One of Cape Town’s largest and most anticipated annual trance gatherings, Origin Festival returns in February 2020 with one of their biggest line ups to date. We decided to give Regan a shout to find out what he’s been up since leaving Cape Town for the UK, what festivals are blowing his minds across Europe, what tracks he can’t leave his home without and most importantly, what we can expect at Origin next month.
Press PLAY and carry on reading…
MCBN: It’s going to be great to have you back in Cape Town for Origin 2020. You’ve been incredibly busy these last few months. Let us know what you’ve been up to?
I’m holding on for dear life, to be honest, but loving the pressure too. Right now I’m deep in Origin planning of course, but also deep in planning for our new festival in The Netherlands in June, plus all the plans for the 20 Years of Nano Records tour/events/celebrations this year and working closely with all our Nano Records artists on getting their music to perfection and released. Plus I’ve been gigging too of course! We had an excellent label party in Brazil in December that was super fun to play at.
MCBN: Which festival would you say has stolen your heart since you’ve moved abroad, which festival really sticks to the ethos of psytrance?
I played at some amazing festivals in 2019 and avoiding the obvious more famous ones (Ozora, Boom, Modem are always spot on), I have to say Own Spirit in Spain, Hadra in France, WAO in Italy, One Love in Switzerland and Hai in den Mai (Waldfreiden) in Germany all really have the right ethos, and because of that, the vibe at all those festivals is excellent.
MCBN: Besides Origin Festival, what other international festivals are you working on or have you created, let our audience who are travelling the international psytrance circuit know where to start getting their tickets for 2020
We have just launched “Universal Mind Festival” in the Netherlands. That is happening in early June, and we have so many amazing friends and artists involved there, it’s definitely going to grow into something special. Then there we have a select collection of ‘Nano20’ events celebrating 20 years of Nano Records, we are announcing those any day now, and we do a super fun indoor event at ADE each year with our friends from Psychedelic Rave (also our partners in Universal Mind Festival) as well as with friends from other labels. The point of the ADE event is to showcase Psytrance at ADE, and so far it’s growing really well.
MCBN: I know this can be a rather open-ended question but what are your thoughts on the global psytrance and festival scene at the moment? South Africa will always have to struggle with the same issues of locating new venues, working with communities and authorities, getting permits etc from local councils, is this as much the case in countries in European countries?
It’s exactly the same the world over. Ultimately we are a global culture that many don’t want to understand as we challenge their norm, and that scares them, so they will try to stand in our way. It blows my mind how scared people are of ‘different’, and how un-compassionate some of groups of people are. Those people are the opposite of who they think they are, they are living a lie, but they like to think our open-minded free-thinking community is evil.. it’s mad!
We want exactly what they say they want.. Peace and Love. Man. Peace and Love! 🙂
For that reason, I think it’s imperative people keep producing events around the world to create space for like-minded, art-and-music-loving, empathetic people to gather peacefully. The scene globally is great, it’s always morphing so that keeps things interesting. I’m super unimpressed with the cheesy pop EDM psytrance vibes that have come about in some places, it’s super lame, but maybe it will get a few more people into the proper deep stuff, the journey music. That’s where the real ‘moments’ are.
MCBN: Nano Records has been hard at work in 2019, which artist has been pushing the limits this year and who should we keep our eyes on for 2020?
So many of our acts are working sooooo hard and pushing things to the next level, it’s impossible to pick just one. Avalon, Braincell & Menog pushed hard for their albums in 2019 and really delivered the goods, and Earthspace & Laughing Buddha really developed their respective sounds too. For 2020 Tristan and Burn in Noise are going to blow people away with their albums, as well Dickster vs. GMS, that’s a dynamic duo!! I could list everyone on the label here, I believe in them all.
MCBN: 2019 has had some fantastic highlights for you as a record label owner and an artist, what stands out for you as the highlight of your year?
My sets at Ozora, WAO and Hadra festivals were just so rad! I had a great year in 2019 with so much amazing music at my fingertips from so many of our Nano Records artists (and other friends and artists too), and then getting to play my favourite music for amazing crowds was such a massive rush. Those 3 sets really got the cream of what was in my collection particularly. The timing was just right, and all the elements aligned.
MCBN: What are three tracks that you can’t leave out of your record bag when you’re gigging at the moment?
Earthspace – Live your Life to the Fullest (the name says it all! what a message to be sharing. It will be released on NANO at the end of January 2020)
Tristan & Regan – Energy Source (which we will release at some point this year. We’ve had this track for 2 years now, and we just did a fresh version that we feel is ready for release. Tristan has been starting his sets with it recently too).
Laughing Buddha – Ultraspace (My most played tune of 2019!. We released it in early-mid 2019, and I kept coming back to it all year, go listen to it now!! That’s a journey, that’s a story! Pure psytrance class.)
MCBN: Origin has released an absolute monster of a line-up. What is the process for programming such a massive line up, how do you choose your international artists and what’s the process for making it onto the main stage and beats stage, as we hold both these dance floors as the place to say “you’ve made it” if you’re booked for these stages.
For the Psytrance stage our headliners are always Nano acts, so that’s fairly easy because we have so many world-class acts on the label. Although it’s still a juggle at times. I wish we could afford more flights and more time on the line-ups to have even more of our international family down every year. I’m lucky to be able to bring down some of my best mates! I think that translates onto the dance floor too, it’s our family doing our thing. The Beats stage has developed amazingly over the last few years, and I’m so grateful to a lot of different people who have put so much love and energy into that floor. In terms of the International bookings that’s mostly down to myself and B_Type bouncing ideas at each other all year round. We are constantly sending mixes from YouTube and Soundcloud to each other that we are vibing to, and then we chat at length about who will suite the floor and bring the right sound. Plus, we have had amazing luck over the years too, as more and more DJs and artists have heard about Origin and they want to be part of it, so opportunities have arisen that we have happily jumped at.
MCBN: Origin is one of the longest-running psychedelic trance festivals and for good reason. What do you think makes this such a special event and what do you do, year on year, to make sure the festival stays a fun, safe and beautiful playground for festival-goers?
Oh, that’s easy, we just include as many creative and lovely people as we can, constantly push our production standards and better what we have done in the past, while always thinking about what will make for the best experience and keeping the safety of everyone as the number one priority. Like I said .. Easy 😛
Every year I have a moment at Origin thinking “ Wow this is amazing … how the hell will we improve on it next year?”, then I panic, then I get over it, because I know how much Origin means to so many, and everyone involved in the production always gives it their all.
MCBN: Any last words for our readers heading to Origin Festival 2020?
Don’t be kak, be lekker!
It’s so simple.
If everyone takes responsibility for themselves AND those around them, and respects themselves AND those around them we all gonna do just fine.
MCBN: We’re excited for Origin 2020, see you soon x
As always, Origin 2020 is gearing up to be one of the most memorable trance celebrations of this year – if you don’t believe us, check out 2019’s after movie below.