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Sonic Distortion ...for a chat

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We bring you another article from series of articles of CZ crews, which contribute to our psytrance scene. As the second in order we have chosen a group, which exists for the longest time in our scene - Sonic Distortion and I made interview with member of SonicDisortion - Simon aka Cymoon.
To ride up, I tried to convince Cymoon to complete his memories from the begining psytrance scene in Czech republic and to complete some example of his work, thank to this is this czech group fix star, retaining honestly place on the imaginary memorial board aborning psytrance scene in Czechia.
Sonic Distortion
active from: 01/1998
web page: http://sonicdistortion.psytrance.cz
kontakt: sonicdistortion@centrum.cz
region: Prague, Ostrava, Czech republic

BONUSDJ set: Light Essence
date of release: 03/2005
author: Cymoon/Sonic Distortion
size: 68 MB
lenght: 58.33 min.
style: morning psytrance
download: Light Essence download, info and cover

Sonic Distortion is a crew of 4 djs based in Prague and Ostrava - two cities of Czech republic. It was founded in the beginning of the year 1998 as crew of 2 djs. By a coincidence the group has expanded to todays incommutable figure of 4 members. Its sense was and still is to presente the music style of goa/psytrance to wider public. By their words, they are trying to achieve it by playing this music in their dj sets,by arranging their own psytrance parties, usually with some interesting foreing guests, which always rake up otherwise quiet home scene.
They cover versatile spectrum of actual psytrance from house groovy progressive over melodic full on to dark night psychedelic including chillout and ambient.
SD djs have played at many parties all around Czech Republic, from the smallest to the biggest parties. By and by and neverending sedulity they got into parties in foreign countries, where they’ve visited many countries such as Germany, Holland, Rusia, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Spain or Portugal. They played at festivals such as Orejona, Omni, Solartribe and in last year at Boom festival as well.
Members are linked up with other projects around psytrance culture. Cymoon is one of the founder and still administrates server psytrance.cz, TV follows his new label Oxygen and Rawe makes various graphics designs and compose his own music.

For a chat with Cymoon...

Sonic Distortion - How did it all begin?
I have met Tomas aka TV at some parties that time, we liked similar kind of music, both of us were learning to play music and of course the time was passing and we wanted to play out for people as well. It was hard to get into the clubs with music we liked. We’ve decided to make our own party, and name of the crew is needed of course ;). So in January 1998 at a party in a part of Prague called Stodulky Sonic Distortion was born.
Party in Stodulky? ... how did it look that time?
It was a small former disco club at top of shopping mall, from which one guy was trying to make an ’alternative’ club with concerts and parties. We have made 3 or 4 parties there. Dj Sidecar or Pietro borrowed us their turntables and played techno and house there as well. We made a few paper UV mandalas and started. Of course, mostly our friends came to this party. We met there 000333 and the architects crew from Liberec, which you can still meet at parties these days too.

Parties were nice, we were investigating what and how to do to throw a party. We have played music from classic trance over acid trance, goa trance to techno. Actualy this club was near by club Mlejn.
How many people were visiting parties that time? It seriously interests me because I was listening to other kind of music. How did it evolve anyway until my first and unforgettable party Red Snake?
I dont know .. just a few .. circa 30-50 people? But these people dont attend parties anymore except people I have noticed above.
When was the Red Snake party?
Just a second, I have to check it ;) - 10.3. 2001
In the same year we have organized 2 parties in Luxor at Venzelslav squere in Prague. At one of them Elektroterapija was playing, it was a goatrance project of dj MP and his friends. They played live with keyboards and it was really great! Also dj Shiva from Liberec played there with us, unfortunately he doesnt djing anymore. He’s organized a few small parties in Liberec and Jablonec, where we came to play. Meanwhile I was chatting with Mirek from Ostrava, who knew Rawe and Martyzan and in February 1999

we came to play to Ostrava parties at ’Struznik’ and ’Hajzly’. Great parties with first legendary pure orange backdrops of Fluorobotanics :). We met Rawe there, who joined us later and so-called Sonic Distortion trio was complete.
In the begining of summer we made 2 parties in club Industry. And in December we went to probably one of the first party of slovak Cosmic Dance crew to snowy hills around Piestany, where they made a magic party full of excited slovak people. Great atmosphere, for me really unforgottable party .. Next summer we went to other slovak open-airs, particularly from Cosmic Dance. We were playing often in THC club in Brno and of course there was the legendary open-air Shakti, which we’ve organized together

with Perplex from Hedonix and then we played at their parties in Brumlovka or Futurum and others .. In that time djane Pooh joined us and she is the chill-out part of our crew.

Unforgottable atmosphere, legendary party - by what they are unforgottable for you?
A hall full of slovak people dancing to the max and flashing pyrotechnics above their heads holded by peoplein their hands and running around the dancefloor. I’ve never played at party like this, thus unforgottable for me. Many people make great energy. Even atmosphere of that place somewhere under the snow in the mountains did it as well.
Yes, it sounds like an intensive experience :) Which was your best party and why?
Above mentioned slovak Magical Experience, Boom 2000, because it was my first Boom, Shakti, because there was a great atmosphere and sound echoes"...eeeeel...eeeees....dyyyyy..." from one well-known track were flying over calm Prague in the morning. Free spirit festival in Croatia, because of the place by the sea on the rocks, where they took us during a solid rain and wind on the small boat and where we had to climb up the rocks with all of the equipments. I’ve never passed more adventurous arrival to

a party.

