DJ Lestat, Cedric Dassuile or Talamasca, whatever he’s known as, wherever you see him, you know he’s going to deliver some of the most powerful but beautiful psy-trance you’ve ever heard. About to release his third album called Zodiac on 3d Vision, Nigel Photon read his horoscope and decided it was about time to find out more...

What have been the most important musical influences on your sound?

If you are asking for names, I would have to say Juno Reaktor , Hallucinogen and all the music that Dragonfly, Tip, Blue Room or Flying Rhino were releasing 5 years ago. If you are asking what my goal is when I make music, then I'll say that it is to make the people shout!!! Full-on, but always more "musical" than "noisy"...and if you are asking about my musical influences before trance, then you have to make a mix between classical music, heavy-metal and Pink Floyd.

How did you come up with the concept for the Zodiac album and how does it represent a progression in your sound?

I was tired of always making the same story, but I know also that when someone asks me for a track for a compilation, I know what he wants and I can not make something completely different to what he expects. So I was looking for a concept which would allow me to change the length of the tracks, their atmospheres and that was something that everybody knows, as the culture of Mexican, Japanese or European people is quite different. In the beginning, I thought about the planets, then, naturally the idea of the zodiac signs came because it is quite similar. This concept I think will touch people more personally.

Did you find it difficult to translate each sign's attributes to music? How did you go about this?

I don t believe in astrology so much, but still I know the 12 signs. I know they are different, and that whether you believe it or not doesn't really change anything - there are differences between the signs. So I searched on the Internet and in some books to learn those differences. Some signs were more difficult than others. For example, Capricorn, which was a sign I didn t know much about was hard for me. Oppositely, the Cancer track I knew from the beginning I wanted to be the "beautiful" one of the album. I was also influenced by the people I knew who were making music, like Absolum is a Scorpio, Riktam from GMS is a Sagittarius; although Scorpio is the really aggressive feeling track of the album, it doesn't mean the people from this sign are aggressive, it is just that I looked at all the signs, and if one of them must be more aggressive than another one, logically it would be more Scorpio than Pisces.

How do you compose a new track, do you work in a particular way?

Most of the time, I begin with the kick and bassline, then I just follow the flow. The only thing is that now, if I want something in particular, I know how to make it and my production is much better than in the past. For the album, it was different, I knew before what I wanted, but this is only 12 tracks and I have released almost 100 now. Generally, I don t have any plans when I make a track. I sit in front of the computer and I do it, that's it really.

What’s in your studio and what's the most important piece of equipment for u?

My studio is exactly one computer with a Pulsar audio card; I use the synth of the Pulsar itself or some synth that people make for Pulsar, like John Bowen for example. One master midi keyboard to control them and that's it, a pair of good speakers. I use the dynaudio BM6 and a mixer - for me mackie - that's it. Sometimes I have more equipment for the live act than in my studio!!!!

What's been the best party you've played at so far this year / also best ever and why?

I can not explain why exactly, but the best country for parties for me is Japan. Every time I go there it is very good. I've played a lot of good parties everywhere, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, France. It's very hard to say what is the best party of the year, one I enjoyed the most was actually a secret party in Tokyo, with only 250 people.

What are your future plans and for 3d vision?

Talamasca itself, I am already working on something else, I have a lot of concepts in mind, enough for five albums and with 3d vision the same. We will release the Nomad album in September, a new compilation that we are doing now and we will also continue this down-tempo section we began called 3d vision relax, because we really love to make and to listen to ambient now.

How do you think the psy-trance scene can survive with all this MP3 downloading and CD burning?

Listen, everything has a good and a bad side. The good side, for example, is that some people in the world like South Americans, or Indians; they cannot buy the CD anyway. If I were living there, I would be so happy to find a way to have music. Now the bad side of course that many know is that the labels are losing a lot of money and believe me it is true. At the beginning, I didn't care so much, I thought 'OK, Celine Dion will not buy a new house this year', but in the end, it is not the big companies who suffer the most from it, it is the little labels. Why do you think so many trance labels closed in the last two years? Five years ago, Hallucinogen sold just in France 35000 CDs of his "LSD" album. The best seller of trance in France this year is for sure less than 2000. I know only the numbers for my country, but it is the same everywhere. But I understand people, no problem, how many times yourself did you buy a CD full-price, and when you arrive home, you realise you don't like it at all!!!!! So to download is all right I think, if it's only to listen to the tracks before buying.

Playing live in Lisbon, 2003