Psychedelic Magazine spoke with one of the most influential producers in Psytrance history. The man behind blockbuster projects like Rastaliens, Braincell, and more, shares his thoughts and plans!
Hi there Ralph. Thank you for the acceptance of this interview.
Braincell: No problem. Thank you for the opportunity.
PM: Do you want to give an intro to yourself?
Braincell: I’m Ralph and doing psytrance for 20 years now. I have the following projects: Rastaliens, Braincell, Solar Spectrum & Unknown Reality.
PM: How you started with Psytrance in the first place?
Braincell: Around 1994 I got in contact with the scene at a small party in a castle near the Swiss border. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the music so much, that I couldn’t stop getting more and more into it! (laughs) At that time I was playing in a rock band as a guitarist and decided to make some electronic music with the bassist of the band and we founded Rastaliens back in the day. And here we are now, still doing the music and loving it.
PM: When was your first official release?
Braincell: That was on Headshot Records from Munich. A vinyl EP called „4 Elements“. to hold your own record in your hands was a pretty awesome feeling as I remember and there it starts with the Rastaliens project.
PM: What do you think of the evolution of our scene from the early days till nowadays?
Braincell: It became bigger and bigger over the years and it’s amazing how much music is around in that scene, which keeps it interesting. But have to say it’s also funny to see what kind of hype it’s now. For example, back in the day nobody really knew who was playing at a party, when people went there somewhere in the forest. It was more the experience itself, one big family which explores trippy music and celebrates together. I mean it’s still like this to come together and stuff but with a bit more“commercial“ feeling about DJs and live acts etc. But in the end, it has to stay psychedelic and I’m enjoying the scene and I’m glad to be part of it and give some music to the people for enjoying and having fun.
PM: Although the “internet era” brought up the problem of piracy (along with several benefits though), do you think a producer in our scene makes more money these days or it was better back in the old days?
Braincell: The music business was always hard to survive, in the older days you got money before you made an album and such, which nowadays you can be lucky to get something back from any sales, which is not really the case most of the time. but nowadays you have the chance to play at more parties all over the world, which helps you to survive. But I think as a musician you have to be open to all kinds of projects (as I do music workshops and teach music production at www.noizebusters.com) and use new technologies for promoting yourself.
PM: Now that you brought it up, let’s speak about production, as you know a lot of people are on these days and I’m sure they want to read your suggestions.
Braincell: My suggestions? Do music everywhere and whenever you can! (laughs)
PM: What DAW will find today at your studio and why do you prefer it?
Braincell: I use Ableton live mostly, but I’m also switching to Logic or Bitwig. I use this method, cause I really like the workflow in Ableton. You can do a lot of things in no time and it’s easy to realize, plus I can prepare easily parts for a live set, Logic I love because of the quality of Synths and effects, and Bitwig I’m using for sound design possibilities, which no other program can do so easy like they do.
PM: The eternal question for a “newbie” is, what he needs to start producing music on a tight budget? Except for some musical talent of course (laughs)
Braincell: Get a laptop, a DAW like Ableton or whatever, get some quality plugins, buy a soundcard (i wouldn’t save money here) and a midi controller, buy some good speakers (wouldn’t be safe here as well) and you are ready to go.
PM: What you’re up to now? Any new work on the progress?
Braincell: Plenty of stuff, I’m working on a lot of collaboration tracks and also doing remixes for some other artists like Frank’s, Tachyon, Atoned Splendor, etc. And also some more chill releases with Unknown Reality. Braincell and Solar Spectrum tracks are in the pipeline as well and Jay and I are still working on another Rastaliens album, which we want to finish as soon as we can.
PM: Okay, this is answering our next question also, which was if you still running your other projects. (eg. Rastaliens, Solar Spectrum, etc.)
Braincell: Yep, as you can see from the answer before, all projects are currently running and busy like never before! So stay tuned and see you somewhere on the dancefloors!
PM: Thank you for your time Ralph and the Psychedelic Mag’s team wishes you the best!
Braincell: Thank you! You too, guys!
Follow Braincell: https://www.facebook.com/Braincellstudio