an interview with Pacific Horizons

Now that February has reached his first half for good, I can be sure: the music that I listened more in 2011 belongs to the Pacific Horizons. This band that comes from California, with three astonishing EPs, presents mystical, psychedelic electronica,  that brings together summer vacations and cosmic imageries. The title of their first work is illustrative: Universal Horizons. As you gaze at the horizons of the ocean, you can discern even the horizons of the universe...

As you have already understood, Pacific Horizons’ music can cause many discussions, but also it can be the starting point for even more. So, the following online interview that they gave us, not only clarifies their artistic vision, but it can also be the beginning of various explorations about music and beyond

 The interview is accompanied by artistic works of the painter, writer and occultist Austin Osman Spare, whο, as you will see, is mentioned as an influence on the band's aesthetics. Also note that the interview will be in two posts, one in Greek and one in English.

You recently gave a concert in Tokyo, about a month ago. How did this go,  how was the experience?

 It was an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to perform live and DJ for a Japanese audience in Tokyo.  We found the audience to be really enthusiastic and the people we encountered were warm and friendly.  It was awesome to have the opportunity to bond with our promoters and fans despite some language barriers.  Vinyl seems to be pretty huge there, the clubs had impeccable sound and the visuals were sublime. We hope to return to Japan soon.

Do you prefer to create music in the studio or to present your music live in front of an audience?

At this point we are focused on studio work but if the right opportunity presents itself we are happy to perform live.

Really, how did you come to the name “Pacific Horizons”? By the way, can you give us a brief history of the band?

The name “Pacific Horizons” signifies our roots geographically as well as our philosophical stance.   A lot of our influence stems from the Pacific Rim region.  It is vast, beautiful and mysterious.  The various cultures and heritage of the region (particularly that of the California Coast) have had a major influence on us throughout the majority of our lives…

As far as the history of the band, we have known each other for a long time and have played together in various configurations in a variety of musical styles. It was a natural progression for us to start this project together.

Searching around the Internet, I noticed that music critics and also most of your listeners consider you as a part of the cosmic / balearic revival, an opinion I also agree with. Do you give a specific direction to your music that can be described as balearic?

Not really. We are not attempting to make music that will categorize us in any specific genre.  This music generally comes very much from a moment of ritualistic inspiration.  We then develop it and embellish it as the ideas expand.   We generally start with a pretty basic beat or even a BPM that we would like to work in- often not knowing what the direction will be at all…  I would go so far as to say that the results are often born out of shamanic psychonautical divination. Our individual styles are something we have been developing on our own for many years. But we do love Balearic music. The history of Ibiza and its clubs and DJs is fascinating. We like to DJ in that style- there is a mix on our Soundcloud page if you want to check it out.

In my opinion, your music is well balanced between an electronic and a rock direction. So, can you tell us some of your major influences?

All forms of dance music especially west coast house, 1960’s psychedelic folk, soul, flamenco, street jazz,  ethnic rock, noise/ambient, adult contemporary, industrial, basically anything made in the 80's, etc..

I notice that you have references to the occult. For example, the reference to the scientist and occultist Jack Parsons in Jack Parsons' Laboratory, or the cover of your last EP Beaches Of The Black Sea, which depicts Helena Blavatsky with the spiritual teachers of Theosophy, Mahatmas. What is your relationship with the world of the occult?

We have a long standing interest in anything dealing with altered states of consciousness. Aleister Crowley and Austin Spare’s works with ritual magick and desired intention have been influential. Robert Anton Wilson’s ideas about perception and reality tunnels helped form our thinking. Graham Hancock’s studies on visionary states and their role in human evolution have been of particular interest lately. And all the wild cults in the past 50 years like the Process Church of the Final Judgment or The Peoples Temple have been rich to mine for ideas. But i wouldn't say we "believe" in anything. Its just fascinating and informative subject matter.

Generally, since the 60s, we can detect an element of occultism in a part of the underground music. I think that you belong to the nowadays underground music scene. Psychedelia comes as an influence on the artwork, but also on your music style. You also choose to promote your music through your own record company, Pacific Wizard Foundation, in general you’ve got a DIY mentality. Lastly, you show an obvious love for vinyl. All these choices describe a band that consciously choose to be part of the underground. Would you like to have a more mainstream success or do you want to keep a circle of a few, more elite listeners?

I think each of us has gained much of our collective musical background from various underground musical entities.  We are lucky in LA right now to have one of the most vibrant and diverse underground (and overground) musical communities in human history.  It has been really rewarding making the majority of our releases into one of a kind works of art…  I think the fact that we basically touched and hand-made our records adds a lot of intrinsic value to the release.  Most of our production dealings are done in person with a “handshake mentality": that way we gradually become more familiar with the production process and the people that are helping us get the music out there.  

In short, as long as we are not sacrificing our creativity we are happy to bring musical joy to as many people who care to lend us an ear.

What are your future plans?

Some of our friends have turned in some incredible remixes of our songs so those will be out on vinyl soon. We are working on new music as well.  Hopefully there will be more travel in our near future.

Thank for this interview, I hope to see you in Greece for a live gig or a DJ set!

We "borrowed" Austin Spare's paintings from these sites:

The Cabinet Of  The Solar Plexus

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