Vonoom Interview

I recently had the fortune of conducting an interview with talented ambient downtempo musician Michael Sundo a.k.a Vonoom via Facebook. Vonoom's music has always hit a chord with me with it's warm dubby bass lines, psychedelic filters and crisp percussion. So let's read on for a look at the life and times of this psychedelic ambient wizard.

PA :

How did you get started making music ? Do you come from a musical family ?

I began making music back in 2003 as a natural development from my interest in DJ'ing psytrance. I loved the vast possibilities of sounds that synthesis provides, so I began to experiment with programs like Propellerheads Rebirth, Fruity Loops and Reason. It took a long time, however, before I really began to grasp what was going on instead of pushing buttons until happy accidents happened. I never really had anyone to show me the ropes, so getting to where I am today was a long process. It took many years before I began to be satisfied with my sound. My family is not really musical as such, but I was introduced to psychedelic trance by my brother, DJ Akindo, who is still an active DJ.

Vonoom - Michael Sundo

How would you best describe the kind of music you make ?

Hmm that's a tough one. When people ask I usually say psychedelic chill-out for lack of a better label. I like to think that I have a fair amount of variation in my tracks, and I like to experiment with different ideas and atmospheres. Overall, my goal is to make positive music that puts a smile on your face while making sure that there's enough chunkiness to shake your ass to.

Did your early psytrance productions have an influence on the kind if psychill /psybient/ downtempo music you create ?

I suppose it probably did. For the first few years of my experimenting it was mostly psytrance that I was attempting to make, but my creativity was a lot stronger whenever I was working on something that wasn't psytrance. I found psytrance to be too restrictive, the bass had to be a certain way, the kick in 4x4 and so on. You can of course break with these formulas, but I found myself just repeating what I'd already done or heard before, so I felt the need to do something different. My many years of listening to trance have definitely had an influence on the way I look at melodies and track structures though, so yes, it has had an influence.
Posted on 19.12.12 by PsyAmb TAG : | 0 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )

Shpongle Homegrown Remixes - PsyAmb 54

Here is something a little different. I've mixed together a group of Shpongle homemade remixes made by various artists. These tracks do not appear on any official Twisted Records releases. One of them however was released as part of Sasha's remix album "Involver".

I came across these tracks over the years from various sources and have been building a Shpongle remix collection with them. In the mix you can here some of the better ones that I have acquired. There is a variety of styles on offer in the mix including latin jazz, dubstep, hiphop and psytrance remixes of some of Shpongle best known classic tracks. Enjoy 8)

Track / Remix Artist

  • 01. Dorset Perception ( Involver Remix )  -  Sasha
  • 02. Dorset Perception ( Xarj Remix )  -  Xarj
  • 03. Flute Fruit ( Delicorish Remix )  -  Face Invada
  • 04. I Am You ( Oscillator Z remix )  -  Oscillator Z
  • 05. No Turn Unstoned ( Too Stoned for Teledildonics Remix )  -  ir8prim8
  • 07. Dorset Perception ( Aarodynamics Remix )  -  Aarodynamics
  • 08. Behind Closed Eyelids ( Caius Remix )  -  Caius Augustus
  • 09. Shpongle Spores ( Shpongle Owns Remix )  -  Ruffian Soldier
  • 10. Room 23 ( Invisible Light Remix )  -  Invisible Light
  • 11. Star Shpongled Banner ( El Hornet 2CB RMX )  -  El Hornet
  • 12. Star Shpongled Banner ( Astrogenic Remix )  -  Astrogenic
  • 13. Flute Fruit ( Smurg Remix )  -  Smurg
  • 14. DMT ( Epic Remix )  -  rxr EPIC
  • 15. Infected Shpongle MashUp  -  Toxic Boy

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Posted on 18.12.12 by PsyAmb TAG : | 2 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )

PsyDub Mix - PsyAmb 53

Seasons Greetings everyone. I have a Christmas stocking full of some delicious psychedelic dub treats for you all today. Ho ho ho ... let's get rollin` ...

We  begin today with a track from Digital Samsara's 2007 album 'Ceasefire'. DS have a lot of sounds available for free download on their soundcloud page so check it out for a great collection of ambient dub and ethno psybient sounds.
Don Peyote, Yvon Mounier, has recently released a follow up to his 2009 album "Eternal Now". The new CD "Heaven and Earth" is an all together more spacial sound and one which is for Don a rather personal journey with each song reflecting different times and experiences within his life.

After Don is Tremsch & Metzler. Tremsch  Metlzer aka Martin Maier  Daniel Fuchs have created their own style of music which is based on new school techno house. In this mix we have a a remix of their tune "20 Toes" by Salz. Salz is the project run by cologne-based artists Axel Erbstößer and Emanuel Geller. Nine 12inches, two mix-albums and lots of pumping live-gigs, has brought Salz a lot of respect in the dubhouse-scene worldwide. If you like your dub in the dub-techno style such as deepchord or yagya then you should definitely check these guys out.

