Deliriant is Shane Renew. At 26, Shane is already one of the top artists in the country with over a decade of experience in DJing and producing. With a career in studio engineering, it is no surprise Deliriant has delivered two highly praised albums entitled Chemistry and Miracle Cure along with a long list of single releases, compilation features and collaborations with some of the biggest psytrance names such as Orca, Z3ro, sHiFt and Mad Piper. But before you start reading any further, we recommend you play this banger of a tune below (and download it if you haven’t yet). Deliriant played a killer set at the Psymedia Launch Party alongside Mad Piper, and you can catch him next weekend at Alien Safari’s Sprung from 00:30 to 01:30.
– The following questions were compiled on behalf of Psymedia by Evan Greenblo.
Psymedia: Howzit Shane! Let’s start off with some easy ones – when did you decide to start DJing and what was your first interaction with psytrance? When was the birth of Deliriant?
Deliriant: Hey guys, shot for having me. I started DJing for fun back in school days, and was introduced to psytrance, Infected Mushroom, when I was about 18. I went to my first party the following year, ssHift was playing his Redline album live at Alien Safari, and that was when I knew I wanted to get into the DJ/production side of things.
Psymedia: You play fairly often in Johannesburg. What’s the Jozi scene like in comparison to Cape Town?
Deliriant: The Jozi scene is slowly getting there, it’s small, but growing fast. Only recently have I started to see full daytime dance floors which is great, they’re heading in the right direction. Organizers like Fucha Gatherings, One Festival and Teknotribe know exactly what they’re doing, and are contributing to a positive change in the scene. In fact a couple of my favourite sets have been at Joburg parties – the crowd, even though generally smaller, is really up for it.
Psymedia: When did you move from DJing to producing and have you had any formal training? Were there any peeps that played a large role in your learning experience?
Deliriant: I’d say about 5 or 6 years ago I started to put out some really basic psytrance. I was studying to be a sound engineer at the same time, and applying what I learnt there to my own music as I went along. Eventually I was making some decent tracks, which I put on a disc and sent to sHiFt at Nexus Media. A couple days later he called me up saying he wanted to release one of the tracks Fusion, on which he helped me improve the production. I’ve learnt a lot from him since then, as well as taking in anything else I came across. From being on dance floors and listening to live sets, to chatting with artists and doing collaborations, I take it all in and try and apply what I like, to my own sound.
Psymedia: You teamed up with Mad Piper and released a track entitled From The Void on your Paranoia EP (Kaos Krew Records), and you’ve recently started playing some versus gigs together. How long have you guys been working on things behind the scenes? Can we expect regular versus sets this season?
Deliriant: We’ve been friends for a while, and when I heard his music a couple of years ago I knew I’d be working with him sooner or later, as his sound is quite similar to mine. People seem to like the versus thing for exactly that reason, which is why people have been booking us like that I guess. It’s always cool jamming with a buddy, so we’re hoping to play more often over the summer season. We have one or two new versus tracks planned, which we are busy with now, and a confirmed 2 hour slot at Organik on the 20th of October, which is sure to be a good one!
Psymedia: What kind of dimension are you able to add with a versus set and can things get complicated at times?
Deliriant: Not really, all it takes is a little bit of planning beforehand, so you know what sort of direction you’re going in. Most of the time you’ll be asked to play with someone who has a similar sound to you, so it’s not too much of a problem because the music flows naturally. It usually works one mix each, but the other person will keep an ear out for levels or whatever and might give you a little help along the way. One of the best things about a versus set is that you get more time to interact with the crowd, because you don’t have to concentrate on the mix as often, so you can amp people up while the other guy does the work, and vice versa.
Psymedia: Your Paranoia EP also featured Chronic V2. Why did you decide to rework the track even though it’s only about a year old? Were you a bit skeptical if V2 would live up to the original?
Deliriant: I think it’s older than a year, I had been playing it for about 2 years. It’s probably the track I get the best reaction from on the dance floor, and people are always begging me to play it. I felt like it was getting a bit tired, and I don’t want to keep playing the same material, which is why I’m constantly working on new music to keep my live sets fresh. The only way to do that and keep people happy at the same time, was to create a new version. Mad Piper has just finished a remix too, which I plan on incorporating into my live sets, if he’s not playing at the same party of course.
Psymedia: You’ve handled the mastering on a couple Kaos Krew Records releases and mastered your latest EP. Is there an advantage to mastering your own tracks? Do you leave a Deliriant touch on the tracks you master?
