TI: You kicked off your ‘Summer of Schulz’ yesterday. What does that consist of?
MS: Well over the next 3 weeks I’ve got some big things going on so GDJB thought they’d bring them all together under the one banner.
TI: Starting with Coldharbour Day, right?
MS: Right…. This was our 3rd. We’ve been doing them on the 28th of July each year to celebrate major markers in CH’s history.
TI: So what was this year’s?
MS: It was actually the 100th release on the label, so we ran a special day of mixes on AHFM, with all the producer/DJs that have been instrumental in the label since 2004 mixing it up. We had a great reaction – I was very happy with how it all went down!
TI: Great! So what is the 100th release?
MS: It’s my new single ‘Perception’. As some people out there know its a very special one for me. The Cass & Slide original has been part of my life since I was a clubber, going to The Gallery every week. I did a reinterpretation for the ‘Do You Dream?’ album with Justine Suissa and it just seemed like synergy to make it the 100th release.
TI: And where does the Schulz Summer take you from there?
MS: Writing this I’ve got about an hour to go before I go on stage at Sunrise in Poland and then there’s Pleasure Island &Tomorrowland, tomorrow (!), Nature One in Germany (which I just know is going to be off the hook!) next week on the 30th and then Dance Valley next month.
TI: Cool! And Nature One is going out on the radio too, right?
MS: It is indeed, on Sunshine Live; so if you can’t make it, tune in and enjoy!
TI: And then the home-run, Ibiza via Budapest.
MS: That’s right. I recorded the Budepest gig I did a week or so back as the August GDJB World Tour night and loaded the set with an incredible amount of exclusives, so that should be hot! Then, on Aug 10th I’ve got my solo 7hr all-nighter at Amnesia in Ibiza. I’m playing there 8 times this summer but this night is the one! I did one in September last year and from experience all I can say is if you’re on the island, get down there. I’ll make it worth your while!
TI: John, last year was busy; this one looks like it’s right out on the red line! How are you keeping it all together?
JOC.: There certainly have been times when I wonder that myself! But it’s a great privilege to play at events around the globe.
TI: Let’s kick off with the label then. You started in Jan, you look like you’re flying. Is it all going the way you expected it to?
JOC.: I couldn’t be happier – really. Subculture’s releases have been very strong so far and I am glad to see the label form somewhat of a cult following. There is a lot more quality material to come – so stay tuned!
TI: ‘Desert Orchid’ is the latest J.O.C. single; where does the title come from?
JOC.: Well my dad has been an avid racing fan all his life, and people might know the horse Desert Orchid. A story about it popped up on telly one night and thought I would name a tune after it in honour of his hobby!
TI: You’ve also started running Subculture events in Ireland; how are they going?
JOC.: They’ve been monumental for us – really. We waited for years for our own first event in Dublin. It sold out and if you check the footage on my YouTube channel you can see we all had an amazing time. The next one’s in December.
TI: And there’s another compilation coming?
JOC.: Absolutely. I am right in the middle of compiling the tracklist for Subculture 2010 now. We’ve got a 8th of October release date, with brand new and exclusive tracks from all our Subculture artists.
TI: You’re playing 6 times in Ibiza this year. How healthy is she looking in 2010?
JOC.: She’s thriving, you can barely walk down the sunset views at night – it is thronged! Cream Amnesia has been buzzing every week with close to capacity numbers. I have been on the decks 3 times so far, with 3 to go – love it!
TI: Ibiza to one side, what else do you have looming on the gig horizon?
JOC.: Global Gathering UK at the end of July, The Gallery, Airport Jam Estonia, Pacha NYC then off to S. America tour – oh and Toronto and LA for the big festivals too! Gods Oz Tour in Oct – Airmiles card at the ready!
TI: Radio shows, labels, club nights, compilations – is anything missing from the set? Have you got more Subcultures to add? A men’s fragrance perhaps?!
JOC.: Ha! Not quite, I am however working on my next artist album due for release 2011. I am really excited about the tunes I have demoed so far, there are a couple of tunes with big potential (I hope!), and thrown into the mix some classic uplifting trance.
TI: Richard, you’ve been passed the In Search Of Sunrise reins this year. Did you have to think hard before accepting them?
