The infamous UK based DJ & producer, Earthling returns to Cape Town for Alien Safari Sprung 2018 on 1 September to start off the season. Fresh from a massive European tour and loaded with a new album, we have no doubt Earthling will bring a little psychedelic thunder to Sprung 2018 in 1 week.
Hi Celli. Earlier this year you released your fifth album entitled Radio Gaia. What’s the reception been like?
Hi there. Thanks for having me back! I think Radio Gaia is probably my heaviest, most serious album so far. There are a couple of ‘nice’ tracks but not as many as my previous albums. The reception has been really great actually, I’ve been totally overwhelmed by people’s comments and great feedback. It did well on the sales charts, and more importantly I’ve heard the tracks being played all over the place and that’s always a great feeling.
Do you consider a full-length album to be a viable release format in the digital world?
Most people don’t, but I do. I think it’s a great way to express myself and define my sound … not only to others , but also to myself ! I also think I’ts important to have a body of work that stays together. When my tracks get released here and there on different labels, and at different times, they sort of get lost , and it’s much harder to understand what that ‘Earthling Sound’ actually is.
What significant milestones have occurred since we last spoke?
Without a doubt the most fun trip I had was to the USA last August. First we went to the Solar Eclipse Festival in Oregon, then on to Burning Man. Both proper global gatherings of freaks of all shapes and sizes. A real eye-opening experience.
Going back further, can you remember when you fell in love with psychedelic music?
If by Psychedelic music you mean Psychedelic Trance , then it was more of a slow evolution. I was into Acid House around 1990 , then that morphed into ‘Trance’ which then morphed into ‘Goa Trance’ which then morphed into ‘Psy Trance’ I found it all pretty psychedelic and I loved it all.
Do you feel like you are still evolving as an artist / producer / DJ / performer?
Oh hell yes! I feel like I’m only just scratching the surface when it comes to production skills , even though I’ve been at it for about 23 years. It’s a long road, and a never ending process, especially when you are slow like I am!
As a DJ, there is always something to learn. Every party , every dance floor, every DJ set is a thread in the tapestry of experience. I’ve learned that only experience can make you a great DJ. I’m constantly learning from my mistakes, my peers, and from people’s reactions on the dance floor when I play. I’ts a lifelong journey , and I’m happy to be on it.
You’ve formed a new project with DJ Lucas. How did your friendship come about?
Yes! We have known each other for quite a few years now, playing at the same parties around the world and having many friends in common. We work well together and are really pleased with the sound we are getting in the studio. There are six tracks finished, and a couple more still brewing. We’re both super excited to launch the project in the next few months.
What other projects are you actively writing and touring for?
So I have Everblast (with Chromatone) , Soundaholix (with GMS), the new one with Lucas, and of course Earthling (just me),
Are there any personal favourite festivals or destinations for you?
Not really actually. I love them all!
What’s the most challenging part about being a touring artist?
One word – airports!
You mentioned time management being one obstacle to running your label, Zero 1 Music. Have you managed to overcome that?
Actually, yeah. We are starting to fulfill our goal of coming together a bit more as a team. Wherein everyone on the label chips in a bit of their time and does what they are good at, whether it be social media, promotion, party planning, graphic design, paperwork etc. That has always been our aim and we are finally starting to achieve it.
What are some currents trends in the music industry regarding how people consume music?
I’ve noticed that YouTube has really stepped up as a way to consume our kind of music, and also for artists/labels to earn a little bit of money.
We have also recently realized the power of Bandcamp. Obviously its nothing new to most people, but it is for us as a label, and its really working out.
People who buy the music really appreciate that a lot more of their money goes directly to the artist/label as opposed to the website that sells it . People want to support their favourite artists, not overrated websites that don’t even give them a decent preview clip.
And current trends regarding music styles at psytrance festivals?
Well, one thing I’m over the moon about is that ‘Hi-tech’ seems to be slowly fading into oblivion, which means we can actually enjoy some decent night music at festivals and parties!
Another thing I’ve been noticing lately is that the uber cheesy ‘Oompa Loompa’ Progressive style is disappearing from most serious festival line ups. With both those extremes slowly vanishing off the map, we are left with a lot of really great psychedelic music in the 138-148 BPM range.
Both your DJ and Live set smashed it out the park at Alien Safari Sprung 2016. We’re excited to have you back. How do you keep your sets fresh and what can the dance floor expect at Sprung?
Ooh fank yoo very much. I’m constantly updating my sets, always on the hunt for new music and new artists and am often pleasantly surprised by random projects that I have never heard of. For my live show expect some brand new Earthling and some classics thrown in there too. I’m really excited!
Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Yes! An Earthling remix of Etnica’s classic track ‘Intense Visitation’ – a collaboration between Everblast and Tron called ‘Tacodelic’ – and our new Soundaholix album should be ready for release in October. Followed by a collaboration I did with Touch Tone (Chris Hanson of Flip Flop ) appropriately entitled ‘Sprung’.
Thanks for the interview. See you at Sprung!
My pleasure! See you at Sprung. Stay psychedelic!
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