60 seconds with… Psychemagik


Psychemagik have recently been in the desert putting working on their latest studio album. Although we won’t expect the album soon the fact we can envisage one on the horizon leaves us hanging in anticipation. That said we can expect fresh 12 inches over the course of the years as well as performances at some stellar festivals; starting off this weekend at Land of Kings. www.landofkings.co.uk

Tell us about your studio set up, what are your methods going into making music? 

We’re running Logic X and Ableton and a never-ending election of soft synths and a few hardware synths – The Voyager, Minitaur and the Slim Phatty; We have quite the Moog collection actually. We do have Korg 2000 and Microkorg and the epic Sequential Circuits, Drumtraks. We really want to expand on the analogue gear.

We love to record our own samples and drum hits, percussion etc. And field recordings too. There’s a pure sense of satisfaction from using a sound you know that no one else has.

Who does what?

Tom is the main producer and I am the record digger but we both swap roles. We both work on our original tracks together and we both have sourced tracks for our edits and produced them. Tom focuses a lot of energy on remixes and I concentrate on digging, artwork and art direction for the comps and the edits. Tom is also a designer so we are constantly helping each other out.

The new album also, when can we expect that?

We’ve recently come to the conclusion that we’re not really an album orientated project. Probably because we’re into so many different styles it’s hard to narrow it down. We’re gonna keep putting out 12″s and maybe some time in the future that might happen, but not anytime soon. We’ve just released another volume of our compilation series on Leng ‘Magik Sunset’ which is part one of a two part set. This volume is more of the folky, Balearic, mellow style tracks we dig, with some oddball tracks thrown in. There’s a gospel soul track called ‘Doin Our Thing With Pride’ which pretty much sums up the passion out into the project. It’s out now on double LP & 2XCD. We’ve also finally released our Yves Simon edit which took forever to clear hence the delay. It’s also out on Leng on a one sided etched 12″.

Recording over in the desert, what was that like?

The desert is an incredible, inspiring, challenging place, with just the right hint of menace! We had some setbacks which were harder to deal with being so isolated but the isolation was also inspiring. We were in the deep desert, when you leave Joshua Tree there’s 30 mins of dirt tracks to get to our spot with all these freaky random Breaking Bad RV’s everywhere. There was a USA military base only a few miles away called ‘Little Iraq’ and they’d be dropping bombs out there nearly every day. Some mornings you’d wake up to huge explosions ands the windows and doors rattling off their hinges! The stars were mesmerising and we’d sometimes hear Coyotes howling after a kill which was awesome and spooky at the same time.

We lived with a family of Black Widow spiders and some other weird looking ones that we were convinced we’re Aliens! There was also Hummingbirds flying about everywhere sipping the nectar from the cactus flowers and one day we saw 8 Golden Eagles flying over the studio. It really is such an extreme place. There were a pair of Collared Doves nesting in our studio, which was weird cause that made it sound like being at home in the UK. They could have nested anywhere so they must have loved the music!

Were there any special musical inspirations that you picked up on your travels?

I met an angry Rattlesnake and came back and told Tom about it and showed him the video I made of it hissing and Rattling. It gave me an idea for a track and we talked about it and a track began to come together. Tom made a rattle sound out of a synth and we created a drum and percussion breakdown which emulates the rattle. It sounds like a deep house soundtrack to a John Carpenter horror movie about snakes!!

You’ll be in London this weekend also, tell us about the festival Land of Kings and what we can expect?

It’s a busy one this weekend! I’m playing at The Masked Ball in Cornwall on Saturday which I’m really looking forward to, it looks like a great festival with an incredible line up on the Cornish cliff tops! Then it’s back to London on Sunday for Land Of Kings which is a festival in London at loads of the best venues in East London with another killer line up! I’m doing two sets, a special ‘Edits’ set at The Nest and then heading over to The Oval Space to close out the festival with Bugged Out.

And the summer, where can we see you perform?

We’re literally all over the place, Mysteryland USA which is on the original Woodstock site, Portland too, The last ever Garden Festival in Croatia, Glastonbury, The Bombed Out Church in Liverpool, Pygmalion in Ireland, Kelburn Castle in Scotland, and something we’re really looking forward to is taking our Arabian Tent stage to Lunar Festival in June, we’ve curated an incredible line up for it which we’ll be announcing soon. Then we’re back to the USA in August for another tour.

Psychemagik perform Land of Kings this weekend – www.landofkings.co.uk

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