THE LIFE OF A SUNKID
During my early years as a child in the 80s, my mind was blown away by the incredible music of Pink Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine" and M.A.R.R.S.'s "Pump Up The Volume". Additionally, I have fond memories of "raves" with my mother and sister, as we would rip around the living room while dancing to the electrifying beats of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)".
In 1993, my dad bought a 486 computer that came with a 200MB hard drive and a modem. This was a game-changer for me as I discovered the world of BBSes and the demo scene. I was also introduced to Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar, which quickly became one of my favourite games.
In 1994, my passion for music had reached new heights. I had spent the past year collecting MODs, building a vast collection of tunes that resonated with me on a personal level. However, the burning desire to share my love of music with others was growing stronger by the day.
One day, I stumbled upon CKDU, a community radio station in Halifax Canada that offered a platform for anyone to learn how to be a radio DJ and host their own show. I was immediately intrigued by the prospect of being able to showcase my collection of music to a larger audience.
By mid-1995, I had gained 24/7 access to an extensive music library consisting of approximately 30,000 to 50,000 records of all genres and eras, as well as an impressive collection of CDs. The opportunity to explore this vast collection of underground music was a dream come true, and I was fortunate to have met several experienced DJs who guided me through the process.
My best friend, Jesse Dangerously, and I took on the challenge of hosting an irregular show from midnight to 9am a few times a month for several years. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to share my passion for music with others and connect with like-minded individuals who shared the same love for underground music.
In 1995, when I was 16 years old, I finally got to experience the world of raves, which would prove to be a defining moment in my life. By this point, I had already achieved a lot in my musical journey - producing my music on the computer, hosting a show on CKDU, playing in an experimental electro-acoustic band with some other DJs that I had met at the station. But nothing could have prepared me for the sheer exhilaration and energy that I felt when I finally heard our music played in a setting that it was meant for.
My first rave had a house room and a jungle room, and I was immediately drawn to the former. I stayed there until 6am and had an unforgettable experience. However, it wasn't until my second rave that I truly knew that I was in it for life. That night, someone played dark industrial acid techno, and I was blown away. The energy, the sound, the vibe - everything about it spoke to me on a deep, visceral level. I was 100% sober for the first few years of going to raves, and it was genuinely only about the music for me back then.
In 1996, I had my first taste of the internet, albeit a text-based, rudimentary version of it. It was on IRC, an early chat platform where I found myself in a channel dedicated to ambient music. There, I met an Israeli student who was studying abroad in Uruguay. We arranged an audio cassette trade through the mail. I recorded an ambient set for him using the music in CKDU's library, and he sent me my first exposure to Goa Trance! The tapes he sent me included Astral Projection's "Trust in Trance 2 & 3," MFG's "New Kind of World," and later, Shakta's "Silicon Trip."
Over the next few years, I listened to these tapes religiously, but I couldn't help but wonder why I never heard this kind of music at raves. In Halifax, the scene was mostly focused on house and jungle, with the occasional techno set thrown in. But nobody was playing trance yet in my home town.
1997 was a pivotal year for me as it marked the convergence of my two passions - raves and music production, as I started to create my own beats and melodies on the computer, while also immersing myself in the vibrant rave scene that was taking over the underground music scene.
In 1998, I made a bold decision for my 19th birthday - to organize my very own rave. It was a daunting task, but one that I eagerly took on. I reached out to the talented DJ Tattwa to help me organize the chill room of the event, and little did I know, he would play an incredibly influential role in my life. Through our collaboration, Tattwa opened my eyes to the entire world of Psytrance culture, going beyond just the music. I was captivated by the stunning UV art, the mind-blowing fashion, and the unforgettable festival experiences that define the Psytrance scene. With the success of my birthday rave, I finally had the means to invest in my own equipment and become a "real DJ" with my very own turntables.
In 1999, I discovered that being a rave DJ was my true calling and it happened at the small but mighty "=" party in the heart of Halifax on January 27th. Playing Stryke - Ascend (Tweaker Hyperacid Remix) at 3am, I experienced the electric energy feedback loop between the music, the crowd, and myself, and I knew in my bones that I would never stop doing this. The rush of the moment was so intense that I got my first Om tattoo and even grew my first set of dreadlocks. That summer, I went on to play at my first festivals, cementing my place in the world of rave music.
In 2005, I decided to attend the Eclipse Festival in Quebec, Canada, and it was a game changer for me. I was completely blown away by the Full On Psytrance sets I heard there. The energy and the power of the music completely revitalized my love for the genre. I knew that I had to be a part of this movement and contribute to the scene. It was like a rebirth for me, and I felt like I had found my place again. I started to produce my own music and perform at festivals. I also began to travel more and attend festivals all around the world, meeting other like-minded individuals who shared my passion for psychedelic music and culture. The next few years were filled with new creative energy and experiences, and I felt like I was truly living my life's purpose.
