Talamasca is the solo project of Cedric Dassulle, who began djing under the name Lestat back in 1992. In 1996, he decided to make his own project, which saw its first releases on an Israeli label called “krembo records”, Talamasca was born. With the big success of his music, Talamasca was suddenly playing much more live acts than dj sets and began to be considered as one of the leaders of the international trance scene. In 1998 he had a hand in the creation of 3D Vision, which quickly became one of the leading psytrance labels. Later on he started his own label Mind Control Records, but after a few years he finally found his home at belgian label Dacru records (www.dacru.be). Nowadays, Talamasca is one of the most requested live acts in all big events and festivals around the world. He has performed in almost every country thinkable that has at least a small psytrance scene.
We now realized that daydreaming can break you or make you a great genius.
The human brain is far more powerful than a computer. Daydream big.
-----How did you get interested in music? What was the beginning of your career as a DJ?
These are two completely different questions! …All my life, as far as I remember, I have been interested in music. When I was a little kid, I remember myself spending hours listening to all of my parents’ and grandparents’ vinyls. Then, quite early, my mother pushed me to play the piano, which I really enjoyed when I was eight, but not when I turned 13 and began to like heavy metal and punk; Thankfully she pushed me to continue. So from 13 to 17, as I said, I was listening to heavy metal and punk; heavy metal for the music, and punk for the “message”, the “energy”, but I realized much later that music is not only about the music. Every kind of music got its specific moments to be played and some kind of music, like punk music, is more about the attitude and the way of thinking than the music itself because, let’s be honest, musically it is quite poor. Another example would be Reggae. I like it now, but musically it is quite poor if you analyze 2 to 4 chords. It is composed with the same rhythm I found it boring when I was young, (probably because I was already a musician with the piano), and only later I learned to enjoy it. Again, because it creates an atmosphere it’s is not made to make people shout.
So at the age of 17, my best friend (and now partner with Absolum in the label 3d Vision as Dj Mael Aka Nomad) brought me to a “rave party on the 2nd of February 1992. Why do I remember it so well? Because a week later I found what I wanted to do in my life. For the first time I listened to some electronic music that interested me - not like the acid/house style we had on the radio in that time, which I was allergic too, haha – It only took me a few weeks to learn how to mix and the to meet an organizer who let me play at their party. I was playing mostly around Paris in 1992 then in 1993, I became a resident DJ in the Rex club in Paris, during the golden time of Laurent Garnier. This is when and how my career “officially” began. My first Talamasca track ever released was in 1996 on Krembo Records, so this year Talamasca is 20 years old. :D
-----For you what is music or artistic expression?
There are two ways of thinking about music: the artistic way and the scientific way. Let’s begin with the “boring” one, the scientific way. What is music? It’s a suite of notes that are played on a specific rhythm. What is a note? It’s a vibration in the air. The air vibrates in a specific resonance, and your brain, through your ears, is translating this vibration so you can ear a “sound.” Each sound got a specific vibration, and each note got a specific resonance. We, musicians, are like painters, we add layers of sounds and notes, until we have a picture, or a “track.” Some painters are painting beautiful things while others want to express their darkness. It’s the same for musicians…Now, in every style of art, there are rules, and we have to follow one rule when we make music for parties which is to make people dance.
Artistically speaking music is for me the best way to travel in your mind. Since I was a child, I remember that I never really enjoyed when there was a voice in the music. I have always preferred classical music rather than kid’s music and later on I preferred the heavy metal instrumental tracks instead of the other songs. I was a huge fan of Pink Floyd too, specially the album Meddle where there are some instrumental tracks like, “One of These Days”, my favorite track of all time, and “Echoes”, a 25 minute track that made me think of music differently. Also, “Tubular bells” from Mike Oldfield, and most of the Jean Michel Jarre music, made me want to make my own. Why? Because when I was listening this music, I was travelling in my mind! Much later I discovered that this is the exact definition of psychedelic music (and not just weird noisy sounds at 180 bpm…just saying).
-----What inspires you and how do you get ideas for your creation?
