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Eskimo interview - Phantasm's Phantastic Phamily

Author: Benjamin Preiss
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

While most other 13 year old boys were just discovering girls, DJ Junya was already hitting the world psychedelic trance DJ circuit. It helps when your father is the founder of the successful Phantasm Records label. It also comes as little surprise that Junya's father first introduced the future DJ to electronic music as a child.

"All my life I was hearing dance music playing around our house," he recalls.

"It was the first thing in my life that 'grown ups' took an interest in and it made me feel good that I was doing something that all my other school friends had no idea about".

Junya acknowledges he may have been regarded as a "gimmick" in the beginning, but now, as a 20 year old, and two albums later, he is anything but a novelty.

At 17 Junya released his debut album, 'Can You Pick Me Up-' on his father's label with the stage name of Eskimo. Two years later in 2004, he followed with sophomore album 'Take A Look Out There'. By this time he had established a reputation for dancefloor-filling sets and remixes of such well known tracks as The Prodigy's Voodoo People. Junya's tracks have even featured on Japan's ringtone charts.

Despite performing for partygoers around the globe, he was surprised to be receiving mainstream recognition for his music.

"It was weird obviously because I never accepted my music as finished and ready. I expected people not to notice it much without slagging it off. When they complimented it I was shocked. And when they started to notice my specific tricks and styles it made me feel great because anyone can come to you and say 'nice set' or 'killer live show' but when they come and say I like what you do with the bass or the way you use samples, it means that they have really listened to your music. They noticed the work you put in."

Having grown up with psy-trance, he feels comfortable and relaxed with both the music and the scene. While many trance lovers have previously declared the death of the psychedelic genre with the emergence of splinter styles like progressive and tech trance, Junya believes most psychedelic followers are remarkably committed to both the scene and music.

"Most of all I love the individuality in the scene," he affirms. Everyone who listens to this music has their own style and is in their own trip you could say, but are still all together in the same boat. It's so refreshing to not have to follow any guidelines or try to fit in, in any way at all. It really has a lot of history to it."

"Other dance scenes have their followers for a few years, but after it peaks they will split and do something else. This scene is so vast and has so much depth that there are a million things to be involved in. It amazes me how the majority of listeners who get into this music ride it out until the end".

The third Eskimo album will be the first in a series of three CDs, and will also be accompanied by a DVD. The final installment will feature collaborations with nine artists in Israel, where Junya has lived for the past year.

"The reason I wanted to release it like this is because I have so much music and so many ideas that nine tracks on an album did not seem enough for me. I wanted to give people a whole night's worth of music - 27 tracks - and also a way to kind of collect all the tunes. The music really does change throughout the CD,s so don't worry, it will not get boring".

Eskimo's 3rd album, 'Balloonatic', was released worldwide on October 14th 2005