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Mixmag Asia Radio: dreamstates conjures up a realm of genre defiance

The Mumbai-based DJ is now a household name across India's vast electronic scene

  • Charles Budd
  • 14 September 2022
Mixmag Asia Radio: dreamstates conjures up a realm of genre defiance

No borders, no boundaries — the kind of artist introduction we like to hear and that we hope you like to hear too. It’s the kind of intro that just about always gives us goosebumps before cranking up the amp.

For this week’s episode of Mixmag Asia Radio, we direct you to India, where dreamstates is etching new formations across the Subcontinent through sonic impressions.

With just about five years under his belt as a DJ, he’s quickly garnered national attention, whilst also having the opportunity to share stories from the booths with some of his musical heroes including Auntie Flo, Mosca, DJ Stingray and Baba Stiltz. dreamstates has also made key festival appearances across the country by being billed at Echoes of Earth festival, A Day of Slick and Boxout Weekender.

Find out more about dreamstates and check out his mix below.

Where are you based and how did you get there?

Based out of Bombay, born and raised here!

What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?

It’s a melting pot of a variety of styles, and while cliques exist, its a great place to be a fan of different styles of music. Venues are known to put out different styles of entertainment on different days of the week and audiences are quite open minded about their preferences.

In five words, what do your DJ sets sound like?

Cosmic, deep, emotional, trippy, crusty.

And in three words, how would you describe yourself?

Playful, jovial, deep.

What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to? Have you caught onto them?

Over the past few years, lo fi tendencies, breakbeats and electro have made a bit of a resurgence - with some big (read: trendy) labels especially shining the torch on records and producers with these aesthetics. Off late, trance and progressive house has especially caught my fancy as well - I’ve been playing out a bunch of trance breaks and progressive house from the 90s that sounds like it was way ahead of its time.

Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention?

Sunju Hargun — his take on trance and techno is quite refreshing

Monophonik — I consider him the brightest spark in the Indian scene

Spacejams — The world is yet to experience his brilliance in terms of musical output. His style as a DJ is quite radical. He’s been the biggest promoter of the Electro sound in India and I cant wait for the world to check out some of the dynamite material he’s synthesizing in his den.

From pre to post pandemic, what has changed & what hasn’t changed about your life in the music world?

Weirdly enough, I’m playing way more gigs on a weekly and monthly basis post-pandemic than I was pre-pandemic. The momentum and energy on dance floors has returned full swing and even harder than before.

Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix - what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?

I wanted to put together a mix with tunes that have delivered the best moments for me on dancefloors in the past year. These are the tunes that have got the crowds going and needless to say are also my go-to tunes recently.

What equipment did you record this mix on?

I used a pair of CDJ 2000s with a XONE:92 mixer. Recorded on a Zoom H4N pro recorder.

Where can we hear you playing next?

Playing a 6-city tour back to back with my buddy Zokhuma through August and September, got a bunch of solo gigs lined up as well as some special festival announcements dropping soon! I got the opportunity to play The Lab Goa with Mixmag earlier this year along with Boiler Room in Bombay.. it’s been quite the year!

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