Posts tagged Trance
Vigel Interview: Russian EDM Scene, Upcoming Projects, Dream Collab + More

We recently had the great opportunity to interview Russian artist Vigel. Vigel is known for his hard hitting trance records as well as his incredible progressive house productions. We discuss Armin Van Buuren dropping multiple tracks of his in his Ultra set, favourite place to perform, upcoming projects, Russian EDM scene as well as playing at the upcoming RFM Somnii Music Festival in Portugal.

You’re based in Russia? How is the dance music scene over there?

That’s right! Actually, the dance music scene here is very different. For example, we have a very big community of Trance music lovers here. Last time when I played in Moscow alongside Above & Beyond – it was sold out. The crowd & atmosphere were really amazing & special!  We have also a lot of fans of g-house & techno music. Of course, if it comes to our festivals – big room works really great too. What I really like about our Russian people – they’re so into the music, emotional & maybe little crazy in a good way on a dancefloor.

How would you describe your music?

I think my music is something middle between Big-Room & Progressive. It’s bit trancey but energetical at the same time. Honestly, I’m always trying to not be the prisoner of any genre or style & reaching something new with every tune I produce. That’s the same thing I’m always trying to do in my live sets too. It’s important to realize: there are no borders in music, there are borders only in your head. It’s always good to explore & find something new.

 What was it like to have two of your tracks played by Armin Van Buuren at Ultra 2019?

Fantastic & I was really pleased to see the great response by the people on the dancefloor! You know, I think it’s probably already my 4th time in a row when Armin played my new stuff on Ultra Music Festival. So cool & I hope now it’s becoming a tradition :D

 What is your favourite place in the world to perform?

You know, every place is always so special for me. No matter where it is: Asia, Europe, my home country or any other part of the world. So cool to realize that there are so many different people on this planet with all different cultures, different languages, different tastes but music is uniting us!

Are you excited about your show at RFM Somnii in Portugal in July?

Absolutely! I’ve heard a lot about this great festival a while ago, so it will definitely be a big pleasure to be there together with the people! Make sure you won’t miss it!  

Is there one artist that you must collaborate with?

22untitled.jpg

From the headliners of festival? Of course! You know, I’m a big fan of Fedde Le Grand’s deejaying style as well as his productions for many years. Afrojack does it really great too. Of course Alesso, no need words to explain. Magnificence are killing it at the moment! Got too many on the list!

 You’ve been with the Armada family for some time, what makes them so special?

I love how they’re exploring new areas & crossing the borders in music nowadays. Back in a day, Armada was only as a trance label. Now Armada is giving much more space to their artists to release & promote any kind of music they produce.  

 Do you have any upcoming projects you could tease?

Well, now we’re planning to release a big new remix for Limelght’s single called “Canis Major” that Armin has premiered in his Miami Ultra set this year. Also a couple of solo tracks from Vigel for this summer & pair of big collaborations which I’m working on at the moment. You can always check my socials for the big announcements & updates on the next months 😉

What are you goals for the second half of 2019?

Of course, to release more good music. We’re also scheduling many new tour dates with my team at the moment, so it would be awesome to visit all these places.

That’s to Vigel for chatting with us, we can’t wait to see what he brings next!


Vigel’s most recent release ‘Guangzhou‘ with Aryue


Fatum, Genix, Jaytech and Judah Team Up For A Massive Four-Way Collaboration

Perhaps our favorite non-A&B, non-Andrew Bayer Anjunabeats release this year (yes, that's a lot of criteria) comes today, as four label mainstays return for an engrossing, hard-hitting and melodic anthem. Titled 'All In' after its repetitive lyrical phrase, "we're all in this together", this collaboration ties together elements of each of the foursome's styles, through its magical arrangement of delicious, melodic drop in between two rough, raw intro/outro basslines. It has been a fan favorite ever since its first festival play by Above & Beyond at ASOT900 in Utrecht, and will be featured on Above & Beyond's Anjunabeats Vol. 14 compilation.

