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A candid chat with the illustrious Latex Zebra, ahead of his debut on Onhcet Republik!
Phutek talks the Rave Scene, Carl Cox, Marriage Proposals and the reincarnation of 'Reincarnations'!

Cathar make First Contact

Reported by Tara / Submitted 05-12-11 20:37

With well over 25 years of DJing and producing between them, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a hub of excitement surrounding Cathar, the new psychedelic trance project Steve Morley and Jessica B formed earlier this year. Already signed to London label Free-Spirit Records, their debut EP First Contact is literally hot off the press with their first album The Union due to follow close behind. HarderFaster spoke to the playful cats about their new project ahead of the First Contact launch party at Psyrhythmix @Club 414 on Boxing Day...

You’ve both had successful solo musical careers before forming Cathar. Could you please tell us a bit about what inspired you to start making music. Did you always know it was what you wanted to do or was it something that you fell into over time?

Jessica: I have always been passionate about music, collecting 7’’ pop singles from the age of 7, and when I got to about 12 my tastes widened to dance music – acts like The Prodigy, Bizarre Inc, SL2 etc. By 16 I’d bought my first pair of decks and started experimenting with mixing. It wasn’t until I met Alici almost 10 years later that I started to take it seriously though and played my first official DJ set. Around the same time I learnt to produce my own music and things went from there.

Alici: Music started to be a big part of my life already when I was about 4 years old. My father who was a singer/musician himself saw something in me and started me on piano lessons. After a few years it became clear that it was all I wanted to do and my parents focussed on getting me the best musical education they could afford. When I became a teenager I had already done many piano recitals and started experimenting with popular music and electronic instruments. The big decision came in 1990 to start making house music (as we called it then) and I was lucky to land my first record deal a year later.

Before playing and producing psychedelic trance you’ve both dabbled in other genres, Alici was known under several aliases (Dave Holmes/Steve Morley) creating some of the biggest trance classics while Jessica’s releases have had airplay on Radio 1. Why the move away from trance and hard trance to psy? It must have been difficult starting again in such a new direction after your previous successes...

Jessica: I’ve always loved pretty much all genres of dance music (drum & bass, hard house, techno and hardcore), however in my early DJ years I particularly loved trance because of the combination of driving beats with epic soundscapes. That for me is the perfect combination as an artist and as a clubber on the dance floor. Unfortunately I felt around 2009 that the trance music being produced at the time started to lose its drive and power for me, and did not move me the way it used to. I began listening to the psychedelic sound more and found this much more fulfilling – it was what I had been missing! I found switching to be a natural progression really.

Alici: For me the move away from the more euphoric sound I used to produce came for multiple reasons. The downfall of the music industry in general at the time meant that a lot of labels I used to work with vanished and the digital revolution gave way to the rise of low quality releases all around. As a DJ I found it impossible to find enough tracks that I liked enough to play out for my sets and as a producer I did not want to follow into the direction the style was going. I started the search for a style that would excite me again and bring back the emotions I felt when I started making dance music. The transition was easier than I thought although it took a while perfecting the skills.

How did you meet and when did you form Cathar?

Jessica: We first met in the Purple Turtle pub in Camden when Alici was playing a Dave Holmes DJ set and I was working for the Milk afterparty.

Alici: We hit it off instantly and have been soul mates ever since. Cathar was born around April this year after a lot of searching for the right sound.

Why the name ‘Cathar’ and what does it mean?

Jessica: Well we are both cat mad!!!! And.....

Alici: It all started when we were thinking of a name for the act which would in our eyes describe the sound we are making. Ever since stroking Nikki our now eldest feline friend, we discovered that she makes a loud purring noise more beautiful than any instrument we have ever heard. We refer to this as playing the ‘Cathar’ – and that seemed the purrrrrfect name.

You also produce music as System-E and Cosmic Warrior. What are these other projects about?

Jessica: System E was actually formed a few years ago with the idea of creating a band incorporating different elements such as Techno, Goa, Rock and live instruments. It’s something we are still working on and will further develop but right now we are strongly focussed on Cathar.

Alici: As a musician I always like to explore other musical directions and felt the time was right to do something I had been thinking of for a while. I can’t really put the Cosmic Warrior sound too much in a box, but in general you could call it mostly down-tempo. It has influences from world music, dub, R&B, electro and trance but all in a non-obvious way. There are some plans to develop this into a more live musician based experience – Jess is currently learning to play the guitar and I’m hoping she will work with me on future tracks and join me on the stage.

