Over the last 25 years, Treavor Moontribe has helped shape the global electronic music community. His contribution to the establishment of southern California’s legendary Moontribe Collective lives on through their full moon gatherings. Most notably, his multi-faceted Desert Dwellers project with Amani Friend and the affiliated record label Desert Trax continues to inspire psychedelic bass producers and event curators with no end in sight.
Today, Lost in Sound is proud to announce Treavor’s newest endeavor, PheuZen, with the premiere of his first track “A Dark Night Period.” Mixed and mastered by Adam An-Ten-Nae of Dimond Saints, it is a dauntingtrap meets half-timednb tune, featuring acid synths and a stir of echoes. It left us longing for a Void Audio system, and we envy whoever experiences it in a live setting first. The follow up PheuZen track, to be released early summer, will be the opposite of this one’s dark feeling, heading toward the pretty side with lovely vocals and violins.
We asked Treavor Moontribe to fill us in on the new endeavor and the influence behind his process.
[LIS] What can your followers expect from PheuZen?
[Trevor Moontribe] PheuZen (pronounced Few Zen, a word play off Fusion and Zen) will be a wide-ranging Electronica project that is basically the home for all my slower solo music. When I look on a site like Beatport for instance, their Electronica section will have everything from ambient to downtempo, to slower BPM house and bass music. So that’s the model I’m going with for this project, and people can expect all of those sub-genres and more when they see the PheuZen name.
What inspired you to create this new project, and when did it happen?
Ultimately I’m just into so many kinds of music and really just needed another outlet to express myself in ways that aren’t happening with Desert Dwellers. With DD we’ve created a certain style that I really love, but I’ve been wanting to make downtempo/bass/electronica music that isn’t generally focusing on tribal/world music sounds. That’s not to say there will never be any tribal vibes in PheuZen, but in general I’m veering away from that style with this project. I’ve had my other solo project going many years that does more house/techno stuff, but for this the songs have really started coming together in the past 6 months.
What DAW do you produce with?
What are a few of your favorite FREE VSTs or plugins?
I’m not sure about free ones, but I tend to use Waves, Movement, various EQ’s, Logic plug ins, synths like Serum, Zebra and of course NI stuff is always used.
Link us to three of your most influential non-electronic tracks.
Mahavishnu Orchestra – “Miles Beyond”
If you could play a show with anyone who would it be?
Desert Dwellers would open for Pink Floyd.
Does Desert Trax have any releases on the docket for 2017?
Yes, we have some amazing stuff lined up for the rest of the year including releases by Random Rab, Kaminanda, Desert Dwellers of course including ‘Night Visions Part 2’ and remixes of “Saraswati’s Twerkaba” by the likes of CloZee, David Starfire, Stephan Jacobs, Mindex and Tribone!
You are making your Red Rocks debut with Desert Dwellers on May 6th. What is the significance of that for you and do you have anything special in store?
We have a list of goals and that was on top of the list so it’s HUGE for us and hard to put into words how excited we are about it!
Do you plan to play any live PheuZen sets in the near future?
I hope to have enough content by the end of this summer to do an hour live set, but we shall see how it goes with touring and all.
Do you survive financially entirely off of music or do you supplement your income by other means?
I am lucky enough to survive 100% off music.
How do you want people listening to your music to feel?
The music I make touches on so many moods so I think that each track can create a different feeling in people. When I’m performing at a festival or for a dance floor, then obviously I want people to feel inspired to dance and let loose.
What kind of food/beverages do you keep close by when you’re working in the studio?
REBBL super herb drinks are my go to these days – I’m addicted to them! I usually keep some mixed nuts and perhaps jalapeno kettle chips around, but I generally eat out when it’s time for a proper meal.
What are you watching on Netflix?
Hahaha, well I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus as I’ve been incredibly busy, but I enjoy The OA, House Of Cards, The Get Down (loved this so much), music documentaries have been fun like the Blondie or Journey one, Peaky Blinders and of course on other sites, Game Of Thrones, Walking Dead (kinda over it though) and Westworld is rad!