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Richard Ahlberg Interview

Article posted by Fiba Optix on 5th Aug 2002

Richard Ahlberg is another leading edge psychedelic trance dj to grace our shores this year having previously toured here the last couple of summers, playing parties in Melbourne, Sydney & Byron Bay. This talented Swede has been spinning since 1985, and has even made the Elimination Finals of the World DJ Championships a feat in which very few trance dj's can say they have emulated.

These days he plays on CD decks as this allows him to always have the latest tunes whilst travelling the world playing at some of the biggest parties in countries as diverse as Finland, Austria, The U.K., Germany, France, Portugal, Denmark and Norway. He has various projects with artists such as Weirdo Beardo, Miraculix, Chromosome and Logic Bomb who have previously toured Australia. He also has his own label Kavator Records that has released several EP's & a compilation Electric Kool Aid.

1. How long have you been dj'ing.
Since I was 15, should have been in the year 1985.

2./ How would you describe the music that you spin?
Something for the mind, the heart and the body.

3./ Do you have a musical background apart from dj'ing?
Nothing to brag about.

4./ Apart from music, what are some of your other interests?
I'm taking courses in Social Psychology.

5./ What formats do you play on these days Vinyl, CD, DAT?
With the invention of CDJ?s there's really no excuse to play DAT?s anymore.

6./ With the decline in Vinyl sales & payments to artists, do you think that there is much of a future in the trance scene for formats other than CD?
Vinyl used to be cool but I think with more and more people experiencing the advantages of CDJ?s vinyl sales will continue to decrease.

7./ What about the whole mp3 thing. Do you think that it negatively impacts upon trance artists or do you think that because the music is available for free that it is more likely to open up new audiences who will eventually buy the artists material?
It's not just black and white here. Mp3?s is definitely cutting the market for CD-sales b u t mp3?s is also spreading the music in a way not seen before. Mp3?s is a good way for artists without a contract to get their music out to a wider audience but mp3?s also makes artists with a record-label deal make less money. Maybe one can say Mp3?s evens the gap between the famous and the not so famous.

8./ What countries have you travelled to and where are the most interesting places that you played?
Finland, Austria, the UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Denmark, Norway and Australia. The parties in Sweden and Finland used to be quite outstanding 6-7 years ago. I particularly remember one time when we had Frank E. from Koxbox and Ollie Wisdom playing at a forest party here in ?rebro. I think it was -94. Amazing with one word!

Another more recent high I'm coming to think of is from last year in former East Germany at a party organised by the collective Cosmic Walkers. It was one of those nights when all energies were totally synch'ed. I had the people bouncing like electrons to Shaolin wooden men. The first Summer Dreaming by MikeJay and Bali also had that special kind of energy.

9./ From the previous times you have been to Australia, how does our scene compare to the other countries you have travelled to both musically and party wise?
Music is music and people are people no matter where you are. I sometimes used to think in terms about different country-different music but the more I travel it occurs to be that we are really on the same vibe everywhere.

10./ Are you familiar with any Australian artists? (e.g. Fractal Glider, Mr Peculiar, Great Leap Forward, Dark Nebula) considering we are so far away from Europe, any thoughts on how we can get our music better exposed overseas?
Richard of Dark Nebula is a good friend and I am also well acquainted with the sounds of Mr. Peculiar. You also have two of the true originators in Ray Castle and Ollie Olsen. I think your music is quite well exposed here in Europe. Regardless of what country I'm in if I can find releases from European psytrance labels there's almost always music from Australian producers and labels next to them.

11./ Why do you think that the Scandinavian countries are at the forefront of psychedelic music at the moment?
Are they? Well, as you might know it?s quite cold here most of the year so what can be better than to wait for the summer in the studio.

12./ Does the music that you play at parties in Sweden, Finland, Denmark etc differ much from when you play other countries?
The music differs from party to party rather than from country to country.

13./ What do you think of the whole minimal / progressive scene that has emerged over the last year or two?

14./ You produce music yourself I believe. Tell us about the groups
you are involved with? I have previous and future projects with locals Weirdo Beardo, Logic Bomb, Miraculix and Chromosome.

15./ You also have your own record label. I know you have released one compilation (Electric Kool Aid) and a couple of EP's, what is planned for the future?
Another compilation is in the, apparently very long, pipeline.

16./ Where do you think the future of psychedelic trance is headed i.e. more minimal / progressive / techy / melodic?
Let's hope more psychedelic!

17./ What artists have grabbed your attention lately?
Logic bomb has some great stuff coming up!

18./ What is your Top 10 at the moment?
Any of the tracks on Ritchie and Luke's (Digital Psionic's) latest compilation would easily fit on my top 10.

Richard will be playing a 4-hour set at Algorhythm this Saturday the 23rd March alongside locals Agent23, Eegor, SurReal and Steve Barr from Melbourne. Tickets are $28 + bf from Fish Records (Newtown), MOX VOX (Enmore), & BPM Records (Darlinghurst) or $35 on the nite. For more details, visit www.australiens.net/algorhythm for venue details ph 1900 96 33 00 on the nite.