DJ Cyrax Interview (2018)
If you are a raver, you must have seen this mad DJ and producer here and there. Especially on Facebook. He’s an interesting DJ, that’s for sure. Sometimes a bit mad, a bit loony, but when it comes to music he’s dedicated. A Freeform fanatic, but also a busy bee with his new label, and his social experiments (more about that later). Let’s talk to the most interesting man from this already underrated scene: DJ Cyrax.
How are you mate, how’s life as we speak?
"Life is good, got a fab missus who tolerates my constant sarcasm, just got back from holidays!"
You are what is known as a DJ. But what kind of music do you play?
"In general if I’m booked for a gig it will be to play Freeform Hardcore, I always like to mix a few other tracks from other genres (but not too many) usually some DnB or some beautiful Gabber."
Where does the name come from?
"I had a variety of alias’ but they all sounded stupid, Dr Tobogan, Drilldo, Nelly Retardo, ghost, the name that stuck was Cyrax, he was my favourite player on Mortal Kombat 2 on the megadrive."
Judging on your appearance (wears glasses and has a beard) you look like an intellectual hipster. So let’s start with some intellectual questions, to get them out of the way (and come up with some stupid questions later): can you explain to the other hipsters/youngsters out there what Freeform is?
"It’s a strange one because a lot of people have different views on what Freeform is.
I believe they are :
1. Freeform is the way that you play a set, no fixed or planned route, not specific tracks, not sticking to the general formula
2. a Freeform track can contain elements from any other genres, the structure doesn’t have to follow suit e.g if you don’t want a breakdown then don’t put one in!
For me and this is hard to explain, I just know what is Freeform and what it’s not, maybe the track being between 160 – 180 BPM, big lead riffs, rolling kicks, warm sub bass, epic chords, tonnes of acid, epic breakdowns, that sort of thing I guess."
How awesome is Freeform?
"I love it, yeah I could have made millions as a House DJ, playing predictable monotonous music to a bunch of drug fuelled ravers but……………………..oh wait!
The people that Freeform attracts are the most lovely people I know and the music is just fab!"
When did you become a DJ? And what was the reason to become one? Did anyone persuade you?
"I had always been into the genre and rave music from my teens, my friend Paul taught me the basics of DJing when I used to hang out at his mum’s flat in Woolwich.
The production stuff started when I randomly decided to do a studio day with Technikore in Southhampton, after we made a track together I was inspired and want to make a shed load more."
Freeform. Of all the scenes you could have picked, you picked Freeform. What’s so appealing about Freeform that other styles don’t have?
"The breakdowns keep you waiting so long that you are chomping at the bit when the main drop in the track comes.
It’s great getting absolutely bo****ed to as well.
As I said before the crowd are super nice and when you are all raving side by side it feels like the old days of raving, where no one is image conscious, they are just there to piss about, dance and have a good time."
Who’s your biggest inspiration in the scene, and why?
"My biggest inspiration is my Freeform husband Transcend, the guy is mega talented (although he bloody should be locked away in that studio)
He makes awesome music and has taught me everything I know, unfortunately I don’t have a very long attention span so we are perservering with the tuition."
The last time I saw you, was a while ago, in Bournemouth at BMH Freeform (that was 2 years ago, blimey!). The night was memorable, to say the least. I was completely wasted, and so were others. I was finally introduced into your world, and it was a bliss. If you had to describe yourself during a set in three words, which words would you pick, and why?
"I’m into the music big time and like to have a dance behind the decks, I like to use a variety of different ways to mix to keep the set interesting and energetic, mixing in key is big thing for me now also."
Soundcloud is our mutual friend, and you have posted many mixes onto it. I don’t know what my first introduction was into your wonderful world on here, but it left a mark. You’ve made many mixes, but which one defines Cyrax? Which one is the best, and which one is the worst you’ve made?
"The worst one is my first recorded mix (not on soundcloud anymore thankfully)
My best one is always the most recent mix I’ve done, I’m always trying to improve and make my mixes sound better, I don’t believe you should put out a mix unless it’s flawless 😉 "
You also were responsible for ‘Project Badass’. A different approach, and it worked well. How was the response of the fans? Did it go down well?
"Project Badass was a great way to make a name for myself in the scene and people loved it, it helped me network with everyone and meet all my fav DJs, I did however make lots of mistakes with that label which is why it’s not around anymore.
I signed tracks as filler tracks, put out bootlegs, I didn't like the artwork, I didn't know who I paid for what, it was mental, I didn't set out to make money from that label, just to get people to make more freeform, but I definitely lost money on that label."
From making your own compilations to mixes, to appear on albums such as ‘Freeform Family’, ‘Heat, Light, Sound’, ‘Who’s Got The Stamina?!’ and more. Has the transition from being a DJ to producer done you well? Was it exactly what you hoped for?
"I’m very lucky to played at the events that I have, I love playing teh freefrums and always will.
I do find talking about myself and promoting myself is difficult as it feels low level narcissistic.
