Paral·lel Festival Curation Chat with Refracted

Ahead of Paral·lel Festival, a small techno/ambient festival on the first weekend of September just near Barcelona (where we will be too), Ian had the chance to sit down with Refracted, who has revealed his involvement as one of the key curators of the festival.

Tracks are embedded from the Paral·lel Festival playlists, which you can check out here:

https://playmoss.com/en/paralalelfestival

AS IF: So what is the relationship with the festival organizers for you, is this something of a personal connection or is it purely on interest of the music?

Refracted: I’ve been involved from the start, through a connection with friends. The main organisers are Felix, Jordi and Patricia. Up till now, I chose not to put my name on the involvement list: They’re friends between them, and I didn’t want to take the spotlight away. So I was very happy to help as much as I could, while keeping it on the down-low.

AS IF: But the curation of it is in line with your ideas of music.

Refracted: Totally. Always keeping away from what’s in vogue, away from the big names as much as possible. Sometimes, in my opinion, they do too many compromises from what we’re looking for in this festival. From the beginning, we’re limiting tickets to 1000 people, we’re doing it outdoors, we’ve planned a single stage instead of segregating people. We want to keep people united, keep them together, like-minded people as much as possible; and this goes together with the kind of line-up we think about, these kind of names which have a more organic feeling to their music, in a sense. That’s mainly what we’re looking for: interesting sounds, something that really fits outdoors, something that could be new for some people. I mean, a lot of the crowd is very knowledgeable in this specific style of techno, that’s why they really love coming to this festival, but then at the same time you might get the odd friend or so who isn’t really into it that much, who could be really inspired or discover artists at the same time – so we try to have a couple of stronger names, and then a few which might not be so known, but that we still think are as valuable or special as the bigger names. So we organize this platform to discover new sounds, new artists which we think are quite interesting anyway.

AS IF: It seems that there’s a lot of emphasis on creating not just a platform for unique artists to perform, but for those artists to do something unique together as well.

Refracted: Musically, you mean?

AS IF: Well, the intent of organically blending from one set to the next.

Refracted: Yes. So what we try to create: we always start quite early in the morning, I think we started at 10 AM last time even – and then we start with ambient sounds, we’d have a couple of ambient live sets, get slowly into deep beats, dubby and stuff, and then slowly, like in crescendo, build it up into techno acts. This would happen every day, so Friday, we started with Luigi Tozzi for example, on the opening set, and he played this amazing set, really deep sounds, ambient style, and then slowly moving into what ends up as techno with Svreca, closing the first night. Then Saturday, which is a big day, there’s a whole story where we really start very slow and build up, slowly, slowly, slowly, until it gets into techno, around sunset time… So it feels like a long DJ set, more or less, like if you play a whole-day DJ set you would start slow and build up from there. The crowd at the same time: in the beginning they are just sitting down, lounging, sipping beers, having coffee, just relaxing, playing ball, some frisbee… We’re not forcing people to dance from the first minute, which I think is kind of cool – you can just take the day to relax, enjoy the sun. Chill out for a while, and then it starts getting more serious, people just stand up slowly, get into the mood. It’s quite nice to watch it happen organically, a few groups stand up, people follow, and the party heats up a little bit. Whoever’s playing in that moment sees this, reacts organically, and gets it moving.

AS IF: There’s only one stage, so there seems to be a very intimate relationship not just within the crowd, but also between the crowd and the musician or DJ.

Refracted: Totally.

AS IF: I imagine from what I’ve seen of the layout and lighting and the set up of it, it builds into that as well – there doesn’t seem to be a big separation between the DJ and the crowd.

