Recently the MCBN team journeyed to the emphatic Elephants Eye. While huffing and “puffing” our way through the local greenery, we felt fatigue slowly begin to settle, when low and behold we bumped into a strange carnivorous creature. While weary of its large fangs and erratic movements our intrigues got the better of us and slowly we gathered enough courage to take a closer inspection. Initially, when our eyes told our brains it was of the human variety we chalked it up to ridiculous exhaustion, dehydration and the toads Kenny had made us lick while at a mountain stream. But no, our visions did not deceive us, it was Vaughan from EMP. So we got chatting to him about parties, DJ’ing, Producing, some of the crazy things he has seen on the trance floor, and of course mountainous psychedelic amphibians.
MCBN: So… EMP, im sure you get asked this quite a bit, but what does it stand for and how did you come up with it?
EMP: Well, originally it stood for Electro Magnetic Pulse, but over the years some people have come up with some pretty imaginative ideas… One of the more popular versions is Eat My P*ssy.
MCBN: For me its wake up, try pee directly into the bowl with minimal spillage, make Weetbix with too much sugar, plan world domination, eat dinner, and then slowly cry myself to sleep. How does this compare to an average day in the life of EMP? You differ slightly?
EMP: Well apart from obviously also aiming for minimal spillage, I’m usually doing something music related during the day like writing new stuff for my various projects or working on tracks, I prefer to work on trance at night though, makes more sense then I guess.
MCBN: Word on the street youre as talented a music producer as MCBN is at sweet love making. How did you start your musical career and how has it progressed?
EMP: I did music at school but wasn’t sure what to do when I finished, so I went overseas for a year and all I did was pretty much listen to music. Then when I got back I decided to study it more so did a degree in Composition and Arrangement at UCT. I was just getting into trance parties before I left so on my return to SA I got totally hooked into the scene and started going to almost every one of them. I was trying to write almost every kind of music imaginable at that stage so I guess producing trance just came naturally. A lot of my friends were into it around that time as well so it was just something we were all learning together.
MCBN: When EMP DJ’s its a very distinct sound, you have made a couple our favourite songs in recent times, Renegade springs to mind immediately, possibly the “summer of 69” of trance music. What are you using to produce your sound and which DJ’s/Producers out there had an influence on your musical prowess?
EMP: haha ye Renegade. I wanna do a serious remix of that for next season. Me and Franc (original member of EMP if you can remember that far back) were messing around with some new beats at my folk’s place in Kalk Bay one night, and I decided to try and write a trance track on the piano. And that’s pretty much how Renegade was born. As far as gear goes, I use Cubase (the greatest program EVER MADE!!!), the Access Virus TI (the greatest synth IN THE WORLD!!!), and all the usual vst’s like vanguard, predator, zeta etc. And influences well, I really liked a lot of the old skool stuff like Infected back in the classical mushroom days, we used to listen to a lot of 3D vision around the time we started writing as well. I think I also draw a lot of influence from non-trance music as well, I listen to almost everything. My favourite trance of all time though is The Misted Muppet. They only ever made one album then disappeared (probably abducted by aliens or something) but it’s still my favourite album ever.
MCBN: Its an uber kuk question but being the hard edged journalists we are, constantly seeking the truth and leaving no stone unturned, we have to ask: what are you current top 3 tracks that are making the ears bleed? But the good kind of blood…
EMP: Well I don’t listen to that much trance these days so here are three tracks from various styles that will melt your ear hole:
Boreta – Bubblin in the Cut
Noisia – The Tide
Noisecontrollers – Ctrl Alt Delete
MCBN: How do think the Cape Town trance scene compares on a global scale? Are we as awesome as I think I am… I mean we think we are?
EMP: Ye we are up there with the best, I mean if you ask any international who has played here they say the same and all beg to come back. We have the best locations and the hottest ladies.
MCBN: I remember coming to chat to you an hour before your first ever live set at Alien safari at Tokai. Your legs were shaking and you looked borderline tears, that all changed very quickly as soon as the first beat dropped. We have been lucky enough to have seen you go mental behind the decks at some of the biggest festivals in and around Cape Town since then. Which one’s stick out in your mind as the best so far?
EMP: haha, legs shaking hey? I probably just had a huge hit of something… No, but seriously, pretty much all Alien Safari parties, there have been some killer Village parties (that one last year was insane), and I had a really good time at the last MMD party.
MCBN: If you could play a full live set with any DJ in the world, who would it be? Any genre, alive or dead.
EMP: Definitely Prodigy, just hope I could keep up though.
MCBN: If you had the choice to have a drink with 3 people, dead or alive… who would it be and why? Please note that George Michael in a public restroom will not be a suitable answer.
EMP: Mozart, Nikola Tesla and Freddy Mercury. Now that I think about it that would be a really really weird drink. Good times.
MCBN: Playing most of your music at night, things can get a little twisted on the dancefloor… Im sure you’ve seen some pretty deranged acts of depravity in your time, and that’s just from me! Whats the weirdest/most awesome thing you’ve ever seen from the vantage point of the DJ portal?
EMP: I was playing a Village party one morning and this dude climbs up onto the Rig dives off, lands flat and on face and doesn’t move. The weird part of it though was no one on the dancefloor even flinched. They all just carried on as if nothing happened. Was pretty funny from where I was standing…
MCBN: finally the dreaded MCBN “would you rather…” question. Be scared, but answer honestly. Would you rather be in a four way with Oprah Winfrey, Elton John and a goat, or would you rather have your daughter bare the 36th child of Jacob Zuma, then star in nude photo shoot for the Sowetan?
EMP: I’ll take the goat and we call it even?
Thanks for taking the time out to chat to us Vaughan and we pretty amped to check you out behind the decks again soon! Check out Vaughan’s fan page over here ( EMP )