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- Getting in the mood for Vuuv with Astrix -

What is it that differentiates a truly great DJ from the rest of the pack? Is it their consistently energetic performances behind the decks, where they appear to seamlessly read the crowd and play exactly what’s needed to take them to the next level? Is it their incredibly smooth productions that have their fans grooving in festivals, clubs, bars and bedrooms around the world? Or is it that rare ability to truly work the crowd both behind the decks and online, so fans get a welcome glimpse into the mind of a true artist and, captivated, keep wanting more?

Very occasionally, someone whose true passion for music and love for what they do shines through so much that, amalgamated with that rare chemical combination of the qualities mentioned above, a star is born. Astrix is one of those unique souls who blurs the boundaries between DJ and producer, entertainer and artist, musician and promoter. Having started DJing and producing as a teenager, once he found psychedelic trance it was only a matter of time before he embarked on a pilgrimage around the globe, converting fans from all genres of music along the way who couldn’t resist the catchy riffs of tracks like ‘Coolio’, ‘Acid Rocker’, ‘Closer to Heaven’ ‘Third Time Lucky’ (produced with John 00 Fleming), ‘Type 1’ or ‘High on Mel’. In short, if psy trance did royalty then he really would be considered one of the kings.

With a headline set at Vuuv Festival in Germany coming up in just a couple of weeks, It is indeed an honour that Astrix took some time out to answer a few questions for his fans in an exclusive interview for Triskele Management …

1) Hey Avi, long time! What’s been happening on planet Astrix of late?

It’s been exciting as ever. Intense touring and a lot of music productions in a new studio which is my new personal heaven.

2) It’s been around 20 years now since you first fell in love with this crazy stuff called trance at a party in Israel in 1994, do you ever regret that you didn’t get into r’n’b or pop instead? Where do you see your music heading these days?

I’ve never had a feeling of regret getting into the psy trance scene! It feels like it’s my home and where I belong. If I could go back in time I would still pick psy trance over any other music genre, it must be love ;)

Music-wise, in the last few years there have been massive changes in the psy trance scene. There is a new generation of listeners, new destinations of gigs and much more.

With all those big changes, a good artist/producer has to know how to stay relevant to a new audience without loosing his magic/style. I’m planning to release a new studio album this year, which is in production stage these days together with some single releases and compilations.

3) Your touring schedule looks hectic as ever with you clocking up more air points in a year than most people do in a lifetime, have you ever thought about slowing down a bit so you can spend more time with your girlfriend and your cat? What have you got on the horizon over summer?

I love flying and traveling, planes are the only place I can really rest and take off with my thinking without being distracted. I've never really thought about slowing down, especially these days as there is a lot going on with new destinations to take over like the USA, which I find my self visiting much more then in the past. I guess the USA finally got the psy trance virus that’s spreading slowly but in a very good direction.

4) It’s been an epic 10 years since I first interviewed you for Upfront mag and in that time you’ve released three albums, three comps and seven EPs, travelled the world playing at all the top events and festivals and launched your awesome Trance For Nations series, where you’ve reached edition 12. You’ve got well over 650K FB fans following you from all over the globe — in short, you really have made it to the big time! What would you say are the highlights of your career to date?

Big thanks for the kind words! These last 10 years were wild! Seeing the world, headlining huge festivals and having my tracks supported by others were always my kind of fun, so I’ve had a great time making people happy — that’s my main highlight!

5) Following that, is there anything you haven’t achieved yet that you’re still holding out for?

There are always more things to achieve. As I said before, there are lots of new countries and destinations opening their doors to psy trance like never before. Something is happening and in good way.

6) Over the last 10 years the digital age has taken over and changed the way we play, produce, promote and distribute music, and I believe you were one of the first to release an entire album, One Step Ahead on memory stick in 2008. As a true innovator of the music scene, where do you see things going next?

Technology is a never stopping adventure. It’s very hard to predict but I presume it will go to faster, smaller and smarter formats and as a gadget freak I am really looking forward to it.

7) Looking at your Soundcloud page you appear to be giving most of your new productions away for free: surely that loses you a lot of money?!

Since the industry moved to digital platforms, money from music went down anyway. On the other hand the internet and the digital formats gave a much bigger exposure to the music, even if it’s for free. I do give away a lot of free downloads on my Soundcloud but only a while after it is officially released, so as to give it some fair time to sell properly as well.

8) Last time we spoke you were inspired by visuals, making your own clips for remixes like Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’. Have you had any time to pursue this passion recently?

I have to admit the intense touring and the new studio have denied me free time to pursue my love for the visual arts, but I as soon as I finish my new album I am going to dive back into this dimension as I really love it. Also, I keep drawing some psychedelic stuff and I sometimes put it up on my social media or use it for Trance For Nations covers.

9) What motivates you to get back in the studio after all this time?

Making music is my true love so it doesn’t take much to throw me back in the studio eager to work. I would say the triggers to that addiction are my fans, good parties, good music and movies.

10) Out of all the tracks you’ve made, do you have a favourite? Or do you believe you’re only as good as your last track?

I love all my tracks, some more some less, but I’ve never released a track I did not like, so in general, “They are all my favourites”.

11) Over the last few years you’ve also dabbled in a couple of other music styles. Do you have any projects on the go right now that you can tell us about, or is your focus primarily full-on right now?

At the moment I am focusing on the new album so naturally it’s mainly about psychedelic trance in various BPMs, but I believe after the album is finished, I will explore other music styles just to enrich my inspiration and clear my head.

12) Given that you’re usually either on tour or in the studio, you mustn’t get much down time. What do you like to do to chill out?

I love watching movies, cooking and gaming, but most of my free time goes to art like drawing, building self-created robots, wood sculptures and more. For me it’s all about art!

13) Having travelled the world for the last 10 years, is there anywhere you’d still really like to visit that you haven’t managed to make it to yet?

Yes I have a few more places that I would love to visit and surprisingly one of them is Iran. Every time I play in India there are a lot of Iranian fans flying in especially to see and hear me performing. There is a massive amount of people into psy trance in Tehran and I would really like to make it there.

14) You’re headlining Vuuv Festival in August. As a festival veteran, what are the three things you don’t go to a festival without?

A good bottle of whisky, a fresh T-shirt and a big smile :)

15) I know what goes on tour is supposed to stay on tour… but what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen at a festival?

Whooo! I’ve seen a lot of really weird, funny, sad and inspiring things on my tours around the world. One of the funniest things was in Brazil during my set when a girl climbed a huge decoration crane and took her shirt off while going really wild up there. The security guys were struggling to take her down without her falling. Luckily no-one was hurt.

16) The theme for Vuuv this year is Rebirth. If you could start your musical career again, what is the one thing you’d do differently?

To be honest, nothing! It’s been a perfect ride so far!

Exclusive Interview by : Tara Hawes

~ We are happy to VUUV with him ! ~

*You can find him here*

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