RD: Yep, long and…. When you take on a responsibility like that you have to. We already had a plan for my own compilation in the works, but then Black Hole approached me about ISOS. I chewed it over, deliberated and decided it was the right route to go.
TI: Everyone’s an individual – you’ve obviously got your own take on it. What adjectives would you use to describe your ISOS sound?
RD: This is really hard to say… I did try to keep the ISOS feel, but I’m sure that I’ve picked tracks other than ones Tiësto would have. My style is not the same as his. As you say everyone is an individual!
TI: Can you pick one track that you think most clearly exemplifies the sound?
RD: Give me two and we’re talking! I’d go with Zoo Brazil featuring Rasmus Kellerman ‘There Is Hope’ and San vs. Wendel Kos ‘Kiss Of Life’ (Ibiza Sunrise Mix). I think between those two tracks lie all the elements of my ISOS.
TI: ISOS Radio launches this month. What’s the one thing you’d like to achieve with it above all others?
RD:: Well I’ll only be doing 1 ISOS compilation every year but there are so many new tracks I would like to hear to people. The show will allow that. There are other reasons, of course, but this is the main one.
TI: Ok, we’re keen! How do we get hold of it?!
RD: For now it is going out as a podcast on iTunes, but over the course of the next six months the show will start arriving on different internet and FM stations as we begin to syndicate it around the world.
TI: The ISOS tour looks to be rolling hard. Where’s it stopping next?
RD: Next stop will be the North America tour and of course Australia! Two places I can never get enough of!
TI: How’s Ibiza looking to your eyes this year?
RD: Amazing, but then it always is! I love to play at my resident club Judgement Sundays – the atmosphere is near unbeatably great!
TI: Thanks for joining us chaps! First up, give us the Tritonal introduction.
TT: Hi Guys!! Thank you for having us. Tritonal consists of Chad Cisneros & Dave Reed, a couple of guys from different sides of the US who met online discussing sound design. We’ve been at the Tritonal collaboration for two years now. In that time, we have really enjoyed ourselves! We definitely feel thankful with the amount of success in such a short time…
TI: Alongside Ferry Tayle you’ve mixed the 2nd volume of Enhanced Sessions. Pick 3 tracks from it that you think typify your mix…
TT: The 3 tracks that really stick out to us are Kyau & Albert’s ‘Once In A Life’, our personal remix of Nadia Ali’s ‘Fantasy’, and our new, just promed track ‘Driftoff’.
TI: You’re also progressing on to becoming an album act this year. As of today how close to completion is it?
TT: We’re about 75% done… We are so stoked for the tracks we have finished, and have so much more to do. We have about 4-5 tunes that are almost done, and need a week or 2 to wrap up.
TI: You play a lot in your home country. Having spun in nearly every metropolis that counts in the United States do you think you’ve ‘cracked the nut!?
TT: We are fortunate to be playing pretty much every city in the US, but there are some that we still need to hit. The US is a big place, so it’s nice having so many areas to play in. We are going to keep focused on building our profile with solid tracks; things will naturally fall into place.
TI: You’re starting to spread your wings abroad this year – where else have you been playing?
TT: Its been crazy, and have been to some amazing places. We were able to get over to Australia & NZ, and the UK. We also played Gatecrasher in Moscow which incredible; we did a live set with Cristina Soto – our go-to girl. We also played the huge US Electric Daisy Carnival festival which was just massive!
TI: What’s the number one country or city on your ‘I wanna play there’ list?
TT: Someday, we would love to play in Ibiza where all the major profile artists have been. We’ve always heard great things about that place and definitely want to make our mark!
TI: Finally, you’ve just launched a new label through Enhanced. Tell us a bit about that…
TT: Ahh yes! Air Up There Recordings will be launched on July 26th. It gets its name from our radio show – Air Up There. We really want to have an imprint from which we can ‘speak’. We couldn’t be more excited teaming up with Will Holland – he’s a 100% class act!
TI: Riel One: the last 12 months seems to have been silly-busy for you… Has touring taken over your life!?
RIEL: Hell yes it has taken over my life! It’s become more busy with every month that’s passed. You will however never hear my complain about it though because this is why I do it… This is the life – how fortunate am I to be doing all this??
TI: Where have you been?
