we are happy to present you the interview that starts a series of conversations with the downtempo artists prepared specially for WWW.PSYBIENT.ORG. Our friend Supercozi was the first to accept our invitation to talk about her music influences, preferences and the process of creating her recent compilation. This interview was taken via internet by Gagarin and Runa in September 2013. So we wish you an interesting journey to the world of psychedelic sounds creation that has just begun…
Don’t forget to press the play button of the audio player below to discover the musical universe of Cozi
Hello Cozi! Could you please introduce yourself in a few words for those people who don’t know you yet
I’m a Japanese producer / DJ. Also a behalf of Zen Lemonade – Unit with Gus Till.
Tell us, when and how have you heard of psy-chill music?
I discovered the pleasure to listen to alternative electronic music in the early 90’s. I 1st got into Breakbeats and Trip-Hop released from the labels like Ninja Tune, then went crazy about Drum’n Bass and Techno. Then one weekend in summer 1997 , an American hippie friend who’d lived in Tokyo for a long time, convinced me to go to a 3 days outdoor Psy-Trance Festival in the mountains in West Japan. So I went, and was hooked. Hooked not only for the Psychedelic dance music, but also the myth of psychedelic chill out music .. Deepest experience I ever had with any other electronic music – I was drawn into the sounds under the stars, the swaying beautiful trees and the blue sky – It was like listening to a translation word from the earth. Since then Psychedelic free style music had been my passion.
Very Interesting ! Do you remember any downtempo labels/releases/artists from that time?
There were great chill labels, strings of high quality downtempo compilations and artist albums back then. Blue Room, L.S.D, Flying Rhino’s Freestyle, Interchill, TIP, Twisted ( Back room beats was my favorite comps ) just to name of few. More I dig deeper, more of the family tree of Psy-Chill emerged from the underground. And year by year, interesting artists seem to pop up from all over the world. Free-style psychedelic chill out music and it’s evolution never stopped.
You have recently released a CD compilation “Mutantribe” on Iboga Records. Well done! Can you tell us more about it? What is the story behind this release ? What was it like compiling the chill out tracks?
When I saw my old friend Emok ( Iboga Records Boss ) in the Rainbow Serpent Festival 2012, he asked me to compile a chill out compilation for his label. I happily agreed to do it because I knew he trusted me and would let me do whatever I believed. At that point, Dubstep and Glitch already had been the part of the free-style scene for a while, but I didn’t find many good Psychill compilations that had a perfect dose of these elements beside of usual Psychill tunes. So that was my aim. A fresh, Hybrid Psychedelic chill out compilation blending all elements I love – Dub, Ambient, Glitch, Dub step, Broken Beats, Spacy breaks, Bass music.
Gaudi just released a superb compilation “Everlasting” on the similar direction from Iboga right after The Rainbow Serpent Festival and it sold very well, and it encouraged me because it was the proof of the fact there are the people who like to listen to that type of hybrid Chill-Out music. Also, I knew that my comp should be different from his, so I narrowed down my direction more – It had to have a large dose of psychedelia, but at the same time, slightly less heavy weight, more melodic, and something cinematic – like a sound track of science fiction movie. And most importantly, it had to be a patch work of the real alternative, a showcase of the evolving Psychedelic chill out music.
Tell us about the process of getting the tracks form the artists, who were the first artists you had contacted and who sent you the 1st tracks?
First I contacted Dovla, a Croatian Chill-Out DJ who’d compiled a nice comp, ‘Flutter’ for Flow records (Portugal) few years back. I really liked the tracks by Dual Barrel and Kilowatts on the comp and wanted to contact them. He was very helpful and passed them to me. Then Dual Barrel sent a perfect track only few weeks later. It was so perfect and I was so happy because I knew this track could define the comp’s direction so nicely. Plus I always love to support young producers. Good start !
Jamie from Kilowatts was also very supportive. He is a well known producer in the glitch scene but not a regular face in ‘Psy-Chill’ comp. That’s why it’s so great to have a cross-genre artist like him on this hybrid, alternative compilation.
I already asked Gaudi to be a part of my comp in Rainbow Serpent and he sent me a wild fat tune straight away. Then I contacted another old friend Gabriel Masurel ( Blue Planet Corporation ). He composed a really great tune for a comp on my own label years back and I always respect his ability to combine some jazzy elements into thrilling, fat grooves to creates his own ” Jazzy ” Psychill sound ( Not so many artist can do it )! I sent an email to him to explain my concept, then only a week later, he produced this incredible track ‘ Designed for humans ‘ from scratch and sent me a first rough version – It did hit my right spot ! When he sent me this track, I had just returned home from 4 hours of DJing. It was 2:30 am in the morning and I was very very tired and even a bit depressed. But when I played this tune loudly, it really lifted my spirits high and took me to the outer space where I forgot all of the small things in life. I was speechless. When the tune was over, I was smiling and my soul was fully nourished.
