In anticipation of his upcoming massive event Dec. 12th at Slake, Menno de Jong & I had a brief conversation about my favorite topic: TRANCE!)
1. Is Trance back now in 2014? Did it ever leave? No, it never left. People’s idea of what is popular changes with time but Trance has been around for 2 solid decades now. It may fluctuate between 140, tech, uplifting, prog and psy but it’s been one of the more consistent genres if you think about it, largely due to the very loyal fanbase!
2. Do you regret not being a label boss anymore? Intuition had some amazing gems on it. It was a golden era and a pleasure to work with guys like Jonas Steur and Airbase. Although I don’t own a label anymore I’ve been helping Black Hole Recordings out with the A&R for In Trance We Trust, where I’ve recently started to release my own music. All I can say is watch that space, some amazing artists are bringing their music to the label!
3. What was it like working with John O’Callaghan? Who would you like to work with next? Remixing for John was an absolute pleasure. When he asked me to remix ‘I’ll Follow’ I was literally quite stuck on a few projects and it slung me back into productivity, with a great track for my sets to boot!
4. Do you have any preference as to the sub-genre of trance you like to hear when you go out and party? Do you like an entirely different genre as an attendee vs. as a performer/producer? Absolutely, I love deep music when I go out myself. Anything that is hypnotizing and danceable at the same time. One of my favourite artists in that neck of the woods is Guy J for example!
5. What is Trance like in Amsterdam these days? Have we returned to the euphoric days of classic Trance Energy & Sensation White/Black? It’s pretty euphoric and banging at the moment indeed, especially for the bigger events. At the same time I’m noticing a greater demand for open to close type sets in intimate venues, where the music builds very gradually throughout the night. This fact will definitely reflect in my calendar for 2015! 🙂
6. Do you think the EDM kids of America will embrace Trance the way we all hope they will? I think they will all educate themselves eventually and move into multiple musical directions, including Trance. Most people that listen to “intelligent” electronic music listened to commercial generic crap at some point in their life. 🙂
7. How has the genre changed while you’ve been performing, as you’ve been in the Trance game since 2004? The biggest change is that 10 years ago you had 5 big camps feeding the Trance scene: Tiesto/Black Hole, Paul van Dyk/Vandit, Armin van Buuren/Armada, Ferry Corsten/Tsunami & Flashover and Above & Beyond/Anjunabeats. These days the Trance scene is largely dominated by Armada, although Black Hole is growing bigger day by day. Although the Trance scene is thriving at the moment obviously the situation in the past was a lot more dynamic and nurturing for talent. Fortunately the ability to market yourself using social media tools and online music sales and streaming has taken some of the necessity of having a label out of the equation.
8. Any crazy 2014 stories? Fun shows, insane afterparties? I was on tour with a big group of Trance artists in Australia two weeks ago. Andy Moor and I landed first in Adelaide on a Thursday. We went out for pancakes and then hit the gym in the middle of the night, jetlag. He went on the treadmill and I hit the bicycle for 30 minutes whilst the news was playing. It was a crazy night.
9. What does 2015 hold for the Menno de Jong Cloudcast & In Trance We Trust? The Menno de Jong Cloudcast is going steady and In Trance We Trust is going to be signing some new and old Trance favorites, as well as seeing its first official events and tours.
10. Favorite Trance release of the year so far? If you had to pick! It’s from the ProgPsy camp actually! Transwave – Land Of Freedom (Liquid Soul Remix), so amazing. John Askew – Shine get’s a close second. 🙂