What are the most memorable events during these 13 years of Suntrip?
Joske Vranken: This is a very hard question. Last 13 years I (Anoebis) literally played on hundreds of parties, often with other Suntrip artists, all over the world. It’s impossible to name thé most memorable event, but I think the 10 years Suntrip tour a few years ago was the best experience for me. We played in over 10 parties in the world, and for 1000s of people, it was their first contact with real Goa trance. For me as a DJ, the best experiences are usually in Belgium or Israel. The crowd is incredibly energetic, and they love Goa as much as we do.
For Fabien, the Rise of the Phoenix party was amazing. It was the first appearance of Filteria in Belgium, in 2004. People went totally nuts. A few “Old Is Gold” parties, also in Belgium really stood out too as we managed to create parties with a great mix of new names and retro acts. It was also a blast to have so many of our artists featured in the different editions of the Connection Festival and people enjoying so much with them. And naturally seeing Crossing Mind, Anoebis, and Filteria play on the main stage at Boom Festival in front of more than 10000 people… man, that was breathtaking!
Is there another particular label which you appreciate for its musical orientation?
FM: Yes, DAT Records. Not only do they release previously unreleased gems, but they also have this initiative to preserve unreleased music and live recordings, which are, for most of them, still stored on DAT cassettes and are in danger of being definitely lost. I have seen what they do with my own eyes, and this is a tremendous work. On top of this, they are at the origin of the Mind Rewind compilations, which have allowed to donate £10000 to the Mango Tree foundation to build schools in India.
We also like the music of Zion604 from Israel, Goa Madness from Belgium, and Ultimae, the famous ambient label from France. They are all so sweet. Neogoa from Croatia, Melusine from Romania, Goa Trance Music, Timewarp Records, and Global Sect also put a lot of efforts into keeping our dear movement alive.
What do you think of the current psytrance scene worldwide? How do you think it’s evolving?
FM: Unfortunately, most of it is pretty much stereotyped. Sometimes it’s like you’re listening to the same track over and over again, for hours. And thankfully, the dreadful triplets trend is dying… but, there’s the occasional artist that puts a lot of love into what he’s doing, and, for a moment, he enlightens the dance floor.
The psytrance scene should be focused on the story told by the music rather than its technicalities. We also think the scene is becoming bigger and more professional, and sometimes even commercial, with big scale events and booking agencies. This may not be so underground/roots, but with the revenue from albums sales plummeting, gigs are now the best way an artist can make money. And having a movement more serious, more organized, more transparent, will help getting authorizations to promote new events and help those artists make a living.
Is psychedelic trance music a tool for higher states of consciousness? How do you look at it in this aspect?
FM: Yes, definitely. Just look at the photos taken at the Z.N.A. Festival this year, on some days, the crowd was dancing for hours, gathering energy from pure happiness and love, as one. People smiling at everyone, arms taut towards the sky, in communion with one another, the music, nature and the universe. There may be several ways to reach that kind of state (devotion, drugs…), but Goa trance is obviously one.
How do you see the psychedelic festivals and parties? Do you personally go for a bigger purpose than just having fun? Is there some remedy of some kind in these gatherings?
FM: Yes, we love to have fun, we’re the kind of label owners you’ll meet on the dance floor, and we like to be in sync with the crowd. For Anoebis, it’s important to feel the music he is playing while dancing.
We also come to play naturally (watch out for Anoebis DJ sets), but we also meet many people and share ideas. I usually come back with many Google keep stickers full of ideas and album titles.
Meeting artists in a festival is also a solid way of starting new projects. For instance, Morphic Resonance accepted to work with us at Connection 2014, Shakta at some Old Is Gold party, and we got a deal for the recently released Astral Projection EP at Connection 2016.
JV: You’re so right to talk about a remedy: aside from the higher states of consciousness, I think Goa trance can unlock parts of your brain, and solve some of your issues more efficiently and faster than with a psychologist. While listening to the music, you may sometimes confront yourself, and often find answers to important questions about life. I (Anoebis) love the music on a higher level. When you feel bad, or you have some issues, the music and the dance is pure therapy.
How are the French and Belgian scenes nowadays and what did change and what did stay the same? How was it like back in the days when Suntrip Records still didn’t exist?
FM: The [French] scene used to be awesome in the nineties. Incredible parties, you had to be there to believe it. Then came the minimal wave, boring parties, and fights between organizers. The crowd wasn’t much tolerant either. I got tired of it, and then only partied in Belgium and other countries for more than 10 years. It would be easier for me to talk about the Belgian scene, which is just fantastic!