Deliriant: There definitely is an advantage, because you know them back to front, plus you have the project session so if something doesn’t sound great you can always go back into the project and adjust it. Unfortunately when mastering other people’s tracks that isn’t possible. But I wouldn’t say I leave my own touch on them, I just try to get them as loud and warm as possible without compromising the original quality of the track.
Psymedia: I believe you also do work in the commercial realm – commercials, TV shows and whatnot. Does working on commercial pieces add any value or insight to your own music?
Deliriant: I’d say it does. I’ve learnt a lot about mix and mastering, which I definitely apply to my own music. Also, commercials often require a lot of tracks and big projects, so it’s important to keep everything neat and tidy, labelled correctly and grouped to the appropriate buses/channels. I’ve definitely noticed a change in my own projects from that. It helps to keep your sessions neat, it allows you to be a lot more productive and get things done faster if everything is named, grouped and easily accessible.
Psymedia: You’ve been to Portugal among other places a handful of times over the years. What’s the crowd and atmosphere like there? It seems like if any Capetonians need a change in scenery, Portugal would be the place to go! Any other memorable places you’ve been able to play?
Deliriant: Portugal is awesome, the people are rad and I’ve made some good friends there. They seem to enjoy the melodic twilight vibes, which is why they book me fairly regularly. It seems like there’s quite a bit of politics in the scene though, there are so many parties and people don’t care about double bookings, they will throw one party over another without hesitation. We’re so lucky in Cape Town, not to see too much of that going on – everyone has their weekend, and there hopefully isn’t too much conflict. Our scene is really one of a kind. Kenya was definitely a highlight for me, I played at Earthdance to about 4000 screaming people. They looked after us really well and were super organised, which is always appreciated.
Psymedia: One of your tracks Ode to Orff featured on Cybernetix’s compilation Disco Meat Market. I’ve got a Deliriant fan who’s a bit upset you don’t play this track more often. Any reason why?
Deliriant: Umm, for me its old, its way too long, and I don’t feel like the production is on par with the rest of my work. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a very effective track, and it has some of the most plays on Youtube out of all my tracks (one of my top 3 tracks on Beatport too!). I’ll fix it up and do a new version sometime!
Psymedia: What’s your side project Deadbeat FM about? Do you ever start on some ideas for Deliriant and they end up fitting better in a Deadbeat FM track? I believe you also recently signed to Menog’s new techno label On & Off. You were working on some tracks a couple of months ago – when can we expect a release?
Deliriant: Deadbeat FM is a techno/progressive act which my friend and I started a couple of years ago. It ranges from 125 – 138 bpm, a lot more chilled than my Deliriant stuff. Sometimes I apply things I use in psy trance into Deadbeat FM tracks, a lot of people say they can hear the influence, but I don’t really start a project and then switch it over. We’ve had a couple releases on Beatport already, but soon ‘Refraction‘ and hopefully a couple more tracks will be released with On & Off.
Psymedia: You used to DJ Drum & Bass before psytrance, correct? Personally I’m a fan of DnB but it always seems to be in the shadows of psytrance in this country, yet still surviving. It seems like we don’t export a lot of DnB talent. Secondly, what are your thoughts on some DnB/dubstep twists in psy?
Deliriant: That was quite a long time ago, I don’t really follow DnB anymore. I still enjoy it and will listen to whatever comes my way, but I don’t really search for it anymore. I used to play hard house as well, believe it or not. I’m loving dubstep at the moment, and controversial as it is, I like a bit of dubstep thrown into psytrance. Cue the haters, haha!
Psymedia: Any upcoming Deliriant releases or collaborations you’re working on?
Deliriant: Too many to mention, haha! Super busy with Deliriant stuff at the moment – loads of collaborations and remixes on the way with the likes of sHiFt, Mad Piper, Orca, EMP, Del, Frost Byte, Sound Control, Rubix Qube and more. There was even talk of an Antispin collaboration, but let’s see how it goes! Lastly, I’m working on a track of my own, especially for Alien Safari Sprung. It’s got a super hyped up intro that I’m really happy with, gonna get people going crazy, chronic style!
Psymedia: What are your thoughts on the Alien Safari Sprung line up this year? It’s great to have Azax Syndrom and Ritmo back to start the season! I believe last time you played Sprung was in 2009, and it was the launch of your debut album Miracle Cure, correct?
Deliriant: Uhh yes I think so. It’s good to be playing there again, Sprung is always one of my favourite parties. I’m a big fan of both Azax and Ritmo, so I’m amped to be seeing them again. Other than that the local lineup is looking solid, keen to get back outdoors!!
Psymedia: Thanks so much Shane! Anything else you would like to add?
Deliriant: Thanks a lot for the interview, see you all on the dance floor!
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