Interview: Psyk

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A mainstay of the Spanish Techno scene, Psyk made a name for himself age 19 by releasing his first single on M-Nus. Now part of the Mote Evolver team, we hooked up with him just before his eye shattering set at Trésor for the second installation of the Echoes night (big shout-out to the people that made it and special mention to the other representative of Spain for the night, J.C, for delivering an absolute mammoth of a set) to talk about his work and his latest release Time Foundation.

Hey Psyk, so you’re playing at Trésor tonight, you’ve played there before a couple of times haven’t you?

Yes, two and half years ago.

What do you think of the club?

I think it’s one of the biggest names in the Techno industry. The label and everything that surrounds it has always been very important and influential in the scene , so it’s nice to play there again.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’m from Madrid and I started playing records at the age of 16. We were organizing raves and illegal parties in the north of Madrid with some friends. I started producing Techno when I was 18-19 and by the age of 20-21 I was doing this for a living.

So is Madrid quite a Techno kind of city?

Nowadays it’s a bit weird… It’s a lot more hype and there isn’t much support for the local producers. The scene kind of sucks because people are booking artists that were really big in early 2000’s and they are not really supporting any interesting new-comers or local artists from Spain. It’s a vicious circle because they book acts that electronic music fans don’t really want to go and see, so a lot people that go to clubs are not actually there because of the music but because of the hype. And that does not help the development of a proper Techno scene.

You’ve already released 2 EP’s on Mote Evolver, Distane in 2012 and Arcade in 2013, how come you decided to shift towards the album format for Time Foundation?

I’m the type of DJ/producer that makes music for the club, but it was an interesting project so I tried to see what I could come up with. I basically made the kind of music that I do and like and I thought it wouldn’t make sense to release something that’s not close to the previous Psyk stuff… So it’s a Techno album, with a minimalistic approach to the tracks.

Is there is a common thread between the songs, be it musical, ideological…

Not really… Maybe the way the tracklist is arranged says something but it’s more of a collection of club-hitters. It’s really more like a double LP.

One thing you notice is that there are no vocals and very few samples. Is it something that you feel wouldn’t integrate in your workflow?

I preferred not to try and focus on any vocals for this album. I’m not a big fan of vocals honestly.

What artists would you say are your biggest sources of influence?

I have too many… But I would say Robert Hood, Plastikman, Jeff Mills, Rachmad, Surgeon, Regis, Luke Slater…

And what do you listen to nowadays?

I like Jon Hopkins, Muse… New Wave, Hip Hop and electronic music in general…

How did you get involved with Mote Evolver?

I knew that Luke was playing my stuff, we got in touch and thought it would be nice to collaborate on something together. So I sent him Distane, he liked it and we make an EP, then we made another one Arcade, and now I work closely with him. It’s cool because Luke has always been a huge influence on my music and I respect him a lot.

You went in big from the beginning, with your first release on Minus when you were 19, and you’ve released on most of the big Techno labels (Drumcode/Minus/Mote Evolver…), where do you see yourself going now?

Yeah I’ve released on quite a few big labels but it’s been a hard trip until now. Now I want to focus on my label Non Series, which is my biggest project. I will keep releasing on Mote as Psyk and probably a couple more new projects in the near future.

What are your plans with your label NON? Do you plan to release on it too or will you keep it as an output for other artists?

Basically it’s that but I’ve released material from my other alias Maan on the label. However I don’t want to involve Psyk in the label. So NON is there to promote music I like, artists I like and the kind of Techno I like to hear and play. Right now we’ve just had a release from Tadeo & Echologist, it’s out on 12” and we are proud of it. Tadeo is a friend of mine from Madrid, he’s always had a huge influence on my music and we’re also working on a collaboration together. The next release will be coming from Happa and French Fries, who will be remixing the latest Chevel release.

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