Freedom Fighters is the solo psychedelic project of Shahaf Efrat, a producer with over a decade of experience.
Touring heavily for the last couple of years, Freedom Fighters took his rebellious sound to the next level, playing in huge events from one hand and underground events on the other hand, in almost every place on the globe.
Freedom Fighters was also featured on “A State Of Trance” radio show and UK’s BBC Radio 1.
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?
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.
Tell me about your other alias – Buttersonic?
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.
You moved from a full-on sound, to the inclusion of progressive & techno. Was there anything that caused the shift?
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.
You served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) for 3 years.
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.
Before your debut album Rebel, the EP Riot was going to be released as an album I believe?
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.
Do you feel at home with HOMmega?
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…
You’ve also collaborated with a number of artists. Are you comfortable working alongside someone in the studio?
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.
What are your thoughts on South Africa?
I’m always excited about South Africa. The scene is great – whether it’s the crowd, the beautiful people, the awesome food!
Thanks for the interview! Anything to add before we finish off?
Just want to say thank you for having me. It’s a big respect.