‘Alternate Reality’ is the full power, cataclysmic dance floor explosion by psy trance masterminds Vibe Tribe and Azax, sending shockwaves through the electromagnetic field and igniting GIGsoup with BOOM! Track of the Day.
GIGsoup had the pleasure of catching up with the dynamic musicians, Stas Marnyanski, Vibe Tribe and Regev Azaria, Azax to learn more about their impactful sound design, creative workflow, the evolution of psy trance, and their ambitions and plans for 2017.
Tell us about ‘Alternate Reality’ and what inspired it.
Stas: Alternate Reality is my latest release with my buddy Regev Azaria AKA Azax. To us, it’s pure psychedelic track with modern or let’s say “nowadays” productions and build style, very dance floor oriented track.
Regev: Alternate Reality, is my latest release, together with my friend Vibe Tribe. It has been long time that we wanted to make a track together, and finally we find the time to do it. I must add that I am very pleased with the result and the feedback that we get for it. 🙂 The idea behind the track was to create a strong psychedelic track, with today’s sound and structure. We wanted to have that mysterious psychedelic atmosphere with a very strong impact on the dance floors.
What have been your main influences in producing full power psy trance?
Regev: Everyone knows that I’m a metal head… I had my own Metal band when I was younger and I’m always fascinated with new electronic sound and textures, thus is why I have created my own genre “Power Trance.” I am always in search for new ideas, new sounds, and textures to play with. So all together comes to reality in my studio, the vibe of the crowd while I’m playing, my musical background, and of course, my every day experiences.
Stas: Hard to say, after 14-15 years of making music and experiencing with the music I make in parties, raves, and festivals, I believe that I know what the crowd likes and how they want it be served to them. So I think the biggest influences for me is the crowd, the vibe I get from the dance floor while playing and testing new music, and getting back to the studio to tweak and tune for final best results.
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Describe your studio/production setup. What are your favorite tools to design sound?
Stas: I work with Logic X as my main DAW. Before I was using Cubase for many years, so I still got it on my computer for any case if I’ll need to get something from some old project, but basically Logic was a huge step up for me from Cubase (yep, I know this sentence will get lots of Cubase fans annoyed, hehehe). On hardware department, Focal Twin6 Be speakers, some stuff from Apogee, Dangerous Audio, Moog, Virus Ti, Nord 2, Novation, the usual classics, and lots of computer based synths and effects. On the digital end of the setup, my recent favorites would be Vengeance Avenger, Vengeance Essential FX Bundle, Soundtoys 5 Bundle, Serum, Spire, and of course the UAD Plugins – that is a MUST for me in each project.
Regev: Most of my work today is in the box. I do have external equipment, but it is mostly sound designing effects. I am using Neumann KH-310A Monitors, a PC computer, Virus TI, Nord Lead with Eventide Eclipse, and some more preamps & processors. For my main DAW, I am using Cubase with a UAD DSP card and RME sound card. I have Baby Blue Microphone, BeyerDynamics DT-880 Studio Earphones. I like the Slate Digital Bundle, Sound Toys Bundle, Melda Productions Bundle, VPS FX Plugins, just to name a few…
Can you tell us about your creative workflow? What advice would you give to developing producers?
Stas: My workflow is… Hmmm, hard to describe, but it’s up to the mood, you know music production it’s not like factory production line (even though for some it is…) Some days you have a mood for making music and the work flows very fast and very creative, other days nothing sounds good to you and you delete everything you did in that day. So my advice would be to beginners to not give up, if you’re stuck with some track or idea, don’t keep wasting your time fighting it, just go and do another thing, start another track and get back to what you have been stuck with later on… If you don’t have any muse at all to make music, work on your promotion, update your SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, interact with the people; that’s a very important part of the game nowadays.
Regev: For me it depends if I have the right muse and/or idea, then it’s really easy and flowing. But as we all know, not every day you have the right mood, so at these days I’m trying to create new rhythms, tweak some synths, and trying to be creative in a different ways… Sometimes I like to watch a good documentary movie to get inspired. Everything that can spark the plugs. 🙂 My advice is to have a really nice environment and atmosphere in your room, so you can stay there as much as possible and feel comfy. Also, it’s very important to try and develop your own character in music, to have a signature sound. Find the right time for music making, some guys rather work at daytime, others at night… But it’s important to have a consistency, to get a routine at the studio, and even when it’s not flowing, there are plenty of other stuff to do. Just keep pushing forward!