Long time favorite Bluetech is up next with a lovely little remix of Ooze's "What's Up" from the album "Where The Fields Never End Revisited". The original Ooze album "Where The Fields Never End" is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ambient dub albums ever released and forms a part of ambient music history that should be cherished by all lover of downtempo music.

Blue Lunar Monkey follows on with a remix of the Desert Dwellers track "Spaces Between". Desert Dwellers are either remixing or being remixed all the time so in can be quite a task keeping up with what they are doing. I recommend checking out their facebook/soundcloud pages to stay up to date with all the latest from this group of exciting and much in demand artists. 2012 was a big year for Desert Dwellers and I'm sure 2012 will continue in that vein. 

We then move onto a bit of a more traditional dub sound with "Ish Dub and Juan Cano" and their track "Good Bye South Africa" which you can pick up from a compilation EP called "Family Tree". Released on Eardrum Music a few years back it has a number of nice dub tunes on it including tracks from artists Tor.ma and Austero ( one half of the exciting duo Sunmonx ).

Keeping things in that traditional instrumental dub vein then we have something a little special - dub from China ! Jiang Liang has an awesome roots dub sound full of reverbed spacial constructs, dripping with heavy bass. This one comes from a recent favorite CD of mine called "Umberto Echo ‎– Dub The World " which has a number of well known dub, reggae artists on it such as Damien Marley, Steel Pulse, Sly  Robbie and Seeed. 

Then we have two more straight dub tracks - "Warrior Style" from Phase Selector Sound and Wizz by Jangle Machine before moving into the last track in the traditional dub mini section of the mix. Alpha and Omega wraps up this  section of the mix with their classic tune "This Is My Prayer" which has been remixed by Tara Putra as part of the album "In Dubland". You can pick that album up from the the Ektoplazm website where it has received a very high average rating of 95% and quite deservedly so too.

Things start to get a little more psydub now with Scopes and his tune "Eyes Closed" from the excellent "Digilog" EP which is one of my albums of the year. Got to love the heavy rolling bassline in this one !

Following on we have the gnarling, growly bass sounds of Lunecell and the track "Off The Grid" from the "Dub Warriors Vol 1" compilation released on Triple Drop Productions earlier this year. A superb compilation of psychedelic dub. Have a listen and grab a copy of it from the Triple Drop Productions Bandcamp page.

Doug Surreal makes use of the words of Yogi Maharishi Mahesh to great effect in his effects laden track "Bondage Of The Mind" which is a pulsating dub full of thick bass, deep echoing chords and jiggering rim shots. Awesome stuff. The mix then gets a full injection of psydub from Brujo Bowl and his track "Subliminal Message" which has been remixed this time by Expedizion ( Guillermo Agnese ) and can be found once again on the superb Dub Warriors Vol 1 CD that I mentioned earlier.
Last year was full of top dub albums and certainly one of the best to be released has be "Dub Mates Meeting" which is packed full of so many good tunes that it's difficult to choose just one. Today I've gone for artist Fingerprint ( Jan Erik Rød ) and his track Kingstoned.

We then have a few more psydub tunes from psytrance legends Eat Static and Dickster before we get to the track Bura from Zookeeper ( Jesse Edwards)  and Helatrobus. This comes from one of the best dub compilations of the last few years, "Dub Meditations", which was released in 2009 on Full Melt Recordings. A truly epic release of ambient dub, psychedelic dub and psychill sounds that has become a real treasure in my collection.

After a couple of ethno tribal tinged dubs from Triburk Sound System and Celt Islam we have the track "Walter's Sugar Cubes" from Squatin' Mobile Studio which apart from being a top tune has some cool samples from TV show Fringe talking about LSD infused sugar cubes. It's been a while since I've heard some good ol' drug samples in psychedelic dub tunes. That used to be THE thing to do about 10 years ago so I remember this coming as a welcome surprise when I first heard it.

Well I've got head off and do some Christmas shopping before things get too chaotic out there on the streets and grandmothers start punching each other up over the last remaining pokemon DS games in the stores. So I'll wrap up by saying the mix finally chills out a bit towards the end with the mighty Vibrasphere who are sadly no more ! Shniff sniff 8( . Anyway have a great Christmas everyone and and a rockin New Year. See you all in 2013 ( assuming the Mayans forgot to carry over the digits ) for some more psydub mixes. 

Cheers ...