Refracted: Exactly! So the stage is a bit higher, raised a bit, but not too much, because we want to keep that connection there. It’s just for security reasons we have to separate it a little bit, but there’s no barrier, no big security team in front of the booth, it’s just there, so people can gather right in front of it. It’s not a problem – we actually encourage that, there’s quite a big sound there. It’s for this connection that we also want the people to stay in the same stage, so nobody ever misses anything, nothing ever clashes with anything, and after three days of being together on the same dance floor, you create this bond within the people that you can see very strongly on the closing set – everybody’s there, sharing drinks, sharing water bottles, sharing fans, shades, whatever… It was very nice to see how after three days people kind of united into this commune.

AS IF: With there being one stage and one shared experience, there’s the potential for it to be totally immersive – but do you think there’s also a risk involved, for people with expectations of a festival, (which might be for them freedom) actually being pulled into a communal experience where their individuality might be less of a focus?

Refracted: That could happen, but at the same time, there’s so much open space, so if you just want to go back inside the forest and just listen on your own, between the trees, you can also do that. So you can be part of the big group, that is gathering in front of the stage, or you can go up the hill, behind… there’s many spots where you can find your own privacy if you need it or you’re looking for it. So in a sense, you’re quite free to go wherever you want, or even listen from the tents, because the sound is pretty big so you can hear it form all around, so there’s no limitations like if you’re not at the stage you won’t participate or enjoy…

AS IF: One of the reasons I think that there are often multiple floors is that it becomes a bit of a safety net: if someone doesn’t like the sound in one floor, they have option B and option C. But if, for music choice, there’s only one stage, only option A, does that change anything about what’s being put out?

Refracted: I think in general, the kind of crowd that decided to go to this festival – once they’ve seen the lineup, they already know what to expect. I don’t think there’s many people that go to Paral·lel Festival just by coincidence. I think they know exactly where they’re going and what they’re going to listen to – and I think that keeps us on the safe side of what you just said. Many people that I spoke to were really happy, and really glad that there are still festivals that can do ambient, that will actually take the risk to play something that is not 100% just to dance or just to get the party on… When you go to a clubnight and the DJ suddenly decides to play slow, some people complain about it… This, I didn’t see in Paral·lel. On the contrary, I saw it being celebrated, that people could sit down, relax, while some beautiful ambient sound is coming out of the speakers.

AS IF: So it’s not that you can take less risks?

Refracted: I think we can take even more risks. And we are taking risks with the kind of lineup we’re designing. We don’t go for the big names, that in any other festival will fill up 2000 people floors… I like to see the lineup as one organism instead of by individual artists. I like to think that if people look at this lineup, they are attracted to the whole thing instead of just one or two names… they see the whole thing. I think the whole package is the big attraction.

AS IF: So what has informed your curation?

Refracted: It’s mainly designing your dream festival. It’s the idea of what I like techno to be, it’s finding these artists that see techno in the same eyes as I see it, artists of incredible quality, and also incredibly nice people. All of the artists that we’ve invited, some of them I’m personal friends with, so the relationship is a lot deeper than being a fan of their music or art, it’s also being good friends, thinking alike, like-minded. It’s my dream festival. The one I’ve wanted to go to all my life, and having the chance to be involved is a dream come true. Being able to gather enough people to enjoy it the way I do is just magical. We need more festivals like this. We need to break out of the norm more often. It’s not all about the big clubs, the big festivals, the big names… Give a chance to smaller names. There’s a lot of amazing artists making beautiful music who don’t have the chance to showcase their music. The more low-key parties or events that are happening, the more chances these artists can get.

When it got time to sit down and think about the artists we want to take, I sat down with a friend of mine, who is also an artist (he produces music as Guillam), and we had a lot of fun making a huge list of artists, designing dream line-ups, until we got to the one that we thought, yeah, this could really work. This could really attract people, be really interesting, educate, inspire, and this would follow the script that we wanted to do once it was decided that this would be mainly a day-time festival.

We have a very similar taste in music so the synergy between us is amazing. We keep tweaking the list and we won’t finalise a decision until both of us say ok. We have to agree 100%. After that, we send the list to the organisers and let them have the last word. At the end of the day it’s their investment so sometimes things have to be tweaked further.

