Pogo is Jamie Patterson. Jamie’s yet another old school artist who will play at this weekend’s Masqued Ball. Since the 90’s he’s been kicking it Psy style, organising some of London’s first indoor parties and then gradually taking them to the outdoors under the legendary Wingmakers banner. Besides his solo project Pogo, he also forms one half of Nano Records duo Master Blasters, who some of you may have seen at Origin Festival 2013. Be sure to catch Pogo at Alien Safari’s Masqued Ball this weekend from 11:30 to 13:00 on Sunday afternoon just before label mate Headroom.
– The following questions were compiled on behalf of Psymedia by Evan Greenblo.
Psymedia : Hey Jamie! You’ve been involved with Psytrance for a number of years now. How did you become involved? What’s the meaning behind your alias Pogo?
Pogo : I was interested in psychedelia from an early age, so the appearance of psychedelic trance music was like a glorious sunrise for me – most welcome, and greeted with joy. I was particularly blown away by my first taste of it at ‘Little People’ parties (the original incarnation of Flying Rhino) and early Dragonfly events, amongst others. Pogo was a nickname I used to have, and coincidentally is also a type of punk dancing. It’s good to keep a little bit of anarchy in the mix!
Psymedia : What drew you towards the Psytrance culture, considering the UK has a broad electronic scene?
Pogo : I was originally into psychedelic rock. When the electronic music revolution first kicked off in the UK, in the late eighties, I was excited to see a new scene developing, but uninspired by the music. I started to get drawn in by tribal trance in the early nineties. When I first heard Goa trance I knew I’d found my contemporary musical home. I’ve been enjoying the evolution of Psytrance ever since.
Psymedia : You started throwing parties under the Wingmakers banner in the early 90’s. What were those parties like? Was it difficult to throw a party during that time? What was the public perception?
Pogo : In the nineties we put on parties under various banners, including ‘A Grain Of Sand’ (one of London’s first weekly trance nights). Our first party as Wingmakers was actually in the summer of 2000. The now legendary Wingmakers parties ran between 2000 and 2006. After a decade of various amazing parties in the nineties, they suddenly became rather thin on the ground. The only people putting on large, wild outdoor UK parties in the first half of the noughties were The Liquid Collective (now known as Liquid Records) and us. The events became a victim of their own success, as they rapidly became too large to remain underground. The parties were as organized as they could be, while keeping a free flowing vibe. They were highly psychedelic and lots of fun, with an emphasis on top quality music, great sound systems, beautiful locations and lashings of free punch. It’s practically impossible to find an accessible outdoor venue in the UK that won’t be surrounded by irate neighbours, so playing loud electronic music all night was always going to be a problem. We often used to end up with a police helicopter overhead and usually got closed down by the following afternoon, but we always seemed to get away with a great stomping night and morning of beautiful beats, rocking rhythms and magical mayhem. Our favourite headline in a local paper after one of our Solstice parties ran: “Villagers mistake rave for Martian landing – it didn’t sound like music, it sounded like the Martians were landing”… fair enough!
Psymedia : Both your Wingmakers compilations have been highly praised. Do you have any plans to release a third?
Pogo : At the moment I’m juggling the responsibilities of parenthood with the creation of fresh Master Blasters and solo Pogo material. I’d love to make another Wingmakers compilation, and I’m sure there will be a third one eventually. Many good things come in threes. Perhaps I should just crack on with it…
Psymedia : In between releasing the Wingmakers compilations I believe you studied sound engineering. Do you feel like that was beneficial for your production?
Pogo : I rather wish I had studied full sound engineering. I focused on studying electronic music production, and although it was very helpful, I have found working with other skilled producers and spending time developing my ear has been the most beneficial way of developing my sound. It’s an endless learning curve, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Psymedia : You also play under the alias Master Blasters alongside Zephirus Kane. How did you guys meet up?
Pogo : Zephirus is a very old friend of mine. We both fell into the cauldron in the early nineties. Later our paths drifted apart. Zephirus immersed himself full scale into the study of sound engineering and began collecting exotic studio equipment, while I went down the DJing route. When I started to get involved in production in the noughties our paths re-converged. We decided to have a go at making a track together. Our first attempt, a track named ‘High Five’, was so much fun to make that we decided to go for a full album (and beyond).
We never had a particular sound we were aiming for, we just wanted to make psychedelic dance music we both enjoyed. Weave tried to combine the excitement, power and inspiration we absorbed on dance floors during those early days of trance with modern production values and techniques. We very rarely disagree about anything musically when making out tracks. I think our sound is slightly harder edged than my Pogo project. We work very well together: Zephirus is a studio wizard, who loves to create interesting sounds and rhythms from his various pieces of exotic equipment, whereas I particularly enjoy creating arrangements and inputting ideas, samples and effects.
Psymedia : Do you still make use of analogue equipment to complement digital?
Pogo : My Pogo project is entirely digital, but our Master Blasters studio is rammed full of amazing analogue equipment. This can provide a certain warmth to the sound, as well as being a lot of fun to play with. It also helps to create a more uniquely individual sound, avoiding the pitfalls of generic samples and audio banks etc. We try to milk the best of both worlds.
Psymedia : You’re one of the older artists who still maintain a rich psychedelic element in your music. Do you think some of the younger artists have forgotten the psychedelic element in their music?
Pogo : Overall perhaps a more stripped back and techy element has entered the genre. Advances in digital technology over the last decade has opened up the field of production to anyone with a decent computer and speakers, so there is a huge variety of music being made. There’s still plenty of great psychedelic music being produced by artists of all ages. It will always end up being a reflection of the producers’ headspace.
Psymedia : This isn’t your first time in Cape Town, having played at Origin Festival and previous Alien Safari’s. What has your experience been like at Cape Town?
Pogo : This will actually be my third time playing at an Alien Safari party (previously in 2006 and 2007). Cape Town hosts some of the best Psytrance parties in the world, and Alien Safari parties are always particularly rocking and true to their roots. I’m really looking forward to blasting this one, and feel very privileged to be playing at such a stunning location.
Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Pogo : We’re busy working on the next Master Blasters album. We also have a track appearing soon on the first Pearl Music compilation. I’m still working on my Pogo solo material, and will eventually release some when I’m finally satisfied with it. There will also be a Pogo and Laughing Buddha track on his next album. There are various collaborations in the pipeline, involving Master Blasters, Dickster, Tristan, Lucas, Joti Sidhu, Tron, Avalon and others. ‘Wingmakers 3’ might be closer than I think!
Psymedia : Thanks for the interview. See you next weekend at Masqued Ball! Is there anything you want to add before we finish off?
Pogo : It really feels like the Masqued Ball on the beach could be a legendary event. Don’t miss it! See you on the dance floor…
- Pogo on Facebook
- Master Blasters on Facebook
- Master Blasters on Soundcloud