8 Questions With Hedflux

Once described as “harnessing the rational to illuminate the transcendental” the Hedflux project was born in 2004 with the intention to create high energy electronic dance music based on breakbeat grooves with a psychedelic aesthetic.

In 2015 Hedflux moved west and spent 3 years living and touring in the Americas, where the albums Soul Science and Kin were completed, and where Audio Alchemy was born.

In 2018, at the age of 40, with the wanderlust well and truly satisfied, he returned to his ancestral home in Scotland, settled down with his family and built a custom studio to be his permanent base of operations…

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you’ve been up to for the last decade, and how it all started for you?
10 years ago, I quit my job in a failing IT company to do music production and DJing full time. My wife also quit her job to be a full-time mother and homemaker, so it was a big transformation for us, a lot of adjusting to do, but it’s been great, and well worth it! 
Hedflux started as a DJ project in 2003 and with brute force and determination I managed to start making tunes good enough to play in my sets. First record went out in 2007, I went full time in 2010, and in 2015 I got my 3 year visa for USA, moved out to Hawaii after spending 6 months in Central America doing the shamanic thing, deprogramming my mind and learning about plant medicines.
My whole time in the west was amazing, a dream come true really, and it all culminated with an intense coming-of-age experience, shortly after my 40th birthday, the volcano erupted, and we lived through it for 6 weeks before we finally left the Island for our home country of Scotland. 
Since summer of 2018 we’ve been back here, building a more stable and permanent life near our families. Middle-age is well and truly underway, and I think I like it!
2. The mastery of music seems to have a lot of similar parallels to the mastery of one’s own life (balance, intensity, timing, etc). Has the mastery of your craft run parallel to the mastery of your personal life, and if so, in what ways?
If you want your music to keep improving, then you have to be constantly working on your own improvement, letting go of old programs, seeking to out-do your old self. 
Our creations are a reflection, so if everytime we sit down to make music and something shit comes out, it’s a reflection of us, of our shitness, it’s showing us the work we need to do in our lives. And when we have taken care of the important stuff, the creativity really flows. 
I think it’s like we have to earn creativity credits by doing essential chores, self-healing, service to others etc

3. Music is deeply ingrained in every culture around the world in one way or another.  How important do you think music is to the future of human beings, and in what ways have you seen music transform people/culture for the better?

Reality IS music. 
I think many people haven’t quite grasped this yet, as they are still locked into the paradigm of materialism (or “scientism”), the idea that the world is made of little hard balls floating around in space. 
But it’s not. There is no solid matter, it’s an illusion, there is only vibration, movement itself. Quantum physicists have known this for over 100 years, alchemists and spiritual masters for much longer. Things that appear fixed, solid and permanent are actually just sustained vibrations interpreted by the brain.
When you really get to the bottom of it, vibratory expressions in the air such as words, sounds, prayers, music etc, are more real than “reality” itself, which is, as McKenna called it “a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination”.
So yeah, I believe the sounds we humans make with our mouths and instruments and speaker systems are of the highest importance for the future of the world. 
4. What are some of your favorite methods for making music? Also, tell us a little bit about how you approach sound design?

I’m a digital kid through and through, never had much joy with analogue stuff or getting into a workflow with it. I love Ableton and Bitwig, and crispy digital Fm synthesis, and i’ve been bouncing back and forth between those DAWs recently. 
I developed a 7 step system for making music which I called Audio Alchemy, since it was based on the 7 steps of alchemy, and I pretty much follow that. It could be summed up as follows:
1. Sound & template design 
2. Play, jam and record 
3. Sort/Separate, select the best bits 
4. Compose the arrangement 
5. Edit & refine (usually the longest bit)
6. Mixdown 
7. Master
Works every time! 😉
5.  You’re a family man now. How has this changed your life or your overall outlook/perspective on being a musician?
Well I have realized that what I have at home is way more important than the things of the world that we are conditioned to desire. And when home life is good, the music flows and creativity is good, but when home life is troubled, it doesn’t flow, it’s forced, then I start looking for other kinds of work to alleviate the burden of creativity. 
I feel like creativity is a reward for having taken care of all other needs first. So family harmony is the utmost priority always. I’ve also satisfied the “wanderlust” so traveling is no longer a dream, but a hassle and separation from my family that I would rather not have to endure. 
That kinda changes things.
6.  Drug use at events is as rampant as ever. Do you think that drugs play a positive role in rave culture, or would you prefer to play events where people weren’t chewing their faces off as much?
Whatever helps people to dance tbh. The dancing is the real therapy, you have to work the frequencies through your body. And there are many substances that will really enhance the dance experience in a positive way, and there are others that don’t.
I used to play a lot of Ecstatic Dance events in Hawaii, and people were mostly sober or on micro-dose plant medicines, nobody was drunk or off-their-tits, and the atmosphere was electric, people danced with such energy and creative self expression, we almost took the roof off several times. 
At really druggy parties it’s the opposite, it can be like moth-people on the dance-floor, dead-eyed, swaying back and forth while staring into the light, barely able to muster a “woop” for the DJ. 
It’s just better when there is more life and more presence on the dance-floor. 
7.  Define “fun” 20 years ago. Define “fun” today.
Fun 20 years ago was partying all night in London, going to drum & bass events, lining up for 2 hours in the rain to get in the club, then another 30 mins at the cloakroom, and then dancing my butt off and shredding my ears for 8 hours. 
Fun now is jumping in the Loch with my kids, or chasing them up the stairs at bedtime. 
8.  Where do you see your career heading over the next decade?
I’m transitioning from a business predominantly based around gigs, to one based around my homepage hedflux.com. I’m stoked to have my own page, and I’m looking forward to investing in that, documenting my knowledge and developing relationships with subscribers. 
I don’t know when gigs will be happening again, and i’m not counting on it any time soon. I think without gigs i could release 2 albums a year maybe, but it all depends on the creativity … 
Right now, it’s flowin! 🙂 

Check out Hedflux’s new album “The Philosopher’s Tone” at hedflux.com

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