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Waiting to Exaile

Popular Israeli psytrance act Exaile talk about their India tour

Rolling Stone IN Aug 25, 2009
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Eight years ago, Israeli trance superstar Skazi saw potential in a small electronica outfit from the same country and pressed them to create their own psychedelic trance. Today, Nir Sobol and Eyal Tzur, who go by the moniker Exaile, are among the most widely travelled trance acts, known for their virtuoso live performances and their own record label. The duo is touring India this month and will make a stop in Mumbai, New Delhi, Manali and Bangalore. Rolling Stone caught up with Sobol for a quick chat.

Q: How did you guys get together to form Exaile?

Eyal and I studied together in high school. During that time we were both playing the guitar for metal bands. We soon started working together as professional musicians. First we formed a band that fused rock with electronica and then we shifted to Trance. The change was very natural for us and was majorly inspired by Skazi.

Project Exaile has been active since 2001. It fuses full-on trance with rock, metal and hip-hop. We use a lot of live recordings of vocals, guitars and violins, which is what upgrades our music to something more than just electronic tracks. The name Exaile arises from two aspects, but mainly because it sounds like exile. Eyal and I always felt exiled at every place we visited and we decided to write the name with a spelling error for a practical reason ”“ search keywords Type Exaile in Google and you get our trance project as the first link.

Q: You’ve already visited India three times. What are your views on the country and its trance culture in particular?

India is one of my favorite places in the whole world. The general vibe of India is what attracts me to it ”“ the peace, shanti and the beautiful culture, which is always interesting. The trance culture in India is also very unique. It’s alive in a lot of cities and the crowd is one of the best in the world. The people are completely committed to the music and I take back a new experience each time I visit. My most memorable moment was the first time I played in India. It was in Mumbai at a club called Fire and Ice. But the best part about this country is the culture and the food!

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This time I will visit four cities: Mumbai, New Delhi, Manali and Bangalore. During my two week tour, I hope to take out some time to travel and see some more of the country. Strangely enough, I have never visited Goa. Every year I tell myself that I will visit next time, but somehow it never happens.

Q:  What do you think of the Indian clubbing experience? Do you think India has the potential to become a global trance destination like Japan and Brazil?

My experience at Elevate [in Delhi] was very good. Like I said, the Indian crowd is one of the best in the world, and this club is really a beautiful one. It’s of the highest standards you can get anywhere in the world. I think that India is already a global trance destination. It may not be as popular as Japan and Brazil but it seems to be getting bigger every year.

Q: Your opinion on trance music from India?

I think it’s true that most of the trance that comes out of India is dark trance. But I associate India with the roots of trance music, the good old Goa trance that was first played in the early Nineties. I think that the Indian labels are quite similar to labels across the world ”“ professional and serious. In general, business with Indian people is always nice. I’ve never been ripped off and always meet nice people.

Q: You previously worked with Skazi. You now run your own label called Ground Breaking Music. What brought about this change?

We became good friends with Skazi and he believed in us. He’s the one who pushed us to make trance music. Our first track called ”˜Tied Up’ was released in 2001 in a compilation by him and it was a very big hit. Subsequent to this release we started performing all over the world. We were the only trance group ever that had only one released track and still performed at the biggest festivals all over the world.

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After five years of working for a major label, we felt that it was time for us to open our own label. We wanted the complete freedom to make exactly what we want. This way there was no pressure and we also got the chance to understand how the music market ticks, how to produce a complete product. One of our important learnings was that a trance project is a lot more then the music itself. Today we have complete control of our sales and income.

Q: Where is Exaile’s sound headed now?

The trance scene was always very flexible. It has been changing all the time and the progressive scene is getting stronger now but these things come in waves. I believe that full-on will be back in the lead very soon. This is why we will continue producing full- on, but as always we will try to implement fresh ideas in our music. We try to change our sound and our style a little bit in every album and are now working on a covers album which will include covers of our favorite rock bands and past electronica tracks. We’ve already done a cover of the legendary Eighties’ group called Minimal Compact and right now we’re working on covers of Orbital and Swamp Thing. Our next release will be a guitar track called ”˜Cowboys Flu’ in VA Zoo 4, the long-standing series released by Skazi.

Q: If you had to make a soundtrack for one movie, which one would you choose?

I think it would be Fight Club. It’s one of my favorite movies and I think that a psychedelic soundtrack would be really appropriate!

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