Moshe Kenan, more commonly known under his aliases Xerox and Vertical Mode (alongside Volcano) will return to Cape Town for the annual Organik Love Project 2015. A veteran of the scene, Moshe has been involved for two decades, helping put Israeli psychedelic trance on the map.
Psymedia: Shalom Moshe. To kick things off, tell me a bit about your background, managing clubs in the 90s, and eventually becoming a psychedelic lover and DJ?
Xerox : Hello everyone! Ever since I was a child music was everything to me. My musical development came naturally and I was looking and listening for music that I found interesting. I think it was this knowledge that gave me the will to try and create music myself. I was editing dance programs for a leading radio station in Israel and also managed a regional radio station in an effort to give more exposure to electronic music and to try and convey the message to as many people as possible. I also had two different clubs at different times. This all contributed to me wanting to create and produce my own music.
Psymedia: When did you team up with Illumination?
Xerox : I consider myself first as a DJ, then as a producer and as an artist. Early on in my career I was working with leading artists in the scene like Chakra, Sandman, Transwave, Talamasca and many more. When I first met Amir (Illumination) he was in his early days as a producer. I immediately saw that there was a diamond that needed to be polished, and our connection was immediate and influential in the years 2003 – 2010 and the results have lasted all these years.
Psymedia: Tell me about your collaboration, Vertical Mode.
Xerox : In 2010, when Xerox and Illumation were at the top of the scene, after a while I realized that after 10 years of working with Amir, and countless concerts, lots of good music, it reached a point where I decided I had to reinvent myself musically. Vertical Mode was the answer. I met a talented guy named Hanan Gorenshtein (Volcano), and for a year we worked together on our music concept. I would like to note that Hanan was with me all along and we now see the results.
Psymedia: How long has it taken to put your albums together?
Xerox : Today, things are different from the past, in the way we look at artists and the finished product. 5 – 7 years ago we were working on an album for a year and put all our focus and effort into the album. Nowadays, everything is accessible to the artist, and the audience wants immediate results, rather than waiting a whole year. The digital age has given the opportunity to release artists, to release a lot of music, in a short amount of time. Whilst working on the album for a year, we were also releasing music to all different labels in order to keep the flame burning.
Psymedia: The album features numerous collaborations and remixes. How did you go about selecting the artists you wanted to work with?
Xerox : There are cases when the artist will come to us for a collaboration or remix, and then I turn them to HOMmega. I work with artists who have a creative side I appreciate, and of course the social cohesiveness and energy, and if the direction will be interesting musically.
Psymedia: I also noticed the album was released for free as a continuous mix. Why did you decide to take this approach?
Xerox : The continuous mix was free for those who bought the album. It gave the listener and opportunity to listen to the whole album without stopping. It gives a different vibe too.
Psymedia: You’ve worked on several side projects, collaborating and releasing albums under the names Magnetica and Maskalin. What purpose did these two projects serve for you?
Xerox : Maskalin was formed in 1997/8 and I worked with a guy called Itzik Benisti. He was considered a phenomenon in computers and a musical genius. The project was very unique and was influenced by rap music and had a lot of groove. The response we received from the scene gave us a lot of encouragement. Magnetica was more a personal story with a girl named Rinat Swisa and we produced trance together. The beginning was excellent, with a lot of concerts in Israel and around the world, but in this case the artist was not able to leverage her talent.
Psymedia: You’re now a veteran of the scene. What advice do you have for young artists today which would’ve benefitted you in your career when you started out?
Xerox : Just do what sounds good to you. Try to learn from each artist you work with and also try to stay loyal to yourself. Only hard work brings success.
Psymedia: How was Boom Festival?
Xerox : It was a great experience. The biggest trance festival in the world. No words could describe Boom Festival. Just go there!
Psymedia: How has Cape Town treated you?
Xerox : Last time I played for the same organizer, Organik, and I remember it was one of my best experiences. I also remember the crowd was fantastic and very nice people too. I am happy to be back!
Psymedia: Thanks for the interview. Anything to add before we finish off?
Xerox : I wish us all many more years of love and creation, If you ask me for another interview in a few years, it means I’m still around.