AS IF: Why is it mainly a daytime festival?

Refracted: To make it different, to be able to play ambient, to be able to start slow and deep. If you do it mainly during the night, then only the first set or two can really go deep, so we really wanted to showcase this other aspect of electronic music, which can be also really beautiful, and using the climate in Spain in September is really nice, it’s kind of warm, it can be really hot, but also kind of fresh, so why not use it to its full potential? The nature, also, is really beautiful – during the night time, it gets really dark, because it’s in the middle of nowhere… At the same time, you can see all the stars, and the sky is beautiful, but you cannot see the backdrop, the mountains, the forest… so during the day, you can enjoy that part of it. We also want people to be able to take a rest. It’s a three day thing, it’s camping… Camping is exhausting, going to a festival is exhausting, so by the end of the third day, with three nights, maybe people wouldn’t have enjoyed the third day to its fullest potential. So by breaking it up, mainly during the day and having these long breaks during the night, so people can just chill or whatever they’re going to do, we allow that.

AS IF: Lucidity seems to be a key word here. And that’s almost the capacity to go deeper for the audience – I’ve experienced moments myself when I just can’t keep up anymore, when music and techno ceases to be music and becomes a kick drum. That’s reaching the limit of what I’m capable of, just as a listener.

Refracted: Yeah. You want to dance, but you’re exhausted, and the music is really asking for you to dance and be active, dancing around, jumping around, and you simply cannot. But if you’ve spent the whole day lounging around, lying in the grass listening to ambient, sipping on a beer, then you’re ready for the afternoon, the evening, the night. It was very nice to see people lying around all day long. Of course people were moving; most of the people were in the shade, lounging, chilling. Until it was the time where things kicked off; everyone congregated into this single stage, dancing their asses off, literally! They were ready, they had the energy, and they had been looking forward to it all day. That’s also a key point, you create this expectation. People are happy and fine with a slower ambience and beat, but then it gets to this point where you want to – because the music is beautiful and amazing, and you’re looking forward to this point where you know, now I want to really dance, now I really want to move, I’m warmed up, completely, now I want to go. And that’s when it kicks off, when people are ready, and they react really positively to that moment.

AS IF: Is Paral·lel about creating that moment, as much as it can? Setting the table, everything comes together in one moment?

Refracted: I think it could – we don’t want to force anything on anybody, but yeah! Why not? It isn’t designed specifically for that, not consciously anyway. We designed it to create a flowing story, where there’s a moment for everything – to relax, to start getting in the mood, a moment to let go, completely. Full on dancing, eyes closed, looking at the stars and getting lost.

AS IF: And still it strikes me that there’s this will here, to get people to feel a thing, but you’re not necessarily telling us what that thing is.

Refracted: Yeah. Anybody can make their own story, everybody made a different story, some people I can see during the techno sets were in their tent, just lounging around and listening to the music, non-dancing but just from the outside, maybe observing the people from the dance floor from up the hill. Not all people were dancing in the middle of the dance floor all night long… and that’s the beauty of it, you can pick your poison, pick your style, pick your way of enjoying it.

AS IF: Whats the one thing everybody should pack?

Refracted: Raincoat, for sure! And some Wellington boots. It’s not supposed to rain, at least not hard, but last year the god of techno did not smile upon us and he made it rain like I’ve rarely seen rain in my life, so yeah – definitely be sure it’s not going to spoil your day or your festival, bring waterproofs. And then just be open-minded enough; it’s outdoors, weather can’t be controlled, things can happen. But I actually was really happy, and proud of the crowd, because when it rained it rained for 3 hours at least, really hard rain, and everybody was so positive about it, and well behaved, and nice – I’ve seen other festivals were things can go crazy and even violent when things go wrong for the crowd, sometimes they seem to not understand that there’s some things out of the control of the organisation, but here it was fine, they were super well-behaved, they didn’t pressure the organisation, they were just asking the common question “what’s going to happen?” And the organisation were really good, they were really swift, got it working again; and then we just kicked off, it was a really beautiful moment: the rain stopped, there was this big fog coming down the valley, Abdulla Rashim was just starting his set, and it was perfect for Northern Electronics’ kind of sound, visual aspect, everything – it was  a 10/10 moment, it fit perfectly. Everything kicked off with a big blast and everyone was super happy – we were back on track.

