“A few things we largely wrapped in 2019 have only seen the light this year,” says Matan. “Our film ‘A Psy Trance (R)Evolution’ is a full-length documentary about ourselves and the psytrance music wave in general. We partnered with [production company] Bad Birds, [pay-per-view channel] InsightTV and Tomorrowland for the project and it turned out being bigger and becoming more global than we imagined.”
“We will also be releasing a remix album of some of our earlier tracks,” adds Aviram. “We pretty much have all the strongest artists in the psytrance scene doing reworks and we’re really happy with the results so far. That’s going to be out around the end of the year.”
Hoisting that psy flag higher still, by all accounts it’s been another roaring year for the Vini Vici boys. It’s also one where they’ve looked to keep their own dial centred by “focusing on the main thing, which is the music”.
That’s brought about some atypical artistic team-ups with some of the scene’s heftiest heavyweights. Psy being the distinct form it is, though, it’s meant collaborators have come around more to their musical view. May’s ‘Untz Untz’ abetted Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s first psy foray, while September’s ‘Galaxy’ connected the dots between VV and PvD. Of the collab, Matan says: “We had this epic deep melody in our head and since we talked to Paul on doing something together earlier we decided to send it to him! He loved it, added his own magic to the tune and voila!”
On their most ear/eye-popping shows of the last twelve months, Vini Vici are initially reticent. “We do around 200 shows per year, so to choose only a few will be a sin,” says Matan, before name-checking the likes of “the Tomorrowlands, Ultra, ASOT, Airbeat One, Mysteryland and Dreamstate”. Aviram, meanwhile, also ventures that “Brazil, France, Portugal, Italy” were all scenes of “amazing events” this year.
The guys also got around to “finally launching our global events brand Alteza Nights” and shooting a Vini Vici documentary in “Spain, Brazil, Belgium and a couple of locations in Israel”. The film itself is pencilled in for release sometime around the spring.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“Luckily, we have someone who is submitting it for us through our publishers, Cloud9.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Create an awareness campaign about it. A campaign that also includes more information on things that affect and increase it, such as drugs, alcohol or even haters bullying online.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“We have a great female artist named Reality Test on our record label, Alteza. She tours a lot, separately and with us. She’s a powerful addition and we support her and her music wherever we can.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Aviram: “Designer clothing.”
DJ style: “Psy-trance.”
Best known for: “‘Good Vibes Only’.”
Fave Tune of 2018: “Fisher ‘Losing It’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Reality Test.”
‘Debuts’ is probably the best advert for the Vini Vici’s boys’ 2018. Having successfully broken out of the psy-trance bracket two years back, Matan and Aviram have been knocking down firsts like ninepins. Initial appearances on Smash The House, Spinnin’ and Dim Mak have seen them team respectively with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Timmy Trumpet, Steve Aoki and Steve Aoki’s (yes!) mother. There’s also been a return visit to the studios of patron Armin van Buuren to follow up their 2016 breakout ‘Great Spirit’. Adding Alok to the ensemble, ‘United’ did brisk business over the summer months.
On the home front, “learning how to be a father to my baby boy” has been “the main thing for me”, says Matan. Meanwhile, back in the spring, Aviram got engaged.
Underlining perhaps the relative overnight-ness of their arrival, they’ve referenced a couple of earlier (well, 2015) moments this year. Ace Ventura collab ‘The Calling’ got a remix-release, while ‘Alteza’ was drafted from ’15 single title to that of Vini Vici’s new label enterprise. “Carrying the psy-trance message out, not just in our niche, but to the wider world is the mission,” says Aviram. “So aside from the big collaborations and headlining festivals, through Alteza Records we’re also providing a platform to newer artists that we believe in,” affirms Matan.
Words: TIM STARK