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A Sit Down With DJ Hallucinogen

Simon Posford, better known by his stage name Hallucinogen is an English electronic musician, specializing in psychedelic trance music. His first studio album, Twisted, released in 1995, is considered one of the most influential albums in the genre. He has toured India several times.

He is also the founder of the label Twisted Records and works in the electronic duos Younger Brother and Shpongle. Younger Brother initially began as a side project of Posford and Benji Vaughan and represented a transition away from previous projects which emphasized a more synthesized style.

 

 “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.”

 

What is your musical background and how did you end up writing electronic music? Why electronic?

I started out playing drums when I was 13. My dad bought me a drum kit and I terrorised our neighbourhood with it for a year or so. I used to play along to The Specials and The Sex Pistols on my headphones.I’d always been into electronic music because my mum was and is a big electronic music fan. I grew up listening to Walter (Wendy) Carlos and Kraftwerk and the sound of synths always captivated me. As a child, my mum used to play me Autobahn by Kraftwerk to get me off to sleep. One day, when i was about 14, my mum made me a deal I couldn’t refuse. She said if I sold my drum kit, she’d give me some extra money to go and buy a synth – and so on a rainy Tuesday in 1983 I went to Guildford and bought a Roland SH-101 for £250 – and never left my bedroom ever again.

Your favourite psyhedelic Groups & Albums?

Pink Floyd – Wish you were here, the wall, dark side of the moon, Ozric Tentacles – Erpland, Pungent Effulgent, Jimi Hendrix – are u experienced? I suppose those albums have lasted the longest for me..from childhood, thru my teenage years, and even now i listen to them sometimes. As for trance stuff, my taste changes everyday..I have always loved X-Dream, sometimes Juno Reactor, Dado…um..some of the infected Mushroom stuff is really great, sometimes GMS…and of course the stuff we release on twisted – Tristan, Dado… I really look forward to Benji`s album.

How did the remixing for Hallucinogen come about? Was it more a collaboration or something you see as your own work?

Good question! The original idea came to me in a flash one night, to take a load of Si’s tunes and mince em up… so I mentioned it to Si and he was up for it. I took his hard-drive [after much persuading] and spent the next few months holed up in my studio nailing it all together. So, really, it is a collaboration, cos its made of lots of people’s work.

Where does your inspiration come from when building a Track?

I always find this a weird question…I guess my life experiences and people around me inspire me…

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.

Tell us your recipe to make a good Hallucinogen Track?

Well, always try to use the freshest ingredients…Start with a nice juicy Kik Drum (stay away from all that Organic crap…I prefer mine Genetically Modified to the Max, and hopefully Chemically Enhanced.) Meanwhile start the bassline cooking on a high heat…Beat together and whisk the crowd into a frenzy. Mix in all the Fresh Herb you can find. Sprinkle a touch of Flour Power, and Snare Roll into a 4D shape. Hopefully your Filster sweeps will rise nicely. Baste in Love, and add lots of Sauce!!

 I heard you use a lot of plugins and such, and like messing about with software…?

Yeah. I love to trawl the net looking for mad boffins making their own stuff, lots of Freware Plugins.

You’ve been around in the scene for a long time now. How do you feel about the scene and its development? Are things moving towards something that could be “better” for the scene and the members who constitutes it, or are the good days over?

I don’t really recognise anything I’d call a ”scene” to be honest. I’m not particularly interested in ”scenes” in general – I find the whole concept a bit redundant.

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!

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