AS IF: So it was nature being part of the set as well.

Refracted: Yeah, and the graphic designer of the festival, most of the flyer designs have these kind of clouds and these mystical cloud-shaped curves, and it was inspired by this moment that I just described. If you look at the flyer, there’s this design, first it’s clear sky and mountains and forest, and then it gets cloudier and cloudier… He told the story with the graphic design of what happened last year, with the look of the scenery.

AS IF: It’s up in the mountains?

Refracted: The Pre-Pyrenees. They’re beautiful, especially at night time, it’s really something to see. Especially if you’re used to an urban environment… It had been so long since I’d seen a sky like that. You can even see the Milky Way, the centre of it, this line on the sky… A beautiful sight. Hopefully this year we don’t have a full moon, so the sky’s really dark. And we keep the lights to a minimum, to not interfere with the sky-sights.

AS IF: Do you think techno really is that natural, connected to nature?

Refracted: Yes! Techno is a primal ritual. It’s the most advanced music in the world, but at the same time, the ritual of what we do, when we go to a club or a festival, to go and dance, looking at a stage and everybody is there, moving to the same beat, at the same speed, with more or less kind of movements… It’s a ritual in itself, like when you look at a tribe with their own ceremonies, their own dances, ethnic dances, it’s kind of the same, just with techno music, instead of with physical drums. Yeah for me, for sure, even if techno was born in a warehouse or a basement, it’s special place is really in the outdoors. Or at least, that’s where big magic can happen. For me anyway – most magic happens outdoors when I’m enjoying techno music. The connection with the stars, planets, nature, the sounds – you cannot beat that. A concrete wall, a strobelight, for me its just not the same.

AS IF: So that’s what we can expect from your set?

Refracted: Well it’s mainly the scenery, but I will try to connect, as much as possible, my set to that.

AS IF: And that’s what Paral·lel Festival, the curation, the mission, is about?

Refracted: For sure. Connect music, nature, and the crowd. A triangle.

AS IF: It occurred to me, when you were talking about story telling, that the classical story structure appears to have moments that are defining – catharsis, dramatic peak… and the word epilogue as well, means the last part after the peaking of it. But you don’t think a story has to be ranked in importance?

Refracted: Many of the flyers are even in alphabetical order. Nobody’s more important than anyone else, whenever they play, whoever they are. The first set of the Saturday morning is as important as the closing set of that night, or of the festival even. It’s part of the story, and we want it to feel and be as important as we think it is. For example, last time we had Natural/Electronic.System closing, and they’re not big techno DJs, they’re more on the deeper side, but we decided to put them there because we know they’re really special artists, special DJs who always bring extremely good selection to their sets, so we thought ‘let’s do something different’. Every closing set of every techno night or festival is kind of this bigger thing, where all the big bombs are dropped, the big sound is dropped. Let’s try something different, and see how the people react. And people couldn’t have reacted better! We knew at that point that we can take these risks, really switch it around and really test the crowd, and I think they will always follow. This year, things will change around; we have somebody very special closing, which will probably be a lot more intense and more techno than last year was, but who knows? Maybe next year we’ll go back into deeper sounds… So it’s always about changing it around, switching it around, and definitely repeating certain artists that we feel we want to create a kind of family with. A lot of artists I have a personal relationship with, so we’ll keep bringing them back. We’ve got Natural/Electronic.System, who are kind of like residents… Not sure if we’ve announced it officially, but it’s been hinted towards anyway, and they’re also repeating this year. We’re slowly building a little team, slowly, methodically, specifically choosing people to return.

