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Pan talks getting caught short crossing the Sahara, acid eyeballs and tells us Trance is the Answer, plus shares his thoughts on his latest release 'Beyond the Horizon' - all from a beach in Spain!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 26-09-23 08:57
Pan is back with a bang! His latest release ‘Beyond the Horizon’ (Psyworld Records) shot straight into the Psy-trance release chart at number 2, and with a plethora of upcoming releases in store, we thought now is the perfect time to check in with this Psychedelic Trance God of the Wild!
Firstly, how was your recent holiday for your lovely wife’s birthday celebrations? What did you get up to?
Hi, first let me say thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I’ll be completely honest, I never expected so much interest in this release, in fact I was so unprepared for this response that I had booked a week away for my wife’s birthday on the actual release date. We are, in fact, still in the South of Spain. We are of course doing all of the tourist things, but also eating and drinking a lot - there is much to be said for a good Spanish red wine. Later today we are taking a cruise on the river with more wine and tapas.
The last time we interviewed you was when you were releasing your album ‘Hyperbolic Oxymoron’. How has everything been since then?
I really feel that my music has come a long way since then. Of course, I love many of the tracks on that album and I play the majority of them when performing, but I have learned so much (as one does) and I’ve been exploring an entirely new group of sounds. So, while the accent might be different, the old school feeling has not changed. It appears that there is quite a taste for this sound. Other than that, life has been interesting. Festivals and events, and a lot of time on the beach.
And how are you getting on with understanding frequencies and synths? How do you feel you have developed as an artist?
A friend of mine recently told me that I should try out his modular unit but to be honest, Serum as a synth is enough of a rabbit hole for me, at least for now. Sound design in itself is a little geeky, but it is fun, and the average nut on the dance floor couldn’t care less about how a sound was made, as long as they like it. So, in answer to the question I’m getting on leaps and bounds, yet there is still so much to learn. Sometimes I spend 3 hours trying to make 2 seconds of sound and then if I ask a real professional, they show me how to do it in a minute.
What do you love most about producing and which parts do you like the least?
The first 95% of any new track is awesome fun. The final 5% involves mixing, checking for errant delays, listening for cracks or pops or feedback or any number of things; that is often the longest part. The first lesson that I ever learned from Nick (Mechanimal) was to listen - that is super important - and decent monitors go a long way. So, I would say that the last 5% is my least favourite.
You talked before about putting on your own psy-trance event, but were trying to source a good venue. How has the search been going? How is the party scene in Barcelona?
The psytrance scene in Barcelona is not very vibrant. It isn’t that there aren’t enough people to support it, it’s just that there aren’t enough venues willing to give it a chance. So, my experience has not changed, I’m still looking for a venue. We have all the talent that we need close by - Sonic Species lives near here, Madd Max and Mechaimal too. And I would expect to try and bring Nikki S and perhaps Champa too from the UK. But the venue issue has not changed.
Many would argue that the world is in a pretty devastating place on many levels. Care to comment on this?
I am one of the few people I know, that believes that humanity will sort out its shit. The younger generation will eventually oust the good ole boys, stop the oil flowing and clean up the oceans. What concerns me more is how mean everyone has started treating each other. Having an opinion seems taboo these days. Social media is rife with bullying and false information. I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen the world so divided. Everyone needs to go to a psytrance festival, now more than ever.
I’ve seen some cool footage of you and your dear wife Kristina, frolicking on the beaches with kites! It looked a lot of fun. When was your first kite flying experience?
I would guess that I was probably 10 or so, but in those days we’d buy enough string to fly it a mile high. Of course, I lost more than one kite in those early years, and that was a big deal - I am talking tears and stuff - especially hard after boasting about how high it was. However, if you’re talking about the insane giggling in Instagram reels, that’s because it was my wife’s first kite flying experience. It’s been my thing now, teaching people the joy of flying a kite.
Do you now have your new fake eye fitted? If so, how did it go? Have you gotten used to it?
