Managing and DJing on the Freqs of Nature ‘Groove Floor’ on Monday morning will be Goa Jonas from Germany. Jonas’ style was influenced from a very young age and at 29, he has had 18 years of involvement with the Goa Trance scene. He produced a bit when he was 15 years old with GMS (released on Tip records) but focuses his energy and time on listening to new sounds and getting DJ sets together. Between the ages of 7 and 15, Jonas grew up in Goa, India– where the Goa Trance movement developed and got its name. At the age of 12, he loved watching the DJs playing and asked them to show him how to do it too. He began by playing out using tapes (each containing up to 3 hrs of music) and then started organising his own parties when he was 13/14 for up to 2000 people at Disco Valley and was playing up to 400 parties between ’96 and ’99 in Goa (he never took any drugs).
In the beginning people would stop dancing when they see a 12 year old kid was DJing: “I ran around collecting donations from the foreigners and got enough money together to pay for the system. Talked to the bar guys who paid off the cops and you had your party. It’s unlike here in Germany where there is a lot of organisation and paperwork involved. In a way it is easier in India where you can just pay the cops and get your permit and do the party. Here, they check if it’s a nice place and whether there is a nature reserve which was the problem with hosting in the original location for the Rela(x)perimental stage here. The water, toilets, shops and so on are all regulated and ought to meet certain safety standards. India is a different story, with the Chai Mamas on the beach making ghee on their kerosene cookers, egg omelettes and sandwiches.”
In ’98 he left India for the first time in years to play Boom festival in Portugal and is the youngest DJ to ever play there. He played regularly in Goa until he returned to Germany at the age of 15, switched to CDs and began to beat-match rather than mixing tapes using the ‘feeling’ as the speeds could not be changed.
These days he returns to Goa and plays a few festivals (also playing Antaris in Germany this summer).
Jonas DJs a more classic Goa style up to 150bpm: “The Goa trance sound has developed into different genres which will now be split on different stages; progressive to full-on to hi-tech to forest, I personally try to keep the style of Goa with groovy basslines, a lot of movement and melody rather than aiming to smash up your brains with chaotic sounds (though it is cool how anything can go into your music and can be a great head-trip). My philosophy behind DJing is uplifting, but not too happy- just groovy, funky psychedelic trance. I like to mix and follow the flow of the DJ before and after my set. It has become more sectioned now rather than one continuous journey. In the ‘old times’ it was more like that, nowadays it is really split up. It’s innovated which is nice and the scene is now enormous compared to that time- but it was more familiar on the dance floor, everyone was together on one floor, on one party. I am of the opinion that every style of music will have nice tracks- hi-tech, for me, is too fast to dance to, but I’m sure for many people it brings them to a place they have not been before and that’s why they like it- on the right drugs you may see a broader sense in it and that’s what it is about: music for the drugs that you have the nicest journey with. However, I do believe you can always make something sound new even if you do use melodies. My sets are more musical rather than abstract sounds.”
For the future, he plans to compile a Various Artist release where he selects the tracks and produces with some of the artists and is currently working on a set to take you on a journey spanning the development of the sounds of his 18 years in Goa Trance. He is also going to record his mixes containing some new and unreleased material on his soundcloud and mixcloud.