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Saturday 12th, April 2003
Above & Beyond - Part II

You’ve produced a lot of original material over the last few months. You’re Oceanlab guise has been hugely popular with DJs like Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk. How does it feel to get such huge support from the world’s greatest trance DJs?
Jono - It does feel great when you have other DJs play your material whoever the DJ is. It took a lot of hard work to move away from remixing into making more of our own productions along with support from the record buying public, but I've always had faith in what we do. It's great to have Armin and Paul support our tracks. Over the last few months we've met both of them and got on well.

What's great about Armin is that he will play a track off CD regardless of whether he knows the producer is or not, if he likes the record. I respect this as some DJs get involved in the politics of the music industry once their profile rises. Paul is also totally passionate about the music and keen to pick up on new talent.

How did you meet with vocalist, Justine Suissa?
Tony - She’s an old girlfriend of mine. She started singing and writing long after I met her and I was working with her and putting her in touch with producers until she got the Chicane gig and things took off for her. We’ve written quite a few songs together and even done a little acoustic gig as a duo.

Will she always feature on the Oceanlab tracks, or will you experiment with any other vocalists, or no vocalist?
Tony - She’s probably the only vocalist for the project: her voice is so distinctive. There will be some instrumentals on the album, though.

‘Beautiful Together’ is the next Oceanlab track (lined up for May release). The Signum remix is already proving strong, but are there any other remixes in the pipeline?
Jono - The Signum mix is fantastic, as is everything they do. Captivating sounds commissioned 2 remixes from Jaimy & Kenny D and Silvester. On the UK release we are only going to release 2 mixes on 1 vinyl (the Original & Signum) as the sound quality is reduced when you cut more than one track per side. I want to try and keep Anjunabeats a DJ friendly label, and that's why you won't find too many Anjunabeats releases with more than 1 track per side - there's nothing worse than a thin sounding cut. The record is showing signs of being big in the UK now, so maybe we will consider releasing a 2nd vinyl as it proved popular with the release of ‘Far From In Love’.

Your Rollerball track is already receiving massive support from the top jocks. Where did you get the inspiration to work around the Albinoni Adagio sample?
Tony - It’s a long story! I worked at Warners on the original, aborted release of William Orbit’s “Pieces In A Modern Style” in 1995, and played the unreleased CD all the time: the first track was Barbers Adagio. I’d come home from clubbing and stick it on, and thought it might make a good trance record. My brother and I started mucking about with it in my studio, and with some other classical Adagios I had Midi files for, including Albinoni. After William became famous with Madonna, I started talking to him about releasing the album properly and maybe getting a dance mix of Barber’s Adagio done. He was very keen. This was before I met Jono and Paavo and so in the end I sent the midi files to Ferry Corsten and he did the mix to my brief: Gouryella but with classical music. He did a great job. I suggested Albinoni to William as another track for his album but he didn’t like it, so I thought I’d do it myself some day. It took a while to get round to it.

Have you heard the other Albinoni Adagio-sampling trance tune out there right now? Melodica ‘Tornado’ (Uplifto)? If so, what do you think of it?
Tony - I have heard it; it came out a few years ago in Russia and did nothing apparently, and they sent it to us when they heard ours. Its quite ironic, because Perfecto rushed out a track with Barbers Adagio on when we did the William Orbit one and now they are doing it again. Its good, but they haven’t used the best bit of the music in my opinion: the main theme is the most memorable part.

P.O.S. ‘Remember / Amnesiac’ is out early April. Mixmag’s April trance single of the month eh? And the Tony you team up with brother Liam on the Nitromethane ‘Time To Die’. What else can we expect on the production front in the coming months?
Paavo - Here’s a list of the releases we’ve got lined up on our labels. Records like POS and Rollerball have been in the clubs for while but the releases have been delayed because we’ve been changing distributors. Now we’re fully on board with Amato Distribution you should see a steady flow of releases over the next few months.

Label stuff aside, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the next Oceanlab record – you’ll only be able to hear that in our DJ sets over the next few months as we won’t start promoting it until after the summer – plus we’ve just starting working on the next Above & Beyond single.

Release schedule (approximate release dates):

April 7 - POS Remember/Amnesiac EP
April 22 - Rollerball 'Albinoni'
May 5 - Oceanlab 'Beautiful Together'
May 19 - Nitromethane 'Time To Die' (Seraque and new Cosmicman mix)
June 9 - Aalto 'Rush'
June 23 - An exciting new signing TBC!

Hard On
May 27 - Matt Caesar presents Most Wanted ‘'7 Days and 1 Week' (Dirt Devils and Shane54 mixes)
June - Dirt Devils 'The Storm'

What about remixes?
Jono - we’ve made a conscious effort to focus on our productions but we still take on the odd remix to pay the bills. We’ve got a remix lined up for Japan and at the moment we’re just finishing an Above & Beyond mix of a track from two talented new producers that we’ve signed to Anjunabeats. Can’t say too much at this stage but we’re all excited about the tune.

What about an artist album in the future?
Jono - Aside from our club stuff we also make more downbeat music, so it's likely that some of these tracks will form part of an album. I don't think an album of pure trance works for most people, and I'm keen to avoid doing the obvious. I only want to release an album when the time is right, but I would want to be seen as a serious artist rather than having a couple of cheesy hit singles. We are planning on releasing a compilation CD soon details of which will be announced in the coming months - I hope it will please many people!

Which upcoming producers do you really rate right now?
Paavo - This is going to sound funny, but we always try and work with our favourite upcoming producers. I’m a big fan of Super8’s remixes – I’m hoping to hear some solo material from him in the future. Shane54’s another big favourite of mine (anymore with numbers in their names??). Other ones definitely to look out for are Miika Kuisma (Fluid in Motion, AR52), who makes this amazing proggy trance, Matti Laamanen (Cosmicman), who’s really nailed the uplifting side. Christian Rusch and Greg Murray have made some big ones and Smith & Pledger are definitely on form. Oh and I love Inzite’s stuff… well done mate!!

You are also reviving Anjuna’s sister imprint, Hard On. What is the music policy for Hard On? What can we expect in the future from this label?
Paavo - Music policy for HARD ON hmm…does it really exist? I suppose anything a bit wacko and fun that gets people going in clubs. At the moment we’ve got only two artists - Matt Caesar who’s doing this most wanted series – bangin’ new mixes of older classics like 7 days and one week, which is the first one. And then our very own Dirt Devils… we’ve got piles of new Dirt Devils tracks lying around on the studio floor and when we get bored we send one to get mastered. The first mistake happened a few weeks ago so Dirt Devils “The Storm” slipped out…

Jono - Thanks for all of your support at Trance.nu and beyond!

Many thanks to Paavo, Jono and Tony and cheers to James for arranging.

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