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Wednesday 04th, October 2006
Steve Morley

Steve Morley should be no stranger to fans of the tougher trance sound, a prolific producer whose productions have managed to sneak their way into nearly every trance DJ’s record box. Born Mustafa Alici and living in Rotterdam he signed his first record deal in 1992 and quickly established himself with big selling records seeing his star rise as a record producer, live PA and DJ. He was drawn to the innovative trance scene in Germany and in 1994 decided to make the move there. The use of many aliases enabled him to make different styles of music and release many records in a short period of time. The draw of Rotterdam was too much though but inspired by the German trance sound he scored a string of club hits under various aliases. 1998 brought him instant recognition and success all over the world with the releases Dave Holmes 'Samsara' on the huge UK hard dance label Tidy Trax and Steve Morley 'Reincarnations' on Neo Records which were quickly followed by further hits Clubbers Delight 'Without You', Starchild 'Redemption' and Soulman 'Put Your House'. This resulted in him signing exclusively as Alici to world-famous UK label Cream and he was their first ever artist release. After the signing of 'Redemption' to Slinky he decided it was time to move to the UK. After a period of intensive DJing and working on more commercial projects he returned to his first love – Trance. Since then he has decided to stick with the name Steve Morley which has worked well with releases such as 'First Light', 'Sacrifice' and the recent re release of 'Reincarnations' all proving to be as successful as his earlier works. With his massive experience as a DJ having played famous events like Cream, Trade, Heat, Knowwhere and residencies in London and Ibiza, trance.nu caught up with him to discuss his views on trance music and where he’s at now musically.

t.nu: Hey Steve thanks for taking the time to do this interview with trance.nu. How are things with you?

SM: Things are good at the moment, very busy but that is always good in this industry. There are some new releases coming out at the moment and I’m working currently working on more new material.

t.nu: You have a pretty hefty discography, when and how did you get started producing dance music and what styles did you start off producing?

SM: I got started with dance music after a mate of mine took me to a club where they played acid house and techno. After that experience I was determined to make my own tracks. A bit switch from the music I was doing at the time. My first track was a kind of techy harder one with big hoovers! Soon followed by a variety of styles like acid, trance and gabba.

t.nu: Who were your early inspirations?

SM: The biggest inspiration without a doubt was Sven Väth. The first time I saw the man playing I was on the same line up doing a live PA, he rocked the place and was great to chat to. I still love all the tracks on his Harthouse and EYE Q labels.

t.nu: Most t.nu members know you for hard trance classics such as ‘Reincarnations’ and under the name Dave Holmes ‘Samsara’, how has your style changed over the years?

SM: I think I have matured a bit since then in my preferences. At the time it was all about big riffs and big sounds with maximum impact on the floor, something that is still good but not as important anymore, there is so much more you can do to have the desired effect.

t.nu: What equipment do you use to produce now and how has it changed since you first started out?

SM:At the moment I work totally digital and software based, something that was partly a try out and partly a must as my analog studio was too big and with the changes in the industry not affordable to keep up. I’m going to change it again a bit, part digital, part analog simply because you can’t beat certain hardware. It has changed a lot from when I started out, as everything then was pure analog from start to finish, well with the exception of the DAT recorder that is.

t.nu: Having been active on the trance scene since its conception and through its highs and lows, what has been the best period for you and what do you think of the current state of trance?

SM: My best period was without a doubt the late nineties as the scene was huge everywhere and with that the sales were great. It gave me a chance to expand and try other things. The current state of trance is not great but I think that has more to do with the fact that it is now much harder for producers to get their work released on good labels, as there are not many around anymore. It is good to see that the quality of releases has picked up a lot over the past year, a sign that we are on the way back up I think.

t.nu: What releases have you got out at the moment?

SM: I have a new Steve Morley release out now on Black Tiger called ‘Southern Skies’ and a follow up called ‘Touched by God’ is on the way on the same label. There will also be a re-release of Starchild ‘Redemption’, Alici ‘Ankhesenamun’ and Dave Holmes ‘Devotion’ on Elasticman Platinum.

t.nu: Which producers do you currently admire the most?

SM: At the moment my favourites are Martin Roth whose sound is amazing and unique, Marcel Woods, Sander van Doorn and my good old friend Ferry Corsten. I guess Ferry gets the extra point as he has showed balls by changing his style completely without looking back or compromising.

t.nu: How long have you been DJing for and what have been the highlights of your DJing career?

SM: I have been DJing since 1993 but only really concentrated on it when I stopped doing my live PAs. That became too much work, as I wanted to do it all real-time, bringing most of my gear from the studio on stage. I think the highlights were my first gig at Turnmills and my first set in Ibiza. All things that I never expected to do really.

t.nu: You currently hold residencies at The Fridge and Club 414 in London, do you live there and what do you think of London’s mad clubbing scene?

SM: I do live in London, which is a great place, but unfortunately a big part of the clubbing scene here is not in a great state. Too many people have showed up with the wrong intentions and no heart for it. I mean it’s important to make money if you do it full time as you have to pay your bills some way, but there is still more to it than that. I started doing this all because of the love I had for the music, the people and the adventure and I never lost that feeling along the sometimes difficult way.

t.nu: Your residency at Sunrise at Club 414 is London’s only trance after club, how is that going? I’m tempted to pay a visit myself…

SM: You would think that it could not work, but for some reason it does! It is normally busy and the vibe is great, very intimate and personal as the club is not big at all. A good example of pure fun and a great place to test-drive new stuff.

t.nu: How would you describe the music style you play?

SM: Trance but in the broadest spectrum without going fast and too hard.

t.nu: Finally, amongst all the massive clubs you’ve played at my personal favourite, Trade, is mentioned… when did you play there and do you still go there as a clubber?

SM: I played there I think in 1999 on a Bank Holiday night event. What a vibe! A definite highlight for me. I have been a few times back for fun when it was still on a regular basis at Turnmills but lack of time kept me away too often.

t.nu: Many thanks for taking the time to do this interview with trance.nu!

SM: It was a pleasure and keep up the great work!

Check out Steve Morley's myspace for clips of his latest tunes: http://www.myspace.com/djstevemorley

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