Freedom Fighters is Shahaf Efrat, based in Tel Aviv, Israel and signed to HOMmega Records. His music can be described as Techno oriented Progressive Psytrance mixed with everyday life experiences. Whether it’s a heavy underground psychedelic or a crystal clear Techno-oriented tune, you can be sure to recognize his unique signature sound in every record he produces.

– The following questions were compiled on behalf of Psymedia by Evan Greenblo.

Psymedia : How did you come across the psychedelic trance scene? Why did you go with the alias Freedom Fighters? I believe at first the project was a duo?

Freedom Fighters : When I was 14 I came across the psychedelic trance scene when a friend of mine brought me a CD full of Psytrance and I started collecting music since then. I decided to call myself Freedom Fighters after I heard a really good compilation by Paul Taylor entitled Freedom Fighters, back in 2004. The compilation was a true masterpiece in my taste and I decided to name myself after it. I started the project with a Portuguese friend of mine – we worked together from 2006 until 2008 and from there I went solo.

Psymedia : Tell me about your other alias – Buttersonic?

Freedom Fighters : Buttersonic was a project I started back in my full-on days. My heart and ears always enjoyed progressive more than full-on, so in 2007 I started the alias Buttersonic. I buried the project in 2010 when I decided to follow my heart and turn Freedom Fighters into what it is today.

Psymedia : Tell me about moving from a full-on sound, to the inclusion of progressive, techno and drum & bass? Was there anything that caused the shift?

Freedom Fighters : Well, to be honest, as I mentioned before, progressive was a genre I have always liked more than full-on. My solo project (Freedom Fighters) focused on progressive Psytrance (way before it became cool to do it). In 2010 I felt that I need to put all my strength and focus into one project and I decided to close my Buttersonic project and do what I really like with Freedom Fighters. Today my music is a mashup of everything I like – whether its Techno, Psytrance, Minimal, Drum & Bass, and more.

Psymedia : What kind of effect did going to the army for three years have on your music career? Did it influence you? Were you able to do anything musically?

Freedom Fighters : Going to the army was something I obviously didn’t want to do when I was 18. I’ve been touring and playing my music since I was 17, and I was sure the army would bury my career. Surprisingly, the service did nothing but good for my career. Since I couldn’t tour more than 3-4 times a year, I was able to choose the best places to perform in. Music wise, it did basically the same – I only produced the kind of music I wanted to produce.

Psymedia : Last year you built a new studio. How will the new studio improve your productions, and what are the main benefits of having a studio that is always readily available?

Freedom Fighters : A new studio is always a tricky situation. On one hand you need to get used to it and it takes around 2-3 months to do so. On the other hand, I built a kick ass studio this time around, so I’m pretty sure it’s about to improve my productions. Regarding benefits, you cannot summon the muse! Therefore it’s a treat to be able to work each and every time your muse appears.

Psymedia : How did you join the HOMmega Records team?

Freedom Fighters :  I basically grew up on HOMmega’s music so I always knew that this is one goal I have to achieve. One day (after I produced RIOT) I called Eyal (the head of HOMmega Records) and asked him to meet me. The rest is history…

Psymedia : The Riot EP was a full length album at first, is that correct? Any plans to release a full length still?

Freedom Fighters : Riot initially was an album. Unfortunately, nowadays digital is the way to release music. It’s faster, cheaper and the listener can actually choose the specific tracks to buy/download. Regarding that full length album, I’m pretty sure I will surprise you guys with an album at the end of this year, or beginning of 2014.

Psymedia : Your EP entitled Machinery came out earlier this month on HOMmega. What was it like collaborating with Headroom and HypoGeo, who have two different styles?

Freedom Fighters :  Machinery is kind of an out-of-the-box EP. Therefore I wanted to work with artists with a total different style. Working with Headroom was a real treat! That guy is just awesome. A really talented producer and a great person (pretty sure that says a lot about the South African people). HypoGeo is one of my favorite dark-progressive artists for a long time now. We produced this track together online while I was in Brazil and he was in Italy. It was fun to see how different and exciting things can get when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.

Psymedia : You’ve also collaborated with a number of artists. Are you comfortable working alongside someone in the studio? What is the main advantage to you as a young producer?

Freedom Fighters :  I always say that two minds are better than one in the studio if each individual is bringing his best skills to the table. I’ve been collaborating for so long so I guess I’m very comfortable around other artists. Being a young producer is always an advantage since I feel more open to new genres and ideas. While long time producers have way more experience in the studio, I tend to see a lot of closed minds among them.

Psymedia : You’ve got three shows lined up for South AFrica. What have you heard about the South African scene from fellow artists?

Freedom Fighters : I’m so excited about my shows in South Africa. I’ve heard nothing but good things about your scene – whether it’s the crowd, the beautiful people, the awesome food. I just can’t wait for the weekend to start!

Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?

Freedom Fighters : Well, Dictator was just re-released on Captain Hook’s compilation on Iboga, Trick n’ Treat – The Remixes will be out next month at HOMmega including remixed from GMS, Vertical Mode & Mr. Bill, my remix with Domestic & Pixel of Union Jack’s classic Two Full Moons & A Trout will be out in about 2 months on Platipus and the list goes on. You can also expect a brand new Freedom Fighters EP in the next 2 months!

Psymedia : Thanks for the interview! See you at The Side Show! Anything to add before we finish off?

Freedom Fighters : Just want to say thank you for having me. It’s a big respect.

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