Shockwave from Groovy Troopers / Solar Tech – Exclusive Interview
Shockwave is Ronald de Stadler and Niel Kirsten. The duo moved to Cape Town in 2005 after playing in numerous acts around the Johannesburg region. After the move, they spent a handful of years refining their sound and debuted to the wild Cape Town crowd in 2008. Shortly after they became a resident artist for Groovy Troopers and recently signed to highly acclaimed Solar Tech Records. They’ll be playing a live set at 21:30PM on Saturday at this year’s Groovy Troopers Mandala Project 2012, so we thought some background information and what the crowd can expect was in order. Be sure to catch them next month as well at Alien Safari’s Flying Circus 2012 from 09:30AM to 10:30AM on Sunday.
– The following questions were compiled on behalf of Psymedia by Evan Greenblo.
Psymedia: Howzit guys. Tell me a little bit about how you guys started out? Why a duo?
Shockwave: Hi Psymedia, the two of us go back a long way and have been friends since High School. We both come from very strong musical backgrounds having played musical instruments from a young age. I (Ron) started off on acoustic guitar at the age of 12 and Niel has been playing drums since he was about 16. We both played in several bands across the years. After many years of going to electronic music events across South Africa ranging from industrial, EBM, techno and house we finally discovered trance music in early 1998. It was a very magical time for psy goa trance with artists such as Slinky Wizard, Deedrah, Astral Projection, Cosmosis, Juno Reactor and of course Infected Mushroom blazing the trail into unknown territory.
We were living in Johannesburg at the time when we attended our first outdoor parties. Organizers such as the Mushroom Mafia, Lunar Tech productions and of course the Groovy Troopers were doing the craziest underground psy trance parties. From events held in old jet turbine factories , warehouses, clubs, lodges and even a party in the Johannesburg Zoo. We soon fell in love with the pure energy of the music of the music.
Niel and myself started an electronic music project in early 2000 and at the time we had a much more band orientated approach to making music. Inspired by artists such as The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Front Line Assembly, Leateher Strip, KMFDM and Faithless we set out to create our first tracks. I remember it like it was yesterday, we had Niel on drums, me on bass guitar and an old Casio keyboard (laughs). Eventually we started to use old Cubase VST, Cakewalk and Reason to overlay some synth tracks. We used to record our own drum and bass tracks from real instruments at the time.
We went to the legendary Total Solar Eclipse Festival in late 2002 hosted by Alien Safari, Vortex and Etnicanet. It was a full week event about 600km north of the Kruger National Park and it was there that we decided to change our act from an electronic band to a psytrance production.
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Psymedia: How did you join Groovy Troopers as a resident artist?
Shockwave: We’ve known Jacques and Delphi for many years and went to their very first parties in Gauteng. We moved to Cape Town in 2005 and worked on our own style of music continuously. With a strong focus on production quality we were determined to make it in the highly competitive Cape Town scene. In 2008 we started playing small events in and around Cape Town and Groovy Troopers soon decided to make us resident artists.
Psymedia: You guys aren’t particularly bound to the night or day, having played all different hours at parties. Are you more a night or day fan?
Shockwave: Our music has always been more day orientated, but we have had slots both night and day work out pretty great (laughs). One of our most memorable day time gigs would have to be the Groovy Troopers Vision Serpent Festival 2012. We had a belter of a set right after Mad Maxx and before Waio.
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Psymedia: How have you seen Groovy Troopers indoors and outdoors grow in recent years?
Shockwave: Groovy Troopers have grown in leaps and bounds over the years. From their earlier events in the forests and warehouses to becoming one of the top organizers in the country. It has truly been an amazing to witness their dedication and great success over the years.
Psymedia: How did you get in touch with German-based Solar Tech Records?
Shockwave: Chabunk introduced us to the label owner Rene Lauckner (DJ Natron) after we gave him some tracks. Natron liked what he heard and asked us to join the Solar Tech family soon afterwards.
Psymedia: Your debut, a 3 track EP entitled After Burn did considerably well on the Beatport charts – tell me a little bit about the release?
Shockwave: The EP contains 3 tracks all originally written by the Shockwave. The artwork was done by Jacques Coetzee (Starspine) and mastering by Matthew De Nobrega (Artifakt). Solar Tech Records did very well with the exclusive release and promotion. It reached #13 on the Beatport psytrance charts which was absolutely amazing for a debut release.
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Psymedia: Why did you decide to release the EP as a hard copy as well?
Shockwave: Originally the EP was only available in digital format , but we decided to do hard copies just because the artwork came out so amazing (laughs). Starspine really did a great job.
Psymedia: Any other upcoming releases or collaborations?
Shockwave: Yes, quite a few things are in the pipeline. To name a few we have a track releasing on the new Solar Atmospheres VA, compiled by Natron on Solar Tech Records and another on United Beats Records, on the new Hidden EP. A few remixes will be published soon and we are currently working on 2 collaborations with E-jekt. We are also starting tracks with Corona and Chabunk soon.
Psymedia: I could be wrong, but I think I read you will be playing at a Solar Tech associated outdoor somewhere overseas?
Shockwave: Yes, we are touring in Europe for a month next year. We are still deciding on the tour dates but will either be playing at the Psychedelic Experience Festival in May 2013 or the Intact Expanda in September 2013, which are both located in Germany. We will be able to release more details soon.
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Psymedia: What can the dance floor expect from your live set next weekend at Groovy Troopers?
Shockwave: We will be playing music off our latest EP, all our new releases as well as some unreleased material. It’s an interesting slot and it has become quite popular the last few years. People are very amped and the spirit on the floor is amazing. Expect a high energy psychedelic experience.
Psymedia: Last year you played a fairly intimate New Year’s Eve party, but this year you’ve been added to the Rezonance New Year’s Eve 2012 – 2013 line up, which is a first for you I believe?
Shockwave: Yeah , we are very excited to be a part of this years Rezonance line up. It is an amazing event with top local and international artists. We will be playing a daytime set at this one which we’re very amped about. Solar Tech Records will be well represented this year with owner Natron from Germany on tour in South Africa. Corona and Chabunk are also on the line up so it is bound to be epic.
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Psymedia: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Any last words?
Shockwave: Just would like to give a special shout out to all the support out there. Especially the South African crowds for all the smiles and full dance floors over the last couple of seasons. See you all at Groovy Troopers Mandala Project 2012!
- Shockwave on Facebook
- Shockwave on Soundcloud