Some of you may know the Israeli DJ and producer Astrix from his deep, psychedelic productions, and some of you Psy Trance fanatics may have even caught him behind the decks at various filthy bush raves amongst other LSD and mescaline-induced ravers in dire need of a shower. As one of the most respected Psychedelic Trance producers, Astrix is renowned for his 2016 work “He.art,” an album that contains numerous mind-opening, spiritual tracks such as “Deep Jungle Walk” and “Valley Of Stevie” alongside fellow Psy-producer Ace Ventura.
So, what does Astrix have to do with Hardstyle? Well, aside from the emerging Psy-Trance trend within the harder styles, after an interview with US event organisation Insomniac surfaced, it seems as though Astrix has gotten himself into a little bit of a pickle. As I read the interview, I felt my head falling into a massive face-palm, as I mouthed the words “godverdomme, not again!”
This wasn’t the first time that an ‘outsider’ claimed that Hardstyle was an easy genre to produce, and it probably won’t be the last. Nonetheless, I could feel a burning anger erupt from inside of me; all I wanted was to see the look of shock and horror plastered on Astrix’s face as he found himself completely dumbfounded whilst trying to produce Hardstyle.
The quote from the interview is as follows:
“Still, in America, we’ve seen genres explode onto the mainstream, only to nosedive into oblivion just as quickly. For many, hardstyle in America fell victim to that fate.
“I don’t think it’s the same story here,” says Astrix. “Hardstyle is a very ‘easy’ genre to produce, and I think there were a lot of low-quality productions that flooded the market, and people just lost interest. Psytrance is more complex and deeper by nature. As for the future, we’re talking about art—who can really say what the future holds? But psytrance has more depth and offers a lot more for the listeners and dancers to discover. It’s a real culture.””
This statement is nothing short of rich, especially coming from a producer who has probably never taken the time to properly examine the Hardstyle genre. Now, I have nothing against Astrix; I love his productions and am also highly fascinated with the lifestyle surrounding Psy Trance, but to comment on a movement, genre and culture that he has no idea about is baffling to say the least.
The biggest co-incidence is that lately, Hardstyle producers have been rather infatuated with the Psy-Trance sound; the deep, bouncy and psychedelic basslines have been utilised in many upcoming releases. I wonder what this statement will do for our scene, and more importantly I wonder if Astrix has even heard some of the Psy-flavoured Hardstyle tracks…