Down Under

Interview with Olli Wisdom

Author: Sam
Date: Nov 16, 2006
Views: 2448

Date: 17.11.2006
Text: Katja Turpeinen

s- Alright, this is Chaishop Music news and I have here Olli Wisdom from Australia on the phone, one of the main protagonists of trance in Australia in my opinion. Hey Olli, how are you doing?

o- I’m doing very good, how are you doing Sam?

s- Ja, I’m doing also good, we have super weather here, World Cup coming up, and so…

o- …And the party season just getting under way.

s- That’s it, that’s it. Ok cool. I mean, you are one of the main people that started the Trance movement in Australia a long, long time ago as far as I know, maybe you can give us a little bit of an introduction about yourself and how it is you actually got into trance & how everything started for you.

o- It was a long time ago, showing my age here, in the late 1980’s, 89, I was travelling. I had been in bands and stuff before, but I’d turned my back on the music business because the music business really, really did stink at that time, and so I just went off travelling. In the end I travelled all through Indonesia and through Malaysia and in the end in I arrived in Koh Phangan where there was a crew making parties there and they were very small you know, 3 - 400 people maximum and the whole crew seemed to live there full time almost and live this whole lifestyle and I mean… I just jumped straight in at the deep end really.

s- This was in ’88 then?

o- Yeah, that’s right, this was in ’88.

s- And this was already full moon parties?

o- It was already full moon parties; it was just the beginning of the full moon parties.

s- Ok.

o- And we stayed there for about 2 years doing parties there and in the end we had to leave, pretty quickly actually in the end you know, some of the local Thai people thought aliens were coming out of the speakers and stealing people’s souls and God knows what. It was pretty freaky there at the time though that’s for sure. Then after that I was in Goa for about 5 years for most of the time, for like, all season every season and that’s when I started to make parties around the planet in different places; in London, in San Francisco, in Bali, wherever I travelled we started doing parties, also in Japan, really there at the beginning of the ‘90’s as well. We did some of the first parties in Japan.

s- So you actually started off doing parties, not playing music or so.

o- Oh no, I was playing music at these parties, yeah. I mean I organised some, but it was not so many, it was never really my job to be an organiser, but to be part of the music there. And by ’94 I was here in London, I started doing some tracks at Butterfly Studios doing some tracks with Simon Posford and then signed to Spirit Zone as Space Tribe and it kinda just all flowed from there really. I went to Australia about 10 years ago in ’96 something like that, but already after I’d been travelling around a lot of places with the Trance music first. The first years of the parties were all about the mission of spreading the word and making the parties happen in places that they’d never happened before. At that time it would really blow peoples minds (04:00), I mean there was never any money in it but the rewards were very great ye know, in terms of what you did artistically.

s- Like people didn’t know what… didn’t probably ever heard what happened and what was played on these parties before and then they got enlightened in a way.

o- That’s right, well it’s like a virus isn’t it, once you catch it you’ve caught this virus, you’re infected for life and if anything you’re going to go out and infect other people with it (laughter).

s- (laughter) That’s it. And you’re still carrying this virus around with you...

o- ...like I say I’m infected!

s- I imagine so. Ok, cool. So ja, I mean you’re pretty much carrying this virus around with you like wearing very Psychedelic clothes that actually your brother is doing, ja, playing very Psychedelic music and doing all this for a long, long time. What is it what really fascinates you about Trance culture or about the Trance movement?

o- It’s the potential that it has in human beings, ye know, I mean we live in this really mad world ye know the population increases by a quarter of a million people every single day and the wars go on all over the place, we have all this environmental...stuff hovering over our heads ye know, and for me the only thing that we can actually... well ok, you can go and be an activist and try and fight it that way or we can try and do something to try and change the way that we think and the way we look at the world and the way we connect with people ye know and for me what these parties really give us is the root of how we can maybe start to connect again on a different level you know, because we’re in a very fast learning time at the moment and I think this is one of the very fast ways to learn and to know yourself a bit better and to wake up.

s- Like social connections and learning about yourself?

o- That’s right, all these things ye know, and awareness of the planet around us and if you look and the Trance parties it crosses every, every kinda people doesn’t it really, ye know and every kinda religion ye know and everybody’s in mixed there together and it doesn’t matter where’ve you’ve come from, it’s only where you’re at now and where we’re going really you know and (07:00) so for me I can’t think of any more important work to do actually ye know, and so much fun at the same time ye know.

s- For sure, and what makes the Trance scene so special compared to Techno or House or every scene... Rock & Roll?

o- Again it’s about potential ye know, because it’s dealing with people’s consciousness it’s not just about being hedonistic and going out, partying and having a good time, yes there is that, but it’s so much more as well, ye know, the chance, the potential to really open your eyes, see yourself for who you are and see the world for what it is without illusions, I think that’s it’s potential ye know. Of course it doesn’t happen to everybody and it doesn’t happen all the time, but when the magick happens, wow, it really is, it is magick!

