IZA: So how did it all start?
Steve Birch: It all started in 1993 when I was 13. I first got into electronic dance music through the early rave scene and was hooked after first rave.
I got me a set of decks and started to get a few local gigs. Also, one on a radio station where James Zabillia had a show. After a couple of years I got the making music bug and my music taste had changed to Goa Trance in 1995. So I saved for a year and then sold my decks (That was a painful moment).
I purchased a synth and sampler and Atari ST. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing , just had to learn as I went a long. It was so expensive to have a studio back then, so lucky with technology nowadays.
In 2003 I was working in my studio and drop to rise studio, which is when Spaced out was born, my début release on John 00 Flemings JOOF Records and so the story begins…..
I released my first psy album under the name Lucid dreamer in 2004 and a trance album under my Steve Birch name.
I have never been a pub person or drinker so the rave scene was perfect for me.
IZA: Talk to us about your record label Spaced Out Recordings and how it developed, the artists you’re currently working with and what your fans can look forward to on your label? Super cool logo btw.
Steve Birch: Label on hold for a bit. A few BBC Radio 1 plays and a random pop project kinda taking off I lost my focus. But I can see clearly again now and my soul is psy.
I love Djing and taking the dance floor on a journey, which is the same thoughts that go into my productions.
IZA: Care to talk to us about your current DJ/Production setup? What’s your favorite piece of hardware/or software?
Steve Birch: I use Traktor. I use to use 12″ , then CDs, but it so much easier to have it all on my computer.
I use cubase and a PC. My fave synths are Virus TI, Omnishpere, dune and sylnth, loads loads more.
IZA: What’s your most profound experience with music and how has it aided you with your productions?
Steve Birch: Hallucinogen – Gamma Goblins – Ground breaking amazing track, still my fave after all these years. Listen in the right frame of psychedelic mind and it takes you places and always makes me burst out laughing, don’t know why.
Simon posford is a musical production genius, also Shpongle – The god particle.
IZA: Talk to me about your favorite memorable experience as a DJ and where it took place? Talk to us about the Faerie Festival. How is it?
Steve Birch: Faerie fest is amazing every year, feels like your djing in Narnya.
I love festivals and I’m a very earthy free spirit, so the psy scene is perfect for my way of life.
My favourite thing about djing is when you see the crowd start to move together. Its like a switch is turned on and they flow the same, moving the mood up and down using different keys.
A very random party we had at my first flat when I was younger, we had a court yard. It was a holiday weekend, so we got the decks out. Fast forward 6 hours, we have the most of the village there and some random guy selling glow sticks. Brilliant, know one new him or where he came from hahaha.
Loads of story’s about illegal raves I have been to. Another time……
My friends used to put on beach party’s and we even had dog walkers join in as they past, great times.
I’ve recently made some lovely friends in London including DanceLove Hub . The London psy scene is strong and I have been to many nights up there and its always a lovely family-like feel to it, which I love.
The scene round my way is more in the woods in the summer, but they are getting more rare.
IZA: For our readers that don’t know much about the Psychedelic Genre, Talk to us a bit about Simon Posford, Shpongle and Raja Ram and how they’ve influenced you as an artist.
Steve Birch: Check out Lone derranger by Hallucinogen and of course his first album with LSD on it. He changes times , rhythms, bpm all in one track, for the time and still now its stunning work.
My first go to label was Raja Rams TIP Records and is still one of the best today along-side Twisted.
Same with Shpongle, so yes he is a massive influence.
I also love DJ Tristan. I have seen him so many times over the years, Avalon, Laughing Buddha, LOUD, Nano records, Ibogla etc. are home to my kind of Psy Trance.
IZA: Do you play any instruments? What instruments do you play? What’s are your top favorite instruments of choice?
Steve Birch: I used to play the violin when I was 8, but haven’t for years, well 3 lessons . I love Orchestral Classical music, Folk , Dub and Chill Out.
IZA: What projects do you currently have going on and what does the future look like for you? We’d like to see you in America! Are there any places, cities, or clubs that you’d like to visit and spin music here in America? What other countries have you performed at or would like to perform at? If you could stage a rave anywhere, where would you choose?
Steve Birch: I’m working on new Joof stuff and just completed a full on Psy album under the name Merlin’s Apprentice. I’m very excited about this. I think I have found my sound.
I want to play in every country possible. My dream would be to play at BOOM or Ozora festival. I love playing in the woods, when its all UV and like a trippy wonderland. Just like-how my studio is becoming 🙂
I’m in the studio almost every day and night. Its very hard to make a living doing this. The djing not only helps, but is the final step after creating a track.
It sounds cheesy but Psy is a state of mind, not about how cool you are or how many likes you have or anything mainstream like that. Its about music , love and the earth.
IZA: If you had a time machine what year would you go back to and why?
Steve Birch: Time machine, that would be wicked. m.m.m.m.m.m.m. I would go back to the ‘Summer of Love’ in 60’s and ‘Woodstock’ or to witness the construction of ‘Stonehenge,’ something like that…
and then way into the future, if we haven’t destroyed our planet by then. 🙂
IZA: What is it like working with some of the best Trance DJ/Producer/Record Label owners Christopher Lawrence, John 00 Fleming and Jon O’bir?
I have never worked face to face with John or Chris, all done on the magic web. Same with the projects I did with Jonathan Allyn.
I try to go to most local gigs in the UK with John, but its hard with timing etc.
IZA: Are there any other Producers, Deejays or Record Label owners you’d like to work with?
There are loads of producers I would love to work with, apart from the already mentioned above, Digital Blonde, Sonic Species, LOUD.
IZA: Aside from music, what do you like to do for fun?
In my spare time which I have none, I enjoy climbing, walking, swimming and spending time with my Sister and her Kids.
Music is my life and has been since I started. I have put my life, heart and soul into this. Ask any of my ex girlfriends lol :-). I hope to get more gigs in the future. As without these its very hard to continue. Its funny I was always a DJ first and now, people know me more for my productions which is great but djing my own music out is what its all about.
Being creative does mean in my case that promotion and all this social media stuff doesn’t come easy to me, but its something that needs to be done..
Most events I DJ at, after my set I will be on the dance floor having it to the early hours.
Love to all – The most powerful drug and its free. 🙂
IZA: Be sure to look out for his new Merlin album released on Goa Trance Records.