Classical music through heavy metal, mixed with a bit of old-school psychedelic or electronic music as I said, but now how I do get ideas? I have to admit that I do not listen a lot of [new] music since I do all day long, so when I go out of the studio, I don’t listen much. But I spend every weekend in parties, so I can listen all my friends who play with me (we are a big family, playing here and there every weekend. most of the DJs know each other, etc. and I sometimes get inspiration from them). I try to be influenced by everything but trance. My goal is not to do the kind of trance of someone else but to bring any style into mine. I can say that I am my own limit. If you are more melodic than me, faster, more aggressive, darker, or anything “more”, there are a lot of chances that I will not like it. Anything that is “cooler”, “simpler”, “slower” than Talamasca, I should enjoy it.
-----When you are creating music, what happens in your mind? Do you see something or hear something?
I see parties! All the time. I always imagine what will be the reaction of the crowd on the party for the piece of the track I am working on. I am rarely wrong.
-----For you, what does creativity mean?
As “explained” in my track “day dreaming” (because when I use a sample, I like to agree with them) the creativity is when both parts of your brain, the “logical” one and the “artistic” one, are working together. Most of you would believe that because we are musicians, we have more “artistic minds”, but actually, especially with electronic music producers, you need also to have the “logical/mathematical” mind to use the program, to sequence the music in loops, build the story of the track and above all, learn all the technical stuff makes it sound good. If you pay attention you’ll understand what I am talking about; when you listen people’s music, especially the trance, you can hear who is more “technician/logical” and who is more “musician/artistic” The best ones in my opinion are the ones who combine both. For example, Simon Posford/Shpongle, Juno Reactor, Infected Mushrooms, they are mastering both parts.
-----In your music, you say something about the explosion of creativity. How do you think people can maximize their creativity?
I have done magic tricks for 20 years now. Also as my hobbies I’m a mentalist and a hypnotist. I named my label “Mind Control” and the album Talamasca, is a term from Anne Rice books referring to a group of people who have brain powers. So as you see, I am super interested in the human mind, how it works, and how it can be “manipulated” (agreeing here that “manipulation” is NOT a bad word. You can manipulate for good. When I put a countdown in a track for example, I manipulate people so they will have a big expectancy for the following). I think that the brain is like a computer. The more programs you put in it, the more things it can achieve. Now, everyone has different skills. I am really bad with my hands, I can not repair anything, and I break a lot of things. Some other people have gold in their hands so, in the end the computer counts, but we are not all of us born with the exact same programs. Some people know how to draw naturally, others don’t. But they can learn! This is what is wonderful about our brain. We can learn new things and the more we practice the better we become. Now I don’t mean here that everybody can become a talented artist but everybody has the potential to be one! Well almost everybody… unfortunately some computers don’t have enough memory…haha.
-----Many people want to live their own life but do not do so. What is the best way to extract your talent?
It is hard in our lives today to find the time to do artistic things. We have to work to get the salary which most of the time is only enough to pay our bills. Any passion costs money. Fortunately, if in the early 90’s you needed to have a huge studio with many machines to make music, today, you only need a good computer, a good audio card, some good speakers, and, trust me, some good acoustic in your room. The rest is optional. It is the same with graphics today since anyone can have Photoshop and find some tutorials on YouTube about how to use it. So we live now in a connected world. Anything that interests you, you can find it
internet. Learn it. This is a wonderful time to find yourself a hobby, because I have noticed that many people don’t have any! Pffff…what a waste of time! Find a hobby! Find a passion! It will make you happier, and you will find motivation to maybe improve it and reveal your talent whatever it is.on
-----What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
As an artist? Woah…not so easy…as a ‘man,’ I know. I want to be a good father, raise my kids well enough so they will be able to have a good life when I won’t be behind them anymore; keep travelling the world and meet people everywhere. But as an “artist”…pfff…it’s hard. If we speak about the “ultimate” goal, as you said I have dedicated my life to music so my guess is that my ultimate goal would be to be remembered as a musician and not just as a “rave party DJ “ Also, one of my dreams, would be to compose a kind of ‘Electronic Opera Show’, in the area of “La Defense” in Paris where I saw Jean Michel Jarre for the first time when I was 15.
-----If you could make a call to 20-year-old Talamasca, what kind of advice would you give to him?
Run Forrest! Run!
-----If you could leave a message to make the world a better place, what would be your message?
You need darkness to understand light.
You need silence to understand sound.
You need rules to understand freedom.
You need to dance to understand trance!
Keep dancing! :D