AS IF: So do you hope the audience will also return?

Refracted: Yes, absolutely. The dream would be to create this family affair, of people returning every year, known faces, so you just go there, go to the dance floor, and you recognize a lot of people. Kind of this yearly gathering for real music lovers, really passionate people, nice people.

I think special artists gather special people. Good people, warm-hearted people. I don’t want to criticize anyone else, that’s not my place – when I mean special artists, and you look around, you can see nice people always. I think in Paral·lel, with the kind of artists there are, the kind of environment, that happens: People are well-behaved, responsible, friendly, nice, open-hearted. People who see you lying on the floor and offer you water instead of pointing at you and laughing at you. People who are extremely clean with the environment. The landowners actually were extremely happy, they even told the organizers that after everything finished everything was so much cleaner than anytime they’ve done anything before that – and this was their first music festival. Everything else had been camping, horse fairs… This time, it was cleaner than ever! So that’s really nice to see, nice to see that it actually still exists in this world – and that’s why it’s magic to be there.

Being there for three days, you’ll socialize, you’ll get to know incredible people, from all around the world. There were people from Japan, from Australia, from America, Canada, all points of Europe… It was surprising to see, and really nice. It indicated we’re on a good path, an important path. It’s a festival I love, and I really think it’s going to be something special.

AS IF: Sounds like it already is.

Refracted: It is, for the people who have been there. We want to show people who haven’t for whatever reason, who could, who haven’t heard about it – we want to show them, hey, this can be done differently, and when you’re there, you can see the magic in something done differently from the norm. Without the multiple stages. Without the huge names. Without the 10,000 people attendance. How nice is it to get a drink without a queue, and straight back to the dance floor? Or if you want to take a shower, 10 minutes and you’re done, back to dancing? It’s just easy, comfortable, nice. We don’t need big crowds. We just want small crowds of special nice people, that can share together, enjoy together. Together is the key word here.

AS IF: So there’s a hope that Paral·lel will reach more people but not get bigger?

Refracted: I think Paral·lel will always be maintained as a small festival. This special environment that we want to create, we believe in it so much, that it’s going to be like that. But of course, we want as many people as possible to discover it, because we want to share it with as many people as possible. It’s going to be sad, when the day comes, when people are left out because there’s no more tickets left. But if we want to maintain this special environment, we have to be strict.

But the challenge is reaching people. Budget-wise, it’s a challenge. With only 1000 tickets, you’ve got to be careful with allocating resources. I mean, the stage could be better – of course, it could be made out of amazingly beautiful wood… but this costs a lot of money! Do you prefer the money be spent on the stage, or the artists, or the sound? There’s always compromises you have to make.

AS IF: So what does Paral·lel favour?

Refracted: Always music and sound. Infrastructure as well – we’re slowly adding new bits. This year we will have more shade areas and some chill out spots and every year we will try to improve.

AS IF: We’ve touched upon educating people in connection, and achieving a sort of dance floor unity. Is that a challenge or something natural?

Refracted: I think it’s natural, because it’s inside, it’s part of the people. I can’t control it. I can create the best environment for it, and add what I think is the best music for the moment, and then it’s the responsibility of each individual, to connect in that way. I just love to see how it happens, organically. By what I saw last year in Paral·lel, at least. It’s not a challenge, it’s a part of us. We’re not overthinking anything, we’re just creating the environment that we would love to enjoy. It’s easy, actually.

AS IF: And then when you’re in there it’s easy to let go and become part of that?

Refracted: Yes. When you’re in a reduced group of people that are like-minded, you don’t feel ashamed; you just let go immediately. You don’t give a shit if you’re dancing in a weird way or just rolling on the floor with someone. It doesn’t matter. Nobody is judging you. Freedom to express love of music, love of what you want. You can just do what you want, maybe you inspire people to roll on the floor with you, or to just start dancing crazy like you are. Nobody’s judging or laughing or doing anything negative.

