Interview | Protonica


We managed to catch up the with the PROTONICA guys ahead of their return to SA, where they can be caught memorizing the dance floors at SIRIUS SUNDAY at SYNERGY this forthcoming weekend (SUNDAY), as well as in Durban at the RAGE Festival on Wednesday 2nd December, two events not to be missed…

MyCityByNight:  Thanks for chatting to us, let’s get straight into things shall we; this is something we ask most DJ’s but how did you come up with your alias Protonica?

Ralf: Welcome! This is not a big story. Protonica is fictonal name which is based on protons. Protons are positively charged particles. It means, we like to create music with a positive vibe.

Piet: There is also a track called ‘Protonica’ from Human Blue which had a big influence on me back in
the days.

MCBN: Tell us how the Protonica act came about, have you always been a Psytrance DJ?

Ralf: Piet was invited to play a dj set for my radio show back in 2003. One year later Protonica was born. We met again and had a very chilled music session till the early morning. We had same ideas and kind of a vision for a common project. My first steps were made in Hip Hop music in 1995, one year later I changed to “Goa” Trance and Acid Techno music. I was involved to the Psytrance scene as a decorator for festivals and club parties for quite some years.

Piet: I started around 1999 listening to a new wave of Psytrance which was more minimal but atmospheric. With the age of 14 I bought my first hardware groovebox from Roland. Kind of limited peace of gear but I was having lots of fun with it. So producing music was a big dream of me and a part of my life. After school I visited an university to study industrial engineering. But I quit so I was able to focus on my dream to become a music producer. Which is a full time job nowadays. Tough decision but I don’t regret!

MCBN: Who would win in a fight between Spiderman & Batman?

Piet: Duffman (Oh yeah!!!)

Ralf: Pacman!

MCBN: You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the Psytrance game, what has been your favourite collaboration to date?

Ralf: Every collaboration or remix is a different challenge. Artists we’ve worked for like Astrix, Captain Hook and Liquid Soul have their very own trademark soundwhise. We always try to make a very own interpretation of the material we get. But also to catch and keep the idea of the track. Our remix to Astrix & Captain Hook turned out to something different we made in the past. And that’s what keeps us fresh in the studio. That’s what collabs are made for – to rethink and try out different ideas. We are
open for further collaborations and are in contact with great artists!

MCBN: You will be playing two cities on your mini South African tour, and I believe this will be your debut appearance in Durban at the RAGE Festival (indoor club event) and also at the SIRIUS SUNDAY at SYNERGY (outdoor event), can you tell us, do you prepare different sets for different events, eg would your normal outdoor club performance be much different to a indoor club performance?

Ralf: We modified the structure of our live set and we are able to change it in realtime on stage. Sometimes it’s better to play more deep rolling psy stuff on open airs wheras in clubs a set can be more dry. First we check the party vibe and than we decide.

MCBN: Diet Coke or Raw Juice, and if Raw Juice what ingredients?

Ralf: Raw Juice with Avocado, Bananas, Figs, Coconut,… Or a good water melon juice, fresh!

Piet: Beer!

MCBN: When travelling to play a gig, what are the 5 essential things that you could never leave behind?

Piet: Passport, Macbook, tobacco, shirts and a toothbrush.

MCBN: Do you prefer playing the morning, afternoon or night time slots?

Piet: On a festival we like to play the sunsets. Most epic time slot if you ask me. Sometimes the sunrise can be nice but usually people are exhausted from the night and “fresh” people coming to the floor around noon. Afternoon and sunset is our favourite time.

MCBN: You’re playing a few gigs in South Africa, namely Rage and Sirius on Sunday at Synergy LIve? Can you tell the South African crowds what they can expect from your set?

Ralf: Well let’s dance, smile and flow! I wish to have a awesome time and party together!

MCBN: What are your top three tracks at the moment? We’d love to know what Protonica is playing right now?

Piet: Audiotec – Alien Dreams, Atmos & Born Sleepy & Animato – Senior Junkies, Lifeforms – Alien Product and many many more!

MCBN: Let’s just say your best friend says he’ll give you one million dollars to launch the best new entrepreneurial idea or app, what is it?

Piet: I wouldn’t tell you! 😉

MCBN: Pick two celebrities to be your parents… And why?

Piet: I love my parents! They are the best and supported me on my way and whole lifetime. Would never want to have other parents!

Ralf: I don’t follow or believe in celebrities.

MCBN: We have a phenomenally big and well attended Psytrance scene in South Africa, have you heard much about us and are there any acts you follow from South Africa?

Ralf: Yes, we know a little bit from your scene but not too much. The distance between Europe and South Africa is huge. The countries of Europe are close together but even here is a difference from state to state. We have heard of and worked with Love & Light festival, Nano crew, Origin Festival, DJ Connecto (ADM Bookings), Headroom and Protoculture. So we are curious to see more of South Africa and get in touch with the people!

MCBN: If you could be anyone else, who would you be and why?

Ralf: Just me!

Piet: Well maybe Charlie Harper? It seems he has a reasonable life hehe

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