Above & Beyond ‘Common Ground’ Album Review
February 15, 2018
February 15, 2018
This Friday, Darude will be delivering his decades worth of talent at Gypsy Bar in Phoenix. With many advancements made throughout his journey, Darude has developed into one of the most respected electronic talents in the world. Having the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into the history of his work was a pleasure, and it gives context on what has landed him where he is today.
Your latest LP, Moments, is a great piece of work, and something unique that you did here is create multiple versions of the same track. What is your reasoning for toying with the same tune?
“Well, on the original album released in August there was only one version per track, but on the May 2016 release there are new remixes and before unreleased versions of the tracks. This “remix album” 6-12 months after the original release is today quite a common thing, but I guess not the remixes/alternative versions made by the original artist. Mine is sort of a combo. The remix album was released because it has DJ friendly extended versions of all the 4/4 album tracks and some amazing remixes by close friends and colleagues. With some of the tracks I felt that there was something still to give, like just one style didn’t cover the greatness of the vocals of Sebastian Reyman on ‘Moments’, for instance, so that’s why there’s the more melodic, but still banging Trance Mix and the bit more commercial and less hard Pop Mix. There’s also a STEMS version of the whole extended mixes album available for Traktor/STEMS DJs.”
How do you think that the constant growth of electronic music has shaped the scene over the years? What positive changes exist and what negative changes exist?
“- F*** negativity! 😀
It’s never been better to be both an electronic dance music producer or a music consumer; everything you want to find (AND MORE) can be found online these days, most often free (and even legally), so it’s just a matter of using your imagination and time to find what you like and start liking what you might’ve not even known existed!
As a producer, at least in the western world, it’s relatively affordable to buy gear and software (we’re talking about a few hundred dollars upwards vs. tens or hundreds of thousands 20 years ago) and get producing whatever you want. There are internet communities sharing free samples, free advice, templates etc, and thousands of YouTube tutorials, so it’s definitely not difficult to get started if you have the itch. To ‘make it’ is a whole other thing, though, as for that you need heaps of talent and relentless (see what I did there!) trying to create a better version of yourself every day.”
Are there any burgeoning electronic artists that have impressed you?
“They’re not exactly new names, but Luke Bond and Ashley Wallbridge have been regulars in my sets for a good while and again this year they’ve had great releases. Ilan Bluestone’s sound I’ve like a lot for some time, too, and the Finn brothers, Joonas Hahmo, K-System, Tom Fall, Super 8 & Tab, Orkidea, HeavyWeight and this new guy Alex Mattson (and many more) are always worth a mention.”
How have you changed your performing styles over the span of your career? Have you had to make any noticeable changes over time?
“In the beginning, I did live shows with a sequencer, synth, sampler, effect unit, occasional live singer, live guitar player, live percussionist. I changed to “only” DJing around 2004 and have been doing that since, though my DJ sets have had live elements here and there, too, like me sampling the crowd, mixing it in on the fly, mixing, filtering & triggering sounds in Traktor or Live and bringing a live singer and guitarist with me.
My style now is a bit different, it’s not 138 trance anymore, but more like 128-132, but still I like trance-like beautiful melodies, big synths, energy, emotion. I FEEL the same spinning these days and my crowds often thank me for playing trance, while I’m not a trance only DJ at all these days. I play from future to electro to prog house, to prog trance to today’s uplifting trance, but the genres are not important for me, the sound and the flow of the gig is.”
Anywhere in the world, is there a particular event you have played that sticks out to you? For what reason?
“There are many events that I’ll remember for the rest of my life for a reason or another… Mt. Hotham gig in Australia this past September was unreal. Sweet as. Cool as. Crazy as. (That’s Ozzie for bonkers. 😉 A side table with a toaster, toast, vegemite and jelly. A leaf blower. A nudie pic behind me in the booth. Nuts.
But… I’m forever a patriot, so having witnessed the beginnings and growth of Weekend Festival in Finland and being invited to play there several times now, that has been a privilege and always a good gig. Starting in Helsinki a few years ago, WKND was a 3-country thing in 2016, with Pärnu (Estonia) and Stockholm (Sweden) sister festivals going on at the same time. It’s the biggest electronic dance music festival in Scandinavia, most amazing sound, lights, lasers, visuals, fireworks and of course the line-up with the Armins and Hardwells etc kinda names secured year after year.”
Do you have any fond Arizona memories?
“I’ve had amazing parties in at least in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, and Tempe ranging from small intimate Sunday industry gatherings to huge festivals and arenas. I always love coming back!”
Final words from Darude?
“Come see me live and come party with me! I’ll be happy to shake your hand, snap a selfie, or to snap a pic of you and your friends for that matter, should you want! :)”
Without a doubt, Darude will be kicking up a storm this weekend. Whether you’ve been a long time fan or recent appreciator of his music, come see Darude twist up the tables at Gypsy Bar this Friday, November 25.