s- Yeah.

o- And that’s what I aspire to is touching this bit of magick within people because once it touches you it never leaves you anyway is what I think.

s- That’s it. Alright. And I think also that it has to do a lot with the internationality and the travelling, I mean you are the best example of that, you were always travelling even before you started to work in the scene or work for the scene or work with the scene, develop the scene and you are still travelling all around the world, ja.

o- (laughs) – Seems like that.

s- You still enjoy that actually, all the time on planes and this shit?
o- Ye know, I don’t really enjoy the planes, but they’re the fastest way to get somewhere and the planes have made this planet very small and very accessible for this generation that we live in now ye know, I mean my parent’s generation did not have the same opportunities to be all over the planet and to experience what we have here ye know. It’s part of the times really and I think it’s fantastic.

s- So you still enjoy travelling obviously I mean, ja, and as you are also around everywhere, what do you think are currently the most inspiring or interesting places in the world to discover the Trance movement?

o- Well, I mean it’s all over ye know, you have to be in the right place in the right time kinda thing ye know. We talk about being in search of these magick moments, the WOW-factor and I think they happen globally and at the end of the day it’s up to whichever group of people that’s there gathering is to make that happen ye know. It’s the responsibility of every single person at that place to make that magick happen and in the right chemistry of people, in the right place at the right time the magick happens ye know, but like I say, it doesn’t always happen ye know, but when it happens, you can’t help but be blown away by it, ye know.

s- Ja, so you’re saying you should not focus so much on specific places, you should just, like...make where you are the best moments.

o- Well, everything, it’s all here and now anyway isn’t it? Ye know, the grass may appear to be greener on the other side of the fence ye know, but at the end of the day we are here and now and we have to make it happen where we are. And I’ve experienced this magick in many, many places all around the planet ye know, so it’s not confined to any one place that’s for sure.

s- That’s a very cool opinion. Ok. Some words about your music that you are producing I mean?

o- Well, it’s been quite an interesting year this year because I’ve actually decided that I don’t really want to be in the studio making music by myself anymore. I’ve done quite a number of Space Tribe albums which have been mostly just me in the studio making the tracks and now I’m much...

s- Sorry if I interrupt you, I remember you have been launching something like one Space Tribe album per year in a pretty organised schedule haven’t you?

o- That’s right, one a year for ten years, some thing like that.

s- Wow so how many did you release then?

o- Well, the 10th artist album is coming out next month which is the one with Electric Universe, but now I’ve got to the point where I really want to work with other people in the studio, in fact most of my tracks, nearly all my tracks are being collaboration tracks that I’ve done this album with Electric Universe and for me it’s the best one yet ye know and...like I say, I feel a bit bored to work by myself after doing so much by myself that to get the perspective of working with somebody else who I also like and respect and have good rapport with is much more interesting to me these days so the future for me for the next year or two years is going to be working with various other people that ye know, friends of mine living in different places around the planet, Electric Universe, Psywalker in Australia, Sirius Isness & CPU in Spain, maybe Absolum also in Ibiza. I’ll see how it all pans out you know, that’s really my plan at moment to work with other people at the moment.

s- Very cool, ok. And now you also have your own label and you’re going into your I think fourth release now,ja?

o- Yeah, that’s right, fourth release this month and fifth release next month. It was the obvious thing to do to start my own label. I mean Spirit Zone was coming to an end, sadly, after many good years, but it was obviously coming to an end, it was time to do something different and the way that the whole business of music, selling of music of CDs and stuff is changing very fast ye know it’ll only be another one or two years there aren’t going to be probably CDs any more it’s going to be all, all digital downloads one way or another ye know, and so I don’t think any record label is particularly prepared to take this on, not even the big labels like CBS and EMI ye know and so in a way you might as well do it yourself and it’s going back to the 1970’s whole Punk Rock thing were the power comes straight back to the people making the music.

s- Exactly, yeah.

o- It’s not in the hands of the records labels or the publishers, or the radio anymore it’s really in the hands of the people again, I think that’s a great thing.

s- Yeah, I think so too. Wow, so then we can expect more releases on Space Tribe Music then?

o- Yeah exactly, ye know the whole idea was to provide a vehicle for putting music out and there could be other artists that can release on there, but we won’t do it like a normal record label where you sign an act for an advance and a percentage it won’t work like that, we’ll kinda work the project together and find a way to share whatever profits might come in a different way, but not in the traditional record company format.

s- Fresh concepts for a changing market.

o- That’s right and changing times, exactly.

s- Ja, ok cool. I asked my questions Olli and if you have anything else to shout out to the public...please do so.

o- Enjoy Life, go to parties & see you on the dance floor.

s- Ok, that’s cool. So Olli, thank you very much for this interview.

o- Very welcome, very nice to talk to you Sam.

s- Same, same. I wish you a great time in the UK, and people stay tuned.

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