Disco Volante from Nexus Media & PsynOpticz Productions – Exclusive Interview
Disco Volante is the latest collaboration between Daniel Honor (Critical Mass) and Alexander Inggs (Risky Business/ALXNDR). The duo announced the project at the start of 2013 and have only received positive feedback following their debut EP entitled Time Crisis on Nexus Media.
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– Photography courtesy of LVstar, Lloyd Newkirk, Julian Graham and Romy Maxime
Psymedia : Disco Volante is the latest project for both of you. How did you two meet, and decide to form a permanent project? Tell me about the name?
Dani : A few years ago Lyle (DJ Archive) suggested that I listen to an up-and-coming artist called Airtime (Risky Business) and see if I’m keen do a collaboration with him. He said our two styles could work well together. I think Alex was playing at The Village and I saw some promotion about him and his music. I checked out his Soundcloud and was very impressed with his tunes. I then got in contact with him and he said he liked my tunes as well. We started swopping our tracks with each others for DJ sets and started talking about writing music together! The idea of a project was put on the shelf and finally in December 2012 we decided to take the steps and bring it to life. I was over Hi-Tech night time music and wanted to go back to my roots – my Critical Mass melodic vibes.When I spoke with Alex, I felt so inspired and we get along like we had been brothers for 20 years!
Ali : Yeah, I remember hearing Dani’s Critical Mass project online for the first time. I was so impressed with his high-energy melodic sound. To be honest I was actually a bit pissed off that he had already established this sort of sound because it was almost exactly what I was trying to do. After exchanging tunes and a mutual love for tequila, we decided to create something fresh for 2013 together. I was overseas when Dani sent the first sample – I remember not being able to fall asleep that night from all the ideas running through my head. I really feel like our styles work perfectly together and I’m so stoked on how the project has come together. The name Disco Volante translates to ‘Flying Disk’ or ‘Flying Saucer’ (from Spanish and Italian). I thought the name was aptly suited to the Psytrance scene – a kind of contemporary disco spinning for the next generation.
Psymedia : What do each of you bring to the project?
Dani : Alex is an extremely talented musician and producer, even though he is young he has a lot of experience within music. It’s very natural working with Ali and we both like each others ideas a lot. We are both trying to create a similar style of Psytrance so tracks seem to be flowing very well! I never really liked working alone and enjoy working with another artist.
Ali : Working with Dani is a pleasure. He works really fast and his ideas are awesome. When I was working just on my solo project I would often lose interest in a project after spending too much time on it. Working with Dani, we both get excited about things that the other person has done in the project which leads to eliminating the mundane – keeping the music/writing process fresh and always full of new ideas and inspiration.
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Psymedia : How do you view your production techniques now, as opposed to a few years go?
Dani : As with anything in life, the more you practice and work at things the better you get! Experience has improved production and having legend producers like Shift and Frozen Ghost overlook our work has given us even more knowledge. My style has definitely changed and adapted over the years but I still like to keep it energetic. I enjoy the more clean and minimal sounds where I can add more attention to detail.
Ali : Ya, meeting new people and experimenting with different genres has definitely opened doors for cleaner mixdowns and ideas within a project. Hanging with Kieron (Rubix Qube) is always inspiring and informative which ever project/genre he is working on. It always blows my mind to see what he’s getting up too. Also experimenting with Minimal/Techno/House and recording really proves how clean and minimalistic one can make Psytrance – namely adding loads to production value.
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Psymedia : Your debut EP entitled Time Crisis came out this month on Nexus Media. Did it seem like a natural fit [to release on Nexus]?
Dani : Yes, our influences were the legends of the early twilight scene like Pitch Hikers, Artifakt and Brethren. Nexus Media has put out some of the best Full On/Twilight releases the world has seen and has a distinct signature sound which we are heavily influenced by. We are also signed to our psy family PsynOpticz.
