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Tuesday 23rd, October 2007
Preach Interview

Trance.nu caught up with Canadian born tech-trance producer DJ Preach, real name Philippe Babin, to discuss his superb new album Transatlantic and music in general... read on!



Hey Philippe, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with trance.nu. How are things with you at the moment?

Thanks to you, I love trance.nu. I often check to get my news on what’s happening in the scene. Things are great at the moment, I’ve recently had some of the best gigs in my life and the tour has just started!

You just released your first artist album on Tiësto’s FBI record label – after producing club tracks hope much of a change was it to get into the mindset of producing tracks that would work as an album?

My album has a lot of club tracks but people will find a couple of surprising tracks that are totally different from what I’ve done before. This album was totally a new experience for me; I wanted to explore some new facets of electronic music and not stick on drum tracks. I enjoyed so much working with melodies and using a lot more musical instruments than ever before that I decide to follow this path in the future. I worked on my sound a lot this year and I have something really new to offer. I was a bit tired of doing the same old drum loops; I wanted emotions in my music! On this album I particularly loved working with Ray Elmington. The track ‘Needin’ You Around’ reflect a much more alternative side of my influences and it works really well on the dancefloor!

Why did you decide to call it Transatlantic?

I’m only 28 and starting to discover the world; all its culture and its entire people. But it has changed so much my life since I’ve been travelling non-stop that I couldn’t think of any other name for this very first artist album. Most of the tracks on it reflect the moments I was travelling alone, the moments that I was seeing things for the first time and how I felt about it. I plan on visiting the Antarctica next year, I think that I will write a couple of tracks on the boat and call the record ‘Polar Ice’!

For those used to your techy-sound there are some quite poppy tracks on the album. Do you enjoy producing in that style and could you see yourself producing pop records in the future?

I love playing techno, I love playing trance, I love playing electronic in general! I think that I cannot play only one style anymore… it doesn’t make me happy! I want to play and produce an energetic music that reaches a wider range of people. I think that since the proper ‘techno club’ has gone down, it opened the door to new possibilities. People move from one style to another, I see a lot of my older techno fans following my new sound and they are really happy about it. I really want to keep on producing good club music (underground) but also some more ‘radio’ records. I listen all the time bands like Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Radiohead for example… I don’t see why I should restrain myself from doing what I like!



You also worked with lots of different vocalists on the album. How does that differ from producing an instrumental?

It brings different color in the music. I see the track in a certain way and the singer or the musician sees it in another. All ideas mix together give a totally different perspective and I think, brings a much more interesting touch to the final result. It doesn’t work all the time of course but I’m learning how to do it. I actually work right now on a really cool track with a violinist. It’s really awesome!

Are there any tracks that you are particularly proud of on the album?

My favourite is ‘Universe’. I worked really hard on that track. I close my eyes when I listen to it and it transports me to another world. I think that music has the power of bringing images and developing imagination.

You will be touring the album over the coming months, where is this going to take you? What will it involve – will there be live vocal performances for example?

Next three weekends I will touring Canada so it’s really great! I love Canada not only because it’s my homeland but also because of its great electronic music scene. After Canada I will be touring Europe, mostly Spain and Portugal, then a tour both in Indonesia and Australia … I started a performance with a great female singer. We are doing a couple of tracks live on stage, next live will be at Dagobert NightClub in Quebec City on the 26th of October and then at Red Lite in Montreal on the 2nd November! If everything works well, I’m sure we will be doing it in Europe as well!

You’ve remixed my personal favourite (though no-one else’s it seems) track from Tiësto’s last album Elements Of Life, Carpe Noctum. What direction have you taken with your mix and when can we expect to see that one come out?

The track is really powerful I think. The original was a bit softer and I thought giving it a stronger techno edge would really work. I think people will be surprised by my new sound, it’s a sort of trancy progressive techno with really heavy drums and bassline. It works really well in my set at the moments! The remix should be out soon!