I chose a different colour eye as the replacement which looks pretty cool and ALWAYS means I get asked if they are real. It looks and feels very natural. If it weren’t for the colour, you’d never know. Maintenance is boring, but it’s not often and it’s a small price to pay to look sort of normal.
You have just released a kick ass new EP on Psyworld Records called ‘Beyond the Horizon’ and it’s doing exceedingly well! Tell us about the two tracks on there - the inspiration for them, any message within them, what did you use to make them?
Thank you. It is nice to know that people like it. Ya know, when I made both tracks, I was simply doing what I love to do. There isn’t usually a plan, it just kind of happens. The vocal samples came last, depending on the feeling. Both tracks have a very different vibe, one is a happy sunset sort of uplifting tune, the other more sunrise twisty, but still uplifting. I mostly use a synth called Serum, except I make the bass lines on Sylenth. I don’t use samples very often. My inspiration is just the noise in my head.
A motto I’m seeing a lot with you is ‘Trance is the Answer’. Can you expand on this? Is there anything you feel that trance is not the answer to? ;-)
This expression came about way back when I was doing events in Sydney Australia with Lucinda Bechor and Andy Ostin (who incidentally does the artwork on my music). We used to say this to everyone as we promoted the events. It was easy enough to remember, even after a huge night out. But over time, yes, I have come to see that it can be the answer to a lot of things. As I said previously, if everyone just went to a big psytrance festival, really gave it a chance, then the world would indeed be a better place. Sounds hippie, I know, but they had the right idea in the late 60s.
And what do you have coming up `beyond your horizon`?
Next month, I have a release on a Various Artists’ album called Artificial System, my track is `Chemical’. That VA comes out in late October (officially, but you can get it on pre-release now hint hint)… After that, at a yet undisclosed date, is a second side remix of Dr Hoffman’s Bus, also out on Psyworld. Sebastian has done such an epic job with this, I can hardly call it mine.
Lastly, either tell us an interesting fact about you that we wouldn’t know or a funny joke…
Interesting? Hmmm… I once crossed the Sahara Desert. It was one of the most intense experiences that I am glad I did, but would never do again. You would think that there is no one out there and that you can just pop behind a tree to use the loo but there are loads of people on the track and no trees whatsoever. And it takes 3 days. Almost as intense as crossing the Darién Gap, which I have also done, but that’s a different story. As to funny, I am not sure that readers would be ready for my weird sense of humour. I once spread a rumour about myself in Sydney that I wondered if it would ever circle back. So one fateful night, at an after party where people get to rehash and talk bollocks in someone’s living room, the rumour crept up in the form of a complete stranger telling me: “…Hey did you hear about this guy Pan? He dropped acid on his left eye and that’s why he’s blind in that eye.” He didn’t know who I was. Needless to say, my friend Scott and I could not stop laughing for days. It’s still pretty funny now. You can totally delete that if you like. [Ed: not bloody likely, that’s staying in!]
Pan – thanks for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the upcoming releases!
To buy Pan's latest release 'Beyond the Horizon' click here: https://www.beatport.com/release/beyond-the-horizon/4231043
To check out Pan's website click here: https://www.psychedelicpan.com
Click here to follow Pan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TranceIsTheAnswer
Images courtesy of Pan & Joffree Hyman. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
Iono-Music artists One Function, Eliyahu, Invisible Reality and Dual Vision talk Robert Miles, kids, dogs and vinyl, while we chat about their current releases!
Luke&Flex talk influences, the Irish rave scene, why Flex wears a mask and Play Hard, their new EP out now on Onhcet Repbulik Xtreme!
Lyktum expands on his new album ‘Home’ – talking about his love of storytelling, creating new harmonies and the concept behind his musical works.
Miss C chats about living with the KLF, DJing in a huge cat’s mouth, training her brain and the upcoming super-duper Superfreq Grande party at LDN East this Saturday, 16th September!
NEM3SI$ - I Live for the Night – talks superficiality, psychopaths, and bittersweet success, ahead of a plethora of evocative, emotional, and passionate upcoming melodic techno releases!
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.