You’ve recently been signed to London-based label Free-Spirit Records. How did this come about?

Jessica: We met Jay Om (the label manager) a while ago at a party and he has kept a close eye on our development with Cathar. We always loved the sound of Free-Spirit Records and after meeting with Jay and Bridget we discovered we shared a similar vision.

Alici: I feel we really connected with them and it became clear we had found the right people to work with. We are extremely happy that we are now a part of the label and have their huge support.

Jessica: All the crew and artists on the label are very supportive of one another and have been really welcoming.

You’re about to release your first EP, First Contact – congratulations! Has it taken you long to put it together? Please talk us through the tracks.

Jessica: Surprisingly no! Once we found ‘the sound’ all the tracks flowed quite quickly.

Alici: The first track is called ‘Solar Lifeforms’ and takes you back to the tribal instincts. It has a slightly groovy bass line and is filled with edgy and atmospheric noises. ‘By Dawns Early Light’ is the second track. This is a more trancey track and might make you feel like you’re on an excursion to outer space! The next track is called ‘A New Reality’. I can only describe this track in one word – summertime! Last track is ‘Rise of the Machines’. The name sums it up – a very energetic blend of psychedelic melodies and industrial noises.

You’re also due to release your debut album, The Union soon. How’s it going and when might it be ready?

Jessica: It’s going really well – in fact we’ve almost finished it.

Alici: We hope to have it ready in the next few weeks; we’re just working on the last track. It should be coming out early next year we hope.

Is there a concept or theme to the album or is it more a collection of your first tracks?

Jessica: There’s definitely a theme and a concept. We’ve always felt like aliens on this planet – and wanted to encompass this in the album. It has a very extra-terrestrial orientated theme.

Alici: For me personally it’s about the moment mankind discovers that we are not alone in the universe. The confusion, fear and mistrust that follows after the moment of first contact – and more importantly the union that is then formed between humans. It would be nice if that union could be achieved without ET showing up though LOL!

Who or what have been your main musical influences over the years? And now?

Jessica: I have countless influences over the years and now. I think our life experiences help shape who we are and as an artist you take who you are and try to express it through music. In terms of other artists they include the likes of Ellis Dee, Weirdo (Tinrib), Marcel Woods, Penta, Braincell, Journey and Tristan, & of course the biggest influence of all for me – Alici! He has taught me a lot!

Alici: Wow! I could fill a few pages I guess. The first major influence was my father as he was my first music teacher. I don’t have a particular thing that influences me; it can come from anything really. There are a few key artists that have affected my music though, people like Sven Vath, Jam & Spoon, Joey Beltram and Ralphie Dee. More recently I would say Tristan, Ovnimoon, Omsphere and Solar Spectrum.

What software and hardware are you using in the studio at the moment? Do you have a favourite piece of kit?

Jessica: Software – Refx Nexus and Rob Papen Albino 3. Hardware – Roland V-Synth GT (our baby!)

Alici: All of it ha ha ha. I think software Spectrasonics Omnisphere and hardware without a doubt just like Jessica, the Roland V-Synth.

How do you approach the creative process together? Do you both have set roles when you’re making a new tune, or is it a complete collaboration?

Jessica: We don’t have set roles – it all depends on the track, schedule and mood. Sometimes we work on a track from start to finish together, and other times we both dip in and out of the studio.

Alici: In general we do all the creative work together but we might from time to time have our own vision on the mix down.

A lot of people are saying that the world is going to end in 2012 next year. If this is indeed the case, what are the main things you would try and do before this happens?

Jessica: OMG! LOL! No one told me! Would love to play some big festivals next year, other than that – keep making a lot of music, continuing having fun with friends and generally being happy!

Alici: Thanks for reminding me! Just now we are getting started ha ha ha. Well firstly I think getting married to Jess. After that, having as much fun as I could fit in; finishing a few more albums and lastly secretly making a commercial hit record.

And when it ends you get offered the chance to escape to another galaxy – but are only allowed to take five albums each with you. What would they be?