In 2006, my friends and I made a final attempt to establish a Psytrance community in Halifax. We dedicated months to creating elaborate decorations and promoting the event, but unfortunately, our efforts were in vain as only 20 people attended. It was a disappointing realization that Halifax just wasn't the right city for Psytrance culture to thrive.
2007-08: This is where the real story begins. I relocated to Vancouver BC and discovered Organix, the world's longest-running Psytrance club night. When I arrived, there were 200-300 people every Friday night going absolutely crazy for Psytrance. It was as if I had discovered paradise. I started to attend Organix regularly and began to build a following.
2009 was a year of new beginnings for me as I teamed up with some like-minded friends to start organizing our own Psytrance parties in Vancouver. We were passionate about bringing the energy and spirit of the music to a wider audience, and we put together two successful shows that garnered a lot of attention and excitement in the local scene. However, my journey took a detour as I moved to Melbourne, Australia for a year, leaving behind the budding Psytrance scene in Vancouver that I had worked so hard to cultivate.
2010-11 were exciting years filled with new experiences and challenges. Despite struggling to gain traction as a full-on DJ in Melbourne's dark minimal progressive scene, I had the opportunity to witness some incredible performances, including the mesmerizing full Shpongle live band at Rainbow Serpent 2011. As my working holiday visa came to an end, I made the decision to return to Vancouver, where I knew I was better received and could continue pursuing my passion for Psytrance.
"Over the next few years, we produced 8 or 9 tracks together, which I still play on my show every week. We continued to organize parties in Vancouver and played at Organix regularly."
In 2012, I faced a daunting challenge in Melbourne - it felt like the only way to make an impact in the music scene was to be a producer as well as a DJ. Determined to overcome this hurdle, I teamed up with my friend Andrew to dive head first into the world of Psytrance production. We poured our hearts and souls into crafting our own unique sound, and over the next few years, we churned out an impressive 8 or 9 tracks together. These tunes still hold a special place in my heart and I showcase them on my weekly show to this day. Despite the obstacles, we refused to give up and continued to organize epic parties in Vancouver while playing at Organix as often as we could.
2015 was a monumental year for me! I had been working hard on producing music and had the privilege of opening for Space Tribe, Dust, and EVP. But one of the most memorable experiences was being included in the official mix for Vancouver's biggest and final Bike Rave. Over 7000 people decorated their bikes with all kinds of lights and speakers, and we biked around the perimeter of the city blasting the same rave set. It was an absolutely glorious and super trippy experience, and I even got a tattoo to commemorate it!
2016 was a pivotal year for me. I organized my very first outdoor Psytrance party, aptly named "200,000 untzes". It was a huge success, with people dancing all weekend long. The experience of bringing people together in nature, surrounded by music and good vibes, was truly transformative.
This event paved the way for even bigger things to come, including my involvement in organizing the legendary 6th Dimension festival in 2019. The passion and dedication I put into this event was unparalleled, and it was incredible to see hundreds of people coming together from all over North America to experience the magic of Psytrance.
2017: An otherworldly experience. Oregon Eclipse festival was a momentous occasion that deserves its own spotlight. Words cannot truly capture the magic that was felt at this festival. It was a true celebration of unity, music, art, and community. The memories and connections made there will forever be cherished.
2018 was a year of evolving connections for me. Despite Organix downsizing to just two monthlies, the vibe was still super hype, and I was frequently invited to play. On top of that, I began forming deeper connections with the Psytrance scene in Seattle, further expanding my network and opening up new opportunities.
2019: Matrices and Vortices rise to the occasion. By 2019, my crew had grown to three people and we were ready to make a name for ourselves. We put on a series of indoor shows that built up to our biggest event yet: Sixth Dimension. The event featured a massive UFO stage and a headlining performance by the legendary Kabayun.
2020: Twitch - Raving during the pandemic! When the world shut down, the underground rave scene went digital. Organix was no longer throwing parties, and after months of no raves, I discovered Twitch. What started as just playing my acid techno collection to a few friends, turned into something much bigger.I began searching for other DJs who were keeping the psychedelic trance scene alive online and found inspiration in them. I also discovered that my S4 controller was compatible with time code Records, which led me to embark on a journey of playing my entire Psytrance collection on the internet.I've been on this journey since October 2020, and it's been incredible. I teamed up with PSYWENTZ and Stuntproject and several other DJs to form Psy Tree Kin, and I'm excited to share our similar energy with the world. Who knows, maybe someday we'll all play together at a real-life party.
2022: Weekly Twitch show and the Return of D6! Matrices and Vortices is back. With the pandemic behind us, we created another D6, this time headlined by Khromata. The Matrices and Vortices crew is growing every year now. I've continued to do a weekly show on Twitch every Tuesday evening.
2023 and beyond! I'm so excited to join the Enterrec team and keep spreading this music far and wide!