The heavy artillery of Parvati Records straight from Goa, India, takes a break from his non-stop global tour to speak to Psychedelic Magazine about everything!
PM: Hi there, Arjuna. Thank you for having us with you! We tend to start the interviews with an intro for the readers that are unaware of the artist, so do you want to give us your intro?
Arjuna: Hello! I’m Arjuna, one of the Parvati guys. Coming from a family of travelers, my life was always sur- rounded by arts and colored by different cultures. Growing up in Goa, I was introduced to psytrance at a very young age and since then, I was always dedicated to it, first as DJ and then as a music producer.
PM: How did this big Psychedelic journey start for you?
Arjuna: Everything started around 1999 – 2000 in Discovalley, one of the epic party locations right on the beach in Vagator, Goa. I was a 16-year-old kid and I started this big journey with my brother and our old Goa kid gang. We were a big group and we used to go from party to party, discovering this magic world and having our first experience, sometimes with our parents, sometimes by ourselves. we all still remember that time as the “golden age” not just for the psytrance scene but also as the personal best time ever. and Goa itself was a total paradise at that time, with no cars just motorbikes, bicycles and many people used to go around walking, no traffic, and not much electricity, the atmosphere was really magical, warm, and inspiring.
PM: Yeah, having been around Goa in the golden ages of Psytrance (90’s & the early 00’s) sounds like a priceless privilege to a lot of us. Tell us about that experience. How was it from your perspective?
Arjuna: Well, it was an amazing experience obviously, with all of my friends just waiting for the time of the year to go to Goa, and also suffering a lot the cultural shock once we were back in the western world. Psytrance came after. For me, first of all, was the friends, the place, the beaches, the food, the free life without judgment, the fully open mind of the people everywhere, and the magic experience we couldn’t do in Europe. it was a wonderland for us, kids! Then, when I grow up a bit, I started partying, and then another world opened up. Psytrance invaded my life and so did many kids at that time. I started collecting DATs and Mini Disks. There were no CDs and obviously no internet, so the music collection and exchange were done face to face, and some time was taking days. We had to listen to every single track before recording it, so every track somehow had a big value. Then I started playing as a DJ but wasn’t easy at the beginning, there was not much space for a kid! The dancefloor at that time was consisting in people who had decades of experience with psychedelics, travels, and music, so a DJ at that time had to “taste” the dancefloor as a listener for many years before he could have the chance of playing on front of that audience. It was not rare to see a DJ “kicked out” from the DJ box (laughs) But somehow, with time, I managed to have my space. Slowly people started to trust me, I finally got the chance to play in some good slots and that’s how my story started.
PM: And then, there’s Parvati Records! How this chapter comes into your life?
Arjuna: Well, I got to know the label at the 3rd release, around 2003. This third CD was totally peaking out from the rest I was listening, to for the powerful sound and the deep emotions were giving me. Emotional and powerful, I never heard such a sound before and I was totally impressed. Then, one time as I was at the usual flea market in Goa, I saw a guy with a very small shop selling that same CD I loved. So I stopped and met Giuseppe, the owner of the label. We straight away got along and become friends. He came listening to some of my sets in Goa, and after some time, he asked me to represent the label as an official DJ and that’s how I got into it. Since then, Parvati became part of my life and nowadays it’s more like a big group of friends than a record label. A solid group of people sharing similar music tastes and a similar way of life.
PM: Sounds cool! Is music production something that was a long target or it came in the process?
Arjuna: Music was always in my blood. Since I was a kid I was playing with anything that was creating sounds, toys guitars, kids’ pianos, and keyboards. I remember I was so happy to go visit a specific friend of my dad just because he had a keyboard I could play around with. The real production started around 2006 when I realized that I want to try to do this in life. I went for an Electronic Music course at S.A.E., a sound engineer school. The school gave me the basic knowledge, but then it took me years and years of experience to finally do something that I like. And actually, it took me even more, to be completely satisfied.
PM: Let’s talk a little bit about production, as a lot of people are interested in this subject. For starters, what is your favorite DAW when producing beats?
Arjuna: I prefer Cubase over anything I tried. Because’s fits better my workflow, is more intuitive and simple, has a great audio editor and I feel very familiar with it. But, I must say that other DAWs have features that Cubase doesn’t have, so the choice is very personal. In fact, I can’t say what’s the best DAW. I guess everyone should do music with the program they feel more comfortable and have more fun with.
PM: As they say, the best DAW is the one that works for you. But let’s speak about hardware too. Do you have any favorite hardware and why?
Arjuna: I got a few hardware synthesizers, and I love each of them for some different things: The Access Virus for the simplicity and the number of modulations possible, the Nord Lead for simple fat high-quality sounds, and the Nord Modular G2, for some deep modular researches.
PM: In the computer ecosystem now, do any favorite VST, and for what reasons?
Arjuna: The first vst bundle that comes to my mind is Fab Filter. This bundle has amazing EQ, compressor, and limiters and I have used them really a lot. The EQ is almost on every channel! (laughs) Another bundle I use a lot is SoundToys and Ubhik, which has many cool VSTs for FX and modulation. Check it out!
PM: It’s been 2,5 years since you released your first personal album. Should we expect anything new soon?
Arjuna: A lot of things happened in my life last 2 years. For example, I had to change house and studio 3 times, so it was a bit difficult to have some stability. Finally, nowadays I have found a stable situation with my home and studio, so in the near future, you can definitely expect some news!
PM: Parvati Records is also involved in another project, The Free Earth Festival in Halkidiki, Greece, in which it will host a Parvati Records official stage. Do you want to give us your view on it?
Arjuna: Well, people, I think Free Earth Festival is gonna be amazing! Proper psytrance for every ear in a cozy Mediterranean beach, with some massive dancefloor installations and visuals. take your swimsuit, and your smile, and see you on the dancefloor!
PM: Do you want to send any message to our tribe before we wrap this up?
Arjuna: Yeah, keep dancing!
Follow Arjuna: https://www.facebook.com/ArjunaParvatiRecords