The only event I came to in France since 2006 was “Cosmic Train” in Paris last summer: Denshi Danshi, Merr0w, Proxeeus were playing, the crowd enjoyed, and it was mind-blowing. This organization is doing it again with Morphic Resonance and Total Eclipse, and we are really looking forward to it. It took 15 years, but at last, thanks to them, Goa trance is back to France!
JV: The scene in Belgium was more varied as France between 2000-2004. The scene was very small, and most DJs did not follow the international trends yet. So we had a portion of all kinds of music between 1996-2004. I started to do pure Goa events since 2000, and I have seen rising popularity for sure. The scene was splitting more and more because of different directions the music took. But, around 2006-2008 there was a pure old school Goa scene in Belgium, next to other scenes. This scene is still thriving today, and the atmosphere is amazing. The influence of Suntrip was surely there, but as usual, it’s a combination of factors—labels, organizers, DJs, etc.
Considering the drastic change of the audio medium, which ones do you actually prefer? Do you ever tend of plan for a vinyl release?
FM: My father was playing classical music on vinyl when I was a kid, and I really like the warmth of the sound, but I grew up as a CD guy. I think it’s the perfect mixture of music and graphic art. It’s also easier to bring and play in a DJ set. But to be honest, I’ve been buying CDs for years only to make sure the artists would be correctly remunerated (as opposed to what happens with digital stores), and immediately ripped the music to listen to it on my computer and smartphone. Let’s say I love to fiddle with CD booklets and listen to digital music.
JV: My favourite is also CD. I started to listen to the music around 1998-1999, and back then everything was released on CD. I simply got used to it, and it’s still my favourite one. I do have a decent vinyl collection as well, and I love the sound. Digital releases… I still did not take the “big” step. I almost never hear them, and I hope I don’t miss too much good music.
This renewed interest in vinyl today also influenced us for sure. Our first vinyl is already released, Astral Projection’s Let There Be Light EP is on the shelves since the end of September.
What can we expect from Suntrip Records in the future?
FM: Since the Astral Projection release, we are working on 2 new releases. One of them is a compilation of rare and vinyl only music of Australian classic Ray Castle, and the other one is Triquetra—two awesome Belgian twins are making acid Goa trance like in the ‘90s. Smashing!
Then we have plenty of plans: Merr0w, Celestial Intelligence, Cosmic Dimension, Mindsphere, Ethereal maybe, and Morphic Resonance are all working on new albums for us, and on top of that, a special compilation to celebrate SUNCD FIFTY is in the works.
We have plans to replace our 10-year-old website, but we haven’t found the time for it yet. 604 bookings, our bookings agency, is also working hard, so our artists are playing as much as possible and in the best conditions.
And last but not least, we will be (co-)organizing the Apsara Festival, to be held in Romania (on the ex-Transylvaliens Festival land) between the 8th and the 12th of August 2018. After 13 years providing music, organizing Suntrip & Old is Gold / Fractal Gate events, Suntrip teamed up with some of the Transylvaliens Festival team to present something unique: A festival for Goa trance loving people with a psychedelic mindset.
Our vision is and was always the same: bring all facets of Goa trance to you, and there is no better way to do it than at a festival. What can you expect from us? Beautiful natural surroundings, a valley inside a forest where you can camp, and of course, the best music you can imagine. We make sure you will hear tons of your favourite artists. Some unique, some more well known, some old school, some modern. Ranging from pure melodic Goa to darker night acid trance. From early forest influenced music to pure euphoria. Each music has its moment, and we’ll make sure all lovers of this kind of music will reach bliss.
Line up: There will be two dance floors: the “Main Valley Floor” and the “Ambient Forest” and we’re disclosing one artist every week. You can expect several surprises in the next weeks. As of mid-November we’ve already announced Mindsphere, Filteria + K.O.B, Encens + Ominus + Aeternum, Battle Of The Future Buddhas, Cydonia + Semssis, Mystical + One Man Game, Afgin, Agneton…
Be sure to check every update on our website.
What is the idea behind the mix? How did you choose the records in it?
The mix was created by Suntrip DJ Tobias ‘TB’ Bassline, here’s what he says about it:
“The idea was to make a Suntrip retrospective from 2004 to 2017, one track per year. Although extremely difficult to choose, I tried to pick the very best track of each year.”
01. Artifact303 – Beyond Lightspeed
02. RA – Predator
03. RA – Gateway Eight (Cosmic Dimension Remix)
04. Khetzal – Bells Of Sarnath
05. Daimon – Codex
06. Mindsphere – Fly High
07. Astral Projection – Let There Be Light (Filteria Remix)
08. Ka-Sol – The Light
09. Filteria – Navigate
10. E-Mantra – Approaching Nibiru
11. Aerosis – Contorsion
12. Mindsphere – Tears Of Goddess
13. Skarma – Naltayada
14. Mindsphere – All Alone