RIEL: Well from one end of the world to the other (more or less) and everything in between. There are still some countries I haven’t been to yet but really want to and hopefully we can go there this coming year. I’ll play 6 out of 7 days a week if I have to.. l.o.v.e. it!
TI: Hear that! Ok, so you’re were handing out Dance Nation of the Year awards, who’d be getting it for 2010 so far?
RIEL: That’s a tough one, but I have to multiple answer that. I’d split the award in 3 ways (because I’m Sied and I can do so in my world). thirds each to Argentina, Poland and Australia. If I could hand out 2 more Those would go to the Nations of Montreal and Ibiza!
TI: Rampant cheating, but we’ll let it slide! So is there somewhere you’ve played over the course of the last 3 years that you’ve been dying to get back to, but not been able?
RIEL: I would really like to play Lebanon again. The first event I did there 2 years ago was cool-as at a beach, but I have yet to do a proper club event in Beirut. Guabba Beach in Cyprus I would like to return to, and Macedonia – very much a place I want to spin.
TI: What’s going on in terms of Sied van Riel productions at the moment?
RIEL: There’s a lot of stuff going on. I’ve been on the down-low for a bit but that was down to a studio re-fit, switched from Cubase to Logic. Now everything is up and running again and there will be a lot of new stuff coming up in the coming weeks and months. Excited!
TI: You’ve also done some collabs?
RIEL: Sure. I recently did ones with Radion 6 and Ummet Ozcan. The track with Radion (‘Radiator’) went through the roof getting support by everybody and blew up the charts… Daytime airplay etc.. Crazy and very cool. The track with Ummet is just finished and will be pushed out within the coming weeks.
TI: Are we going to see a second edition of ‘In Riel Time’ do you think?
RIEL: For RIEL..! Working on it as we speak!! Lots of new tracks and stuff for it… Expect it out at the end of August/September time.
TI: Bobina, welcome. First off tell us how that name came about?
BOB: Thanks! Well Bobina means real 2 real in Russian – the big cassette tapes that people still use on TV sometimes. I found this word quite cool and tapped it up!
TI: You’ve made some great leaps in your career of late… What do you think has been the single biggest factor in that?
BOB: I can’t put it down to anything other than work, work… and work again! If you wanna reach something, hard work is always the most important factor in getting there.
TI: You play a lot in the Russian Federation. How healthy is the scene over there?
BOB: Trance and progressive became really big here in Russia. I’m really happy about that. From year to year I see that more and more people get into it and they start to know the music. You can see this very clearly when you do a show in a club in one of Russia’s not so central cities.
TI: It seems that you’ve been doing a lot more abroad over the last 12 months too…
BOB:: Yes I try to do my best – that’s really interesting to discover the new countries, new cultures. I’m really happy I have a chance to do this!
TI: Which new country you’ve played in has surprised you the most over the last year and why?
BOB: I think its South Africa, but it’s impossible for me to properly explain in words why. The closest thing is that it’s really, really different from Russia, in every respect.
TI: You’ve got a new single out soon… Tell us a bit about that?
BOB: Ah yes, I do indeed. Actually I’m producing my next artist album at the moment. The 1st single is called ‘Angel of the North’ – it got a lot of support here in Russia on FM radio. The vocals on it are by Sabrina Altan and I have to say she’s an amazing singer. You can watch the official music video for the tune on www.bobina.tv
TI: Want to give us the inside scoop on any new projects up and coming?
BOB: My main project for the next 12 months is of course the album. I’m really having a lot of fun producing it and I hope to have it ready before summer 2011. Plus I’m really concentrated on bobina.tv – it takes a lot of time to make it – so I really hope people will tune in to watch what we’re up to there!.
TI: How important is it to you to get exclusive material for Magic Island compilations?
RS: For me it’s very important, because I don’t see this compilation series as just a mix album. For me it’s more of an artist album with the help of a lot of different producers, so I always do a lot of productions and collaborations for them.
TI: You’re very often seen dressed in white whilst on stage – what first prompted that?
RS: It was a white party in Montreal called Bal En Blanc; I played there the first time in white and really liked it.
TI: Where is the most remotest place on the planet you’ve DJ’d?
RS: I think that would have to be Mongolia.
TI: And the closest to paradise?
RS : In terms of crowd response paradise is wherever I go! Argentina, Mexico & Russia; these are my top 3 countries at the moment.
