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Blasting towards summer festivals with Bahar Canca ahead of Psy-Sisters Spring Blast!

Reported by Tara / Submitted 10-05-23 09:54

One of the most colourful characters in the psy trance scene, Bahar Canca is also one of the most musically diverse and deliciously eclectic. Seemingly able to DJ and produce any style of music she puts her mind to, Bahar’s psy trance sets are always a unique and inspiring journey as her incredible energy behind the decks radiates through to create an awesome vibe on the dancefloor.

Now that she’s been DJing and producing for several decades, it’s great to see Bahar getting the recognition she deserves, with forthcoming sets at Noisily Festival in the UK and Hungary’s Ozora Festival this summer. She’s also jetting into London for the final May Bank holiday for Psy-Sisters Spring Blast! on Sunday 28th May at Basing House. With the countdown well underway, we checked in to get the lowdown on what’s been happening on Planet Bahar recently…

Hi Bahar, thanks for taking a break to answer some questions for us!

You were last interviewed on here (HarderFaster) in March ’17 ahead of the launch of your ‘Bahar’s Magic Soup’ album in the June. That feels like a lifetime ago and a lot has happened since then, including a worldwide pandemic and the tragic earthquake in Turkey earlier this year.

Firstly, I’m so very sorry about the earthquake in your homeland. You’ve been involved in benefit parties in both Turkey and London, but I appreciate that it’s going to take a long time to rebuild, and, in the meantime, people are suffering. What do you suggest readers can do to help?

Please fill us in on what you’ve been up to personally and professionally since March ’17.

Hi Tara and HarderFaster readers! The earthquake in Turkey was such a shock for everyone. It’s crucial to keep raising funds for the survivors, who have been gratefully supported by the whole world. As time goes by, things slowly return to normal and there will be less and less fundraisers, yet there are still great losses to be recovered. I was involved in a few events, and I am open to doing more. You can also donate directly at:

Wow, what’s happened since March 17?! Doesn’t life only exist with significant events as that’s all we remember?! In 2018 we held Psy-boutique Festival without knowing it would be a last one for a long while. The pandemic and its big burden on our scene is yet to be recovered, if ever. It was a real tough time for our industry and our culture. We find our power by gathering together en masse and that was just not possible on that occasion. I held online events weekly under the name ‘Psy-boutique Radio’ for about a year and a half to keep us sane and united by music.

I am a people person, so I was the happiest ever when they said that we’re finally allowed to meet again and party! The dance floor is one of the greatest healers of humankind. It’s a super-special place that makes us unite and heal. One thing those times have taught me is not to take it all for granted and to know how lucky we are.

In 2021 I moved to Turkey with my partner Andy and our son Luka. After 25 years of living in London and being very much attached to it, it wasn’t an easy decision. However, I always have one foot in London as I travel backwards and forwards all the time, as if not I would miss the gang too much. Antalya is a sunny spot with more affordable rent as well as the support of extended family, so we do love our new life. Living in Antalya also allows me more time for producing.

You’re one of the psy scene’s most established DJs and producers. With a musical career that spans well over 20 years, what would you say the highlights are for you so far? And what goals do you still have for the future?

I love the cliche saying, “Our business is show business!” So the highlights have got to be from all of the glamour and joy of those special moments at parties and festivals. Although there is a great deal of what we do that does not have much glamour at all… Such as sleeping in tents or caravans and searching for clean toilets he he.

Let’s focus on playing my new production to a crowd of people and seeing them really getting into it on the dance floor – that’s always a highlight!

What takes me by surprise is when other DJs play my productions and that becomes a real highlight for me too. Van Nukem, Liquid Rish, Ramizes, M-theory, Calemma: thank you for those special moments!

If you don’t dream, you might as well stop living. So I do dream therefore I am. Going up to No. 5 on the charts was a highlight, but producing a No. 1 is still on my bucket list!

Over the last six years your sound has only got more eclectic as you’ve branched out to even more styles and genres, such as acid techno. What’s been happening on the music production front?

Here’s a funny story. I went away for the weekend to my dear friend Kai’s birthday at their cottage house in Newbury. I was spinning some vinyl there. The slip mats were from the legendary Stay Up Forever label. The following Monday I noticed a post from Stay Up Forever on Facebook saying that they were looking for female producers to join their label. I thought it was a sign and accepted the challenge to produce some acid techno. Chris Liberator liked it and released it on vinyl and asked me to make a four-track EP, which I am almost done with.