And of course parties in Protivin, because it’s just Protivin .. ;)
What difficulties you had to solve with arranging parties in the begining?
No experiences, few contacts, no technical equipments and low interest in this kind of music from peoples side.
What problems regarding arranging parties has Sonic Distortion today?
Today we have got the same problems as most czech promoters, who are trying to make similar kind of events - bigger parties, better with a foreign host. It means many parties, few people - too little money from the entrance, which used to be not enough for paying even the minimal costs.
Do you have feeling that psytrance groups are losing by making many parties?
Surely, of course it depends on the kind of parties they arrange. It’s impossible to compare small party in a bar for 20-40 people and a party with ambitions for more than 150-200 people etc. The entrance plays a dominant role and it has decreased in comparison with the past, let’s say it is about half of what it was usually. But we didnt get the desired effect. Always there are more factors, so it’s not possible to simplify it. Even same place of events can play a role.
Today, do you still have the impression, even SD parties are visited by many people - that czech visitors are attracted by foreign names more than a whole psytrance party?
I think that foreign name doesnt work here as a hype. I have an impression, that people here would like to hear some live act from abroad and not just czech djs all the time, but they are not compliant to pay more for it. It’s more about the psytrance party. And surely we still dont get enough visitors at our parties :)
You have travelled across Europe - where is the difference, that our scene is still somewhere in the underground .. ?
It’s not possible to get to know some scene during 1-2 days by visiting one party. Surely it’s due our national personality, worse economical situation and therefor noone in czech scene is trying to get the scene from the underground. Most of eastern countries have similiar scenes as we have, if not smaller. Exception can be maybe Hungary, but who was there can confirm, that it’s too much. But there are very nice smaller open-air too of course.. And Russia, it is big there...
Ok, it is the difference between parties, but i’m more interested in differences among visitors of parties. Is there something what we are missing here and contra, what are the others missing?
Whos others?
I mean West Europe.
I dont see many differences between visitors. Somewhere more freaks attend parties, somewhere more clubbers. In the first place we are missing enough people being really interested in psytrance as music..

What have inspired you to make psytrance parties anyway?
Mainly in the beginning there wasn’t anything like this, except Ostrava and I was always interested in such things. Like I have been making school discos in school camps with one of my friends when I was very very young :o).
This definitely requires a lot of energy - actually, why were you and still are interested in it?
I love to create the result, which is a party, where people have a good time, I hope, and make great atmosphere, nice music is playing and the eyes can watch nice things around. All these things relate to each other.
There must be some progress during the years for sure, regarding visitors and scene. How much has psytrance culture changed and what do you think are the main differences compared to the years 98-05?
In the first place, there wasnt any scene in 1998. Today we have a small scene, but good. I think that peak of czech psytrance scene was in the years 2001-2003 and it is stagnating right now a bit. There is a difference in quality of parties - decorations, video-projections, technical rear and people who attend parties. They know how to fire up the dancefloor at the party. We have a very positive feedback from visitors from abroad.
Positive feedback? What they relish the most on our scene?
Cheap beer, nice girls and good underground parties with comfortable atmosphere :)
You talked about feeling that our scene is stagnating from 2003 - what do you think the reason is? How did you obtain the impression? ;)
Many parties, few people, tideness of a part of people and too little money. I’m watching what’s going on in this scene, how parties went etc.
Is there any universal solution for this situation anyway?
Depends on how we would like our scene to be. In the case of healthy and strong scene, we should let it be as it is, let it evolve by itself and be more open.
More open .. in what sence?
In the sense of other scenes, music and people ..
Do you think that people dont do this?
It is starting to happen right now...
What psytrance means for you?
Now psytrance means for me a big part of my life, I am linked to it practically every day for 8 years. It’s a music which gives me what I’m expecting from dance music at the dance floor. It’s a world of endless yelling of synth drifting people far away, during nights and during mornings as well and giving me new energy.
People around psytrance talk about strange atmosphere, about spirit - what does it mean for you?
So called spirit, for me, is the special atmosphere of unity and good mood, which appears at dance parties. It’s not unique of psytrance scene. It’s possible to experience it at other parties, where the people are in the same mood ..
How do you feel your psytrance spirit? I mean at any other party you dont organize, where you are not affected by favour of your listeners ..
My psytrance spirit is relaxed, unfatiguing dance, when it goes by it-self and people around feel the same. I’m just feeling the music, there is nothing to solve, twisted in sounds and rythms .. It happens to me occasionally, so I take up with watching people who look like they are feeling it similar way.
So do you think it’s possible to go through the psytrance party without any drugs?
Of course, I do it most of time, if you dont count with "soft drugs" .. :)
So how are you getting in the right mood time at a party?
I usualy drink some beer and smoke some joints, sometimes joints only. But I rather stay at home, if I can :).
It is a little bit of deformation ;)
I’m 100% deformed. :))
I am worried of this phase as well...
You will reach it, if you are doing things for a long time.
Yes, it’s a logical progress .. something like it drifts you ahead, it entices you, you want to improve.... My target was making video-projection in Prague club Roxy. It became true, now I have more inaccessible targets.
My dream was playing at Boom festival, it became true as well. I have to find some new target .. :)
Nice target. How it went?
I found out that I’m so "deformed" that I wasn’t nervous, even I have never played for so many people at a party like this and was expecting it. Good sound speakers in the dj booth, good lighting on the dj desk, place for cds cases, technical support behind us, nothing was missing. We’ve played and I wasn’t noticing it, then I told myself why I didnt enjoy it more :) The occasion like this comes not so often. But of course I remember a few views at all the amazing things around me and the energy of this festival.
How did you get there?
Diogo, who organize this festival, called me....
How was peoples reaction? .. how did you react at them? Did you have any feedback when you’ve finished set?
They didnt react extra anyway, sometimes someone below the stage was smilling and showing thumbs up like it’s good. And how I have reacted? Probably you know that I aint a dj who comunicate with public by waving hands or so. I tried to react with music and make people dance and have a good time :)) Btw: probably the most impulsive reaction invoked track from Rawe. It has really suprised me.
Impulsive reaction? :)
When people express they like it by their voice ...

