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A Sit Down With DJ Astral Projection

13:23 Mar/23/2018

During their 25 years of work, Astral have developed their own distinctive sound and style. They produce multi-layered melodic Goa trance, rich with sounds and colors. They have released some of the biggest hits of the 90`s like Mahadeba, People Can Fly, Kabalah & Dancing Galaxy, hits that still get remixed and played to these days. Nowadays they are signed on TIP Records and recently released a remix album.


"We believe that with the current authorities, peace is something completely distant."


How is an Astral Projection piece made?

Oh, there are millions of ways to do that. Each song is somehow different! This can start with a melody in your head, or with a good voice sample from a movie. But it can also be the inspiration of a great song that you just heard somewhere - it can really be anything!

What was drawing you to this music?

What was drawing us was the unlimited freedom a musician can reach through working in a midi studio with electronic equipment. You program a sound from zero, and the sky is the limit. The possibilities are huge, opposing standard instruments, which basically stay with the same sound character. Another thing was the possibilities in instrumental music, which speaks for itself, without a leading singer.

You were one of the firsts to ever produce psychedelic and goa trance. Can you tell us how did it all started for you?

Lior & I met at the Penguin Club (underground rock, punk, and new-wave club in Tel Aviv) in Israel back in 1985, 31 years ago. Each of us had his own band. We met at my parents basement in Tel Aviv one day, and soon started to produce electronic music on a daily basis, under no genre restriction. Only few years later we learned that the music we produce can be categorized under a specific genre. In 1988 we sent a track we made to a Belgian label called “Musicman” under the alias “SFX”. They liked it alot and decided to purchase flight tickets for both of us to NYC so we can record it in a professional studio there. We Recorded it, sent it to them, and about a month later we got our first “single pack”, with our first track – “Monster Mania”. We felt like our childhood dream is on its way to become a reality. In 1989 we recorded an entire album as SFX, an album we released only 10 years later, as a tribute to our fans. We recorded another album as SFX and sold it to a German distributor in 1990, and used the money we got to travel to Goa, where we always wanted to visit.

What is your opinion about the British trance scene at the moment?

In our opinion, there is currently a lot of confusion in the British world of psychedelic trance music. Artists try many new directions and experimental ideas, which is good in itself. Nevertheless, it is not the trance we know and feel, and the main path has not yet been found.

Did Astral's music gone through a lot of changes in this last decade? How does that manifests itself, in musical terms, in terms of sound, in your attitude and feelings about it?

The concept of Astral Projection from the beginning, since the days of SFX in 1988, was first of all music, regardless of fashions coming and going. All along the way we're trying to preserve the concept of very high standards. Production, musical ideas, reach imagination, and very pedantic control without compromise. We spend many hours in the studio, about 14 hours a day, and work on an album about 9 months (just like pregnancy…). We don't allow ourselves to release a product that we are no satisfied with. If you browse through our computer, you'll find enough material to more than 200 hundred album, that might have make others content, but were not good enough for us. You can play, for example, a track we made in 1994, and you'll see people are still enjoying themselves and dance to it madly, like it was made today, in the year 2000. And this is actually the main idea, regardless of time and fashion, keeping the quality without compromising. Of course, with the passing of time, experience and knowledge accumulated from album to album, we added more equipment, in order to be able to make without borders and obstacles, whatever is on our minds, no encountering technical limitations.

What were the musical influences and inspirations that made you go that way?

Back when we started, the scene didn’t look like it does today. In fact, the psytrance scene hardly existed. In the Pinguin Club we used to listen to dark 80`s music and industrial music by bands like Psychic TV, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, SPK, The Human League, Kraftwerk, Front 242 and many more. We can say that trance music is the reincarnation of new wave music and dark 80`s we liked so much. Our musical concept is to create music that both danceable and something you can really listen to. We are looking to preserve the concept we came from in the end of the 80`s and early 90s, and build on it. In the early 90`s the musical revolution started with Acid, Acid-house music, Techno, New beat and more, until it was fixed to where it is today: Trance music, with its sub-genres like Goa, Psy, Progressive etc.

Do you have hobbies? Or. do you even have time for that?

Our profession (the English word "profession" is much more suitable here) is also our hobby! In addition to the music we really have little time for a real hobby. And we are not sports cannons anyway.

In 25 years, what was the most negative experience you had and the most positive one in connection to your music?

We love to end in a positive note, so the most negative experience we had is the establishment rejection, and it’s inability to accept this new phenomenon, but we got over it…And positive: we saw this scene we love so much rising and taking shape in front of our eyes, to a point where it is inside the consensus of the electronic music scene, both in Israel and worldwide.

Can you describe for me how a track is made- how does it start, what happens in between, how much time, when is it clear to you it's ready?

Track is made by hard work. There's no such thing as wham bam thank you mam, and here we have a track. It's hard work starting with the sound programming, a lot of sitting in front of the computer, starting from a certain base that on it you have a lot of layers of different roles, that all along the creation keep changing. Sometimes a certain role that is created inspires the next role and the evolving of the track. First of all we create some raw material that is on the computer way before the editing. Even in the editing stage we keep changing things, adding or changing roles according to changes created while editing, every role waits for the right time and the right entrance, and every role gets the respect it deserves, that's why our tracks are long. When we enter the studio to work on an album, there is no chance we will release something that we don't love or not content with. Every time we go in the studio to work on an album we are very excited and without this excitement there is no point for the whole thing. The mix stage, which is the final and last one, closes the process of making the track. This process usually takes us about a month. But for us a track is perfect only after we checked it in a party and we saw the audience respond, the audience is for us an active partner in all we have released so far.

How does traveling affect what you are doing?

Most of our trips are about 2-3 days of work, so the atmosphere of a place does not serve us well when it comes to influencing us, but when we are on vacation we try to "expose" everything that is close to us.


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