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Friday 23rd, June 2006
Darren Tate special edition Interview

Special text edition of the Darren Tate interview conducted in episode 1 of the Trance.nu podcast. This interview features brand new answers on all the questions, with Darren speaking about his Horizons 01 album, his upcoming DT8 Project album, battling piracy, as well as what it was like working with Charlotte Church!

Whether you have, or haven't yet, listened to trance.nu podcast episode 1 (<a href="http://trance.nu/v3/news_show.php?id=3448">click here if you missed it<a/>), this interview includes brand new answers from the successful producer Darren Tate.

There is also currently a contest running to win Darren's Horizons 01 album and Mondo Sessions. More details at the end of the interview.

Trance.nu: You finally got your debut artist album, Horizons 01 released recently on Mondo. What kind of reactions have you been getting back on it?

Darren Tate: Awful Ė really terrible. happy. Actually theyíve been great Ė people have appreciated it for what it is which is a selection of club highlights DT style over the last few years. A good slice of euphoric dance. It is only the tip of the iceberg but itís a nice tip nonetheless.

T.nu: You are one of the last trance producers who is able to appeal to the underground, but also have large mainstream success. Do you consciously produce a track with its intended market in mind?

Tate: I am always aware of the various markets but I rarely try and produce a record purely to fit in one. I just get the desire to do a kind of record and then sit back and see what happens. For example I may be in the mood to write an original dance record and then itís the originality which causes it to be a cross over record. Having said that I do occasionally do records which I know will be for club only Ė with clubbers / fans in mind.

T.nu: Vinyl sales have been dropping steadily. As owner of your own label [Mondo Records] where do you think the trance industry is going with new revenue streams?

Tate: Vinyl certainly has been dropping, and those damn illegal mp3 sites really are buggering up us producers (especially the small guys). Mondo is seriously investing in the internet Ė we have just launched our own shop which incorporates CD, MP3 and vinyl sales. Weíre even looking at specially devised MP4 products Ė visuals for music VDJ style. The difference for us is that weíre not trying to be a generic web shop Ė we are only working on the tracks we really believe in Ė and we will market and invest in those just like a regular vinyl release.

At the same time weíre using new web technologies such as MySpace and podcasting to try and enhance our fan base, as well as our Mondo Sessions radio show incorporated across many international radio stations.

Another key revenue for us is compilations. The first Mondo Sessions mixed by myself and Mike Koglin will be available mid summer, and will be the start of what I hope will be seen as a great series of uplifting and intelligent dance music.

T.nu: 2 years ago, music download piracy was quite widespread in trance music. But many fans have recently taken a stand themselves, and now the majority of community trance sites ban any illegal download links and members heavily criticize those who acquire their music illegally. What is your take on the issue?

Tate: Itís a start but I donít actually enough is being done to kill of the scourge of illegal mp3 sites, or stopping people from pirating music. To my absolute fury Iíve seen promo copies of our key releases (that have only been sent to industry!) appear on these sites and literarily thousands have downloaded it. I think we need some serious deterrents in place Ė for example policed replica Ďmp3í sites that catch people and charge them for stealing music. Trouble is itís hard to police in the internet..

T.nu: Youíve said in the past how you prefer CDs over mp3ís, due to quality restrictions on compression. Do you think the attitude by labels and distributors to Ďnot botherí with CD distribution is a mistake?

Tate: As many are aware you get a higher quality out of CD audio as itís not got any MPEG compression Ė however 320Kb is still pretty good (though still not perfect by any means). Aside from the quality issue MP3ís donít come with packaging, and not everyone has an mp3 player (especially in their car etc.). Therefore for us itís imperative to offer a CD solution.

The other key point that comes out of this is that there is a big hole in the market in the area of CD singles which are and have been only ever released as vinyl. How many low unit releases on key dance labels could you buy a CD single for? Not a lot. Thatís something weíre looking into seriously right now (and our web shop is evidence of this).

T.nu: Where do you see the trance industry in 5 years?

Tate: Well of course Jurgen Vries will of course have made a comeback and be at No.1 in the charts. And people will still be arguing over whether heís English or Dutch.

God forbid I hear you cry.

I believe that trance (or a derivative of) is going to make a come back in a more mature form. House is too funky, Prog is too boring, Trance is too kiddy Ė Iím thinking something in between. You want to hear what thatís going to sound like? Check out the DT8 Project later this year..