Once I turned 40, I took away all the limits and restrictions and now just produce whatever I like – and I do like many genres. I’ve also produced a downtempo track that’s just 100 bpm.

I’m pretty much up for anything so long as it’s good and fun.

After building your own studio in your back garden in London, did you move your beloved studio from London to Turkey with you?

Yes my studio was shipped from London to Antalya. The worst thing about moving houses was that I had to move my studio. It’s so hard to get it right and get used to it and then when you move, it all goes out of the window. There is one more move I will have to do in a few months. That’s why I dream of creating my studio on wheels one day, so that you can always have it the way it is.

Is it still the case that your music is getting faster as you get older?

Well I guess there is some truth in that, as I made a 150 bpm release that’s coming up soon and it is gonna be my fastest so far! Yet I’ve also made my slowest track yet last year at 100 bpm too. So there’s no limit to my creativity!

Your album ‘Bahar’s Magic Soup’ was an absolute explosion of creativity and didn’t leave my car’s CD player until that car got taken to the wreckers. Do you have any similar projects on the go or plans for a follow up album?

Aw that’s so sweet. My ‘Bahar’s Magic Soup’ album was such an unforgettable experience for me to produce. I guess it would be a great new adventure to follow it up. Although I’ve got quite a lot on my plate at the moment with promises for compilations etc. I’m sure I’ll consider it next year.

The last couple of years have been tough for everyone, but with the events industry closing down all over the world, DJs were some of the hardest hit. How have you got through the pandemic and subsequent cost of living crisis? It must have been tough trying to find inspiration to produce without regular dancefloors to test your tracks out on?

I have to admit it was a tough time for me! I’m so grateful that it's over. The biggest hit I had was losing the deposit money for my event from Sparkford Hall in Somerset. They literally washed their hands of it, saying they’d gone bankrupt and never paid the deposit back to us. My creativity was also very low, as my inspiration comes from the dance floor. I hope we never have to experience such a thing again.

Summer is finally around the corner, and you’ve snapped up a couple of awesome bookings at two of the psy scene’s top festivals, Noisily and Ozora. They are very different festivals, so can you please tell us why we should try and attend both?

Noisily is very friendly and easy, especially if you are living in the UK. It’s only a few thousand people so relatively small, yet it’s big enough to have a proper party. People are so colourful and you keep bumping into your mates. It is the UK’s local festival with an international line up and a must attend weekend for sure.

Ozora, well! It’s massive! They always do it at the same space and over the years they’ve added so many amazing structures, a proper road which can lead to the dance floor, and even a lake you can swim in. The line up is huge. It is magic!

I recommend that everyone come to both of these festivals this year: if not, add them to your bucket list for the future.

You’re returning to London for the Psy-Sisters Spring Blast on Sunday 28th May at Basing House in Shoreditch. What can we look forward to there?

OMG this is gonna be an amazing gathering. Well it’s always is with Psy-sisters! We held an event at Antalya in Turkey and everyone is still talking about it. I think the female energy makes for less testosterone, yet the music is still very banging.

I am very honoured to be a part of the amazing line up that includes you my lovely as your super-duo project Amaluna! I haven’t seen and heard Shakti for a long time and look forward to her healing touch. Florescence is bouncy and sweet with a touch of dark and Psibindi is the absolute master of sparkly full-on dark.

As part of their mission to provide a platform and support up-and-coming female and non-binary DJs, Psy-Sisters are running a DJ competition with the winner getting to play a set at the party. What do you wish you’d known when you were first starting out as a beginner DJ?

Take every opportunity to shine!! This competition serves perfectly for that.

Finally, what else is on the horizon for the rest of 2023? And beyond?

Lots of joy and happiness cross the globe. The recent times of uncertainty have given me the idea of not placing too many expectations on 2023, yet I’ve big plans for 2024.

Wishing us all six months free of massive disasters and devastating news. Let’s just breath, go to events and have fun without any worries!

Thanks so much for your time Bahar! Can’t wait to see you at the Psy-Sisters Spring Blast!

Thank you so much for having me. See you real soon at Psy-sisters Spring Blast!

Follow Bahar on Facebook
Follow Bahar on Soundcloud
Follow Bahar on Instagram
Psy-Sisters Spring Blast! Event info
Psy-Sisters Spring Blast! Tickets
Noisily Festival Event info & tickets

Photography courtesy of Bahar Canca. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Tara:
Turning the world into a fairy tale with Ivy Orth ahead of Tribal Village’s 10th Birthday Anniversary Presents: The World Lounge Project
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
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.

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