Huff Post Interview – September 2017

Exclusive Premiere + Interview : YokoO & Retza share “Tarantism” from their Euneirophrenia EP

 Photo: Valya Karchevskaya

Euneirophrenia, the title of the new YokoO & Retza EP, means the peaceful state of mind after a long dream. This lucid feeling is a signature of both the All Day I Dream party and label, on which the duo previously released another EP, Magnetic Souls, in 2016. From the opening notes of this collaborative project between French producer YokoO and Australian producer Retza, you are lured into a layered and continually evolving soundscape. Each track name also holds a deeper meaning, with inspiration drawing from Native American spiritual beliefs (”Orenda”) , and fundamental principles of Japanese aesthetics (”Yügen”). Premiered below is “Tarantism,” which according to wikipedia is “a psychological illness characterized by an extreme impulse to dance, prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th century, and widely believed at the time to be caused by the bite of a tarantula.” Listen to the premiere below, as well as an interview and specially curated playlist from YokoO & Retza.

How did the EP come about?

YokoO: After the positive response we got from our first ADID EP, “Magnetic Souls”, it only made sense for us to follow up with another one. Retza sent me a fairly rough version of the title track which I instantly fell in love with the vibe of and asked him to send me the project to arrange and perfect. Patience being one of my virtues, I enjoy spending time delving into details, working on structuring as well as adding finishing touches. Staying aligned with the label name, I called the piece “Euneirophrenia”, referring to the peace of mind that comes after having pleasant dreams. Once the piece was finalised and tested out on the dance floor (more than a year ago now), I knew we had to work on a follow up EP together. I originally sent it to Lee who didn’t quite vibe to it. 6 months later, most certainly after testing it out and realising how great of a response it was getting from the crowds across the globe, he asked to sign it. The three other tracks were made in my Berlin home studio during the summer of 2016 as Retza was visiting town. We managed to nail the main ideas within a week, and finalise the tracks remotely.

What is the meaning behind it?

YokoO: I trust that each track, specifically named after personal experiences are pretty self-explanatory. Furthermore, I encourage the listeners to let their imagination run wild and connect with the music. There is a meaning to be found for everyone who is willing.Euneirophrenia: The peaceful state of mind after having a pleasant dream. Orenda: A mystical force present in all people that can empower them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives. Tarantism: Overcoming melancholy by dancing; the uncontrollable urge to dance. Yügen: An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep, mysterious and powerful for words.

What is your producing style?

YokoO: Retza and I either compose together, or remotely. Since we are both based on different continents, Retza works other jobs and I have a very busy touring schedule, it is never easy for us to get together. We both have our respective home studios and usually swap project ideas back and forth via the internet.

What do you want to communicate with your music?

YokoO: I mainly do this to express myself by means other than with words. I see my music as a release of energy through creation of harmonic or disharmonic vibrations. I like to think of it as a healing tool evoking emotions and inner exploration. Every piece I write corresponds to the way I feel at a given time as a result of my experiences. In other words, my music is the translation and reflection of my experiences and therefore the story of my life, or at least some of its key moments.

Euneirophrenia is out everywhere September 29th. Buy on Beatport via the link below.