Illumination and Born Sleepy are the solo projects of Amir Dvir. He’s been active in the scene for 15 years, working closely alongside Xerox. Most recently he’s added Born Sleepy, a Psyprog project, to his arsenal. Although a native of Israel, Amir has relocated to Thailand and is living a different lifestyle.
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Psymedia : Hey Amir! To kick things off, tell me about your introduction to Psytrance and your first project Luminus?
Illumination : I started at a very young age around 15 years old. A friend gave me my first Goa tape cassette, and I immediately fell in love with the sounds and story of the music. At the time I had never heard something like that before – sounds telling stories instead of words. I was hooked! Shortly after I began learning the software, and connecting with a group of musicians, at the time called tRiP. The group lead to projects like Domestic, Shidapu and Infected Mushroom. We learnt a lot from each others experiences and it contributed to the success of one another. Luminus was my first project, between 1997 and 2001. I produced three albums under the alias. Some of my more popular tracks include Diablo, Total Consciousness and Crystals.
Psymedia : You’ve performed alongside Xerox for over ten years. How did you meet?
Illumination : Moshe (Xerox) and I were friends and co-workers a few years before we started making music together. We were on the same label, Hommega, and always helped each other with music and production. The first track we decided to produce together was In and Out, around 2002. After that we felt the need to continue our relationship, and as a result have released four albums and dozens of compilation releases.
Psymedia : What’s the key to your sucesss? What advice do you have in maintaining a relationship with another artist over a long period?
Illumination : I think our success had a lot to do with our unique style. We didn’t follow other artists too much, and really did what we liked and believed at the time. For sure, maintaining a relationship with another artist for a long period is not easy. I’m very happy that after all this time we are still really good friends apart from business. Like every other relationship, it is important to know the borders and when to let go.
Psymedia : You’ve relocated to Thailand for a few months. Was there anything that sparked the relocation? What do you enjoy about living in Thailand?
Illumination : I performed in Thailand a few times before relocating. Every time I felt so great in Thailand and wanted to live or spend a few months in Thailand at the very least. I live in Koh Phangan, it’s an amazingly beautiful party island. The people here are much more laid back and welcoming than many other places I’ve been to. I’m a resident DJ at Halfmoon Festival which takes places twice a month in the jungles of the island. It is really a beautiful, well organized party that attracts crowds from all over the world. As a result, it is a great way to spread your music to all kinds of people, as the crowd changes almost completely every two weeks.
Psymedia : Last year you launched your Psyprog project Born Sleepy. Could you tell me about the name? What made you decide to start producing Psyprog?
Illumination : I like the name because it is not too serious and in my opinion trance should never be too serious. It’s all about fun, and I like to see people smile when they hear my name! I started producing Progressive because I wanted to experiment with more styles of Trance. When you produce music at a lower BPM, you can focus closely on every sound, and make a fat production. However, I’m still producing new Illumination tracks, and I still really like the good old Psytrance I grew up on.
Psymedia : What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?
Illumination : Art is not a competition, you should do it with love and from your heart. Otherwise it’s not worth any more than money and it won’t last for a long time because it’s not your real truth.
Psymedia : This won’t be your first time in South Africa. What did you think of our scene and country?
Illumination : The first time I played in South Africa was in 2004. It was for a Vortex party, and for sure, one of the best parties I remember. I was always excited to come over, and it is definitely one of the best scenes around the world. It’s always been psychedelic and authentic. The people are super nice, the nature is stunning, and the parties are always rocking hard! What more could you ask for?
Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Illumination : Always working on new stuff. At the moment working on a Psyprog remix of Pixel and Samuel’s track Future Oldschool and working on a new Illumination album that is scheduled for release in 2014.
Psymedia : Thanks for the interview! See you at Tribe! Anything to add before we finish off?
Illumination : Definitely, thank you guys at Psymedia for the interview, looking forward to come and have some fun together. See you soon!