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Wednesday 21st, February 2007
DJ Tab & Super8 Interview

Anjunabeats stalwarts, Finnish duo Super8 and DJ Tab are two of the most talented trance artists around. They were responsible for one of the biggest, and some would say only, trance anthems of recent years, the almighty Helsinki Scorchin'. A tune that prompted DJ Mag to gush 'when did trance get this darn good?' With a discography that puts most trance artists to shame with its abundance of quality, if anything they are improving. 'Won't Sleep Tonight' was one of the most memorable releases on Anjuna last year and their latest, 'Needs To Feel' is shaping up to be just as big. Trance.nu caught up with the guys for a quick chat and found them to have such a laid back attitude to life and music it made us want to move to Finland...

t.nu: Hey guys! How are things with you?

Hey there. Things are great and we are really excited about 2007, lots of things are happening for us now.

t.nu: You both had a very successful 2006, can you name any highlights?

Sure, Helsinki Scorchin´ being on DJ Mag’s list of ‘Best Moments Of 2006’ was really nice as was having three tracks in the Top 30 of 2006 ASOT year vote. DJing at Love Parade and a primetime slot in Turnmills brings unforgettable memories to our minds. Over all 2006 was really good for us on both DJing and production wise. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2007!

t.nu: Tell us about your musical backgrounds – when and how did you start out DJing and producing?

Super8: I started producing when I was 16 and DJing about the same time. I’m very much a self-taught keyboardist and engineer.

Tab: I started to DJ around 15 and producing when I was around 24. After moving my studio to HelsinkiVibe Studios my producing got more serious… well can it ever be really serious? Haha!

t.nu: When and how did you discover trance music?

When was it born? We don’t know if it was called trance at that time, but we’ve been into club music for ages. No matter if it was house, techno or what ever.

t.nu: We have to mention one of the biggest trance records of the last couple of years, your own Helsinki Scorchin’. It made it into the DJ Mag Top 100 tunes of 2006 – not bad for a trance record – did you have a good feeling about it from the off?

We had a goal to do something different from the other tracks out there at that time. We thought it was good track, but we weren’t prepared for the success it achieved.

t.nu: What was the thinking behind the track title?

The trance scene in Finland is really vital and most of our country mate producers are always looking for new fresh ways to do tracks. So we kind of wanted to send the message that Helsinki is on fire!

t.nu: The follow up, Won’t Sleep, was much darker with a superb vocal from Ben Lost, and was my personal favourite Anjunabeats track from last year. Is this a direction your sound is heading and do you plan to do any more vocal tracks?

First of all, thank you… with ‘Won’t Sleep Tonight’ we wanted to continue what we learned from ‘Helsinki Scorchin’’, but we wanted to take it to somewhere else. This time we just felt a bit darker and nastier. We first had only the instrumental and we came up idea to get some vocals on it.

We have known Ben Lost already for years and he had a gig in Finland so we invited him to our studio and he did these great vocals.

There really isn’t any direction we are heading, but we are always trying to keep our tracks fresh and try bring some new angles on it. Maybe here we can reveal that there will be more trancey stuff coming out as well.

t.nu: Congratulations on getting your own radio show on Anjunabeats Radio, tell us about that.

Yes this is great new thing for us. Having a good brand behind the show helps us to get bigger exposure and more stations to spread our message of how we see trance is at the moment. Our two hour show is every once a month where we play tracks from side to side. Main focus is on trance and progressive trance, but we might play out some progressive house and electro tracks as well.

And yes, we do speak there also so if you want to hear some Finnish accents please turn on to Anjunabeats Worldwide. You can listen it every week on DI.FM, XM Satellite, RMI.FM and Dubai 92FM. Find out more about the Anjunabeats Worldwide from anjunabeats.com.

t.nu: How about your DJ careers, they seem to be taking off too. Do you always DJ as a duo and what can we expect from a DJ Tab & Super8 set?

Our international DJ career is now really blooming and about to really take off. Especially this year looks really promising, but 2006 we already visited many important venues.

A Super8 & Tab DJ set is mixture of progressive and trance sounds. We are always keeping our sound fresh DJ-wise as well. We are always trying to keep in mind that a set needs to grow up and if it’s a longer set it needs to come down at some point too before going up again. Too often these days you hear DJ sets that can be described as “rollercoasters”. We don’t want to do that.

t.nu: What’s your studio set up like and where are you based? What equipment do you use to make your tracks?

Our studio is located in Helsinki and surprisingly it is called ‘HelsinkiVibe Studios’. Our set up is built around G5 and Logic 7.2. We are using lots of Virtual Instruments like Spectrasonics and Arturia synths. Outboard gear we don’t use that much anymore, but we have a couple of JP8080s and Triton for example. Our gem has just been bought; Soundcraft DC2020 analog mixing desk which needs to be serviced before we can use it. As converters we trust on RME, but would love to change to Apogee someday.

t.nu: Have you any more plans for any DJ Tab & Super8 singles for the near future?

As an official note here we don’t have any plans to go solo anymore. So all release will be Super8 & Tab releases from now on. We already have four new tracks to be released in 2007 on Anjunabeats, but we have several other tracks nearly finished as well.

‘Needs To Feel’ will be next one out in the beginning of March and it will be followed by a track called ‘Suru’ (in English Sorrow). You can listen ‘Needs To Feel’ on our myspace.

t.nu: Super8, you’ve forged a hugely successful production partnership with Above & Beyond’s Paavo Siljamaki as Aalto. Any plans for future releases from that project?

Super8: Aalto is for extreme fun. We never had or have any plans. We go to the studio when it feels right and we take few beers with us. We lock the doors for two days and when we come out we have a new track burned on CD. That’s exactly how it has been with every Aalto track so far.

t.nu: Tab, you were part of AR52 who released some top quality trancers. Will that project be making a return?

Tab: Never say never, but we don’t have any plans for a new AR52 release at the moment. Let see what the future brings us…

t.nu: What do you think it is that makes you Finns so good at making trance? If we put together a list of the top 20 trance producers around in 2007 Finland would make up a large percentage…

One thing is that we have a really good trance scene and quality DJs. Despite the amount of the population we still run really good trance parties with even 3000 people attending a happening. For example Hallmark (Tab is resident) is now seven years old and still doing as good as in the golden ages of trance. If you want to feel the years 1999-2000 again - fly to Finland just for this.

The other thing is the close relationship we all have as producers. We share our knowledge and also working as each others critics. Third thing is our roots, we have slightly melancholic minds which fits with how trance music is.

t.nu: How do you see the state of the trance scene now and where can you see it heading in 2007? Electro has been an influence on both your recent productions and many other trance producers, do you see that continuing?

That will continue of course in our production and in others as well. But we have put together a couple more trancey tracks because it has started to feel like that there isn’t that many good basic trance tracks around anymore.

t.nu: Finally, did you make any New Year resolutions?

Better not to… couldn’t keep them anyway, haha!

t.nu: Many thanks for doing this interview with us and keep up the great work!

Thank you very much! Hope to see you around the globe!

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