AS IF: Let’s talk about your DJ set a bit. How does the knowledge that it’s not just that your set ends and then the next set begins, that it’s an organic flow, change how you prepare and what you hope to do with the set?

Refracted: Depends on the time that I play – I see who’s in front of me, who’s behind me, and I will realise my position on that day. I know I’ll be closing the Friday night, after Dorisburg, so I’m playing 4 hours… So the first hour, knowing what Dorisburg normally plays, which is sort of deeper, dubby, a lot of rhythm, some ambience, I will carry on from there for the first hour, and then the last three hours it will already be night time, it will be the last slot, so it’s time to get the party really started. It’s going to move into techno, with a lot of ambience of course, but more danceable stuff for sure. Mild on the bpms… I’m not a kind of DJ who likes to play too fast, I’m always on the slower side of techno. But we will have to see how the crowd reacts – if they want it faster, they will get it.

AS IF: I think the chance to let techno be what it can be is really exciting, because there’s a lot that can change the significance of a moment based on which moment it is. And that was another aspect of Paral·lel which I found interesting – taking techno which is so often in dark basements and putting it in nature. How is that atmosphere coming into the set and the festival?

Refracted: I know that techno started in basements with strobe lights, but for me I always thought that there’s this big primal aspect in techno, this kind of ritual… Let’s say the DJ could be a shaman, for example, and everybody’s looking at the stage where the DJ is, so he’s kind of the leader, let’s say, of that moment. So he can direct people where he wants them to go with music selection. I always enjoy it much more when techno is played outdoors, and there are certain tracks which have this outdoorsy sound, it’s hard to explain… But the textures used in the sound, that compose the track, the ambience, the rhythms, can be a lot more tribal. Even in my production, I always tend to make music which is for me sounds a lot more outdoorsy than warehouse-y. For me, this is the perfect place to play techno: somewhere outdoors, with big sound, beautiful backdrop, trees, mountains, forest. So I’m super happy when I can play in these situations and the selection is always a lot more organic-sounding… Hard to explain, but I can hear it, when I hear a track, it just shouts outdoors to me, certain tracks, they just have this feeling… I put my head in Paral·lel, or in a forest, and I listen to this track in my head, and I can hear how well it can fit there. And these are the kind of tracks I look for, when selecting, and the tracks I will play, for sure.

AS IF: Was that informed by your experience last year?

Refracted: Last year wasn’t the first time I played an outdoors festival, or outdoors at all, but definitely. The previous locations before Paral·lel were kind of a training exercise for how I can differentiate a club set and an outdoor festival set, so last year I was pretty well prepared mentally toward how I should sound and how I expect everything else to sound, with the artists that were selected for the occasion. More than my experience of last year’s set, it’s the experience of listening to how the DJs closed the night. For example, Svreca closed the first night which was an amazing set; second night there was Peter van Hoesen which was also incredible. I really got some inspiriation from what they did and how the crowd reacted to what they did. I’m pretty confident with my ideas and what I’m planning to do there.

AS IF: So you’ve taken their sets as a template?

Refracted: As a starting point, more like. Svreca started quite deep but quickly got really aggressive (for lack of a better word), on the good side of aggressive, faster, more intense… That’s my idea. I really love techno when it’s really intense. Slow bpm, but there’s intensity, a really thick base of rhythm and sounds. I think that’s where I’ll go towards. The first third will probably be a lot deeper, more colourful, but then probably go into darker tribal psychedelic sounds. I think Paral·lel can be a very psychedelic experience, so maybe in the first day, let’s give a hint of how far away we can go, and leave a little taste of what’s going to happen in the next two days.

