It’s a Sunday morning, and Vishaal Turakhia is in his Brookfield Place office running numbers. Investment bankers don’t sleep. Neither do DJs. Turakhia is both.
On late nights after work, the 33-year-old can be found in his downtown apartment mixing techno “experiments” for his Soundcloud, a project which he describes as a “psychoacoustical experimentation with dark, industrial, and melancholy waveforms.”
“No matter how bad the day is, no matter how hard work gets, I can go home to that and I’m in a whole other universe,” he says.
Turakhia first started experimenting with electronic music as a teenager in his native India. He spent summers in Goa, whose coastline stretches along the Arabian sea. Places such as Anjuna Beach were meccas for electronic music, especially subgenres like psytrance (also known as “Goa trance”), characterized by fast-paced bass, leads, and twisted, synthetic sounds.
“Goa is where the ‘hippy’ movement began. On the beaches is where people experimented with psychedelics openly. So you went from the “jam band” era to an electronic-enabled style of music. Goa was to India, what Woodstock was to New York,” explains Turakhia, who goes by the stage name CYP450.
Law enforcement didn’t try to stop these activities, which allowed the music scene in Goa to flourish. Turakhia began experimenting on Technics equipment, spinning with vinyl records, the old-fashioned way. Gradually, he transitioned to the DJ-favorite Pioneer multi player, also known as a CDJ, which is compatible with USBs, SD cards, and other modern DJ software.
What sets psytrance apart from other subgenres of electronic music, Turakhia explains, is its many layers.
“A wall of sound envelopes and takes you on a journey, starting with rhythmic bass or percussion, and gradually layering other elements to tell a story. This makes it less repetitious and more technically complex than techno.”
Turakhia moved to New York in 2007 to pursue a degree in finance at Ithaca College. On the weekends, Turakhia would commute to the city to network. One night out, he met an organizer of the promoter group Psycheground Luis Campos, and, being equally as interested in the music world, took up the offer to play psytrance gigs at iconic clubs like Exit in Greenpoint and Sullivan Room in the Village.
Apart from Goa’s melancholic sound, Turakhia looked to old-school rock classics like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones for groove which he translated into electronic music that he characterizes as “deep, melancholy melodies.”
Today, the electronic music scene in New York looks a lot different. Turakhia has since transitioned from mixing psytrance to other subgenres of electronic music, including techno, one of the city’s current favorites.
You can catch CYP450’s latest tunes here: https://soundcloud.com/cyp450