This is the full version of my music production bio from Last.FM I recently shortened it, but I figured if anyone ever wanted the whole thing, its right here…
Psyence is a Jungle music innovator from the United States. He is also a Researcher-Emeritus of Nanotechnology, having been recognized by Scientific American Magazine, the American Chemical Society, the National Society of Black Engineers and the United States Army.
Born to an Afro-Cuban father and African-American/Hebrew mother, he was exposed to a great deal of culture and music from both sides. At age 15, Psyence would find the CD “MTV Amp’d” in a Blockbuster music store in 1996, and listen to the sounds of Prodigy, Roni Size, Fatboy Slim, Aphex Twin, and his soon-to-be-hero, Goldie. From then on, he was hooked to the sounds of Jungle, Breakbeat, and Drum & Bass. In 1999, he found himself in Southwest Virginia, amidst “3E Promotion’s” Roanoke rave scene, and by 2001, he grabbed a copy of Fruity Loops 2.8 and began making tracks, first under the name “J-Alpha”. It was at this time he would first meet his soon-to-become friend, Dave Minner, also known as AK1200.
In the Summer of 2001, Psyence briefly relocated to Washington DC, where he would hear many of the world’s best Electronic genre-driven talent at venues such as the famed Nation and the underground Kaffa House. From here, he would relocate and return to music production while attending school.
By 2003, Psyence had purchased Stanton STR8-80s and a Denon mixer and made mixtapes to handout to D&B enthusiasts on the FSU and FAMU campus in Tallahassee, FL, which was his hometown from birth to 1992, then again in his college years, from 2002-2004. After only two months of DJing, he joined the Tallahassee Future Tribe and attempted to play at the Barnacle Bill Thursday Night D&B sessions, created by Meridee J (yet, due to pure lack of experience, it never materialized). He began “Platoon: D&B”, which was a short-lived weekly Drum N’ Bass event, held at Jade nightclub. He also started Electronic Syndicate Productions, his first attempt at a EDM label, as a way of marketing original US DNB and Jungle. This label consisted of his own works, under the name “Nazarr” (short for Nazarite), along with fellow DJs and Artists Digital Lion (A’dam Taylor), Breakboy (Shamari Feuster), J Space (Johnathan Evans), Core (Evan Core), and Flipside (Russell Youmans). After spending time, in the Atlanta Drum N’ Bass scene, Psyence attempted to form partnerships with various GA and FL groups, including Jungala, ESP101, CreoleOrange, Konkrete Jungle Atlanta, Bassdrive FL and Jive Magazine.
Eventually, it would be DJ Wednesdays W.A.R. that would inspire Psyence to stay true to his Jungle roots, as he had first given him an exclusive dubplate for mixing and continued to mentor Psyence through his early years. Psyence would continue to craft his sound, experimenting with Industrial, during a short-lived collaboration with goth/industrial group Man and Machine. Sean Shooter was approached at BBS for potential management, and Sonic Foundry became ESPs first corporate sponsor (the original developers behind Vegas, Acid, and Soundforge). Unfortunately, In 2003, Psyence attempted to host D&B artist A-Sides and have him headline his dream event at the Beta Bar. When it didn’t happen, at that point, Psyence took it as a learning experience, and shut down ESP.
He also took a two year hiatus from music and relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 2004. During this time, Psyence would befriend several LA musicians, including International drummer April King, Ska-legend Alex Desert and underground hip-hop rapper Cadalack Ron. He would also find camaraderie in several accomplished Drum & Bass individuals, including DJ Odi of Konkrete Jungle NYC, Jordana aka 1.8.7. of jungle/Liquid Sky and vocalist/producer Regina, who had ironically had worked with A-Sides on the popular hit “What You Don’t Know”. It was these three individuals who motivated him to continue music. He would find myself now adding Reason to his sound, alongside producer, graffiti artist and friend Gianni Arone, known as theFL.
The two became the duo “Staircase”, and quickly discovered together they had a truly unique sound. They placed 4th in the Nine-Inch Nails remix contest for “Only” on Myspace in 2005. In September of 2005, Psyence was robbed and assaulted by gang-members, and nearly killed after several blows to the face and head with a bat. This halted all music production for several months, and at the end of summer 2006, they began a new spiritual music project, based on Kabbalah and Vedic teachings. This was a far cry away from their typical Drum & Bass infused style, with a balance of various genres and styles, with both digital and analog instruments, such as tabla, singing bowls, congas, and even didgeridoo. In Jan. 2007, “Staircase” would release their album “Carpe Diem: the Secret Science of Manifestation” on Amazon, and before the year’s end, it sold out internationally in seven countries. It would be the first time the two producers received critical acclaim for their work, and it would be the first and last album the pair would work on together. This brought Psyence the opportunity to work on other music pursuits, such as film scoring, which he did for several short films.
In 2008, Psyence would take another several years away from any public music works and focus on his new passion: Fatherhood. After producing several hundred works in his bedroom (from 2006-2011), ranging from seconds to 6 minutes or more, Psyence gathered his favorites and began releasing them on Youtube at the end of 2012. In March 2013, he released “Late Night Sessions I”, his first solo full-length album. It is a collection of abstract and experimental Drum N’ Bass, Jungle, Hip-Hop, and Trip-Hop works, and features Artists Eryn Lee, T-Double, Seda MC, and fellow Staircase member theFL. The tracks are unmixed and remain unmastered, per Psyence’s raw vision: “they are simply ideas in the form of sound”.
The album “Late Night Sessions I” is currently available on Bandcamp and now is in rotation on Last FM radio, and will soon be available on iTunes and Spotify.