When I came out of Paral·lel last year, I was already thinking of what I would do this year. So I’ve been kind of selecting tracks, little by little, out of my huge collection of music. This folder, this pile on the side, where every day I’m listening to music or I’m preparing for any other set, and I stumble upon this track that I think would fit – there’s this huge pile that’s been building all year. I even put a moment to it, even if I know it won’t fit for this year’s set, I know it might for next year, or the year after. There’s a Parallel pile and folder in my house right now. Whatever I think fits, or whatever I would love to share with people. Even buying records specifically! My last big Discogs purchase was music selected only for Parallel… it’s very important to me, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s great!

AS IF: There’s this structure in Paral·lel, Intro, Story, Epilogue – so is that a tactical way to get as deep as you can?

Refracted: Definitely. My set is the intro, so it’s supposed to give a little hint of where we can go to.

AS IF: So it is a progression, from the beginning right to the end.

Refracted: Exactly. That’s the idea; from talking to the organisers, that’s what they really look forward to, so as an artist there, one of my tasks is also to agree with what they want to do and fit into that script.

AS IF: It’s a very interesting concept for sure, and the unashamed honesty of it is I think really interesting.

Refracted: I’m not looking to stand out from anybody, I just want to be a part of this package, and do my best to follow the script. I’ll park my ego wherever I parked it years ago, it will stay there, and I’ll just do what I think fits best into the environment, the crowd, and the festival in that moment.

AS IF: This seems to be quite in line with your own attitude towards sets. I watched this interview where you’re talking about – in your blurb you mention this as well – trying to build connections
between yourself and the crowd.

Refracted: I know that the style of music I’m playing is generally not for everyone’s taste – it’s quite niche, it can be quite psychedelic, quite tribal… Not everyone looks for that when they go to a club, maybe they just want to dance, have some fun, and we are mainly entertainers. That’s our principal job, and we’ve got to be clear about that. And then of course, everyone has their own identity, their own spirit, taste… You’ve got to do the least compromises possible to fit into this thing of being an entertainer, while at the same time I hope to inspire people. With inspiration comes this connection that we’re talking about. And maybe to teach somebody, to discover new sounds for certain people; they’re there and they’ve never heard me or any of the music that I normally play, and maybe I get them really inspired or connected with this sound that’s new to them. That’s one of the big connections that I look forward to every time I perform. So it’s important for that to have the people so close to you that you can nearly touch them; you have them right in front of you, you can see them, you can look up and see their smiles, see their eyes are closed, see their arms are up – this kind of connection I look forward to in a set. Knowing it – it gives me the reassurance that I’m on the right path, that what I decided to do is right for the moment, the time, and the crowd.

AS IF: I think that’s when it becomes the difference between night-life and music as part of a weekly ritual, and when it becomes a sense of art. There’s a lot to be said for techno music and ambient music as well in this more philosophical and theoretical sense. There’s a lot of rhetoric – even the words we’ve used, connections, hypnosis, of the moment, spontaneous, improvisational, but then Paral·lel and even your music seems quite pragmatic to me at the same time. That there’s a sense of something psychedelic, but no prescription of what it is. Does that make it a shared individualism? You’re not giving people a belief structure or an answer.

Refracted: What I try to do – this is my belief of what techno is or should be. It’s a strong passionate belief, and that’s what I try to perform and share with people. Some people don’t look so deeply into it, they’re just there to have fun; other people look for more, and they’re pleasantly surprised when there are artists that also take it there with music selection and the vibe they try to create. I think Paral·lel, with the selection of artists, and the vibe and the stage, the whole organisation behind it, they’re also on the same page. I think everything flows naturally then. There’s really not much to think about – at least me, when I go to perform. It’s like I’m going to my dream festival, one of my dream locations, for me it’s like paradise. It’s what I wish most places I perform in were like. I’m exactly where I want to be. I’m very happy that I can come back, and evolve, and tell another part of the story. There’s still a lot of stories to tell in Paral·lel. This one, for this year, is going to be very important.

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