To most unsuspecting people, Lyle Jensen is just another regular man hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. What most people don’t know is that Lyle leads a double life. Under the guise of his alter ego – ‘Archive’ – Lyle has been unleashing intense supercharged psy thrashing encompassing elements of warped distortion, slam mixing, and ZERO bullshit…listener discretion is advised!
In addition to indulging these destructive tendencies, Lyle is also co-owner and A&R manager of South Africa’s MMD Records, a DJ for the mysterious Terror Lab Industries (Mexico). On a more serious note Lyle was nice enough to join us today to talk about his new CD compilation ‘ Night Terrors ‘. So finally- a word from the man himself – brace yourselves!
[ishikawa] Lyle! Thanks for joining us today. Could you tell us more about yourself and how you came to be involved with the psytrance scene?
[Lyle]Well I started going to local psy trance parties in Cape Town around 1999 (back then there were only about 8-10 parties a year), and after a few years of figuring artists out and personal preferences to psy, I attempted to start mixing the stuff. At this time I use to DJ a lot of death/black/Industrial Metal & EBM under the name “Isotope”, but after about 4 big outdoors hosted by Alien Safari and Vortex, I quickly figured out the rhythm and the beats formulae, and was hooked and kept mixing psy trance, and moved away from the metal DJ sets. It was a good decision in hindsight, as the rock scene in Cape Town really started to dwindle towards the end of 2001…personal opinion of coarse!
[ishikawa] So where did the name ‘Archive’ come from? And what should unsuspecting listeners expect from your performances?
[Lyle]Well the name “Archive” was given to me by Stuart (Hiyarant) about a year before MMD started. It was given to me mainly cause I had a huge collection of metal albums (like whole catalogues with B-sides of all the bands we listened to at the time), so they called me the “Archive”…I liked the name and ran with it! What should listeners expect…a serious psy thrashing! Haha
[ishikawa] You are a big part of MMD Records which IMO played a big role in evolving the South African twilight sound, especially in promoting acts like Frozen Ghost, Hiyarant and Rubix Qube in their greener days.What was the story behind MMD’s birth and how has the label’s vision changed over the years?
[Lyle]Well MMD was started more as a need to expand the nighttime fullon genre of psy coming out of SA, which at the time was being dominated by the legendary Cape Town labels Timecode, Nexus Media, Afrogalactic and even Nano to a certain extent. Laurence Sonnenberg (Zion Linguist) approached me almost a month after I graduated with my BBA degree in early 2005, to try start a label that would be focusing on the new breed of upcoming twilight producers from Cape Town (names at the time like himself, Lost & Found, Frozen Ghost, SWORN, Excell and Multistate) who he felt were not getting the cred they deserved. A few months later Mind Manipulation Device Records (or MMD as it is now) was born! It’s definitely been a long windy road with MMD over the past 7 odd years, but I feel like we have for sure added a little bit of a brand to that high energy trade mark sound people have become acquainted to when it comes to nighttime fullon out of Cape Town…it’s a good feeling!
[ishikawa] MMD Records was amongst the first to make the switch to digital releases. Are the days of physical CD releases truly behind us, and do you feel the switch has helped improve the lay of the land for psy labels out there?
[Lyle]You can thank Regan of Nano Records for that. They were the first to attempt digital EP’s in 2008 followed shortly by Timecode and Nexus Media. If it wasn’t for Regan’s suggestion to us going digital, MMD might have gone seriously bankrupt! So a personal thank you to Regan for kicking us in the ass!haha
I totally believe digital for serious fans is the way of the future…in comparison to our hard copies printed, we’ve been able to push out triple the amount releases annually, and with each ep being roughly 4 tracks, the quality of the beats coming out are at a much higher level than ever before. I’d like to think a trend would be set to focus on quality rather than quantity for other releases coming out on other new labels starting up.
[ishikawa] You were the man behind compiling the infamous ‘Erratic Distortion’ released on MMD Records way back when in 2006. An awesome release featuring some breathtaking classics from the likes of Lost N Found, Rabdom L and Zion Linguist to name a few. Could you tell us a little bit about the magic behind this release? Are there any plans for a possible follow up Erratic Distortion 2 release?
[Lyle]Aaahhh the good ol days!haha. Well when Erratic Distortion came out, MMD was very much riding the wave of success from our debut V/A “Twilight Children”, along with a massive response to our first outdoor festival we threw in early January called “Point of No Return”. I attempted to take what Laurence had done with his V/A, and try take it to the next level, so we approached the likes of Cape Town psy trend setters Rabdom L, Phyx, Multistate, and Lost & Found, and kinda mesh them up with some banging tracks made by Frozen Ghost, Zion Linguist, along with debuting Hiyarant with 2 tracks. It was a risky move because most of the artists on Erratic were still relative new-comers, so I was blown away when we started get approached by international DJ’s n producers to join MMD. I’m so stoked that the gamble paid off in the end!