 Track - Artist
  • 01. Milarepa@Cave  -  Digital Samsara
  • 02. La Foret Perdue  -  Don Peyote
  • 03. 20 Toes (Salz Dub Mix)  -  Tremsch and Metzler
  • 04. What's Up (Bluetech Schaffel Dub)  -  Ooze
  • 05. Spaces Between (Blue Lunar Monkey Remix)  -  Desert Dwellers
  • 06. Good Bye South Africa  -  Ish Dub and Juan Cano
  • 07. Ye Hou Shan Dub  -  Jiang Liang    
  • 08. Warrior Style  -  Phase Selector Sound
  • 09. Wizz  -  Jangle Machine
  • 10. This Is My Prayer (Tara Putra Remix)  -  Alpha and Omega
  • 11. Eyes Closed  -  Scopes
  • 12. Off The Grid  -  Lunecell
  • 13. Bondage of the Mind  -  Doug Surreal
  • 14. Subminimal Message (Expedizion Remix)  -  Brujo's Bowl
  • 15. Kingstoned  -  Fingerprint
  • 16. Holy stone  -  Eat Static
  • 17. Couch Surfer  -  Dickster
  • 18. Bura  -  Zookeeper and Helatrobus
  • 19. Enter the Taj Mahal  -  Tiburk Sound System
  • 20. Attar (Feat Dawoud The Renegade Sufi)  -  Celt Islam
  • 21. Walter's Sugar Cubes  -  Squatin' Mobile Studio
  • 22. Making U Sadly  -  Kuba
  • 23. Don't Lose Your Green Spirit  -  Green Beats
  • 24. Silly Psybin  -  Akasha
  • 25. Heartsong  -  Kalpataru Tree
  • 26. Ice Flow  -  Vibrasphere

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Posted on 17.12.12 by PsyAmb TAG : | 3 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )

Eclipse Mix Download - PsyAmb 52

Twisted Records recently released the latest chapter ( Eclipse 2012 - Following the Eye of God ) of the Eclipse compilation series of psychedelic electronica so I thought to celebrate this momentous event I would put together a mix that includes tracks from the series. The first Eclipse compilation "A Journey Of Permanence & Impermanence" was released way back in 1998 ( 12 years ago already ...sheeesh ! ). It was a ground breaking release as far as psychedelic ambient dub and chillout goes and was met with much critical acclaim. Simon Posford featured heavily on the album as part of Shpongle and a number of other side projects. You can hear a number of the tracks in the Simon Posford mix I did for PsyAmb 18 a few years back which has been one of the most downloaded mixes here at the PsyAmb site. 

The Eclipse series is the brainchild of Australian Danielle Buntman whose concept was to create a compilation series that could celebrate the full lunar eclipse moments around the globe as a memory of the events and sounds that we experience and share in. There are four compilations so far which include 
  • Eclipse - A Journey Of Permanence & Impermanence - 1998
  • Caribbean Eclipse  - 1999
  • Cornwall Eclipse - Shepherds Warning - 2001 
  • Eclipse 2012 - Following the Eye of God - 2012
A number of artists feature across several releases such as 100th Monkey, Woob and Atmos so it's nice to see that many musicians continue to support the series with each release. It's also interesting to listen to all the four records together and get a snap-shot of just how much psychedelic ambient sound has changed in the past 12 years. The latest album includes some rather heavy bass which I guess comes from the influence of genres like dubstep and breaks.

Another feature of the new album is that it is the first double CD on the series with the first CD containing more dance music in the form of progressive trance from acts like Flowjob, System 7 and Freq. The second CD contains the majority of the psychill and there are some real amazing tracks to be enjoyed there. I was especially pleased to hear the track from GUS ( Gus Till ) as it might hint at something we can expect from his new album which is to be release on Twisted Records some time soon. On Gus Till website it mentions that his new album is "...a fine collection of tribal down-tempo with hefty doses of his own brand of psychedelia". Yeah !! That sounds awesome !!

Another one that impressed me was trance DJ and producer James Munro with his track "Swoon". Wow ! What a tune. I never realised Mr Munro could make such superb slower tracks. He did team up with Dick Trever on one of the earlier Eclipse albums as the duo Bumbling Loons and had a really first-class track ( Luna Solaire ) but I think this might be the first time I've heard him solo doing a chilled tune. I would be cool if he could do a full album in that style.

For those of you not interested in the progressive trance stuff you can always download separate tracks from the second CD via Beatport, iTunes and the like. I actually opted for both CDs as the first CD isn't too full on and all the track are really, really marvelous. It's good to see they didn't create a standard psytrance-psychill double CD as that would have been a bit cheesy I think.

One of the best albums of the year for sure.

Track / Artist
  • 01. Spirals  -  Nomads of Dub    
  • 02. Nakano Ghost  -  Total Eclipse    
  • 03. Purple Pygmies  -  Walter Ego    
  • 04. Shadow Hunters  -  Pan Electric    
  • 05. Fly  -  Western Rebel Alliance    
  • 06. Eclipse Dub  -  100th Monkey    
  • 07. Giant Stroke  -  Woob    
  • 08. Moonchild  -  100th Monkey & Angele    
  • 09. 3 Orange Lights  -  Atmos    
  • 10. Moment Of Eclipse  -  Gus    
  • 11. Seeing Things  -  Desert Dwellers    
  • 12. Crystalline (Younger Brother RMX)  -  Younger Brother

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Posted on 5.12.12 by PsyAmb TAG : | 0 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )