Chromatone is Lawrence Hoffman, a San Francisco native and now Melbourne, Australia resident. His contribution to the psychedelic scene has been immense, be it through his constant touring that has taken him across the globe, co-founding the now defunct Vaporvent Records, his project Everblast alongside Earthling, and his professional audio work under his company Waveworx.
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Psymedia : Hey Lawrence! To kick things off, tell me a bit about your introduction to Psytrance. As a San Francisco native, what drew you to psychedelic music?
Chromatone : I was primarily listening to Depeche Mode and producing Industrial music as a teenager. It took me a little while to embrace the ‘disco’ vibe in trance music. I enjoyed listening to Psytrance in the car, but after finally experiencing the amazing debut party of Fusion Outdoor Festival in California, I said, ‘OK, now this is what I really want to be doing!” The scene there is small, but always incredible fun. It suffers from being spread out, opinionated diverse tastes, and a difficulty in securing reliable venues.
Psymedia : Since then you’ve moved to Melbourne, Australia. Why did you decide to relocate?
Chromatone : Life can take you where it will, and I don’t have an EU passport. I married an Australian, and Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world to live in. There are comparatively less accomplished Full On Psytrance producers, especially considering the size of the scene. It is more Progressive and Techno orientated. Australian’s support their locals, so I do fairly well playing at the plethora of fabulous events, and just follow the reverse seasons in the northern hemisphere for touring.
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Psymedia : You were one of the founders of the now defunct Vaporvent Records. What caused you to eventually close the label?
Chromatone : There were a few factors. It wasn’t growing enough for me and I wanted to get on-board with a stronger, well established promotion platform, so I joined Nano Records. Vaporvent Records was great for me to get the ball rolling and receive more attention as a fairly isolated American act.
Chromatone : I had to cease use of the name because of a an infringement lawsuit. The name was changed to Morphonix, and then Dubstep happened. My mate also happened to launch his very successful project Bird of Prey, and so I passed the torch on to him, and went back to making trance, where I enjoyed the gigs much more. I intend to continue with Morphonix, but more as a hybrid of styles in the 125 to 132 BPM range.
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Chromatone : An album is certainly higher impact in the long-term. We originally planned to release the album on Nano Records, but Celli (Earthling) wanted to start his own label, Zero-1, after the collapse of Spun Records. I dragged my feet at first, remembering the hassle of doing my own label, but in the end it worked out because I was very close to all the guys on the team. As much as I love Nano Records, it was a bit crowded with talent. There were also some problems securing cover art, and I certainly didn’t mind keeping our gems surprising for a bit longer.
Psymedia : How did you two meet?
Chromatone : We met in San Francisco when Celli was there for a gig and enjoyed making our first track Killer Dope. We keep talking about producing over the internet, but never do. We prefer the vibe of creativity whenever we have the chance to meet in person. I have visited Ibiza several times where we have produced many of our tunes. Celli has visited Australia a handful of times over the last few years too.
Psymedia : You’re also an accomplished mastering engineer and audio consultant. How does your perspective of Psytrance differ from that angle?
Chromatone : I am developing my business Waveworx that covers all of my side services of mastering and production teaching that I even do over Skype. It takes a great deal of drive and dedication to produce great sounding complex music so don’t be afraid to invest in your future by hiring me to fast forward your skills.
Psymedia : This won’t be your first time in South Africa. What was your previous experience like?
Chromatone : I still consider my set at Origin Festival in 2009 as the favourite of my career. The vibe and response from that huge morning crowd was truly thrilling! I am very excited to return to Cape Town, it has been far too long.
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Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Psymedia : Thanks for the interview! See you at Alien Safari, Organik & The Village presents Tribe! Anything to add before we finish off?
Chromatone : Thanks for the great interview. Be sure to check out and like our label page and my other pages, cheers!