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Tuesday 22nd, April 2003

Alphazone are the latest hard trancers to hit Europe. German-born duo Alex Zwarg (aka DJ LX) and Arne Reichelt (aka DJ Rockhead) pair up behind the Alphazone guise with a sound that’s already ear-pricked some of UK’s leading A&Rs. They’ve already remixed for the likes of DJ Kim (Nukleuz), Ian van Dahl (NuLife), Dave Joy (Planet Traxx), BK (Nukleuz) and Kira (NuLife), not forgetting their solo stunners on Waterworld, Honey Pot and Zenith. Their first Alphazone single ‘Stay’ emerged in Spring 2002 on Waterworld Records and since then the pair have turned in hard trance smashes at an unrelenting rate. With the release of the new Alphazone single ‘Rockin’ it seemed apt timing to catch up with latest to board Germany’s non-stop hard trance train

When did the Alphazone project begin and how?
The Alphazone project began at the end of 2001 with our first remix, DJ Kim’s “Jetlag” on Waterworld Records. We have released some underground tracks before but it was our first trance track / remix and we never believed that it could become such a tremendous success…

How would you describe the Alphazone sound?
You could describe the Alphazone sound as a cross over between trance and hard trance, with a bit of techno and hardhouse. We did always like banging hard drum tracks, these big fat baselines and complex layered percussion, so we tried to develop a sound which combines all this with the emotional and uplifting qualities of fine trance melodies from the very beginning.

Your new single ‘Rockin’ is set for release on 10 April. What can listeners expect from the new single?
All I can say is the feedback on the promos is nothing but impressive. We believe this thing could really be a smash on every hard trance dancefloor. Both mixes are really cool and with the Mat Silver vs. Tony Burt RMX we have an UK styled euphoric monster on the flipside…

How did that deal with Mat Silver and Tony Burt come about?
The deal came about by fluke. We phoned Tony someday in January 2003 and he told us that he liked Alphazone and that he would be interested in doing a remix exchange. We sent him the “Rockin” demo and he said that he loves it and will instantly start to do a remix with Mat…

When will you start work on the follow-up single? And what direction will you take with it?
We already collected ideas for the follow-up and we will start right after finishing the new DJ Kim, which will be also produced by Skywarp. The next Alphazone will be a bit different and maybe a little retro styled…

You made a big impact on the UK scene recently with remixes for a number of high-calibre artists – from Ian van Dahl to Kira and hard house don, BK. What is it about the Alphazone sound that has caught the ear of the major labels in the UK do you think?
I think our sound cross over is very danceable and the labels tell us often, that they like the quality of our productions. There are many productions on the market which sound really cheap and crappy, but the UK labels are looking for these big euphoric breaks and build-ups, huge synth stabs… Everything must sound impressive. This is our goal: Fat sounding productions.

Which was your favourite of the recent remixes? And why?
“Rockin” is definitely our fav, because the melody is so different compared to others. If the break with the melody kicks in, people started to scream… Yeah, that’s great!!!

Have any other labels or artists been in touch regarding remixes? What’s in the pipeline?
There are plenty of different remixes for big names to come in the next months. Watch out!!!

You’ve spent the last three years concentrating on studio work, but are now about to voyage into club scene with a DJ team and live-act.
Yes, that’s true, Alphazone will return behind the decks. We have already a couple of booking requests for summer, so we will see how it develops…

How’s the recently launched Zenith Recordings coming along?
Zenith’s first release “Saltwater - The Legacy” was a huge. We have licensed it to labels in different countries and it’s already on more then 12 big compilations in Europe. At the moment we are working with Plastic Studios on the next Zenith single, which is due for release in June 2003.

How did your collaboration with Plastic Studio’s come about?
We know Thomas from Plastic Studios since three years. Their studio is located just 20 kilometres from our own Skywarp Studio, so we meet regularly in the past and one day in late 2002 we had the idea to kick off with an own trance label…

What’s the music policy for Zenith? Or are you gonna keep it open and diverse?
Zenith will release nothing but quality trance. We are looking for high quality productions with feeling and emotion. The tracks should have a kind of “musical message”.

How did you react to the recent closure of some of the trance scene’s biggest labels, like Lightning? And where do you get the confidence from to start up your own label these days?
The music market is dried out and very, very difficult at the moment. But we still believe in quality. We think good records will always find their way to the buyers and our releases on Waterworld and also “Saltwater - The Legacy” told us that we were not wrong.

What’s your opinion on the illicit downloading of music from the Internet?
We are against illicit downloading but we believe in the internet. The main problem in our opinion is that in the past the major record companies have not been flexible enough to react on the web in a proper way. With wrong decisions they did not achieve to cultivate the download against payment and now they are in a crisis…

And finally, what ambitions for the rest of 2003 and beyond?
Our ambition is to continue to work hard for the Alphazone brand, to release some good records in the future, to return as DJ-team and live-act and to stay lucky. Thanks trance heads out there for your big support. Thank you Mark for the interview.

Alphazone – Rockin (incl. Mat Silver vs. Tony Burt remix) is out now on Waterworld Records Germany and distributed by Discomania in Germany).

For more information on Alphazone check http://www.skywarp.com

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