural for me to seek and release music. My taste differs from the trendy stuff, so it's nice to know that I'm supporting 100% at all times and it's not heavily genre bound. It's just good, electronic, psychedelic dance music. That's what it is. Also I feel that it is a bit of a 'duty' to let out some kind of talents to come through, and do it without too much bureaucracy and hard times. Running a label like this in the digital age is a pain in the ass and very bad business decision. I have no sufficient reasoning for doing so apart from the 'karmatic' one.
What are you passionate about life, besides music?
I am passionate with my amazing relationship that I am having in the last couple of years, and also passionate with the nature and all the new things and new friends I am having staying in the Bay Area (near San Francisco, CA). Life is very exciting last two years I have to admit.
Over the past few months youve also released a few remix tracks, for example the Behind Blue Eyes & Sun Control Species remix that was released on the Banel 25 Year Anniversary CD. As much as we love these, I know everyones aching for some new original tunes. Whats your current release schedule looking like for more original Perfect Stranger tracks?
Unfortunately I dont have any immediate news on that front Ive done a few collaborations lately one with Sphera and a couple with Gabi 2B ( more on the techy side ) and there are many more Perfectly Strange remixes to be released (heaps more) but there are no original Perfect Stranger tracks for now and it may have to do with your earlier questions about the new age progressive It also has to do with the fact that I am an extremely sought after remixer and that consumes time too. I believe though that in the future there will be more Perfect Stranger tracks on my own, as Ive made up my mind to make more original music for my label, Digital Structures.
How do you deal with enthusiastic fans? How do you feel when playing to crowds of thousands and tens of thousands?
Same as I do with smaller crowds. Of course its not always possible but I think the peak of professionalism is to perform in front of 1 person and in front of 10,000 with the same energy and same quality of performance.
Youve been touring quite a lot around the world the last few years, how did it affect your life and your music?
I got more tired from flights hehe.. My dog has to go to doggie hostel too much but she is a cutie and doesnt get mad at me at the moment. I guess that I learned from the reactions of the crowd and learned to make the compromise between my own therapy of music making, and what the crowd wants to get.
What are the differences between the Brazilian and Israeli electronic music scene?
Well, I would say that the main difference between Brazil and almost anywhere on the planet, is the size of the events. I mean there are so many parties in Brazil that are 5.000 people and more For Israel, that boasts with a very active party scene those numbers happen few times a year, but in Brazil that happens weekly and many times in more than one event at the same weekend. That makes Brazilian parties very exciting to perform in because of the huge audience but also there comes the demand for purely commercial music most of the time.
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