As for an Erratic 2…hmmm, maybe in the future, but it will probably be a digital release if it happens.
[ishikawa] Given the many years of abuse my copy of ‘Erratic Distortion’ has endured, it goes without saying that me and the rest of the Archive Fan Club are eagerly awaiting your next compilation, entitled ‘Night Terrors’ which is set to release on Terror Lab Industries. Please tell us more about this release.
[Lyle]Night Terrors has been an interesting trip indeed! Having never compiled for an international label, I was very much ampt to compile for my amigos in Mexico, Terror Lab Industries, as they are one of the few nighttime fullon labels still manufacturing CD’s, so when Transgenic approached me to compile a V/A for them, I condescendingly said “How bout a double CD!?”…and he said “Sure!” I spent a bit of time thinking of a V/A name which combing nighttime psy with Terror Lab, came up with “Night Terrors”….it was very simple.haha
For the V/A I wanted a fresh global look at twilight psy, so trying to cover most corners of the globe, I contacted the producers I wanted to represent certain continents, and all of the artists keeping there unique sounds, still manage to have that thin thread running through the V/A being that it’s all slamming nighttime fullon psy trance. I hope the fans will like my (not so) little contribution to the scene…it’s released 9th March 2012 worldwide, and its pure Terror!!
[ishikawa] Terror Lab Industries – a mysterious and crazy bunch rumored to based out of Mexico, and infamous for their ability to kick up some serious dust. You recently signed up with them as a label DJ. How has it been like to work with them so far and how different has it been from your experience at MMD Records?
[Lyle]Terror Lab Industries is so mysterious not even I know what’s going on half of the time! Haha. I signed with them middle of 2010 (and likewise we signed DJ Transgenic to MMD also as a rep for us in Mexico), and I can tell you it’s been nothing but good vibes. Obviously MMD is my baby so I take a much more serious approach when it comes to our artists and releases we put our tag next to, but with Terror Lab myself and the Terror crew all share a fascination with heavy metal and heavy distorted synth driven high energy psy, so the chemistry was there from the get-go! I’m interested and excited to see what the future holds for those mad cats from Mexico!
[ishikawa] After so many years behind the decks, do you have any plans of getting into producing your own material? If so, are there any projects you would like to work with in particular?
[Lyle]I get asked this all the time, so without sounding too redundant, I’m gonna just say no! I’ve always felt like my position in the psy industry is to promote and release those who I know/feel will slam the dancefloors. Staying a DJ allows me to stay neutral and focus on the producers that make the best beats for our label and the scene. I don’t even want to go into a list of producers I’d want to work with IF I made psy, because it’s just way too long. I got too much respect for too many peeps! Haha
[ishikawa] Given your long history as a DJ , I am curious to know- what is your favorite track ever? Also, who would you consider to be your favorite acts at the moment? And lastly any upcoming acts on your radar that we should be made forewarned of?
[Lyle]Jeezz that’s a hard one, cause there’s so many tracks I love. Off the top of my head, one of my all time favorite tracks would have to be “Tortured Brain – The Dealer”…classic dark dancefloor pounder! That track along with a few others is what got me into the psy scene.
As for my favorite act(s) that are grabbing my attention, I think Wired (of Sinful Reactions), Iron Lotus (who’s also doing a new MindBenders project with Eyetek which will be debuting on an MMD EP soon), Lost & Found, Rubix Qube, Smashed, Z3ro, H1N1 and Super Evil are all trying to bring something different to the table beat-wise now, so those are some acts to look out for. Oh, and I can’t forget the legend himself, Absolum….I saw a live set from him recently here in Cape Town, and he killed it…what a master!!
[ishikawa] The South African Psytrance scene is known for its amazing landscapes and awesome crowds, in addition to its host of local talent who push out some of the most wicked beats out there. What do you think makes South Africa so special?
[Lyle]There’s no doubting the uniqueness of the SA fullon sound, especially when it comes to the nighttime fullon psy…I honestly think (in Cape Town specifically) that the ocean triggers that more creative right hemisphere side of the brain, which is why you get some crazy original sounding psy coming out of here. I think also based on the fact that most of us making/DJing psy all know each other, it creates a bit of a close family like structure, where we all take input from each other and grow together…it’s all very kumbaya out here! haha
[ishikawa] What has been your craziest party experience yet?
[Lyle]Well I’ve never quite gotten use to checking people f**k during a set of mine…this one time a good few years ago, a couple was getting it on right under the stage, and you could actually check it going on under the floor boards…it made concentrating on beat matching a mission!haha
[ishikawa] Thanks for your time Lyle, it has been pleasure talking with you. Before we end, do you have any last shout outs? Or possibly a speech for your adoring Archive Fan Club?
[Lyle]There’s a lot more psy filth approaching on the horizon spawn, so look out!
ROCK THE BODY…BEND THE MIND!!!
Chillout / Ambient :
Progressive trance :
EDM(Trance/Techno/House/Progressive) DJsets :