The weird thing is to be sucessful you have to do a bit of that.
Producing is a great way to get ahead though.
The one thing about producing is it takes up lots of time which I never feel I have enough of, that’s why I find it easier to collab, I need to get some of timetable on the go, instead of drinking all the time."
Ok, a lame question inbetween (we have to): who’s the sexiest Freeform DJ and why? Please mention your love in full detail.
"There are so many to choose from, I mean A.B looks like a cuddly bear, Arkitech in a certain like can be quite appealing, Finnbarr looks like an extra on Boardwalk Empire.
I know DJ Acid Angel is a hit with the ladies, I’ll go with him."
2018 has been a good year so far, music wise. Freeform has come back (slightly) and you have been pushing a new label, Energy Field’, which is coincidentally your own. What’s the mission behind this new label?
"Energy Field is there to keep putting out good wholesome Freeform.
Energy field is totally different to Project Bumboy, it’s on all download stores worldwide, the artwork is professional and all the tracks are fire!
I also have a Youtube channel alongside the label which is for any random TV show I can think of."
Already 7 releases, it’s going extremely well. And the tracks are seriously impressive. The artists who released their music on your label are all well established names. And with some tracks you work alongside the biggest names: Transcend and A.B . Two very interesting producers. From all these releases, which record are you the proudest of, and why?
"‘Follow Me’ is also my favourite so far, it encompasses all the best things, acid lines, lush vocals and a killer Trancey riff!"
To me personally ‘Follow Me’ is truly amazing. But the track ‘Communion VIP’ is also smashing. Which records will be released in the near future, and will there be some kind of physical release of all these beautiful records?
"No physical releases unfortunately, the next two releases are Substanced - Martyr and Communion VIP go and check them out."
Another loony question: pinneaple on pizza, yes or no?
"Yeah why not, although you can’t take that kind of thing too far e.g melon in your lasagne"
And another one: Brexit, a good idea or not?
"Let’s get back in, and let’s lose the pound and get euros over here it would make my life easier when I go away."
Back to reality. You have become a phenomena in the music industry with an experiment that we all loved. 24 hours of listening to Gabber. Now, before we talk about that, how’s your physical state now? Have you recovered properly after this tremendous experiment?
"Just about, you can have too much Gabber IMO, that’ why I only listen to it once a year at Dominator."
And why did you start it in the first place? What’s the reason behind it?
"I’m trying to grow my Youtube channel with lots of new TV content, I’m sure there will be more experiments in the future."
How did you find the responses to your little video? And the other too (where you explain how to be a DJ)? Even big Facebook pages shared your experiment, and thousands of people have seen it.
"So far so good, I just want to give back to the rave community! 😉"
When will Cyrax become a meme himself?
"I hope so, then I can make celebrity apperances in rubbish nightclubs up and down the country."
Future wise: what’s happening in the near future with Cyrax? Any gigs you want us all to attend? Any news regarding your video’s?
"I’m playing in Finland and London towards the end of the year, I’m certain there will be some more videos out soon x "
Last question, and it’s a difficult one: if you have unlimited resources (money), and you could throw your own party, and book whoever you want to book, which DJ would have there, and why?
"I would put on a big festival, sheep permitting of course, with all of this lot!
Kev Energy, Sharkey, Cyrax, A.B, Solution, Aeon, Rikki Arkitech, Synthwulf, RX, Substanced, Dummy, Carbon Based, Proteus, Douglas, Finnbarr, Dani Delirio, Alchemist, Nick235, Andy Dee, Epyx, Cyrez, Alex Schazala, Ephexis, Hyphen, Evolutionize, Darwin, Transcend, Endemic, Eryk Orpheus, Midas, CLSM, Greg Peaks, Marc Ashley, K Complex, Lost Soul, Gammer, Rhona, Cube Hard, Grimsoul, Horzi, Tamerax, Digital Commandos, Ethos, Odyssey, Obie, Nomic, Oli G, Aryx, Wyrm, Olly Addictive, Acid Angel, Kounta Kulture, S3rl, Haze, JD Kidd, Shox, Ponder, Alabaster, Shanty, 3star, Fury, UFO, Atheral, Hedonistik ritual, Qygen, Stormtrooper, AMS, Slippery Disco, Ales, Poisecore, 7sins, more mental, Andy F, Raqhow, Beezee, Genki, shimotsukei, Paul Cumbum, MC wank, Lost Faith, pain on creation, plasmadancer, solvynt, tyranoid, strongstream, guld, dj yousuke, ranzor, spirit wolf"
Thank you Cyrax for this very interesting interview. We talked about this 2 years ago, and it finally happened! Proud moment for TCD. Cyrax has been a genuine legend from the first time I noticed him on Soundcloud. Make sure you check him out on social media, and also his label Energy Field. Share the love, passion, and dedication he has got, and keep the Freeform love going!
As an added bonus, here are two good mixes you should check out: the Freeform Anthems mix, and the latest Stamina Records' podcast, presented by Cyrax and his husband Transcend!