No, sorry guys, it’s not old fashioned porn – it’s psy trance!
Surprising as it may sound to some who are not familiar with the scene, Israel has for many years been one of the leaders in electronic music, particularly within the genre of psychedelic trance. In the mid 80’s one of the fore-runners was a man who went by the name of Jinno. Fascinated with all aspects of electronica he had been experimenting with many new sounds and became responsible for helping to 'invent' the sounds of techno and the growth of goa into psy trance within his own country and those close by.
A meeting of minds
Ten years his junior was a girl who’d fashioned herself as Jiga. A girl who had been involved in showbiz pretty much all her life, who loved to dance and who loved to make music. In her teens she’d been playing in many metal and thrash bands with memorable names such as 'The puke' and had learned to play a wide variety of instruments. However she felt that she never managed to master them the way she would have liked to.
“I had all these ideas and bass riffs in my head and my fingers couldn’t play these ideas. So I bought a cheap synthesizer with crappy sounds and suddenly I could program all the bass tunes I had in my head with no problems. Then I wanted to program the drums and then it developed for a whole track.”
Falling deeper into the addiction that trance music quickly becomes, she began to hear tale of this man called Jinno and thought that, if nothing else, at least their names would present the synergy everyone is looking for in trance. They eventually met up in 1994 and began working together, which basically consisted of hooking up as much equipment as they could gather together, in all sorts of non-traditional ways to see what cool noises they could make.
Many years of experimentation followed, and the trance world grew up around them and their country. In 1997 they finally formed what is now Analog Pussy – making up a name on the spur of the moment that they felt best described their music. Over the next year and a half they played many venues in and around Israel and developed a style that seemed to meld together every genre of emerging electronic music into one energetic live act.
Coming back from their first European tour - in which they’d played to over 30 000 people at the famous Solipse festival - in mid 1999, they set about making their first full length album. Just a few months later, in August of that year, it arrived.
Psycho Bitch From Hell was released on CD, double vinyl and mp3 to a spectacular response - as it contained all the promise they had showed during their previous live performances. Now, it may sound kind of silly to point out that the music on this album sounds very electronic, that’s its genre right? Well, yes, but some electronic music, and even more specifically, lots of psy trance, still manages to sound kind of organic and living and flowing – you can hear its liquid state filling your ears.
Psycho Bitch does not sound like this. It sounds like noises from a space ship – a space ship that’s had LSD poured into its flux capacitor! With track names like Solipse Technology and Martian Whore it’s not hard to imagine the images this trance conjures up. It’s not all hard though, and there are some energetic, spirited tracks that really capture Jiga and Jinno’s love of the genre. For example, the track Anarchist features the voice of Johnny Rotten as heard singing those words, as well as the great Fight To Trance - which has become a popular track to play when clubs or parties get raided.
The duo never got around to getting a manager and took care of all aspects of Analog Pussy amongst themselves, spending all the money they earned on building up their collection of equipment and home studio. In 2001 they started their own record label – AP Records – whose first release was their second album, Underground.
Although their music has always been a mix of sounds, as trance attained a higher and higher level of popularity around the globe, so their recordings became less pure psy sounds and more a sort of ambient-techno-trance that saw them doing many collaborations with other artists who they signed up under their label.
“I don't think I can define our style because we don't obey to the style's 'rules'. We could make a track that half of it is harsh night trance and half of it is soft melodic morning trance. Usually the music depends on the specific state of mind we were on at the day of making the music. We just love the raw analog synths sound! And use it a lot on all of our tracks. Then again, we use massive digital manipulations, sound processes and editing as well.”
As the flock of youngsters under them began to take off and following the success of their follow-up album, they moved their base of operations from a house in rural Israel to urban Germany. It was from here that their European influence began to spread.
The world wide web
From the very first second that Analog Pussy was born they have had a very close relationship with the online world. Their first track together was converted to mp3 and available on the web just over an hour after it was finished, and since then they have made every track they’ve worked on available for download.
Between their first two albums they had released a lot of material purely online and had embraced the internet in as many ways as they could, building a huge following based on their up to the minute website, news groups and most of all, the freely available music.
It was at this time that their relationship with mp3.com began to take off. In the first half of 2001 they had over 1 million downloads of their tracks and almost everything they released on there hit the number one spot on a range of genre charts. The duo believed in the future of mp3 and the availability of music through other means than just buying a CD from a store. Speaking and participating wherever they could, they were very involved in encouraging others to do the same and for users to participate in spirit.
However their names hit the mainstream news and the cover of LA Weekly with Vivendi’s buyout of mp3.com. Shortly after the takeover, Analog Pussy were told that despite (perhaps because of) being the number 1 artists across much of the site they would no longer be allowed to place their music on there. There was much enquiry into the matter, and although some claims of dubious behaviour on the band’s part were put forward by the company, no solid reason was ever given as to why they had been banned.
Sex, drugs and psychedelic trance
Early in 2004 they released their first CD of original material since 2001’s Underground. Although they had released much online material in between, as well as a Vinyl Trax CD featuring all of their most popular downloads, the new album was eagerly anticipated.
Titled Trance 'N Roll it was easy to see by the title that they had one again moved even further from one clearly defined genre. The songs feature lots of live instruments, guitar riffs and vocals and the album as a whole is the closest yet to a live Analog Pussy show. And from the sounds of things it seems that the next projects will be equally eclectic, with lots of collaborations with other psy acts and ambient artists under AP Records as well as some DVD releases.
For anyone who likes electronic dance music, Analog Pussy is definitely one to look out for. Their mishmash style might mean that some tracks will hit you where it hurts and others may leave you feeling a little cold, but all shine with the genuine love that seems to go into making them, and a live show is the type of exciting experience that all trance lovers wish for.
“What is more important than music? Good analog sex!”
On 2nd September 2005 I received an email from Jiga saying that they’d found this write-up and liked it so much that they wished to use it as their official bio. This being very cool, I of course said yes. So if you find it elsewhere, know I have not just done a copy & paste, e2 had it first!
Analog Pussy Official Website - http://www.analog-pussy.com
Chaishop - http://www.chaishop.com/divers/frameset2.lasso?text6/a/analogpussy.htm
Psynews.com - http://www.psynews.org/intervws/analog.htm
Psymag.com - http://www.psymag.com/modArticles/Default.asp?ContentID=2984
The LA Weekly story - http://www.laweekly.com/ink/01/29/features-lewis.php