It’s a story that’s been told before; young producer seemingly appears from nowhere and goes from zero to hero in the shortest space of time… yet it’s never completely the case. There’s always hours and hours of time spent toiling away in their home studios perfecting their sound. New psyprog sensation Berg is no different although he certainly has arrived with a bang with some genuine psy-prog floor fillers to his name already, a definitive signature sound and a remix of nu-skool sensations, Coming Soon. He plays the Soulstice Festival in Joburg this weekend (31 Aug) and will be back for his first gig in Cape Town at Organik’s Gaian Dream party on 19th October 2013. Here’s his story so far….
Tell us a bit about who you are, how long you’ve been producing and if you’re also a DJ…
BERG: Shlomi Berg from Israel; I’ve been producing music since the age of 15 which is almost 9 years. I started to produce Psytrance right from the start. The project “Berg” was created 2 years ago when I spoke to a friend of mine who told me to try a progressive style and I fell in love with this kind of music. I also play DJ sets but I’m usually only booked for my live act.
Israel must be the best training ground in the world for trance producers. Or at least that’s the impression one gets. How strong is the producer community in terms of getting help from experienced producers?
BERG: Well, I know what everyone thinks about the music industry in Israel, specifically with trance. But the thing is I never had lessons or any course for producing music.
In Israel we have many famous and professional courses for music, DJ mixing etc…We have a lot of them and also a lot of producers as well. But as a kid, I found myself looking for guides on the net or learning some techniques without other help. It was just a hobby in the beginning so I didn’t share my stuff or talk with other people and then when I felt it was becoming more than a hobby I shared my stuff with other local promoters.
Did/do you have a mentor (a producer/artist that you’ve always looked up to)?
BERG: Well , I didn’t really had a mentor or something like that but I can say during my short period as a producer I have met a lot of talented people and each one of them has his own skills and develop this own way. So, we continually learn new skills from each other.
Your first EP put you on the map quite quickly. Were you surprised how well it was received?
BERG: That’s true my Debut EP called “Wizdom” did bring some noise to the scene. For me it was a surprise because I tried to bring something different with this EP like the elastic bass and low vocals. So I didn’t know if it was going to work or not but thankfully I found out it did and now after 1 ½ years I am releasing my 4th EP.
Your track Action and your remix of Jazz Woodbine [Capital Monkey] I would say are the two tracks that have now put you into the big leagues along with your recent remix of Coming Soon’s Limitless. Did you know these artists before or is it through your music that you’ve gotten to know them and collaborate with these nu-skool psy-tech guys.
BERG: Capital Monkey (Macaco,) who is my best Brazilian friend, I met through the music. This guy has always supported my music and showed his respect as a friend and not only in the music industry. Now we are working on collaborations together which are going to be released on my next EP. Irad and Dui aka Coming Soon are good friends that I also met through the music. I’m glad I got this opportunity to do the remix for Limitless and hopefully will collaborate with them again soon. By the way, when I finished the track Action I really was not sure whether to try release it or not. I thought I could do better than that and I wanted to work on it a bit more. I listened to it over and over but in the end I decided to release it. I must say I never thought it was going to be one of my best tracks so far. These days Mr. Suit is working on a massive remix for that track which will be worth the wait, I assure you.
You have definitely developed your own sound and certainly your own signature ‘elastic’ bass style. This seems to be a trend with many of the biggest ‘nu-skool’ artists (Coming Soon, Day Din, Neelix, Interactive Noise) to name a few. I know you won’t want to give away your secrets but care to tell young producers which synth you prefer for bass?
BERG: Well, I always say that Cronox 2 is a great synth for bass and Trilogy as well but I think it does depend on which software you use. Because in Logic for example you can find a really good built-in synth for bass but if you are Steinberg lover you can definitely use Cronox 2 or Trilogy.
Right now which artist/DJ/producer would you love to remix in the psytrance scene?
BERG: I guess a collaboration with Daydin can be good. He has some good tunes for remixing.
And outside of trance? Anybody you would love to remix?
BERG: I really love that track “Raise Your Weapon” by Deadmau5. I’m pretty sure I do a good remix for that track.
South Africa: I am sure you have heard about our killer parties….
BERG: That’s a good question. 2 weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine about parties in South Africa. He told me that South Africa has a really killer party scene, especially in Cape Town. I’ve also heard the people there have good vibes and never stop dancing.
Soon I’ll be playing in Johannesburg and then I’ll be able to tell for myself but I have no doubt it’s gonna be massive.
What drink should people buy you if they want to show you some love while you’re playing?
BERG: Definitely a Grey Goose, hehe I really love it. Last time in Australia when I drank it I got quite drunk but it was worth it for sure.