It’s that time of year again! This weekend we’re getting ready to celebrate Love & Light and the beauty of Cape Town with an event that aims to bring people together in a unified space of amazing music and energy.
We were lucky enough to catch up with this legendary artist ahead of his set at Love & Light this weekend. From horoscopes to his latest music, here’s what one of the world’s top Psytrance producers had to say…
MCBN: You’ve become a huge name globally and with a massive fan base in South Africa, are you excited to return to the sunny shores of beautiful Cape Town for another LOVE & LIGHT this December?
HOOK: Super excited! I love South Africa and the South African dancers and dance floors. There’s a special vibe and always a real open mind on the dance floor.
MCBN: Occasionally artists reinvent themselves through their projects which either change or take new shape (like undergoing a metamorphosis), would you say this plays an important role in one’s personal career as an artist?
HOOK: I don’t know about re-inventing. I think it is important to be truly connected to your true self while creating any kind of art. If you are, then as you develop and change as a human being, so does your music. Personally, I have grown and changed a lot since my previous album, and my music changed as part of that process.
Your 3rd album ‘Origin’ aptly titled is a sheer masterpiece of music as well as incredibly stunning artwork. Your new deep approach and somewhat hypnotic sound certainly breathe freshness into the psy-progressive landscape, which could also be seen as a highly educational to any newcomers, incl. existing fans, as your modern take certainly will show & remind fans on the very roots of psy-progressive, especially when comparing it to the very similar sounding productions of today. Was bringing back this incredible sound, part of your plan with the new album, can you share your ‘ORIGIN’ journey with us?
HOOK: Thanks! I believe that as an artist it’s essential to be connected to your heart, to feel what it has to say. I felt my heart telling me in the past two years to connect to the roots of trance of which I grew up on. This path has led me to find my inner child – his passion for music before he became a DJ producer, his desire to consume pure music without fear or expectation of what people are expecting him to create. I’ve walked with this child together day after day into the studio, listening to his ideas, translating them into music created by a 35-year-old man. “Origin” is the outcome.
MCBN: As one of the artists that’s always been shaping a unique sound, do you see the future of the psy-progressive sound returning more to the roots, by bringing back more psychedelic & hypnotic atmospheres, together with clever melodies or do you think it will become more commercial and possibly break into more sub-genres as found within other electronic genres?
HOOK: I don’t see the future. I say we let it surprise us, that’s the fun part about the future 🙂
MCBN: What is your feeling on the use/overuse of the general Triplet? Do you still see it as an effective tool when strategically used to shake up a dance floor during longer sets OR do you feel that it’s become too predictable?
HOOK: I don’t think it’s important what you use. I have a track that is all 3/4. That said, anything that is overused becomes predictable. With this album, I aimed at creating a Trance experience. As I understand it, Trance is a state of mind, not a break, not a drop, it’s a journey of repetitive hypnotic patterns that create a dialogue that triggers your mind to trigger your body to trigger your soul into a state of trance. I wanted to write an album that will share with the listener this feeling.
MCBN: With so much travelling, do you find it hard to get quality time, as well as creative time inside your studio, what is your secret?
HOOK: To stay focused and work hard!
MCBN: Based on the previous question regarding the regular long distance travels… What are your secrets for staying healthy and in good shape?
HOOK: Eat well, keep your body and soul clean, and have the right people around you.
MCBN: Staying with travels, what has been the most memorable dance floor you performed at during 2018, and secondly are there any countries that you specifically look much forward returning to, and why?
HOOK: Rainbow Serpent in Australia, when Jan Muller from my all time favourite band X-Dream approached me at the end of my set and told me he’s my fan.
MCBN: Do you draw creative inspiration from listening to completely different music, and if not music per se, are there any other things in life that you normally draw that needed inspiration from as an artist?
Sync between mind, body and soul.
HOOK: Healthy mind, healthy spirit in the healthy body helps me create. And yes listening to all kinds of music widens my understanding of harmonies.
MCBN: Are there any other electronic music genres that you enjoy listening too, and have you ever considered starting a completely new side project within a totally different genre?
HOOK: I always try to keep an open mind. I used to release Techno as “Sheff”, and had quite a commercial success with it, actually. I still play some Sheff sets in big festivals.
MCBN: Do you have any fond memories of Cape Town and South Africa, and what are they?
HOOK: Celebrating my birthday a few years back.
MCBN: Before you entered into the world of music production and DJing as a career, was there any specific artist/DJ that played a vital role at that time?
HOOK: Definitely X-Dream & Quirk.
MCBN: If ever you could choose to remix any famous song (non-electronic) from your teenage years, it could be from any era… what song would you choose?
HOOK: Wouldn’t go down that road 🙂
MCBN: Do you have a Bucket list of things you’d still like to do, and if so, what is the most radical thing on that bucket list?
HOOK: Skydive, I guess.
MCBN: Besides yourself, your music, your laptop etc., what is the most important thing you never leave home without? And secondly, what do you miss the most when travelling (besides your family and your studio of course)?
HOOK: I never leave without my Earplugs, and I miss most my girlfriend & cat 🙂
MCBN: If you had to single out one specific track from your own productions, which one immediately springs to mind?
HOOK: My personal favourite at this point in time is “Deep into Nature” from the new album. It is the longest track in the album at 14 minutes. It is a tribal hypnotic trance journey. It actually got me going for the classic Goa sound in some of the main leads, followed by a deep soft beat. At some point I’ve lost track of time and let go of inhibitions completely, I’ve recorded lairs and pads which combined into one entity of a 14 minutes track.
MCBN: Same question but different… any specific track from any psy-progressive artist that made a big impact for you, what track springs to mind?
A single track is too hard… there are too many. I can say that Atmos’ Headcleaner album was the progressive album which impacted me the most.
Quick few short & fun Questions:
MCBN: Do you have any superstitions?
HOOK: Leaving the house on the right foot.
MCBN: Any Zodiac sign beside your own that intrigues you?
HOOK: Leo & Taurus.
MCBN: In the classic movie the ‘Matrix’ what would you have chosen: the Blue Pill? or the Red Pill?
HOOK: The red pill, already took it in this life here on earth.
MCBN: What music is currently on rotation within your personal playlist (any genre, live or electronic)?
HOOK: Miles Davis, Best of Chopin, Raf Simons Diner Mix.
MCBN: Best movie or series you’ve seen this year?
HOOK: Series: House of Cards Movie: A Star is Born
MCBN: Finally, what your fans in Cape Town expect on Saturday 22 Dec?
HOOK: I say don’t expect. Just come and let’s create it together.