Interview| Bliss (Israel)


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Yonatan Marcow (commonly known as ‘Bliss’) has been making waves within the international psychedelic trance community since the release of his debut album (The Rhythmus Gene) in 2005. Hailing from Tel Aviv, his sound has a characteristic Israeli post-Goa energy; combined with his very distinct musical signature, Bliss’ productions have become established as a household name amongst fans of powerful and driving, high-energy psychedelic trance.  Not long ago, this jet-setter graced our own shores, performing at Cape Town’s renowned Rezonance NYE festival. We were lucky enough to catch-up with Yonatan and ask him a few questions – this is what he had to say:

MCBN: Hi Yonatan, thanks for taking the time to chat to us! I was stoked to have been able to catch your set at Rezonance on the first of January. For those that missed it – the energy on the dance-floor was incredible! How was the experience for you? 

BliSS: The South African crowd never (really never, no ass licking or anything) lets me down. I played at 7am which is not peak time (in one day/night parties it is) at this NYE festival but still I don’t need the best time to be pumped by the lovely crowd and energy on the CT floor.

At Rezonance your set as BliSS took place in the morning, but your set with Painkiller (as A-Team) happened at midnight. Do you have any preference when it comes to playing during the night or day?

BliSS: It doesn’t really matter… Each time has its pros and cons for me.

You’ve made quite a name for yourself since the release of your debut album in 2005; when did you first start DJing and producing, and how did this come about?

BliSS: The first time I performed with my own music was in 1997, I think. The style of music what VERY different then what I make now but that was the first time on stage with electronic music (No computer, Just machines). I started producing seriously in 2003. It was my dream for a while and finally I got the $$$ to get my first PC and start my own shit.

From what I hear, in Israel the psy-trance scene is pretty much everywhere you look; has the scene always been a part of your life, or have you been involved in any other music-scenes up until today?

BliSS: I was really into heavy metal back in the early 90s but not really IN the scene like I am involved now in psytrance. I breathe, eat and sleep psytrance. The psytrance scene in Israel has become very mainstream and very big. Just as an example, from the end of Febuary until the end of March there are like 8 big productions doing events and there are psytrance events almost every day of the week in clubs around the country.

I notice that since releasing ‘The Loony Bin’ your popularity as a producer has really exploded, and you’ve been booked at major psy-trance festivals all over the world. What is your favourite country to play in, and why?

BliSS: Its really hard to pick one so I will just pick my top 3 (no paticular order):

  • Israel (for the crowd and no flights)
  • South Africa (the crowd and biltong)
  • Brazil (the food, the crowd and the booty)
  • Ahh and Switzerland (crowd and short flight)

As you can read the main thing is the crowds reaction that makes me wanna come back. (Editor’s note: And that’s why we LOVE you down this side)

You’re obviously no stranger to the South African trance scene; what are your thoughts on the scene here, and how is it different to other locations around the world?

BliSS: Everything feels so easy in SA. The spirit is great and I always feel appreciated… The main thing that makes the SA trance scene different is that every thing goes! (as long as its good music)

The act A-Team (BliSS and Painkiller) has also gained a lot of popularity; are there any other artists that you’d like to collaborate with?

BliSS: Jimi Hendrix and Hallucinogen

What are your thoughts on the progressive element that seems to be taking the global trance scene by storm?

BliSS: There are some really great , groovy fun and atmospheric tracks out there that get me inspired. BUT a lot of it is getting generic and formulated… There is a lot of shit out there… Most of it you cannot really call “progressive” cause its not really progressing anywhere.

What musical and non-musical influences inspire you as an artist?

BliSS: I try to go to the beach everyday. I really love the band MUSE but what inspires me the most, is a good show somewhere… Nothing compares to that.

What can we expect from you in the future – any projects on the horizon?

BliSS: In the psytrance mode I am working these days on a series of Remix Eps. Round 3 is on the way with Azax (expected in the second half of 2013) and the new A-Team EP is almost done.

I have quite a few new ideas for real “progression” with our music.. I hope people will accept the ideas.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to MCBN, and we look forward to catching one of your sets again soon!

BliSS: No, Thank you MCBN!!! I really hope to arrange something soon… Maybe even this season!! ( I know you saffas don’t like to see the same act too much, that’s your problem… I wanna see you as much as possssible) 🙂

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