Circuit Breakers (Dickster, Burn in Noise) – Exclusive Interview
The Circuit Breakers project brings together two psychedelic trance legends from different sides of the globe; Dickster from the UK and Burn in Noise from Brasil. Since their first collaboration a decade ago, the friendship has grown to bring energy fueled, acid licking, party tunes straight out of the studio!
We’ve had the pleasure of having both artists in South Africa before, and we’re incredibly excited to have them back for Origin Festival 2019 this weekend. We had a chat with Dick & Gustavo, to discuss their friendship, being a part of the Nano family, upcoming performances and more.
Hello Dick and Gustavo! I know the two of you met in Brasil many years ago. I assume friendship is a good starting point for collaboration. How did Circuit Breakers come about?
Gustavo: I spent a few days with Dickster at his house in London, and we decided to make a track together. The process went so quick and the track was so good, that we were really excited about it, so we ended up doing 2 more tracks over the next few days. That’s when we created Circuit Breakers as a more permanent project.
Dick: It happened as Gustavo says. But, I’d like to add that Gustavo is one of the most chilled people I know. Writing music together was always very effortless and easy – which is how it should be!
Do you ever collaborate on tracks over the internet?
Gustavo: We always work together in the same physical location, not online. Whenever I go to the UK, or when Dickster comes to Brasil, we meet for a few days and work. We make music quickly so it was never difficult.
Dick: We prefer to be in the same room, as writing music is a fun process, and there’s much more of a vibe together than sitting on your own. We have just started trying the ‘online’ approach for our most recent track. It works, but it is not the same!
You’ve both worked with several artists. How does the collaboration process extend your knowledge, even for veteran producers such as yourselves?
Gustavo: I love making music with other artists. Even as a veteran, you never know it all and there’s always something new to learn when working with other people.
Dick: You are always learning in this game. Everyone has different tips and tricks. It’s just remembering them all that gets harder! If you think you know it all, then you might as well give up and go do something else.
What are some of your favourite tools in the studio right now?
Gustavo: I work with Logic Pro software to make music, and I’m always in search of new synths and plugins to help me in the production process. I recently purchased a Nordlead 4 synth, and I’m in love with it! Apart from that, the Access Virus synth is the best you can have.
Dick: My coffee machine, it changes from week to week. I have a “this week’s favourite plugin” ethic, meaning it will be used on everything until the next cool thing comes along!
Both of you have been a part of the Nano family for some time now. How did the relationship come about and what makes a good record label?
Gustavo: I have known Regan and Monique for many years, and we were friends before I joined Nano as an artist. One thing lead to another, and when Monique started handling all my European bookings, it felt natural for me to join the Nano roster. A good label must have a great relationship with the artist, and help the artist promote itself to the maximum. That means releasing the music, booking the parties, marketing plan and more.
Dick: I first met Ans Guise (the original co-founder with Regan) in Samthraki, at the back of the dancefloor in the early Naughties, grinning at me telling me that this is awesome music I was listening to was from his new label – Nano Records. I loved it from then on! I then met a dreadlocked Regan at a party in Portugal, a few weeks later, and we got on very well.
For me, the guys were so passionate about the music, not unlike the old Flying Rhino crew who I used to release most of my music with. I started releasing bits and pieces with them on compilations and came to an early Origin Festival or two, and hey, presto! Here we are now. Regan and Monique now are two of my best friends. The whole Nano umbrella is like a family team who are passionate about what they do ….and for the right reasons. Spread the love!
You’ve released a trio of EPs in the Explorations series. Do you plan to continue the series?
Gustavo: It was a nice way to release some tracks without going the process of a full-length album. We could release the tracks with more time in between them. It felt really good. I’m not sure if we will continue the series, as it was planned to be 3 EPs initially, but another series with a different theme could be a cool idea.
Do you think some psytrance music has forgotten the ‘psychedelic’ touch?
Gustavo: Yes, some artists have changed their style and headed a different direction. I think the scene has space for all kinds of psytrance, not only the psychedelic stuff but the commercial kind too. Some people have found psytrance through commercial music, and over time they start to fall in love with psychedelic styles.
Dick: It is now split into various sub-genres of itself, as all music genres seem to do eventually. All music can be psychedelic, it just depends under what circumstances you are listening to it in! However, some of the stuff you hear labelled as ‘psytrance’ on websites like Beatport or such are so far removed from what others are making in the scene, it doesn’t have anything to do with the roots of it at all. But, it does bring people into listening to the more psychedelic, underground music, which is a good thing!
You’ll be returning to South Africa to perform as your solo projects and together as Circuit Breakers. Why are you excited to be back and what can the dance floor expect from your set(s) at Origin?
Gustavo: I’m so excited to be back in South Africa. I’ve always had such an amazing experience and the crowd is so energetic. I’m particularly excited about returning to play at Origin Festival. All my friends say Origin Festival is really special. It’s one of those places you have to play at least once in your life!
Dick: Origin – it’s in the name, really! I fucking love it. You guys don’t know how good you have it in South Africa. It is one of the warmest, friendliest festivals in the world. The whole scene in South Africa is thriving, or it always feels that way to me. What can the dance floor expect? Lots of kick drums and silly noises. Oh yes, and lots of fun!
I saw you’ve also both been booked for Ozora Festival this year. Any other special festivals you are looking forward to?
Gustavo: Yeah, it is great to be back at Ozora Festival this year. I really love playing to that crowd. I love festivals, and I’m sure all the festivals I’m playing at this year will be amazing. However, I’m really looking forward to Ozora Festival, Origin Festival and Universo Paralello.
Dick: Ozora Festival is always a bit of a peak of the summer for me. The gathering of tribes! There is also Noisily Festival of Music and Arts, which is always a blast. It’s friends central for me – probably a bit like Origin for you lot!
What are your thoughts on the local scene in your respective home countries (United Kingdom and Brasil)?
Gustavo: The Brasilian scene has always been one of the biggest in the world. I really love it. The Brasilian people are so energetic, and they really love the music and parties.
Dick: Our scene in the United Kingdom is tiny now, a bit of a let down really, but the events I go to, which are mainly outside London have a fantastic vibe. The biggest and most long-running being Tribe of Frog in Bristol, and Illuminaugthy (never been but heard it’s great [laughs]). Noisily Festival of Music and Arts is probably the best, followed by Boomtown for trance.
Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Gustavo: This year I am planning to release my next solo Burn in Noise album. We also have some new Circuit Breakers EPs on the way.
Dick: Didn’t I release enough at the end of last year? Probably an album’s worth over a couple of months! But seriously, some more Circuit Breakers, on a slightly different tip. A Bumbling Loons album with James Monro, and some more Vogon 42 with Ajja very soon! I am also in the middle of upgrading my studio with new bits and bobs, so I’ll probably be locking myself in for a while in between trips to the soft play area and the park.
Thanks for the interview! Anything to add before we finish off?
Gustavo: Thanks a lot for the interview. I can’t wait to be there with all of you. Big love!
Dick: Thanks, see you at Origin Festival. I better go pack, as my flight is in 2 hours!
Origin Festival 2019 set times:
- Dickster at 23h00 on Saturday night
- Burn In Noise at 12h00 on Sunday afternoon
- Circuit Breakers at 15h00 on Sunday afternoon (closing set)
Visit the Origin Festival 2019 Facebook Event for more information.