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We Love Astrix!

Our DJmag No.18 DJ Avi Shmailov aka Astrix is back in London this Saturday night for a rare one-off event - We Love Astrix 001 - at superclub Turnmills, headlining the biggest psy trance line-up to ever hit the place.

And with the 'Mills soon to become offices, this is tipped to be a very special one-off event indeed. We thought it was high time we got the latest on the man himself, who started the year playing to a record 700,000 on NYE at Rio's Barra Beach and is already confirmed for Austria's Urban Art Forms Festival in May and to headline the awesome HQ stage at Holland's Dance Valley in July. Meanwhile his own club brand, Astrix and Friends has events planned in 2008 in Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Hungary, Portugal and Russia - so we're obviously not the only ones who love his psy-trance spiked sounds…

You first entered our Top 100 at No. 75 in 2005 then rose to No. 41 in 2006. Now No. 18, would you say the awards have helped your career at all? Now that you've broken into the Top 20, what are your goals for the future?

"Being a member of the top 100 DJs worldwide is surely a satisfying statement, but it's not that I feel that bigger things have happened to me since, as much as I feel that thanks to DJmag's Top 100 polls more people get to know about my work and acknowledge my achievements."

Your incredible set after Paul van Dyk at Brixton's Academy's SW4 afterparty during last year's August bank holiday weekend cemented your place as one of the world's top DJs. It must've been quite an honour to play after PvD! How did playing after the world's then No.1 DJ - and a trance DJ at that - influence what and how you played?

"I've been a big fan of Paul Van Dyk for years. It was an honour and an experience to get to play after him in such a great event. I can say for sure that his presence there and the prestige of the event did make me invest more time in the build up of my set, as I tried to create a certain atmospheric change before I shifted into high energy gear."

It's a well-known fact in the music industry that the third album is the most difficult for any band or artist. You've been working on your difficult third album for a while now and released some wicked singles such as 'Future Music' and 'Adventure Mode'. Dare I ask how the finished product is going? And with two awesome albums behind you already, how are you dealing with the pressure on you to produce an amazing third?

"My new album 'Red Means Distortion' is nearly done. It will include new tracks and a couple of remixes of some great Trancefloor anthems. It has taken a long time to finish this album as I am touring the world non-stop and it is hard to maintain the continuity of studio work when you are at home only for a few days between weekends, mostly jetlagged. There are a lot of compliments I can say on my albums… but I prefer to let the fans decide. After all, my music is done for them."

You've promised your fans that once the third album is released, there'll be some new tracks with a harder edge and believe me we're waiting! Do you have any new harder tracks ready for Turnmills on Saturday night?

"My live set will focus on tracks from my new album and some of my greatest hits. My DJ set might include a few more surprises…you'll have to wait and hear!"

Historically the best art has come from those writing, composing or painting in times of stress or siege. Do you reckon this might be why the best psy trance comes out of Israel? Do you think this had an impact on your work at all?

"I spend almost all my time either locked away in my studio with my music or travelling around the world. As a result, although I am aware of the fragile situation in our region, I also manage to avoid the stress that it brings on my area. I do wish for a universal solution and would love to play a victory of peace party of all nations."

In an interview in 2006 on HarderFaster.net you once said that: "In every track I make I open at least 150 channels and on every channel I use a minimum of three plug-ins, so it's hard to say what the "special" plug-ins are since there are so many." Is that still the case? What software and hardware do you prefer to use in the studio?

"I still use the best plug-ins in the market…that hasn't changed. My computer is the digital heart of my studio and a hardware instrument that I really enjoyed getting lately is the Virus Ti… recommended!"

You're headlining the We Love Astrix event at Turnmills this Saturday night and with Turnmills set to close soon, this is going to be a one-off event at that venue. Why did you choose Turnmills for the first 'We Love Astrix' party? Is there anyone else in the line-up you're looking forward to checking out? And with the chill out room being held in the Turnmills Jack Daniels Bar, does this mean we can expect to see you in the chill out more than usual?!

"I've heard a lot of good things about Turnmills and I'm very happy to be part of its legacy before it closes down. I hope to hear some new tracks from Dejavoo and I'm sure to stop by (more then once) in Jack's Bar for a drop of chill!"