1-Tinrib – ‘The Smell of Kipper’
2-Tristan – ‘Chemisphere’
3-Braincell –‘Intelligent Being’
4-Lill Wayne – ‘The Carter IV’
5-Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’


1-Cathar – ‘The Union’
2-Beyonce – ‘4’
3-Ovnimoon – ‘Magnetic Portal’
4-Rihanna – ‘Rated R’
5-The Pretty Reckless – ‘Light Me Up’

If you could take three people each from any time in history and have them show up at your gig, who would you ask?

Jessica: Good Question! Madonna, Bob Marley and Peter Kay!

Alici: Freddie Mercury, Julius Ceasar and Nikki Minaj.

You’ve already played a few gigs, including Cohesion and Shattered Barriers. What other events do you have in the pipelines?

Jessica: Really looking forward to Psyrhythmix at Club 414, Brixton on Boxing Day. It’s our EP launch party and we’re joined by other Free-Spirit artist – Journey and Prozak. Should be a good one!

It’s almost the end of the year. What plans do you have for 2012 and will you be making any NYE resolutions?

Jessica: Looking forward to the release of our debut album and gigging loads. New Year resolutions – to worry less and to just ‘be’.

Alici: I’m already thinking of the next Cathar album, Cosmic Warrior album and some new projects. As I never stick to them I will for a change have no New Year resolutions LOL.

Having been involved with the dance scene for many years, what piece of advice do you wish someone had told you before you started out?

Jessica: Not to trust ANYONE!... just kidding! Actually – to always trust your gut instinct and be brave enough to go with it.

Alici: Right LOL here we go – To get a law degree before you enter the music industry to make sure your music and your rights are properly protected! LOL!

For news and updates and to listen to samples from First Contact check out

For more info about Free-Spirit Records check

Artwork courtesy of Cathar and Free-Spirit Records. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Psyrhythmix Boxing Day Special
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Monday 26th December 2011
At: CLUB 414 [map]

From: 2300 PM - 0700 AM
Cost: Free before midnite, �10 after.
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: Psyrhythmix Boxing Day Presents

Cathar - First Contact EP

For this Boxing Day Special....
We have teamed up with world class Psychedelic Label "Free-Spirit Records"

Monday 26th December 2011

@ Club 414,
414 Coldharbour Lane,
Brixton, SW9 8LF, London, UK

Free before midnight
�10 after.

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Artists on the night

Cathar Live!
(Free-Spirit Records)
Showcasing their first Digital EP 'First Contact

Journey Live!
(Free-Spirit Records)
Showcasing his second Album 'Through The Mirror'

Prozak Dj Set!
(Free-Spirit Records)
Showcasing some tracks from the upcoming compilation 'Free-Spirit Vol.7'

Andy Force

Neill Moore


? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Free before midnight
�10 after.
0207 924 9322

We have a Roof Terrace
A chill out zone
Amazing Sound &
Light Shows
Plus an amazing up for it crowed

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(Press Releases)

CATHAR - First Contact (Press Release)

Since the first time Cathar showcased their music it was clear something special was in the making. In a short space of time the duo managed to shape and perfect their unique sound - resulting in the upcoming release of their hard hitting debut EP on Free-Spirit Records.

Many years of crafting their skills in various styles of dance music has enabled them to deliver top class material for this EP and the following debut album, The Union. Their impact has already seen them build up a loyal fan base and we are sure this will grow explosively with this release.

This first EP will be released worldwide on 06-12-2011 and it will be available from all good download stores. Be a part of the future of psy-trance and grab yourself a copy!

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

CATHAR is a brand new psychedelic music group formed by Steve Morley and Jessica B. Both have already enjoyed considerable success in their musical careers in various genres. Steve Morley has been a record producer and DJ since 1992, and is a classically trained pianist and composer. Steve has a discography containing in excess of 120 releases and countless remixes - on highly respected record labels. His love for Trance music saw him produce and play almost all sub genres, and his affection for psychedelic music stems from the time he discovered Goa trance in the mid 90's. Jessica B started working as a producer and DJ in 2005 instantly receiving recognition and praise for her first releases, which gained massive Radio 1 support. During her career, Jessica discovered her love for psychedelic music and teamed up with Steve to form their new group. Since that moment they have been on a long creative journey together, shaping and fine tuning their sound while testing their new material on stage.