How long is Rawe composing music? His tracks are not seen much. Is there any example? It would be fine to present it to the people ;]
For about 2-3 years? Tracks are presented at parties :)) I dont know about any link, something was somewhere in our forum at psytrance.cz, but links are not working anymore I guess. If Rawe wants to show off, he will sure do it. Usualy he thinks that his tracks are not so good enough and he hasnt many finished tracks yet.
What do you think about new releases from Tribal Vision records and Oxygen Records? Did you hear it? Have these labels a bright future in our conditions?
I have heard both of them and I like it, but I think that czech labels have no birght future in our conditions. They have to expand to foreign countries with their releases.
Why SD didnt start something like this? .. you have people for it, i guess.
Personally I hadn’t impression that something like this is needed, yet. But of course I was planning it in the future, when there will be enough good czech music for a compilation. I think that it is a bit useless to release a compilation only with foreign tracks now, when there are so many new labels. And anyway I dont have any recources for that lately.
Meanwhile our authors are released by foreign labels. Who do you think has a potential to succeed in abroad? .. of course its needed to make a criteria, what means - succeed. I mean creation of tracks, which will be appearing in foreign dj sets ..
Dont hyperbolize so much, only Gappeq is releasing. Gappeq, Mutant Star, Rawe but I really dont know everything what is being made in this country. Maybe someone has his own great tracks and noone knows about them :)
It’s strange, I got to know about Jirka (Gappeq) from the document "Extáze bez extáze" in czech TV, which I saw 2 years after first broadcasting. Is it a general nature of cz psytrance projects not to present themselves in medias?
Well, Gappeq plays at parties for a long time, Mutant Star too and that’s the main form of presentation. I think they dont go ahead to the title page of Xmag magazine ;)
I dont mean this ;]] But why?
I don’t know why, it’s generally temperament of this scene, present itself inside the scene, even if you probably think it’s not sufficient. Perhaps they are too shy. Or they should find some manager who will take care of them when they will be working on their music :o)
;)) .. sounds so beautiful, idealistic ;] In the other side, mirror of this is captiousness or self-criticism. It’s not a problem to find out in a discussion forum that Quokka Tribe, even if it’s not true, is group of druged-out hippies or that full-on style is for druged-out people. Where do you think is the problem?
Do you think it’s so necessary to overplay few sentences from discussion servers written by just a few people? Each person likes something else, sometimes someone writes his own opinion as he feels it and doesnt think, that the same thing is possible to say in a more acceptable form. Noone can do anything with it and noone can unify opinions.
That’s true. But that few sentences are visible, represent opinion. Sometimes it seems that it’s a opinion of the community, that’s why I demur to it. Probably it belongs to what we are living in.
Each person should figure out, that everything written at various chats and discussion forums is always opinion of one person and it doesnt represent opinion of any unit, scene, group, server etc. There are only subjective opinions and even if there are two similar, it doesnt mean that it’s absolute true and that people who didnt write anything agree with it. Most of them dont do it, maybe they dont use Internet at all and dont know about these things anyway. People like to generalize, it’s easier.

And surely it’s not the business of czech scene only, just browse discussion forums of other countries, of other music scenes, it is everywhere the same. Let’s say its something like a "discussions forum syndrom" in general! :)
What do you think will be the progress of psytrance in CZ and why we shouldnt stop?
I dont know what will be the progress and I dont want to make the forecast anyway. I found out that it doesnt make sense, it most depends on the people. It’s not possible to know whats in their mind. And we shouldnt stop just because of the mornings at open-air parties, when the sun is rising up, everyone is happy and some great psytrance track is playing at the top of it :)
Nice to talk with you, thank you for the interview :)
Translated by Kutny

29.03.2005 | eskadr | magazín