TI: Audience participation seems very important to you – any particularly fond gig memories in that respect?
RS: For me the interaction with the audience is the most important thing… Since I play a lot of live stuff when people are really into my music I can give my best on stage. There are so many memories of amazing shows I had in the past that it would take all the space we have just to start talking about them!
TI: You say that Balearic People is more down to state of mind than geographical location… Give us some adjectives that go towards making up that state of mind.
RS:: That’s right… Balearic is more a lifestyle for me, which combines beautiful places, melodic and peaceful music, beaches &sunsets together to create something like a neverending summer holiday. This is the vibe and feel I wanna give with my Balearic trance music.
TI: There’s a new Roger Shah Pres. Sunlounger album coming – what’s the latest on it?
RS: I’m still working on it but I think it will be released Early October. So far I’m very happy with it and I’m looking forward to playing a big album tour for the first time in my career.
TI: You’ve also got a special gig coming up on Guabba Beach – tell us about that?
RS: Yes I’m playing a kind of mini concert at my favorite beach party spot which will include my singers Chris Jones, Zara Taylor and Inger Hansen. This will be a kind of warm up / rehearsal for my first big solo concert show which we will do in October. As an exclusive I can tell you that it will be in Mexico AND inside a huge inflatable dome arena!
TI: So Jon, ‘Found A Way’ looks like it’s done very well, holding the Beatport trance chart no.1 spot for 10 days straight. Does it qualify as your most successful release to date?
JOB: It’s up there with ‘Ways & Means’, which had a PVD remix. I think with ‘Found A Way’ being a vocal track, it appeals to more people as well. Very pleased with the support it has received, amazing remix by JOC too.
TI: You’ve made your Garuda release debut too. What’s it called, who’s on the mix and where can the good people get their hands on it!?
JOB: The track is called ‘Out Of Touch’ and it comes with a funky Beltek remix. It’s out now on Beatport etc, with support from Armin, A&B, Gareth Emery, Ferry, Jules and more.
TI: Are there any producers that you’ve not yet collaborated with, that you think you’d like to?
JOB: It would be pretty hard to top the guys I’ve collaborated with already. Amazing to have worked alongside Gareth Emery, Airwave and Activa. Maybe Paul van Dyk or John O’Callaghan would be a cool project!
TI: Our ‘leg or an arm’ question: if you could only release artist albums or mix compilations from here on in, which would it be?!
JOB:: That isn’t fair! I love doing both! I guess with me starting out as a DJ rather than a producer, I’d opt for compilations.
TI: Jon, we salute that answer! Now you’re another of our 5 Minuters set to rock Tomorrowland. Have you played it before and what are you looking forward to most?
JOB: This will be my 3rd time at Tomorrowlands – amazing festival! It’s one of the friendliest as well, everyone has a constant smile whatever the weather. I’m most looking forward to (if its wet) mud wrestling (if its sunny) getting a British sunburn/tan.
TI: Ha! You’ve also got some more North and South American action beckoning. Where are playing whilst you’re over there?
JOB: In the near future I’m back in San Francisco on 6th August at the amazing 1015. Colombia at the end of July and Argentina end of August, 2 gigs I’m really excited about!
TI: 1015 – say no more! The jungle drums are also telling us you’ve also got a Godskitchen tour on the horizon?
JOB: The drums would be correct, in Australia at the start of October. The last time I did this in 2008 it was my favourite tour by miles, so bring this on!
TI: Give the people out there an instant snapshot of what you’re playing at the moment… What’s your big 3 for summer 2010?
JOB: Ok, ‘Found A Way’ – JOC Remix (Had to…)
‘Out Of Touch’ (Sorry, had to again…) Riva – ‘Stringer’ – Jon O’Bir Rework (hat trick!)
TI: Rich you have some Cream @ Amnesia action lined up next month… What have you got up your sleeve to r-block it with?
Ss: Several killer remixes of tracks from the new album which I will be debuting on the night and also some brand new mixes of Solarstone classics.
TI: Touchstone is one of the most diverse albums from a trance artist in years. Can you see a time when that tag just won’t fit?