Ali : For sure! Nexus Media was my dream label growing up and almost all my favourite acts have released with them or Timecode. As Dani said, their releases over the years are possibly our biggest influence.
Psymedia : Have you been working on tracks whilst Ali is abroad?
Dani : Yes, we have been working whilst Ali is abroad. Even in Cape Town we both have our own studios and work separately and keep swopping projects back and forth (sometimes a hundred times) until we are satisfied.We also sit together at Alex’s studio and go through the final mix of the tracks to make sure we are 100 percent happy.
Ali : I miss discussing tracks in person with Dani but the beats go on. Getting inspired in foreign countries has added some cool elements in to the music and I know we get just as amped when we send each other something as we did in Cape Town.
Psymedia : Dani, What’s happening with your solo projects?
Dani : Honestly not much! Disco Volante seems to be pretty much my full time pay project at the moment. Critical Mass is my solo act and I have another project called Iron Assault with Sonic Assault. Iron Assault is a more twisted Twilight sound and we have an EP coming out on MMD Records. The days of Iron Lotus are no more and that project is officially over.
Psymedia : Ali, I’ve heard a few Risky Business (and Airtime) snippets from some time ago. Any upcoming releases?
Ali : I do have a solo track coming out on the Nexus Media compilation Midnight Storm 5, but I’m putting all my Psytrance energy into Disco Volante. I prefer working with Dani and we keep each other inspired – I really enjoy the sound we create together. I’ve also been putting a lot of effort into experimenting with other genres, so Disco Volante has all my Psytrance energy at the moment.
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Psymedia : Ali, your ALXNDR debut set went down well at The Red Telephone Journey II and a ton of people were singing along to your bootleg of Zebra Katz. Tell me a bit about steering off into the world of Minimal/Techno. What’s the scene looking like in Cape Town? Are you looking to have a live set at some point?
Ali : Yes, I’ve been working on a live set for the last few months. I find it super fun to produce and play. The scene in Cape Town is just starting to wake up a bit. In Amsterdam/Berlin, Minimal/Techno is everywhere – pretty much every festival and club, and it’s being incredibly inspiring. It’s going to be interesting to see when Cape Town catches on because it’s going to happen at some point.
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Psymedia : Ali, are you looking for gigs in Europe [for Disco Volante/ALXNDR]?
Ali : I’ve got some people to meet and things planned so hopefully will be spinning a bit Disco Volante and Min/tech in the near future but as of now I’ve just been experiencing the different countries, getting inspired which translates really well into the projects. Also meeting up with Nica (Iliuchina) has been really cool. I’ve always been a huge fan of her tunes and she’s really helped me out over here in Berlin which has been great.
Psymedia : Summer season is around the corner. Both of you have spent time overseas – what sets Cape Town apart from other dance floor capitals?
Dani : Cape Town is one of the best places in the world for Psytrance. Whenever I write a track, I always think of the Cape Town dance floor in my mind. There is so much passion and energy on the dance floor. With saying that I have played and met so many amazing people from around the world which each has their own unique feel and love for the psychedelic trance.
Ali : The Cape Town vibe is really like no other. People go off and the dance floor is always packed with entertainment and energy that is unique to South Africa.
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Psymedia : With the recent trend in Cape Town (and abroad) of leaning towards Progressive – do you see it having an influence on your sound?
Dani : Yes, definitely would look at doing a Progressive track. Disco Volante is a Full On act but has lots of different influences from other styles of electronic music.
Ali : All music influences our sound and we are always keen on experimenting!
Psymedia : Thanks for the interview! Any last words before we finish off?
Dani : Thanks so much Psymedia and pretty much everyone in the scene for your support! Disco Volante has picked up so quick and the response to the EP and our live shows have been amazing! We are working on loads more music and look forward to seeing you at upcoming parties all over the world!
Ali : Ya! Big thanks to everyone for the support of our EP – stoked to see it at #1 on Junodownload this week. Psymedia rocks and has always been awesome with the support of our project.