We meet with Phobos, the label owner and Label Dj of Looney Moon for an all-inclusive interview!
PM: Thank you for meeting us, bro!
Phobos: Thank you for the opportunity!
PM: When did your Trip start with Psy-Trance?
Phobos: I met psytrance for the first time at some underground parties in Milan, but my first contact with a proper psytrance party was in Zurich for an NYE party in 97/98. I was coming from a techno club scene and a punk scene and I immediately fell in love with it because I felt psytrance as the logical evolution of both my previous scenes.
PM: And what brought you to the decision to start your label?
Phobos: In the beginning Looney Moon was just a party organization, but after 2004 we started to feel like spreading around our music idea, because at that time psytrance mainstream music was getting very bad, for our music taste of course. We thought there was a total regression in the musical research: lots of cheesy stuff, lots of pop vocal samples inside the tracks, no underground, no new ideas, nothing fresh. Fog and I had already a precise style of music in mind, we just tried to keep it alive until we could finally start Looney moon records in 2008. Our first release has been the compilation “Visionary System”. This V/A was a kind of experiment because we put there some different styles as close as we possibly could to the one we had in our mind.
PM: As a Dj and label manager you must be listening to tons of music! How do you sort it all out, what are the Looney Moon “standards” for you?
Phobos: That’s right. I have to listen to tons of music every day. I must say that our “standards” are not that strict. As you can figure out when you listen to our music. First of all, we look for an idea, and when I say “idea”, I mean a particular musical point of view: it must be fresh, and innovative and it has to fit well with our label style. Of course, we don’t need to have exactly the same music style as our artists, but we want our style to follow a specific “music line”, then we can have some artists who make music closer to nighttime and others closer to morning time, but this “specific line” has to point in our direction. Done that, we can start to look for music quality; if we find an artist with very good musical ideas, but without quality in his stuff, he’s not ready for Looney Moon records for sure. Our music must sound clear and powerful every time.
PM: A few words about the Italian psy-scene?
Phobos: I’ll give you three: too many parties! Everybody wanna make parties and everybody wanna be a DJ and of course, not everybody can do it. Being a party maker or a DJ means already having a huge musical background (and not just an electronic music background, but a wider one!) a very strong passion, and most of all you have to be able to control your ego. If you don’t have these skills, you could be a dj or an organizer but you will just suck at it everytime. In the end, here in Italy, we have tons of parties every week, but actually, you can find just very few good ones, just 1 or maybe 2 per month. That’s not good because quantity is not always quality and therefore organizers often just fight with each other for just fifty people more coming to their party, instead of aiming to offer a better product and to improve the whole Italian psychedelic-trance scene.
PM: What is your favorite hour for performing and why?
Phobos: That’s an easy question for me because almost everybody knows that I like to play close to dawn. It feels like the perfect time for the music I play, and in my opinion, it is the best time to bring the dancefloor into my music story. Usually, I try to adapt my set to the time, the people, and the venue I play in, but anyway I think playing close to sunrise is the moment when people are more into the music, for they have been dancing all night long, and they feel the music in a different, more intimate way.
PM: Do you enjoy playing long sets or do you prefer the 1 to 2 hours standard?
Phobos: My favorite set span is 2,5 / 3 hours, I think it’s the best timelapse to fully express what you have in your mind. On the other hand, I think longer than 3 hours DJ sets could be boring, because in my opinion you should do some compromises in your music selection, and besides it could be very difficult to keep the flow going for such a long time.
PM: Today we can see that Looney Moon is not only about music production and Djing, but is getting into every aspect of our culture from deco to clothes and food exhibitions. Give us some more details!
Phobos: Yes, if we consider Looney Moon in general and not only the label, we have different sides in the psychedelic trance scene. First of all, we make parties in Italy for a long time, and recently we got involved in some big summer festivals around Europe like MO:DEM festival in Croatia. Nowadays our best-known features definitely are our deco team “Looney Moon Deco” and our art gallery “Art Collider”. These two Looney Moon extensions are getting bigger and more recognized every year. We also use to manage many cultural areas at big parties and festivals where we organize conferences and workshops related to psychedelic culture. Last but not least, we are pretty busy in Goa as well during the winter season, booking our artists and our deco team for the best parties there.
PM: Are you personally involved in every project or do you stay in the music part of the tribe?
Phobos: Basically, I care about the music side of Looney Moon, I actually am the label manager (in collaboration with Roberto DJ Fog). Even though I like to be constantly updated about the spectrum of our activities.
PM: Your plans for this summer?
Phobos: To this moment I have gigs confirmed in the TREE OF LIFE festival in Turkey, the EARTH DROP Festival in Greece, the MIDNIGHT SUN Festival in Norway, the MO:DEM Festival in Croatia, and the SONICA Festival in Italy. These are just the biggest ones, then I have many more gigs at smaller parties and festivals. I will have a very busy summer and I am very satisfied with it!
PM: Send a message to all the freaks around the world!
Phobos: At this time I wanna say to all the psy-freaks around the world to always keep in mind that the psychedelic trance has to be mainly fun and entertainment, so go for it but don’t take it so seriously. Of course, it could even become a precious state of mind but please guys don’t make the mistake to substitute it for your real life.
PM: Well thank you very much not only for the interview but for Looney Moon itself! Our scene is much richer with you guys!
Phobos: Thanks to you guys! I wish you all the best for your magazine, I am always happy when I see something new and fresh coming. Keep it up!
Follow Phobos: https://www.facebook.com/phobos.LMrec
Follow Looney Moon Records: https://www.facebook.com/LooneyMoonRecords
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