A single vocal sample grounds the track, as the chord progression and topline melody both revolve around it. Oozing simplicity with its minimalist yet captivating harmonies (somewhat ironically considering that four names were involved in this), 'All In' demonstrates that many times, flawless execution of a simple melodic idea works better than a mediocre rendition of a complex melody. Innovatively using a short vocal chops to add a sense of rhythm in the breakdown, as opposed to your usual kick/snare combination, this tune finds a way to subtly slither into build-up and drop, in a true progressive fashion. Vocal chops are lusciously sprinkled over a vibrant, buzzing soundscape of prominent supersaws and fantastic drum programming.

Often overlooked, extended mixes usually boast a smoother feel and a satisfying symmetry to songs which don't come about in the original mixes. All In's Extended Mix is a perfect example, as it adds a buildup to the intro bassline, and a peaceful, non-abrupt ending, which were both found wanting in the original mix. Check it out below!


Ferry Corsten on New Collabs, His Influences + More
ferry.jpg

We caught up with Trance legend Ferry Corsten to discuss the state of trance, a potential new album, how he stays creative having done 600 of his radio shows, how to keep a long running label successful and some exciting upcoming collaborations.

You released blueprint last year, it included 17 tracks. How long did it take to produce them all?
I worked on Blueprint for a year and a half, there's also touring so I bring all my studio stuff with me on the road. Touring slows things down a bit but yeah about a year and a half. I think a lot of the time besides actually producing the tracks was spent on the complexity of matching the songs with the story and the narration that accompanied the album.   

Any potential of another album soon?
Not sure yet, I’m playing around with the idea in my head. Nothing complete yet!

You have a handful of alias, what made you create a new one?
Well a lot of the alias were a while back but really it was all a product of the time. I wasn’t touring so I was producing a lot faster and a lot more records then. My output was really high. Due to the touring and the development of my career, I haven’t touched them in a while. The only one that I would still be involved in is Gouryella. The alias’ give me a freedom to do something else. I just brought System F back for a one off show also. Other than that, the focus is really on Ferry Corsten - that's the guy behind everything anyway!

You've done almost 600 of your countdown radio shows. How do you handle that and how do you make each radio show unique?
There is great new music out each week! Sometimes it's hard, finding the time to record it all, especially whilst travelling - I have my mic with me and end up in an echochamber of a hotel room. Sometimes I build myself an igloo with pillows! I record the show every Monday, so it can be organised to be published by Wednesday.

You were born in Rotterdam, how has living in The Netherlands influenced your music and your musical career?
The diversity over here is really good, it’s a small country - therefore a tight knit community. When I started producing and getting into the scene in Rotterdam, hardstyle was massive. But really the key is the diversity, if you look at the countries around us, you’ve got Scandinavian Pop, the UK sound, German minimalistic sounds as well as like the Belgian/French ‘suave’. I think in a way, it all comes together here and that influences the Dutch sound in general.  

Your label Flashover has been going for 13 years. How do you manage to be successful over a long time? Do you find yourself adapting to musical trends?
I guess it's about trying to stay true to what we think is right in a sense. It’s easy to just go with the hype and go completely away from where the fans want you.

Tell us about your 'UNITY’ collaborative project
It’s that one thing that always happens at festivals, I’m done playing and hanging out with the DJs that played before me. We always say “We should do a collab, I’ll call you next week” - it doesn’t happen. It’s always like “too busy” or “I forgot about it”, this and that. So this year I thought I would chase everyone for the collabs and make a project out of it.

Also, if you look at trance as a genre, although its big and although its got a massive following - it doesn’t have that core. I don’t mean that in a bad way but if you compare the core to what's happening in EDM or the bass world, all those DJs are playing each other’s stuff. In the trance scene, the 140 [BPM] guys aren’t playing the 128 [BPM] guys - the gap is too big. So that’s what I’m trying to break with Unity. I’m doing collaborations with artist I wouldn’t usually to see what will happen and to merge these different types of trance.

