Orca is Alon Lifer. Orca has become a Cape Town favourite in recent years, having played at a number of indoor and outdoor parties since 2010. The Israeli DJ is no stranger to the psy world, with releases on our very own Disasterpeace Records and MMD Records, as well as Fractal Records and DOOF Records to name a few.
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Psymedia: Hey Alon! It was great to have you back in Cape Town this weekend. To start off, tell me about how you were first exposed to psytrance, coming from a metal background?
Orca: So as most know I come from a metal background. From metal I moved on to EDM, dark 80’s, new wave as well as hardstyle. Along the way I also started listening to house and euro trance, and then finally goa trance. I wanted to listen to trance but didn’t know too much about it, so I just bought CD’s from artists I had heard of such as MFG, Astral Projection and Infected Mushroom. However things changed when I went to DJ school. I took mixing classes and I met a person there who opened me up to minimal and progressive. That was in 2001, and up until then I had only attended a few trance parties. I started to collect a lot of minimal, but it was in the year 2003 that I went to India and discovered full power psy trance. The South African full on sound was in its early days, and from then on my love for it is still going strong.
Psymedia: Are you still influenced by metal when producing psytrance?
Orca: Yes I am, but not all the time. Heavy metal is the music I grew with, but I like to be influenced by other styles (oldies, for example).
Psymedia: Why do you primarily add humerous samples to your tracks?
Orca: I want to stand out and do things that less producers do, and I think humour is another way of connecting with the crowd. It’s my job to entertain and I think humor is a perfect way to make people happy.
Psymedia: Is it important to have an element that puts a smile on the dance floors face?
Orca: No, it is not necessary for every track to be funny and humerous. I think a set should have a variety of emotions, and some tracks do not need samples at all (vocal samples).
Psymedia: You’ve visited numerous times since 2010. What keeps bringing you back?
Orca: Good question, I wish I knew [laughs] I guess my music speaks well to the people of South Africa. It’s powerful but still tells a story. Besides that, I feel lucky and it’s really fun to come back every time.
Psymedia: How did your set go this weekend? What did you think of the End of the World Party?
Orca: I think it went pretty well, but this is something I never know for sure. I played a lot of my new stuff – tracks from the upcoming album, and they worked very well. The party was great as I thought it would be – high voltage crowd, great location and great energies. I really enjoyed Twisted System‘s set, it reminded me of the times I wanted to be on a line up with these guys – timeless music! It’s a super short stay sadly, but that’s life. I try to enjoy every second I am in South Africa and live it to the maximum.
Orca: I’m very happy with what we did. The end result turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be. Our sounds work well together and it was a great learning experience.
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Psymedia: Do South Africa, Israel and Portugal have some kind of bond?
Orca: Yes, it will be fair to say that the ‘full power, twilight’ style works very well in those countries. Lately a little less in Israel, though.
Psymedia: Because of progressive becoming more dominant?
Orca: I don’t think, I know. In Israel now there are a lot of big big events but 95% of the music there is progressive and old school goa. There are small parties now and then with full power style like I make, so it’s sure to say our scene has changed a lot in the past 2 or 3 years.
Psymedia: Would you say that’s why we’ve seen a lot of progressive side projects? In response to the demand?
Orca: All I can say is I like to make music and make the crowd go wild. Sadly nowadays the hard psy is kinda on the downhill (for now). So yes, I definitely recognize the demand for prog so I also make prog, but my main thing is and always will be psy. South Africa is different, it has the best psy scene at the moment, and even if prog is played at parties the majority of the artists still play heavy psy and the crowd likes it. Progressive has a place in the scene, I just think that there is a room for both styles.
Psymedia: Why do you think the harder psy is on the downhill?
Orca: It’s hard to say. Things change, people are now more into easy listening and less complicated music. It doesn’t mean that psy won’t be big again, it’s just a part of evolution.
Psymedia: Generally your tracks will feature on compilations or EPs. Did you decide on this route, in order to make sure the tracks were released when they are fresh?
Orca: It wasn’t a planned decision, it’s just how things turned out. It’s good to have more fresh releases out but an album has a bigger impact. Right now I’m working on an album along with singles on compilations and EPs. It’s been a while since my first album.
Orca: Laifer is my techno project. It had a few releases but nothing big which had an impact like I wanted. Right now it’s on hold, as I can’t do it all together. Staga D1sh is relatively new, it’s on the proggy side of psytrance with my interpretation of things. However there are no releases for this project yet.
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Psymedia: I need to know, what’s the best food you’ve had in South Africa?
Orca: Steak in Cape Town, and pork chops in Johannesburg. Oh, and I just discovered Spur!
Psymedia: [Laughs] Spur is an absolute winner – good choice! Anyways, thanks for the interview. Any words to end off?
Orca: I want to say thank you to all the people of South Africa who support me, you are the reason I come every time. It’s always great to be back, and this time was no exception. Stay tuned for new Orca releases – including an EP on Disasterpeace Records very soon, as well as an album which is in progress and a few compilations.
- Orca on Facebook