T.nu: For your single with Charlotte Church [Jurgen Vries Featuring CMC Ė The Opera Song] you made a very good ĎClassical Rework.í Have you considered pursuing more into that area of music? Maybe even a classical album?

Tate: My background is classical and I believe Iíve got the potential to stand amongst the best at film scoring. Many of my fellow producers keep telling to me to write scores Ė but itís not so easy to get into plus Iím so busy loving what I do right now.. I imagine Iíll invest more time in it once Iím a little older. However there will be little bits here and there in the meantime Ė again the DT8 Project album has a few tit bits in (and thatís plug No.2 now over).

T.nu: I keep seeing the name, ĎDarren Tateí come up under the credits for a few television shows here in the UK. Is that you?

Tate: Iíve done some TV but not really written specifically for it. It could be the skater dude whoís nicked my profile on MySpace?

T.nu: So how on earth did you convince Miss Charlotte Church to do a trance track, of all things? And what was it like working with her?

Tate: She saw a picture of me in Muscle Mag and just knew she wanted to work with me. Youíll notice my jokes get less amusing through this interview (that is if they were even amusing to being with). Basically the record was buzzing big, Sony wanted to sign it, but we said they could only have it if they stuck Charlotte Church on it. And thatís how it went. Unfortunately the price of succumbing to commercialism was lack of credibility as DJ Ė which is annoying as Iím pretty sh*t hot these days even if I donít say so myself wink

To work with.. I take the 5th.

T.nu: Is it really true you are working on a top secret DT8 Project album? How are things progressing with that?

Tate: Itís pretty secret all right (which is why Iíve only ever mentioned it in every other sentence through this interview so far). Itís called ĎPerfect Worldí, and itís very almost finished. Itís NOT a trance album, though it has some trancey tracks. But then it also has some breakbeat, house, classical.. Itís taken years, and Iíve been re-inventing it and replacing tracks over and over while trying to create a new sound at the same time (not an easy task). But weíre almost there..

Incidentally just to keep everyone happy weíre releasing it as a 2 CD product Ė the second CD will be club remixes mixed together. I think itís going to be a pretty hot package come this summer.

T.nu: Any new collaborations coming from you soon?

Tate: Thereís plenty on the Perfect World album however in regards to trance the only one Iím considering is a third single with Jono Grant. After a party I went to A&Bís studio with Paavo but we were both so drunk we fell asleep on the mixing desk Ė so donít expect much apart from the sound of drool on that one.

T.nu: You have got on quite well with Above & Beyond in the past [Darren made a track with Jono Grant.] Have you heard their new album, Tri-State?

Tate: I actually made two tracks with Jono. I have heard some of their album and they funnily enough have heard some of mine. The guys are massively talented and theyíve stuck to a formula which has worked brilliantly for them and I believe this album shines off those very skills. Unfortunately I have to go and alienate my fans every three seconds which is why Iíve been working hard on trying something a little different. Itís a big risk that will either pay off or it wonít Ė time will tell.

T.nu: Have you ever felt like quitting music completely and doing something entirely different? If so, what has kept you going on?

Tate: I thought about working in porn for a while but Iím scared people wonít take me too seriously. I LOVE music and I love writing music (although the business side is HARD work). I gave up one complete lifetime opportunity and risked everything to do music full time and I wonít ever go back. HOWEVER I am also a pretty nifty writer, photographer and artist so you never know.

T.nu: What non-trance music are you currently listening to? Are you a secret Jessica Simpson fan?

Tate: I listen to everything Ė I love music that either has great emotion or soul. I find that in bands, dance, classical Ė everything.

As for Jessica I havenít decided what I think about her yet, but I know she really likes although I wish she would stop phoning me and leaving those dirty messages on my answer phone.

T.nu: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Tate: After this interview solitary confinement. Actually I hope that I would have delivered a great album or two, and still be producing the best music I possibly can.
From my 200 foot yacht of course happy

T.nu: So long as you produce some more great tracks, thatís all that matters to us wink

<a href="http://www.darrentate.com">www.darrentate.com</a>
<a href="http://mondorecords.com">www.mondorecords.com</a>

Don't forget the Darren Tate contest to win a copy of his Horizons album and a copy of the unreleased Mondo Sessions. Send Darren's first UK top 40 chart release to <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>
Deadline extended to the 30th of June.

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