Terminal V Podcast 063 || Faster Horses

Manchester-based Faster Horses sits right at the intersection of techno, trance and psychedelia. His signature sound is all about the contrasts between light and dark, heavy drums and ethereal synths, and it has taken him to key clubs all over Europe in a short space of time as well as to labels like Euromantic, Space Trax and Things We Never Did. Before he heads into the New Year with a wealth of exciting new music to unleash, he serves up a mix that invites you deep into his world. It’s a thrilling mix that is accompanied by an insightful interview in which he talks about the meaning of psychedelia, making music from photos, his evolution as a DJ and more…

Your music mixes up trance, techno and psychedelia – how do you manifest the latter in the music you make and play? What does psychedelia sound like?

I think it can be very difficult to manifest the concept of psychedelia in music as it’s subjective from person to person. I find a lot of tracks play off idea of psychedelia presented in pop culture, surrounding the use of psychedelic substances, and I find this quite boring. For me the idea of adding a psychedelic element in my music is less about copying what one might experience on a mushroom trip, for example, and more trying to convey an altered or expanded headspace along with the emotions I’m feeling during the production of the track.

Something I like to do a lot is work from photos. I’m lucky enough to have travelled to a lot of places through DJing, and have visited some incredibly surreal landscapes. I find that when I try and create an atmosphere in a track working from a photo from somewhere I have found quite surreal or unique, the end result ends up sounding quite psychedelic.

As one of the younger generation of artists taking techno forward, do you dig back in time to educate yourself about what has gone before? I wonder if knowing about the roots is a blessing or a burden, and inspiration or a creative noose?

I definitely have found myself inspired by the sounds of the last 20-30 years or so. In the early days of Faster Horses, I used to play pretty much only ‘old’ tracks as I found the process of digging really enjoyable, especially when it comes to finding old hard trance / psytrance / goa records.

What’s one club or party that has had a major impact on you as a DJ or a producer?

I was lucky enough to attend a Fast Forward party in Copenhagen in late 2021. It was one of the last parties that took place in the KBH Volume warehouse, before it was unfortunately shut down.

What was the last record you heard that made you really sit up and listen and think ‘wow’ and why did it?

I think Loif’s recent EP on Animalia, ‘Plunge’, has really stuck with me for a while now. Loif is not a techno artist, he’s more focused on the ambient / downtempo / dubstep side of things. His productions are really impressive, adding a psychedelic element and creating an amazing atmosphere. It spans everything from ambient to breaks to straight up psytrance, and I’m still completely in love with it.

What are you working on or what are you looking forward to right now?

Right now I have a few exciting things in the pipeline. I have an EP coming on Euromantic, which is just classic Faster Horses, melodic, euphoric and spacey. I also have an EP coming on Teletech which showcases my harder tastes, something I’ve not really put out yet. It’s still very obviously me, but with a harder touch.

Tell us about your mix, the aim you had with it, and what you wanted it to say.

So with this mix, I actually wanted to reduce a little bit of the intensity you’ll probably find in my more recent sets. I’ve found myself more and more leaning towards the sounds that originally interested me, playing more rolling hypnotic tracks, and layering these with bursts of melody.

I’m also feeling very inspired by artists such as overmono at the moment, and wanted to take the opportunity to drop some more breaky tracks along those lines in the mix.

What gear did you use, is that important to you in any way whether in the booth or studio?

My home setup is two XDJ700s, a Pioneer turntable and a Xone PX5 mixer. It’s far from perfect but allows me to blend three decks, and most of my podcasts recently have been a mix of digital and vinyl.

Interview by Kristan Caryl