We managed to catch up with Mikael Dahlgaard aka (EMOK) before his visit to Cape Town this weekend, someone who certainly needs no introduction to the psy progressive scene.
Together with business partner BANEL they head up one of the most recognized and respected labels in the business (IBOGA Records), which proudly celebrates their 20th Anniversary this year.
So with such an illustrious career it was a pleasure putting together and receiving a really great interview from EMOK himself.
1.) Is there a story behind the name EMOK, and what made you decide to use this as your stage name?
I’ve had that question a lot over the past years J . Well it’s actually quite simple. I was painting graffiti in my younger days, and that was the TAG I used……… so it stuck with me…… and one day I suddenly realized “It’s too late to change my name to Mikael”
2.) You and Banel (your business partner) started IBOGA Records two decades back, that’s an impressive milestone for any electronic music label, are you planning anything special to celebrate the 20th anniversary?
We are planning a huge IBOGA RECORDS 20 YEARS tour. We have been in the planning of this for more than half a year. The concept is that we together with FM Bookings in Israel will make the full production together with promoters worldwide. We do the lineup, stage, design, light, visuals, video, recordings, promotion etc. So basically we come with a full production.
I won’t say too much, but I one thing we have in progress is an EXTRAORDINARY visual light show, without doubt something that has never before been seen, in our scene……….. We have graphic designers and a company from UK working very hard on the content as we speak. Soon we will leak some pictures and more of the concept………. We surely aim on making a show in Cape town, so stay tuned.
3.) As a well known dj and producer you get to travel around the globe performing at the many of the most recognized festivals, what has been the craziest moment you’ve experienced during one of your sets?
Besides when the stage floor beneath me crashed during a set in Mexico some years back, where I suddenly found myself hanging in mid-air for few seconds before landing under the stage…
Then probably the thunderstorm that suddenly appeared out of nowhere at SUN festival last year. I was to start my DJ set after RITMO and the dance-floor was peaking, two minutes after I was supposed to start, the only person left on the dance-floor was a half naked Mexican guy with an umbrella. Damn what an anti climax. Check the link here recorded shortly after the storm stopped.
4.) Iboga Records has always been known for releasing quality music, a label with a broad music influence that seems to believe in good music no matter the genre (electronic), as co-owner you surely get to hear many exciting new talent, who has been one of your most recent and exciting discoveries?
There is few artists IBOGA Records is currently working hard on pushing, which is still not as known yet, but with true potential and talent. VICE from Denmark is one of them, he is now working daily with IBOGA Records in our studio making most of our mastering and also on the new project together with my label partner BANEL. Then we have BE SVENDSEN, that is more into slow funky circus kinda sound. His style and skills are unique and he is getting more and more popular in the Psytrance scene even though his music leans more towards deep house. He will perform with us at OZORA festival this year. Don’t miss it if you are there.
Then we work with SIDEFORM from Serbia, two really young guys that are getting better and better with each release. They will surely start playing a lot in the near future.
VINI VICI is one of our latest artists, but they no doubt need any introduction. They are hitting all the dance-floors worldwide lately. We release their album in April. I will for sure play few of their new tunes at LOVE & LIGHT.
The last new signing we did to IBOGA Records is TRIPSWITCH. We will release his new album this year. He is surly already known and established, but he is one of the artists that keep surprising me with his talent and music. Can’t wait to release his new sounds.
5.) Yourself and close friends (the legendary TICON), recently formed an exciting new act CRITICAL CHOICE which both blew Cape Town away in December, can you tell us more about the music direction and your plans, as is seems Scandinavian Trance sound is making a big comeback?
Sure, we are together some of the pioneers of progressive psy-trance and Scandinavian trance, when we started the project we decided to go back to the roots to find that passion in the music that took us here in the first place. No bullshit, pure progressive sound, analogue equipment, no fancy-pansy digital super effects and tricks. Music that makes you dance, trance, love, smile and enjoy…. and even inspired.
I think the Scandinavian sound is truly coming back. Pure progressive sound never age………. And we have A LOT of new stuff on the way. Thumbs up to artists like – ATMOS, GAUDIUM, TICON, VICE, MARTIN VICE & MICHAEL BANEL, PHAXE, SON KITE, FLOWJOB, BEAT BIZARRE, REEFER DECREE, TIME IN MOTION and MORTEN GRANUA to keeping the Scandinavian sound alive………. Respect !
6.) Will this be your first outdoor in SA, as I remember that you performed at an intimate indoor event several years ago in South Africa? Are you excited to finally return to South Africa for LOVE & LIGHT, and what can your fans expect?
I’m very excited, can’t wait. I always love to be around South Africans, same sick sarcastic humour as Danes and Ozzies.. I heard a lot of very good things about the Love & Light events from my artists…. finally I’m going. Yihaa,
I will surely play a unique DJ set for the crowd. Lots of new magical tunes from Iboga Records yet to be released…………
Correction – I played at two outdoor events in SA man years ago, I was only 21 years old and had the honour to play at the Flying Rhino Easter Vortex festival in Cape Town, and a week later at the at an Alien Safari in Transkei .
7.) We’d like to end of with just a few quick short quirky questions, firstly:
Beer, Whisky, Water or Wine?
Beer before dinner, Wine during and Whiskey with a dash of water after.
8.) Did trance originate from Africa, True or False, yes or no?
No it’s from GOA………………….. Well I guess yes from Africa with the first humans, that’s how old it is.
A MAN MUST DANCE……… and if you don’t, you simply suppressing one of your instincts, and that is the same as living a life without Love.
9.) If you’re asked to choose only one track, the very last track ever played and to be heard over a Big PA System, (it could be anything) What track would you choose?
We are the World ? —————- maybe ———-………… not ………… METALLICA – ONE !!!!!!!!!!!!! Kick ass the last minutes of mankind and go down with style.
10.) Lastly, if any fans would like to buy you a drink, what would be your choice?
White Russian or Moscow Mule if there is no X.O. DIPLOMATICO or MIILIONARIO Rum around.
Thanks EMOK, for a great interview, sounds like Cape Town is in for one fat treat, we can hardly wait for Saturday, see you on the dance floor.