Gone West, talks to Nanook.

Gone West, talks to Nanook, ahead of his DJ performance at Strange Daze 16th Birthday (vs Prohibition), on Nov 16th 2019, in Manchester.

Disclaimer: The article below has been contributed by the event promoter or somebody representing the event promoter. As such we take no responsibility for accuracy of the content and any views expressed are not necessarily those of Skiddle or our staff.

Date published: 28th Oct 2019

Strange Daze, and Northern Psychedelic Collective main man, and UK Psy Scene vanguard, Chris (Nanook), meets James (Gone West), ahead of his appearance at the Strange Daze 16th Birthday, to talk about the state of 'the scene'... old school forums.... And toads.
Oh....and Music!

..

CN - Hi buddy. Cheers for taking the time to chat!

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GW - No worries!

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CN - You're a well known regular on the current Northern psy scene... but lets go back a bit for those that haven't had the pleasure of coming across you?.

Tell us how you found Psy, Techno, and the free party scene in general?
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GW - I've been going to free parties since before I could legally get into a club, my first experiences were the dubstep and drum n bass raves in Manchester usually in empty warehouses around Trafford Park. It was an exciting time but there were a few incidents where I felt these nights were attracting the wrong crowd and there was something missing from the ethos of the crews running the sound systems.

CN - (jumps in) careful... think some of those were...ahem.... friends. And think we were allegedly responsible for one or two! (laughs)

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GW - (Laughs) Obviously they weren't ALL bad!.. but when I found the Psy-Trance scene it felt like a different world! The majority of people involved are friendly, accepting, they look out for each other, clean up after themselves and ultimately do it all out of love for the music.
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CN - I hear you buddy. Every scene has its driving factors, and at the time you're talking about, the psy scene had some fantastic protagonists; all doing it for the right reasons!
Moving away from parties, slightly.. A lot of people will know you for your ridiculously funny videos online. But for those that don't know...Tell us a bit about that? ...just a passing interest in hilarity, or do you dabble with music video making/VJ-ing etc?
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GW - It started off with an interest in VJ-ing and making music videos, I taught myself how to edit videos using Adobe Premier and After Effects and how to perform using Resolume. I tried a few YouTube videos and found it is something I enjoy and I could easily edit videos for fun. This led to making a few stupid videos about Psy-Trance and posting them on Facebook.. and some have gone a bit viral. It's just a bit of a laugh really, experimenting with how social media works. I dont take it too seriously!
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CN - I think that whimsy shines through, for sure! But I think 'a bit viral' is a tiny understatement haha. Some have been epic!
Going back a bunch of years, you also had a release on my now defunct "Chaos Mechanism Records" imprint?.
.....You still producing much?
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GW - I dabbled in producing a few years ago, and did quite well.. but I put it on hold to focus on DJ-ing, as that's what I was getting bookings for. I'll get back there in the future!
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CN - I bloody well hope so! I think there was a unique energy there, that was missing elsewhere. All credit to you.
So in regards to the DJ-ing, you've played a 101 festies and parties across the UK. ... how do you keep your sets fresh each time?
Play it by ear and read the crowd?... or strict planning/tune hunting before hand?
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GW - I actually really enjoy planning a set, if I know I've got a gig coming up I will create a folder throw some tunes in it and start playing around to create a vibe, a sense of direction. I decide my intro track and then build from there. There is not always time to plan so the most important thing is keeping organised, knowing your tunes and searching for something new or unheard to keep things fresh.
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CN - 100% agree. Personally, Im a HUGE fan of keeping organised. Means those last minute bookings aren't a shambles, and if you need to fill in an extra slot or cover for someone, its just a whole lot smoother and more pro!
Aside from DJ-ing, you've also been a big party goer yourself, making the pilgrimage to Boom (etc). How do you find the mainland European scene differs from the UK?
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GW - Boom 2016 was an eye opener for me. It is massive, hot and at times a test of endurance! But importantly, it is also incredibly inspiring.
The whole festival is autonomous there are not a lot of people telling you what you can and can't do, this freedom leads to everyone experiencing the festival in their own way.
Compared the UK scene, in my opinion, people seem to party more responsibly, theres a lot of artists, VJs, workshops involved, the music is just one part of the whole experience.
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CN - Aye, I've noticed that. Maybe with the longer parties, people feel like they're less in a rush!
I know it'll be tough to pin down your absolute fave DJ moment ...
....but maybe a quick list of youre 1 or 2 stand out moments from the DJ booth?
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GW - My favourite has to be warming up for Infected Mushroom, their music was an introduction to Psy-Trance for me when I was 16. Regardless of what psy purists say...
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CN - (Interrupts) .. the beard strokers!
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GW - Exactly!... no matter what they think about the direction I.M have taken, they definitely know how to bring a crowd! True talent!
Another memorable moment was Transition Festival in Spain, my first time playing outside of the UK alongside legends from the UK scene like Fluoelf and Dj Iah.
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CN - You used to be mega active on some of the well known psy forums...as was I since about 2003. What do you think about the rise of Facebook...and the decline of those forums?
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GW - There is a certain charm I miss from Internet forums but I suppose Facebook releases more dopamine than arguing with strangers on a forum haha. I am grateful for all the people I met through Psymusic UK and other forums, but there are also some great groups on Facebook which achieve the same thing.
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CN - Agreed... I believe thats how we met online, at first, I think... and Those Halcyon days were unexplainable to those that missed the early online years. It was a bit like the wild west! Haha
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CN - Right... change of pace....

Top 3 items you never leave home for a party, without! (music kit not included!)
...I'm sure some of your fans will want to know!
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GW -
A bottle of Old J rum.
A good attitude.
A Sonoran Desert toad.
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CN - (laughs) ...trust you!
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((Editor note.. For those that don't know what the Senoran desert toad does. Do an online search!))

CN - For those that don't follow you online...
....where is best to hear your stuff? ... You have a regular radio show, right?
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GW - I have residency on Progressive Heaven online radio, I usually play the third Saturday of every month: https://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveHeaven/

I also try to regularly post on my social media sites:
https://www.facebook.com/GoneWest/
http://soundcloud.com/Gone-West/
https://mixcloud.com/GoneWest/
https://www.youtube.com/c/GoneWest/
.

CN - Cheers mate. Its been nice chatting!...and can't wait to see/hear you back at Strange Daze!
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GW - My pleasure. Thanks for having me! I'm looking forward to the party!
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CN - Readers .. For those that want to catch Gone West doing his thing, check him out at Strange Daze vs Prohibition event, as well as show him some love on social media.
At time of writing, tickets are 50% sold out... so don't sleep on it!

See you there!

Tickets are no longer available for this event

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