Any projects happening at the moment and anything you can tease for 2019?
I actually just released my collab with Ilan Bluestone called ‘We’re Not Going Home’. I also have upcoming tracks together with Alpha 9, BT and a few more almost finished. So there's a good lineup coming up. I also just finished my first film score, that's worth mentioning - it’s called ‘Don’t Go’, it’s out already in the states, so that's just a whole new world for me that I want to continue exploring.


Listen to Ferry Corsten’s latest collaboration together with ilan Bluestone ‘We’re Not Going Home‘ Stream/Download


EJ on his Relationship with Formula-E, How the Persona Began, Future Plans + More
EJ-interview-banner.jpg

We sat down and had a beer with mysterious DJ and producer ‘EJ‘, known for being the brains and face of Formula E music, as well as enormous tracks such as ‘Fire In Your Heart‘, ‘One More Night‘ and countless others. We chat about his introduction to Formula E, how he came up with the persona and his future plans.

Where are you based?
Based in London!

How did you relationship begin with Formula E?
I was working at Ministry of Sound for 10 years and that's where I originally met Formula-E. They wanted Ministry of Sound to come in and do all the after parties as well as their overall music strategy. Of course they thought Ministry would be good for that considering their history in dance music.  Unfortunately that deal didn’t go ahead. At that time I was considering leaving Ministry of Sound, so I contacted them and said “I love what you’re doing, do you want me to come in for a meeting?” They needed a DJ to play the races, they needed someone to help with and produce the broadcast music as well as help all the music content overall. It was perfect timing, so that's how my relationship started with Formula-E.

How did the EJ name and persona begin?
I really wanted to put my spin on things musically at Formula-E. What it came down to was me wanting a persona that would grow alongside the championship. So I created EJ and actually got referred to in the press as the bastard child of deadmau5 and Daft Punk! I began with house but always had a passion for trance, so when I decided to take the trance route with my music, I wanted an identity that stood out and was unique. The name came from mixing Formula-E and DJ, which resulted in Formula-EJ but that didn’t sound right so we ended up with EJ.

Do you have a favourite Formula-E driver?
I’ve got to go UK, so Sam Bird from Virgin. But you know what, there's a lot of really good racers in there now. BMW is actually coming in this season and then Mercedes and Porsche coming next season. The championship is just getting bigger and bigger.

F80P8160.jpg

Could you describe your music in 2 words?
Overall, I’d say it's Progressive Trance. I like to put a spin on the vocal stuff because I always love a vocal. But a lot of the stuff when I play the races, it's quite unique what we do for that. We aim for energy during the race, the cars are racing around the track and there are speakers at all the grandstands. There’s 3 different parts to it, I DJ with the cars going around the track. Also an EJ show that's on stage for the podium crowd, as well as all the after parties around town after the races. When I DJ during the races and when the cars are lining up and getting ready, it’s actually broadcast live on TV. It can be a little bit daunting because sometimes it's 20 million live viewers. I’ve been DJing for 5 years but still definitely get nervous during those shows!

Your record 'Fire In Your Heart’ is very powerful, what inspired it?
When I produce I make sure to think about how it’ll feel being played at the races, so it’s got to have a lot of energy. There is a funny story behind some of the lyrics, “fire in your heart, ice in your veins” is basically the polar opposites and I remember feeling frustrated at that time.

What's happening for EJ in 2019?
Got loads of new music coming out, I’ve got hopefully another 2 releases on Garuda confirmed. I’m working on a compilation album on Garuda also, ranging from progressive sounds to trance. It’s going to be titled ‘Formula-E - The Soundtrack’ and it’ll be all the music I play on the racetrack. That’ll be releasing in December and will coincide with the launch of the new Formula-E season. I’m also working on something pretty special which’ll be out in Q3 2019, that is something that’s very close to my heart.


Listen to EJ’s latest release ‘Follow Me‘ + Stream/Download