What helps you stay fresh and avoid stagnation in producing?
Regev: For me it’s easy, I am always in a quest for new dimensions in music and expanding my horizons. Every release I made was different, in each I had an influence from different genres, but still managed to maintain my signature sound and structure. I find it boring to make the same sounds and music after all these years… So I love to experiment and stretch the boundaries a bit. 🙂 It is very important to have an open mind, embrace the changes in music, and to get the right influence from all types of music.
Stas: First of all, I always try to focus on the quality and not the quantity, which means maybe the final results would be a bit less music, but it will be better and uncompromising results. Stay open minded to the market, always when you play and perform in different countries, check what works better with the crowd and what works less. Be always fresh, reinvent yourself, BUT ALWAYS KEEP YOUR SIGNATURE SOUND!
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It must have been interesting to watch psy trance evolve so much over the years. What direction do you see psy trance going?
Regev: Yes it have! Psy trance today is at a new peak… But it is naturally, since all electronic movement grew up so much during the last decade. As of where it will go I cannot answer, but I’m always positive, and I believe it will keep on growing up and evolve. As we all do.
Stas: Oh yeah, I’ve been around for a while now, things changed so much, some things for the better some things for the worst, but part of the scene growing and evolving and getting bigger with bigger fan base is also having some negatives attracted to it. The scene cannot grow as much as it did without any unliked aspects. Nowadays I think psy trance is evolving and breaking new limits and getting on the biggest electronic music events around the world, Tomorrowland, EDC, ASOT, and so on… That alone gives to psy trance music insane exposure to new crowds that maybe would never discover psy trance without that. Some people say it’s getting commercial, I say it’s just growing and getting bigger.
The psy trance scene is truly international. How does this affect the way gigs are found and music is made? How is the marketing of your tracks affected?
Stas: It really is, for example what the crowd in Brazil or Israel loves, it’s very different from what the Japanese or the Russians or the Serbians loves. I think best is make music for all, one track more oriented to South American style and other for example for the Japanese. It’s all about the beat, as long as you can pass your message with your signature sound for whole wide world, to my opinion that’s a job well done.
Regev: Psy trance was always international. The idea behind the music is know to mankind since the days of our ancestors. Of course today we have the social media and connectivity, and it became more global. I am playing almost every weekend in a different country, music sometimes must be made on the road (or at least the majority…) Gigs is more easy to handle, since we are all connected through social media, and also we have worldwide booking agencies, etc. Music marketing is harder nowadays, as it’s harder to reach big exposure because of the huge amount of music stores, websites, players, labels, artists, etc.
You’ve traveled all over the world. For 2017, are you planning on visiting any new countries that you haven’t yet been to?
Regev: Yes! So far this year I’m gonna play at 2 new locations I haven’t been before and I’m very excited, it’s like a new gift to have. A new culture and energy to explore, enjoy, get inspired from… I hope more to come, as I really love to play at new locations! And the list is getting narrower from year to year…
Stas: Yes, actually in the past 2 years I’ve visited quite a few new countries I haven’t played before, and started to play more often in some countries that I wasn’t playing so often before. I really enjoy to come to a new country that I haven’t visited yet and check the psy trance scene over there, even though it’s usually smaller than the usual places I play, but it’s always a big fun to me!
What keeps you balanced? What are your hobbies?
Regev: I have my own family, so it keeps me well balanced with both feet on the ground… I do lots of sports, I work out at the gym daily. I love art, I like to read, listen to music, meditate… I am teaching music production once a week at “Beat Master” – music academy in Tel Aviv. And of course making music. 🙂
Stas: In one word, MUSIC!
What are your ambitions and plans for 2017?
Regev: In general to be better than I was at 2016. Better person, better to myself, and to my surrounding. There is always points to improve, and keep on the expanding and growth, both musical and spiritual. Musical plans, I have many tracks waiting to be released, I have 2 tracks signed to major labels, some new collaborations with other bands from different genres. I’m sure 2017 will be amazing!
Stas: Lots of new music is on the way; as we’re having this interview only NOW I have 9 tracks I’m working on, couple of remixes, collaborations, and original new tracks. Vibe Tribe fans are definitely up for a treat very soon! 😉
‘Alternate Reality’ is out now via Mainstage Records.