Psymedia: Howzit Stereo Plug! I believe this will be your first visit to South Africa. Naturally, I can only assume you were stoked with your invitation to Jungala Festival 2012. What are you expecting of Cape Town?
Stereo Plug: Hello Psymedia! Yes you’re very right this is my first visit to South Africa and I’m very excited with this situation. Since the invite I started to search on the internet for anything related to Cape Town and I ended it up watching the Jungala Festival 2011 DVD which was pretty amazing. I’m expecting lots of friendly and happy people who really know the true value of the psytrance music, not to mention all the awesome places the city has to offer. It’s going to be a real journey for me not only a simple travel. Let’s rock in ZA!
Psymedia: Let’s speak a little about where your musical journey started. In your youth you played drums in a punk/hardcore band but ended up making psychedelic beats in 2005. I’m going to guess that you probably listened to bands like Sepultura, Overdose, Korzus, and Violator growing up. Tell me a little about the decision to change your artistic direction and if those heavy bands influence your psychedelic sounds?
Stereo Plug: We were very young at that time and we were all dependents of our folks for anything because none of us had a job at that age. I used to live in a house where our studio was located but I had to move to an apartment and it was impossible to build a studio in there, not even the playing of drums because of the neighbors obviously. With no more place to practice our skills this was the end of the band, a very sad time. Yes I saw these bands growing up specially Sepultura because they were the most promoted heavy band on the media here in Brazil so it was more accessible for us to follow them with no internet but my focus was on a different rockbands like Pennywise, NOFX, Rancid and many others. The first time I listen to a psychedelic trance track it was something very fast, aggressive and had a guitar on it, this was the crucial point that got my attention to this field. I used to say the psychedelic trance was the electronic punk rock/hardcore genre so I’m pretty sure these bands have influenced me to the psychedelic trance scene. The change in direction became true when I realized that I could spend my time with music again by making this kind of audio stuff using only a computer and of course without disturbing the neighborhood with loud noises. This was the start of the Stereo Plug project.
Psymedia: Are there any Brazilian psytrance DJs that influenced you to become a DJ yourself?
Stereo Plug: Yes. But my main influences were all foreign. Electronic Dope Records gave me the opportunity to join them in 2006, then I started to have some support and got specially very influenced by Philipp Cepetic aka Brainiac.
Psymedia: It’s crazy to think internationals come to the continent of Africa to solely play at one party, one destination – Cape Town. What makes the preparation and lengthy flight worth it for you? What experience do you have playing outside of Brazil?
Stereo Plug: Good question. This is the first time I’ll play out of Brazil, and this is what makes it all worth it. I think every artist dreams of that. It gives to the artist the true feedback that your music got recognized around the world after a couple years of persistent hard work. This is the next stage for sure. I had been contacted by some party promoters from Mexico and Portugal last year, but none became so true as this journey to South Africa. I knew I was going to play out of Brazil soon but I didn’t know it would be this soon. I would like to thanks Calvin aka Switchcache for this great opportunity it will be unforgettable!
Psymedia: Your debut Stereo Plug EP entitled Stages of Psytrance was released in January 2012. It must feel great having your own release after being featured on compilations since 2007. I believe it was originally supposed to come out sometime in 2011. Was there any reason for the delay? What has the reception been like?
Stereo Plug: Yes it’s great to have its own professional made release, as it’s something that aggregates more values to the project. Everything was done in time, tracks, art work, mastering, media press, etc… what made it delay a little bit was the distribution services. We had to wait for them to distribute the release to their whole music shop sites partners before the announcement and it took 7 weeks to get the process complete, but it was not a problem at all.
Psymedia: Stages of Psytrance was a digital-only release. I believe it was the first digital-only release for Electronic Dope Records as well. Personally I think digital releases are becoming a more sensible direction. What’s your take on it?
Stereo Plug: Yes it was the first digital release from Electronic Dope Records and I’m glad of that. Honestly as a producer I love physical media but the technology that built it is the same technology that is breaking it. It involves many things but the crucial one is the costs for sure. It gets much cheaper for the record label’s industry to release it digitally. Also people can choose what tracks to buy from the collection. In the past you had to buy the whole album even if you like only one of the tracks from the collection or simply select not to buy. Digital releases came to solve this problem giving advantage for the both sides, the records label sells more and the costumers buy what they really want. There is no doubt this is the way to go now days.
Psymedia: Tell me about your relationship with Electronic Dope Records (Germany)? How did you become involved with them?
Stereo Plug: I have a friend called Pedro aka Ground Control (sad he doesn’t produce anymore). We met each other virtually in a electronic music production forum on the internet and started to share some technical knowledge about music production. He was from the staff of Electronic Dope Records and believed so much in my talent so it didn’t took too much to invite me to the label (2006). Now days me and Brainiac are part of the staff and Lorenz and Rene are the owners of the label. We are good friends and know how to work together. I think that’s what makes Electronic Dope Records what it is.
Psymedia: How do you come up with fresh creative material and differentiate yourself as psytrance continues to grow and become heavily saturated?
Stereo Plug: This seems to be a hard answer but it’s not. If you feel the psytrance in your blood the right direction comes instinctively. All you need is to trust in your mind, don’t try to copy others otherwise you won’t be original. Once you follow these simple rules you’ll see yourself making a big difference on the scene. What happens is that it’s much easier to copy than to create and many prefer the easier way expecting fast good feedback from the community. The feedback will come fast but also your success will stay alive for only a short period of time, and consequently, you will see that you just contributed to help saturate the scene. This is what I have in mind and what helps me to be creative and come with fresh material on each new track. Trusting in my ideas is the key for my work.
Psymedia: For those in Cape Town who don’t know your beats, what can they expect?
Stereo Plug: True psytrance! For Cape Town I will perform 01:30 live act with some of my old tunes mixed with the new ones so people can expect a nice transition from the old to the new style. Phat bass-lines, dynamic percussions, involving atmospheres and driving leads are the main characteristics of the Stereo Plug. Get prepared for very strong and hypnotic sounds.
Psymedia: You’ll be playing a live set at Jungala Festival 2012. What makes a good live set and how are you able to perform better (as opposed to a DJ set)?
Stereo Plug: What makes a good live set for me is the quality of the tracks and of course nice transitions. I like to listen to the tracks from the beginning to the end. So the longer you can play each track, the better it will be because you can get the whole idea and enjoy the journey of each one. In my opinion, the track introductions were made to be listen not to be cut. In my performance I build the whole set with edited tracks missing some elements and these elements I add on the stage in real time. Also, I add elements that were not on the original tracks and play with filters and effects. I don’t know if it’s a better performance than a DJ set but I can say I have more fun in this way.
Psymedia: Thanks for the interview! To end off are there any upcoming releases you want peeps to know about?
Stereo Plug: Yes there are some upcoming releases for this year the demand is big and I will spend most of my time in the studio. For now I can say some of my own and collaborations tracks will come out from Electronic Dope Records, Mutagen Records and Switchcache from PsynOpticz Productions is compiling as release called ‘PsynOpticz Collections : TWO’ on Psy.ology records. There are more to come but it’s too early to talk about it right now. It was a pleasure to give you guys this interview. See you guys at Jungala Festival 2012!
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