How would you describe the Preach sound and what direction do you want to take it next?

It’s heavy, it’s energetic and it’s got emotions. I think that’s how I can describe how it sounds now. I slow down a bit my tempo because I find the music gets too much when it’s too fast… I still love breakdowns

You’ve had quite a year DJ-wise in 2007, what have been the highlights?

So far I have to say that my recent gigs were the best ones. In Canada I would say Bal En Blanc, in Eastern Europe it was definitely Russia with ‘I Love Techno’ night in Moscow, in the rest of Europe I would say Spain with Industrial Copera and Stuk in Slovenia, in South America Manga Rosa 5th anniversary in Sao Paolo Brazil and in Asia was Double Six night in Bali Indonesia.

I managed to catch you play at the ill-fated Antiworld festival earlier in the summer and I think we were both lucky to jump that ship before it sank... what were your memories of playing that festival?

You know what, that night could have been a lot worse for us and I think we were really lucky in some ways. The weather was horribly cold and in that huge festival setup there was only a few thousand people. Luckily for us we had a crowd but on the other hand we had a lot of sound problems. It’s the main problem with open air festivals, if the forecast is looking bad nobody will show up… anyway the guys at Proactive are doing a great job at Turnmills in London and I really look forward going back there in early 2008.



I’d second that! You were raised in Quebec, Canada and began your DJ career in the clubs there and in Montreal. What is the club scene like there and what styles did you start out playing?

I started in early 96-97 and I was playing trance. I got into techno in 2000 and started playing in Montréal at club Sona and then club Aria where I stayed resident for a good four years. Techno was pretty good back in that time but I would also play a lot of trance nights that I really enjoyed. I don’t want to point a straight direction in my music anymore; I just want to play stuff that I like and that rocks the dancefloors. Montreal is really house and trance at the moment I think!

When did you get your breakthrough and start to become noticed this side of the Atlantic?

I had a lot of offers to play in Europe because of my releases on European labels but at the time I wasn’t able to fly that much. I moved to Europe to centralise my carrier. I can easily travel to Europe, America and Asian countries in no time. I think it was very progressive, no real breakthrough… of course some gigs really helped my career like Dance Valley mainstage last year but I think I’m constantly working my profile step by step and I don’t try to take any short cuts.

You chose to move Czech Republic in 2005 – why did you decide to move there rather than say, the UK or Netherlands?

I just love the place where I live! It’s calm and I have a wonderful view every evening on the sunset. I wouldn’t move anywhere else!

You’ve also got your record label Relic Recordings. What new releases have you got lined-up?

Upcoming is Miko – Muzaik with remixes from Marcus Schossow, Tyler Michaud, Evol Waves and Daniel Laubscher. I love this EP a lot; I really dig the Schossow Remix!! MASSIVE!! We already got great support from DJs like Armin and Niklas Harding.

Canada has a fast growing dance scene, especially trance. Do you still keep in touch with it and which Canadian producers can you see making the breakthrough in the coming year?

There are a lot of great producers in Canada. I think that on the ‘trance – electro’ side you will agree that Deadmau5 is really the upcoming man. But in the electro house field, I think Marco G has already proven his quality production as he got himself a Canadian Gemini Award for his music featured in a Canadian television show.

Before we go, let’s touch on the most burning issue in dance right now – the dirty DJ Mag Top 100 poll cheating scandal. What is your view on this and the poll as a whole? Do you care?

I don’t promote it this year, I don’t even ask anyone to vote for me. I don’t care about this and I don’t think it reflects reality at all. The top 10 DJs are probably close to reality but that’s it… the rest for me is non sense. It’s not going to make me or break me…

Finally – what’s in a name? Why DJ Preach?

I’m very religious with music. I preach it! I chose it a long time ago and then everybody started calling me Preach even my parents…

Many thanks for your time Philippe, best of luck with the album and tour!

Thanks to you, big respect for trance.nu grin2 See you soon guys!

Read the album review here!


Written by:
frombeyond

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