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JOURNEY's second Album 'Through The Mirror' (Press Release)

Howdy music lovers, welcome to a special edition of What Does Free Spirit Records Have New For You? Regular readers will know that Free Spirit Records is London based psy-trance label that has been bringing us aural wonderment through umpteen releases (too many for this humble journalist to accurately recall) from around the globe and across the spectrum. And the reason why this a special edition of WDFSRHNFY? Because it heralds the return of Jay OM's other half, the producer Journey, and the release of his second full-length album - Through the Mirror.
Jay OM/Journey have been doing it tough over the winter months, foisting their immeasurable talents upon the natives of southern Africa. Winning great acclaim and fostering many a friendship. Prior to this though he could be found squirreling away in his North London studio channelling his creativity to create the ten tunes that make up this latest offering all the whilst trying to avoid the concerns that come with following up the success of The Man Who Sold Time, his 2009 debut album.
The album feature some killer collaborations including artists such as Tron, Rastaliens, Holophonik, Monastic Squid and finishing with a superb downtempo track with Alexampt and Mononegro.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

JOURNEY is Giampiero 'Jay' Mastino born in Italy and now resides in London. His earliest psychedelic-rock influences were forged playing guitar in local bars in Milan and his romance with the decks began in the late 80's whilst working for a local radio station where he was given the opportunity to spin his first record.

This love firmly in place the move to London followed in 1998. In 1999 he started djing professionally as Jay OM and since then has been rocking the crowds at many of the biggest venues in London as well as outdoor parties in the UK, Europe, South America & South Africa.

In 2003 he studied Sound Engineering and Music Technology and began solo production under the name Journey. In 2009 started a progressive project under the name Omsphere and in 2011 a collaboration project with Ralph K under the name Crocodile Rangers

In 2004, he conceived the vision of a network of like-minded artists in the psy-trance and ambient genres, all working to promote themselves and each other under one banner. Thus the Free-Spirit label was born... Originally intended to focus on artist management, the label's skyrocketing success combined with the enthusiasm of Jay, the artists, and fans enabled Free-Spirit to outgrow its horizons. Free-Spirit continues to build a collective of artists and djs from around the globe, aiming to create and provide access to a combined set of resources not available to them as individuals, making it just a little easier for all to concentrate on what they truly love, which is the music!

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DJ PROZAK has been DJ'ing for the past 16years and is truly in a class of his own. With current residencies around the globe and running his own promotion Cohesion, there isn't a club he hasn't played at. With a collection of over 35,000 records this DJ can turn his hand to literally any style of music.

Not content with just playing records. DJ Prozak produces, engineers & re-mixes tracks & dj demos at his studio (LG4) in London. This DJ plays along-side the worlds most famous DJ's (Infected Mushroom- Astrix- Paul Van Dyk - Jeff Mills- Christian Smith and of course Tiesto) 2 name but a few. Famed for his monumental euphoric psychedelic full on trance sets, electro & progressive cutting edge dance.

Safe And Friendly Environment
Roof Terrace for Smokers
Chillout Area
Amazing Sound
Light Shows

Info Line: 0207-924-9322



Underground: Brixton (Victoria Line)

Rail: Brixton mainline station

Bus: 2,3,35,37,45,59,109,118,133,159,196,250,

Night bus: N2,N3,N35,37,N133,N159,250,689,690
Region: London
DJ's: Cathar Live! - Journey Live! - Prozak Dj Set! - Andy Force - Neill Moore - Sach.

Who's Going? (10) : Andy Force, Catharworld, Club414, Essential_Crew, Jessica Alici, Neill Moore, sachin22, Steve Morley, System E, Tara 

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Other Features By Tara:
A decade of dance music with Daniel Lesden
Telling Cosmic Tales with DJ Strophoria
Tom Psylicious aka EarthAlien takes 50 Spins Around the Sun: Raising Awareness Through the Power of Music
The Breakthrough interview with DM-Theory
Is This Your First Record? Khromata gets ready to make her UK debut at Tribal Village
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: Catharworld on 6th Dec 2011 15:55.52


From: Andy Force on 6th Dec 2011 17:21.27
This is seriously good shit.. i highly recommend it.

From: PSYLICIOUS on 6th Dec 2011 17:54.03
Nice sound Alici & Jess, looking forward to hearing much more Smile

From: Catharworld on 8th Dec 2011 11:10.00
Thanks for your cool comments guys xx

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