Anton Maiko now lives around perhaps the modern spiritual home of psy-trance. But Israel wasn’t in the plan to begin with. Actually, the artist who now calls himself Mindwave started his life pursuit in the former Soviet bloc, in Kaliningrad, Russia. His family deciding when he was six to take him to a land of opportunity, which in hindsight, may not have been a bad move.
And from his new base in Nazareth Illite, he begins to explain his story: “since an early age, I was always interested in electronic music. Then maybe since I was about 13, I started experimenting with software for creating music; to start with I think it was more for fun – definitely in the beginning. But later on, I took it to a more professional level. I studied sound engineering and really wanted to use that as a way to develop my music.”
So what was it that led him to a life in the psychedelic trance scene? “While I was searching for different genres in all types of sounds and things, I ended up really liking psychedelic sounds. Finding that it wasn’t in anyway boring, he explored the different perspectives of the music, thinking it had some possibilities. “I found a lot of other sounds the same,” he explains. Regardless, a moot argument to be sure, given genre debate is about as old as religion itself. And he agrees: “that’s irrelevant anyway. I just do what I do. When I began to produce my own music – and then over the years as I began to move with a more progressive sound – it was the psy-trance that really had me connecting to this genre, and now I have been producing psychedelic music for four years now.”
Like many Russian migrants too, he embraced his opportunity and is now doing something he loves – not a bad thing in anyone’s language. “When my family immigrated to Israel when I was younger, the country was known as the biggest place for trance music basically all over the world. Most of the artists are from here and a lot of the music is coming from here too. When I got here, I really started hearing about the big named Israeli artists. I was listening to MFG and Astral Projection and thinking to myself, ‘Wow, how do they do that?’”
Getting the hook-up in a country the size of Israel wasn’t too hard either. He reminisces about how he started producing and how one connection happened and then another – and then it continued on and on. “I had help from other guys to do it too,” he adds. And now we’re talking to him about his first visit to Australia.
Studio wise, Mindwave has recently released his third LP – an album titled Concept of Freedom. “When I was working on it, I decided to make it different to what you around the place these days. Some artists are more interested in creating hit tracks for the dance floor. I wanted to go back to the original psy music; the sounds with a message and feeling in them. I decided to make a more of a concept album with this one, really wanting to take it to a different place. The albums before were a big experiment for me; in terms of genres I feel they might have been more progressive, but I have more of an understanding of where I am now and where I want to be.”
Indeed, he believes all artists need to try to produce something outside their own square. “I can always produce something even outside of traditional electronic music,” he chimes. “If artists get stuck in the same genre all the time, you can lose the enjoyment of creating music. I think that those artists that are combining say minimal and techno or trance and something else are the ones that are now doing the bombs for the dance floor. People are excited when they hear it and as a producer, you feel like you’re teaching the crowd about new music. Otherwise, people who are listening to just one style of music are stuck in this cycle which I don’t want to do.”
Finally, he adds that he is on his way down under to smash out some parties and shows. “I’m really excited about it; I’ll be playing songs from the new album and some singles and other tracks from the compilation and things people will be familiar with from me. My primary cause is to promote the new album because I think it’s the best work of mine that I have done. It sounds more mature so I hope the Australia crowd will like it.” I say, there is no doubt.
Mindwave [ISR] plays the Tree of Life Festival alongside Dick Trevor [UK], Green Nuns Of The Revolution [UK], and more from Friday May 25 until Sunday May 27.