Then I contacted Seb Taylor. I had been a big fan of Kaya Project for years, but at this point I haven’t heard his Hibernation stuff yet, so I didn’t know how Seb cook Glitch elements but I trusted him massively so gave him a direction note and waited. Few weeks later he sent me bunch of tracks that he wrote for Hibernation album. It was totally ecstatic to dip my ear into his new direction, and there were too many great tracks so it was so hard to choose one. In fact it was too hard so I picked one from Hibernation and another one from his another project Digitals – One is soft and poetic, and another is more fat and dance-oriented which makes good contrast.
Gus and Zen Lemonade’s tracks were came on the board at the very end of the process. I waited all other tracks and then ping-point-shoot what I needed in between. I built up Zen track’s basic idea and structure, and Gus polished it to the next level. Gus always understand my point so quickly as we had been together for 15 years now. So my massive respect goes to him too.
Jules Evans ( Eastern Rebel Alliance ) is also my old friend.We used to live in the same village when Gus and I were living in Devon (UK) between 2000-2002, and he was a regular visitor of Zen Lemonade studio. He was also a part of the Flying Rhino’s chill output too. so I asked him for a track.When this beautiful, lyrical tune was delivered, I knew straight away this is the perfect finale of the comp.
Are there any new comers on this compilation? How did you discover them?
Iboga’s new chill out label director Alex Descroix sent me bunch of demos from young producers from all over the world. It was a pleasure to listen to them, and I found some really nice tracks but unfortunately many were slightly out of my concept and I certainly didn’t want my comp to become a random collection of freestyle, so I narrowed down the choice and picked a track from a young producer from Moscow, Mindex. He was so happy to be part of it and I was happy to introduce this new comer too.
Cozi, what about your own track “Yellow Teeth Sun”, did you manage to find an idea and finalized it easy?
It was a huge challenge for me to produce a track for this comp. Track had to be good enough to be mixed with such amazing tracks by the producers I respect so much. And I certainly did not want to make a pathetic exception or compromise just because of I’m a compiler. Inner pressure was huge and the hurdle was high. So I started work on 4-5 tracks and waited the other tracks were delivered from the producers I asked. After I confirmed 4-5 tracks, the entire picture and the colors, the atmosphere of comp became more clear and I was able to narrow down the direction of the tunes I was working on. I kept working on 2 tracks until the very end, and I put them in a playlist on iTune with other tracks and listened them again and again for months. Then changed around the order and listened more to see which track could fit the most. And finally ” Yellow Teeth Sun ” got a place and I ‘m happy about the result.
It looks like the process of putting elements together was very interesting. How was it in the end, the result of your efforts?
At the end of October 2012, 9 month later since I started to hunt for tracks, I already confirmed 11 tracks and the comp was nearly done. I wanted my comp to be under 80 minutes because I knew that there were still many people burning CDs, and I wanted to make sure my comp would be able to fit into a CD, then people won’t miss out the whole picture when they’d listen to it. So leftover space was limited and I couldn’t make my mind who was the one to ask to be a last piece of this jigsaw puzzle. Then Gus connected me up with Nick Brennan ( Tripswich ) whom I respected for a along time. Nick was so friendly and supportive, and sent me a tune few weeks later. ‘ Under the Influence ‘ was absolutely psychedelic and intelligent, organic and enigmatic at the same time, and it was embodying a deep story like a rich book. It was like I found a missing-link I was looking for. Too perfect to believe. I put the track between Dual Barrel and Blue Planet Corporation, and that moment, my comp was completed. A cosmic spine pierced the 12 tracks and my crafting was done.
Looking back on this experience, would you like to prepare more compilation? Maybe something is already in process or planned?
Another comp in the same direction with Mutantribe would be a fun but no planned at this point. An ambient comp is in the oven to be released from my own label Hypo=espresso Records.
Tell us about your DJing experience, how often do you play these days and what kind of music you prefer to share with the crowd?
When I play at the Festivals, Mutantribe-and-beyond direction will be my case. For a moment I don’t do much traveling for gigs as my kids are still 12 and 9 year old and my priority is spending time with them. So attending one or two really good festival per year is enough for me. But I do 2 DJ residency in the nice beach front venues and normally I play 1-3 times every week. Sometime even more with parties. When I play these gigs, I expand my set into even more wider range of genres. Beside of the electronic music, I add Jazz fusion from 70’s, African Jazz, All sort of world music, Psychedelic & Kraut rock, funk, even blues and folk from 50’s -70’s – A journey through the 60 years long musical history. I absolutely loving to craft a free style set like that. I also occasionally play a dance set with Techno and Progressive with fat bass sound and I love that too.
Thanks a lot for sharing the story with us. It was very interesting to look behind the curtain. Would you like to share any particular message with our readers? What is the message you are trying to deliver with your music as a DJ and a compiler?
Express in freeform, live in freestyle !
For more information visit http://www.supercozi.com