By Kai Teo
We’re sure many musicians would agree that the best way to pay tribute to your favourite DJ would be to dance the fuck out of your element during the set.
And when we watched eLement9 play live during Project: Everglades 2014, we knew what was powering the super-talented psytrance audio and visual duo – us, the raving mad animals on the dance floor.
Buddha Mag got a chance to talk to Robert and Rickard, pioneers of the Swedish Psytrance scene, and asked them some pretty personal questions about their dental hygiene and if they listened to their own music during sex.
“It’s all about taking our listeners on a spiritual journey of joy. And when everyone gets swept into a trance, that’s when we are most inspired.”
Fuck yes. When we were on the dance floor during the eLement9 set, we were swept off our minds and got sucked into a light-speed vortex of hyper self-awareness and a total loss of consciousness. It wasn’t stuff that we would pound our fists and stomp mindlessly to, it instead stirred up some sort of self-reflection from deep within our souls and gently propelled our bodies to flow gracefully, and at the same time, express the boundless joy and energy of their uplifting beats.
The crazy thing is, they render their visuals and lasers on the fucking spot. Yes. No “press play and stand on the console like Steve Aoki”, these people are busy working for us. And they build their laser beams themselves. PEW PEW PEW! I don’t even know how a laser pointer actually works.
So their show, really, is a spectacle of mesmerising lights and captivating sounds, combined with a distinctive, unknown element in their live acts that steers our hearts and bodies – something they term eLement9.
And that’s why they’re called that.
The duo compares Psytrance to the ancient drumming of tribal communities that our forefathers danced to in order to forge a connection with the gods. Their powerful performance contains influences from Turkish folk and Buddhist meditation music, which gives it a moving spiritual touch.
Cleverly dropped into our mindscapes were the little quotes here and there, which threw our thoughts far into outer space, and deep within our entrenched belief system.
And that one line that stuck with me since then was this, “It’s not where you go, it’s how you feel. And when you find it, it lasts forever…. forever… forever… forever…”
My mind shattered into a million fucking pieces, and I hurriedly picked them up before the forest trolls could steal them for their brain stew back in their caves. More voices assaulted my senses, and with every voice, I could see the exact face that was speaking it. And no, the voice samples weren’t shit like “I like your booty, oh yea”, but deep talk that forces us to question our existence.
The dimension that their music created in my head was a vast universe that was far and wide, filled with a billion sparkling stars and adorned with candy coloured planets that seem to spin in all directions, at once. The space created between every layer of sound was a huge distance that could be measured only by light years, and standing in front of the speakers with my eyes closed instantly transported me into the cosmos and left me suspended in the galaxies – weightless, stress-less, painless.
My dance with eLement9 felt like we were directly communicating to each other. They blasted their beliefs and life philosophies from the speakers and lasers, in the form of sound waves and light particles. I absorbed that into every molecule of my body, and every parallel existence of my soul. I then responded with pure ecstasy and delirious dance, as if to thank them for the multi-sensory experience and reminders of how we can better live our lives.
eLement9’s performance is an exhibition of musical and visual talent. But really, what powers them, is us.
And that’s why we were so moved on the dance floor. I was determined to dance the fuck out of the ground, shake the soil, move the earth. It was either the tent that was gonna fall, or me.
Through the thick smoke and the war-of-the-worlds-styled lasers, I glanced up at the duo behind their console, and I saw two stars through the clouds, illuminating the path of the Swedish Psytrance scene with their talent, and more importantly, philosophy of their work.
One of the things that really struck me while talking to them was their humility. These are fucking veterans in the local scene and yet, they have no airs, no frills, and no fucking bullshit. They love what they do and they love how we dance, and they’ll keep doing it for as long as electricity exists.
The duo has plans to push their live performances to the next level by joining their fans on the dance floor during the shows, while at the same time continuing to do what they’re doing with their lights and sounds. Would we expect to see a portable console, light controls and Ironman-style lasers from the chest? Some crazy iPhone 6 and Apple Watch thingy going on? We can only wait.