Freedom Fighters is the solo project of Israeli based artist Shahaf Efrat. Finding home at the legendary HOMmega Records, FF has released dozens of tracks working with the likes of Pixel, Ace Ventura, Ryanosaurus, Sub6, Loud and Morten Granau as well as a well received debut album entitled Rebel in 2015. Whether it’s a heavy underground psychedelic track or a crystal clear Techno-oriented tune, you can be sure to recognize his unique signature sound in every record he produces.
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 fourteen years old I came across the psychedelic trance scene. A friend of mine brought a CD full of psychedelic tunes, and I started collecting music since then. I decided to call my alias Freedom Fighters after I heard a really good compilation by Paul Taylor entitled Freedom Fighters. That was back in 2004. The compilation was a true masterpiece, in my opinion, so I decided to name myself after it. I originally started the project with a Portuguese friend of mine. We worked together from 2006 until about 2008. After that I continued the Freedom Fighters project on my own.
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? Was there anything that caused the shift?
Freedom Fighters : Well, to be honest, as I mentioned before, progressive was a genre that I’ve always shown more interested in than full-on psychedelic. My solo project [Freedom Fighters] focuses on progressive psytrance, way before it became ‘cool’ to do it. In 2010, I felt the need to put all my strength into one project, so I ended Buttersonic and chose to do what I really love [Freedom Fighters]. Today, my music is a mashup of everything I like. It’s a combination of techno, psytrance, progressive, minimal, drum & bass and more.
Psymedia : You served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) for 3 years. What effect did that have on your music career?
Freedom Fighters : Going to the army was something I obviously didn’t want to do when I was 18 years old. 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 basically did the same – I only produced the kind of music I wanted to produce.
Psymedia : Before your debut album Rebel, the EP Riot was going to be released as an album I believe?
Freedom Fighters : That’s correct. Riot initially was an album. Unfortunately, nowadays, digital in short formats is the way to release music. It’s faster, cheaper and the listener can actually choose the specific tracks to buy/download. In the end I delayed things and released a 9 track album, Rebel, on HOMmega in 2015.
Psymedia : Do you feel at home with HOMmega?
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 : 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 : What are your thoughts on South Africa?
Freedom Fighters : I’m so excited about my shows in South Africa. The scene is great – whether it’s the crowd, the beautiful people, the awesome food. I just can’t wait for the weekend to start!
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.