I’m very thankful that as conditions with COVID-19 continue to evolve, live events, as well as other businesses, and the state of California adapt their guidelines. I recognize the importance of being safe, or at least being mindful that COVID is still out there and effects all of us – especially, when it comes to government-sanctioned lockdowns issued for public safety. At this time clubs in SF are requiring proof of vaccination for entry.
Personally, I’m still somewhat anxious when going indoors. When I get a drink I usually find myself making some attempt to get to a less-crowded corner of the room before lowering my mask to take a sip.
I think its a “point of PLUR” to take into consideration fellow dancers, taking care to be individually safe, knowing that I’m going to an indoor event. In my mind and heart, I hold this intention and hope fellow dancers hold it for me also.
In this episode, we find ourselves at Michael Liu’s Secret Psychedelica: Leo 2021. Our guest is Alastair James. We dig into Alastair’s background and discover his connection to the late Bill Graham of Bill Graham Auditorium (SF). We also get into gear, musical influences, his dream party, and discover talk about his podcast, Behind the Trance.
Sooo…it’s been a hawt minute. It’s been over a year since an episode was released, obviously because of the pandemic clubs and live events were shut down. Now that San Francisco has opened up, including the rest of California and the United States we find ourselves in this post-COVID-19 shutdown era with some venues requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to party. I am extremely grateful to Michale Liu for inviting me out on Saturday, July 17, 2021 to Secret Psychedelica – Cancer 2021 held at DNA Lounge in SF. My first indoor party since the COVID lockdowns were lifted. We had the opportunity to check-in with Triode after his set.
It really was nice to get out. It’s definitely something that I felt was missing from my social activities. The feeling of being around people, sharing music, dancing, seeing friends and making new ones. And while I’m still somewhat anxious of going into enclosed spaces with so many people, I find some comfort in wearing a mask 😷, others might not because they’re supposed to be vaccinated or whatever, but I think the important part is that I feel comfortable regardless of other people’s choices.
In this episode, Triode and I talk about his origin story, his fave track, as well as other musical influences. Also, you may notice my voice is not as clear and that was because I was still wearing my mask, you know, just cuz. I hope you enjoy.
During the early part of Quarantine (say April 2020), I found myself at work later than usual. I was brining dinner to eat with me so I could go back to work while I figured out how to keep everything going. This carried on for the first couple of weeks and on Fridays I would relax a bit, mirror youtube to the flatscreen and find something to rock to. That’s when I found Goop Wizard’s visuals for Champaign Drip’s Nocturnal Wonderland Mix. It was exactly was I needed. Something to mesmerize me and take my mind off of what was happening. Something that would remind of the of the experiences I had in the past at raves and festivals. The events were all cancelled then, as they are now. Clubs closed. No one going out. I decided for my health and safety I would follow the Quarantine as best I can.
And there I was, at work. Trippin out, in a trance, system on, levels up to as far as I could push without blowing anything up. It would be as close as I could get to party for a couple months. The mix wasn’t long, but it featured Champaign Drip, and I was on his jock after hearing Narshe on Spotify.
The visuals were crazy I thought to myself. A combination of objects, shapes, fractals, dragons, eyeballs, characters, all kinds of shit set in mirrored mode. Everything reacting relatively in-sync with the music.
My make-shift, personal rave had caused its intended effect. I felt a sense of satisfaction and release, the main sensations I pursue when I go galavanting about. If there was to be any vision of PLUR this would be it. This would be as close as I could construct with the resources I had.
And so as the effects of Quarantine became more prevalent I decided I would research and investigate how the visuals were made. I discovered that it was produced through MicrodoseVR, a project of Android Jones, a transformational artist. I must have have seen him at one of the Symbiosis/Eclipse Gatherings? Anywho, after googling and such and such I decided I needed to have access to this. So, I went about acquiring a windows laptop powerful enough to run MDVR and got myself an Oculus Rift S.
Besides MDVR, I play Superhot. The last game system I owned was a PlayStation 1 lol. I’m glad I got it.
After I do a MDVR session, I find that when I close my eyes I can still see impressions of the visuals I painted in the expansive environments. They are not exactly as I created though, there are almost improvised. Like my mind is struggling reform what is has seen in the MDVR and so it improvises from visions of other far-out experiences I’ve had out of VR. Combining them together.
In this episode we interviewed Jano before his set at Pisces: Northern Fish @ DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Spiderman and I had the unique opportunity to hang out with Jano after we picked him up before his set. We chatted about his start in electronic music, his setup, and picked his brain on 3 tracks that he would play if he we going to play the last party on earth.
In this episode we interviewed a member of rave royalty, Forest Green. This episode was recorded outside of Brix in Oakland, CA after her set at Imagine – Wildflowers In Winter – Unity 20 Year Anniversary. We discussed how she got her role in Groove, the state of PLUR, and the role of Cute Fang Recordings. Thanks to Michael Liu for helping to set this up! Thanks to Forest we are pleased support to Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose on her behalf.
In this episode we interviewed Thro-Bak, a duo comprised of James Menges and Ben Kenobi. This evening they played at Metamorphosis @ Brix in Oakland on the eve Pisces: Northern Fish. On their behalf we donate to Pencils Of Promise.
In this episode we interviewed Peter Zeigelmeir of Kode IV and CEIBA Records. With the help of Michael Liu (Ep. 003) we were able to conduct the interview in Peter’s clothing shop, CEIBA in the Haight District of San Francisco. This episode is part of a series of artists/performers that played at Pisces: Northern Fish, which was on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at DNA Lounge. This is episode is dedicated to Hans Schiller, Peter’s performance partner in Kode IV. With Peter’s help PLUR Gathering donated to the San Francisco Aids Foundation in support of their work.
Thanks to Michael Liu we connected with Seventh Sign/Jonn Connor after he played at More Strange Cookies at DNA Lounge. He went over his start in electronic music and DJing, as well as his role at Pyramind. With Connor’s help we were able to donate to Children Of Fallen Patriots!
In this episode we caught up Matt Meyer. Matt graciously invited us to Temple where we were able to see him open for DVBBS. With his busy gig schedule on top of his regular grind we didn’t catch up with him until a few weeks later on a Sunday. After pre-gaming w/ chicken bakes we settled in and talked about his start in DJing, how he came to have various residencies at some of the most popular clubs in the city, and how he would go about DJing the last party on Earth. We hope you enjoy.
In this episode, we continue our exploration into Psy-Trance with Michael Liu. I recall seeing Michael play at a party at Kelly’s Mission Rock about 10 years ago. I can’t quite recall the name. I believe is was Tronic or something like that, lol. I bring it up to highlight that Michael has been around for some and has been consistently promoting Psy-Trance in the SF Bay and surrounding communities. It’s truly a pleasure to have someone like him on the podcast.