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Interviews |  27 Nov 2015 19:45 |  By RnMTeam

Skazi returns to his roots with new music ahead of 'Spin' India tour

MUMBAI: On the night the first leg of his international tour to promote his album 'Spin', DJ Skazi prepares to enthrall a crowd that would remind psy-trance lovers in Mumbai of the old Skazi, with new material and sound. Formed in 1998 by Asher Swissa, the artist is aware of the growing popularity of psy-trance in India and discusses factors that brought him back to the country again. Swissa spoke to about electronic music, his second home and his newest addiction

Having been to India several times before, what makes this time’s tour different?

I am going to promote my new album ‘Spin’. I have a lot of gifts for the fans in India; brought some 'Spin' CDs to give away and obviously new music. I am going to continue with the tradition of surprising fans with new material. 

How do you distribute your time between studio and live performances throughout the year?

Whenever I am preparing an album, I dedicate my weekends for gigs, and the week is spent producing tracks in the studio. But when I am touring like now, I spend a month or two playing at venues. So after India, if I get some time before the next venues- Japan or Australia, I will spend time collaborating with local artists in the studio. 

How different is ‘Spin’ from your previous albums?

Spin’ is less commercial, more psychedelic. It is more technical and compatible with the new age, using new technology. It has fewer vocals, and is more a festival style of album. 

Do you agree with the criticism that your music gradually evolved into becoming a lot more commercial beating the 'spirit' of psy-trance?

Yes, I think I did become a bit commercial, but think about what I have done for the scene. I brought it to some of the biggest festivals in the world and attracted fans from different genres of music to psychedelic trance. ‘Spin’ will show you the old Skazi with a new sound. 

So basically in order to reach where you have, a bit of commercial music was necessary?

Look, I'll tell you; I am a musician and I do a lot of music. Sometimes, when you do a lot of music and shows, people start finding it commercial. But with ‘Spin’, I went back to my roots with a new sound.

Let’s talk about your remixes. On what factors do you choose a particular track?

Well, for example, the Nirvana remix was based on the samples I have already worked on. Or with Metallica, which was one of the first bands I listened to, and then I remixed Prodigy because it brought me to electronic music. 

What is the one element or attribute about your music that you love the most? 

The kick and the bass, man. It's kickass.

Your act had a Myspace account. Are you still very tech-savy or active on social media, to be precise. Do you go through fans' reviews and comments?

Let me tell you honestly. I am a social media addict. I check comments and read stuff. It is a fun way to interact with people. 

And does it consume a lot of your time, affecting your creativity?

Not really, man. So when I am going through social media accounts, I can meet many people and find new gossip all the time (laughs).

Israel has produced some of the most interesting musicians across genres. Is it just a simple co-incidence that psy-trance acts like Skazi and Infected Mushroom found global success or is there a reason behind it?

Psy-trance is very commercial in Israel; it is a big scene in the country. You can listen to psy-trance in clubs as well as marriages. Psy-trance is to Israel what Bollywood is to India, it is not underground at all. 

Speaking about India, you have been here several times and performed at Royalty a few times. Have you worked or jammed with any of the Indian electronic artists so far?

I know a lot of people in India and I have been to Royalty before, but I did not make music with any Indian artists. I remember playing at Fire and Ice, where I played a set of the same name. The club was an inspiration for me and I remember playing the longest set of my life- 7 and a half hours. I will always remember Mumbai and I will always have feelings for India. 

What are your thoughts about Mumbai psy-trance audience?

I can see that the people who come are educated about the scene. Indian fans are so connected through the internet and they know what they want. Mumbai fans are not regular fans. For example, when I go to Royalty tonight and ask a fan about Skazi, he would know. If I ask another guy about Infected Mushroom, he would know.

After Israel, where do you feel more like home?

This is a beautiful question, you know that. After Israel, if there is a place where I feel very safe and at home, it is Japan.

And when are you going there next?

This year. After my tour in India, I will head to Australia and then Japan. 

Plans for next year?

2016 will have a lot of USA. Along with that, Mexico, a Brazil tour, Argentina, Germany, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine. So another year full of events.