Ss: The ‘trance artist’ tag is one with which I do identify with at the moment for sure, but my recent experimentations in edgier orchestral film score music have opened up a new avenue which I’m exploring alongside my electronic dance music productions. Perhaps that will become a larger part of my repertoire, but I will always love trance music in all its incarnations.
TI: Touchstone’s an album about inspirations big and small. For giggles tell us the smallest one you can pin-point on the album?
Ss:: There is a moment on ‘The Best Way To Make Your Dreams Come True’ which was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’, where a female backing vocal appears, that moment gives me a little tingle every time I hear it (as it reminds me of being 15 years old and snogging my girlfriend!).
TI: Both Touchstone and RainStarsEternal have a track with a Seven Cities/Solarcoaster feel to it, albeit in updated form. Do you find those tracks especially challenging?
Ss: They are challenging indeed, I use that ‘classic Solarstone sound’ for when I write a particular kind of melody, which comes around every couple of years. As it is a sound I spent a lot of time developing and nurturing I enjoy creating tracks which have something familiar about them.
TI: ‘There’s A Universe’ has been described as your "down a rabbit hole moment". How did you view it when you finished it?
Ss: The track is a sort of ‘Phil Spector meets electronica’ record, it is very different indeed but I still think it has the characteristics of the Solarstone ethos embodied in it, which are ‘warmth, melody and emotion’. It is a little bonkers though!
TI: What’s the latest on Elec. Architecture 2?
Ss: I am taking my time with it; I have a clutch of brilliant tracks from some very diverse and creative producers signed up for the record so far and I’m aiming at an early 2011 release for it.
TI: Rob, you released your debut album last year. Were you satisfied with its reception?
ACT: I was really pleased with it, yes. It was a project that I put as much effort into as I possibly could. In addition to being personally happy with the results it was great to have such good feedback. I don’t think I could have asked for more.
TI: With the benefit of 10 months hindsight which tracks do you think had the highest impact on the dance floor, and did you, yourself end up with a personal favourite?
ACT: I think that ‘Transmission’ has definitely had the best impact. It was made with a club in mind rather than an album as such. ‘Long Way Back’, the collaboration with Giuseppe Ottaviani gets great reactions too, both on dance floors and feedback from listeners.
TI: You’ve just launched you own label Borderline. What are your aims and aspirations for the imprint?
ACT: I suppose the aim of Borderline is to be the platform to release trance, which keeps a bit more of an ‘energy’ about it as well as keeping the quality of the music as high as possible. I am working with some amazing new artists like Sonic Element and Impulsive Drive and more established producers like JK Walker and Marcos.
TI: So what do you have lined up as the launch releases?
ACT:: The first release is called ‘The Fall’. It’s a collaboration track between myself and Dave Parkinson. He has a few aliases the main two probably being Prime Mover and Revolution 9. We have decided to resurrect Revolution 9 for the collaboration. Its getting amazing feedback so far and will hopefully set the benchmark for the quality of trance that Borderline will be releasing.
TI: Fantasy Island time: if you could sign any trance artist to Borderline who would it be?!
ACT: Stoneface & Terminal! The guys are amazing producers. Their style has changed quite a bit from the kind of trance I loved by them, but my choice would still be S&T.
TI: After mixing ‘Live As. 6’ for Discover early last year you’re shortly going to be back out on compilation duty. Tell us about that?
ACT: Yeah, I am mixing the second disc of the new DS International series along with Ashley Wallbridge. It took me quite a long time to put together and will hopefully show. I was able to license one of my favourite ever tracks, Joker Jam – Innocence which gives the disc a great opening atmosphere. I’m excited to see how it’s received!
TI: That’s excellent, one of our all-timers as well that one! Now you’ve just signed with Assured Artists – what prompted that move?
ACT: James was my manager at Fresh and someone that, since joining, I had only worked with. We both have similar ideas, music tastes and it was a natural progression really to move and work with him still once Assured was running. I think keeping the same manager (as long as you have a good working relationship) is very important.
TI: The gig diary looks busy, where are you out and about on DJ manoeuvres for the rest of the summer?
ACT: I am pretty busy this summer, which is great… I have Tomorrowlands in Belgium, Beefree Festival in Slovakia very soon as well as dates at Godskitchen, Digital Society (for the album launch, 1015 in San Francisco and Art of Trance in Italy, which I can’t wait for!