The Road to Future Sounds of Egypt 350: New York City!

Trance United is proud to announce that we will be in attendance for the only North American stop in the legendary FSOE tour. The dynamic duo of Aly & Fila  has cultivated together a roster of Trance names that would make even a season veteran blush with excitement. Highlighted by not one but three separate B2B sets, Andy Moor Vs Lange, an FSOE 350 exclusive, Bryan Kearney Vs Arctic Moon, and now the crowd favorite Aly & Fila Vs John O’Callaghen.

That’s not to mention the rest of the lineup of this 9 hour maelstrom of music includes names like Solarstone, Orjan Nilsen, Max Graham, and Bjorn Akesson. Any of these names on a regular night would be headliners in their own right but they will come together under one roof to create a show that won’t soon be forgotten.

 

 FSOE 350

To build excitement leading up to the big night and to bring all of you, our valued readers as much content as possible we will be starting our biggest project yet!

For the next three weeks we will bring you a cornucopia of content from our picks of who will steal the show, the best mixes from the artists, Trance United Mixes highlighting artists playing, and much, much more!

Our first major piece will be released this Wednesday and we will hopefully be releasing new content every 3-4 days until the big night. Once we get back we’ll be sure to share videos, pictures, and an in the trenches review of the event.

For those of you who love adventure and want to come, tickets can still be purchased here!

In Deep with Toronto’s Trance Titans, Saad & Baranov

Interview Conducted By: Amber Traill 

We recently had a chance to sit down with two of Toronto’s rising Trance stars, Saad Ayub and Gregory Baranov. Now nearly household names among the local Trance crowd they sit on the precipice of something great. In this extensive interview we talk to them about their humble beginnings and their near limitless talent.

 

The two friends share a moment at this years Digital Dreams

The two friends share a moment at this years Digital Dreams

 

First off, you both recently played the Digital Dreams Festival in Toronto… tell us about that! 

Saad: Absolutely amazing, first festival here in Canada and couldn’t ask for anything better than this! Crowd was amazing, the vibe was phenomenal and the trance stage is right beside the lake, how beautiful and perfect is that? Cant wait to be back next year!

Baranov: That was an incredible experience! This was the first year Digital Dreams has had a trance stage, and it was a massive success. The location and the positioning of the stage really set an amazing atmosphere. We had a view of the lake right behind the stage, and a nice cool breeze.. perfect for a hot summer day!  For this gig I assembled a lot of my older originals, as well as some newly finished and unreleased material from myself and friends from Toronto. The crowd was phenomenal – there was a lot of energy in the place and it really gave me a rush of adrenaline playing for them. Aside from that I also got to meet some key people and artists in the industry.

Other than Digital Dreams, what are some of the best sets you’ve ever played? 

Saad: Well I have been in the scene globally for over half a decade, Toronto is my new second home and my current home ground. Some of the best sets I have played here so far is opening for Ummet Ozcan to a packed house at Maison, Digital Dreams After party at Footwork (apparently that is considered as one of my best set of 2013) [smiles] and Headlining set at RYZE doing b2b with Baranov of course. Those ones are definitely some of the best ones.

Baranov: My top three most memorable gigs would probably be

1)      Guvernment at Chroma for St. Patricks day

2)      Upryzing Vol 1 at Ryze Toronto, where I went back to back with Saad Ayub

3)      Opening up for Kyau and Albert at Ryze Toronto 

Who are some of the biggest names you’ve opened for?  And how do you adapt your set to suit the person you’re opening for? 

Saad: M.I.K.E, Khomha, Ummet Ozcan, Orjan Nielsen, closed for Ashley Walbridge, closed for Super8 n Tab, Jay tech and also closed for Jerome Isma Ae.

I love my closing sets more than the opening sets to be honest [laughs] but I like to be versatile.

Baranov: Some of the biggest names I’ve opened for were Ummet Ozcan, Orjan Nilsen, Jerome Isma Ae, Myon and Shane 54, Kyau and Albert, Ronski Speed, EDX, Markus Schossow, as well as Stoneface and Terminal. I adapt my set not just based on who I am opening for, but also the venue, the type of crowd, and the atmosphere. Of course I will first take into account the artist I’m opening for, do my homework, and pick up some tracks that I see fit for an opening set for that specific artist, but after that it’s all freestyling when I’m on decks. My ultimate goal when opening is to bring the energy level of the dancefloor to a specific level before the main act comes on.

 

Baranov 

What makes or breaks an opening DJ?  What are your tips and warnings for other openers?

Saad: Reason sometimes I purposely open for big DJs than closing is to show the scene that opening sets are an art. Opening set for Trance music is definitely unique, there is a misconception that, you have to play techno or tech house or house as opening DJ for headlining Trance DJs. That’s absolutely wrong, there are some amazing tracks out there which are basically produced focusing mainly for opening DJs. And that’s exactly why I choose to open in a lot of the gigs that I get booked.  

What makes or breaks an opening DJ is having proper understanding of the crowd and set the mood right for the DJ who is playing after you, understand what kind of music that DJ play at what BPM, don’t go hard as if you are the headliner, in this industry we call them “Prick” who tries to steal the show.

Baranov: Here are my DOs and DONTs for opening DJs

DO:

-          Research the DJ beforehand. Look up their most recent sets and see what kind of music they play.

-          Organize your music. This can be done differently based on your personal preferences.

-          Follow the crowd and read their cues.  If you see a lot of people are standing near the walls perhaps it’s time to bring up the energy level.

-          Respect the club’s bar sales. When people are just coming in they’ll want to grab some drinks and catch up with their friends. During this time you shouldn’t play anything too loud or bassy.

 DON’T:

-          Play tracks made by any of the headlining artists or tracks that you know they might use in their sets. This is why you have to do your research before the gig.

-          Pre plan your set. Pre planning an opening set is like driving a car on a curvy road without a steering wheel. You will crash and burn! A club atmosphere is very dynamic – your set should be too.

 

Saad

 Tell us about being local DJs in Toronto… What is ‘the scene’ like here? Was it hard to break into?

 Saad: To be honest, I really hate the word “Local DJ” [laughs] there are no differences between me with any other up and coming DJs in the International market. Yes we haven’t got our break yet but both of us are working really hard to do so. I consider Toronto as my home ground where I am maturing myself to become more successful globally.

 Saad: In terms of the scene here in Toronto, the scene is very competitive because there are many talented artists out there and clubs book different acts almost every week now.

Like I said it’s a competitive scene, you really have to have a following, productions and backings by the DJs who are already established in the scene.

I broke into the Toronto scene because of the likes of and support from none other than Mr. Mark Oliver.  I can’t thank him enough!

Baranov: The trance scene in Toronto is definitely unlike any other. Even though our community here isn’t as big as some other trance communities, we are very dedicated and that’s what makes us stand out! Getting into the scene is never easy; it takes a lot of work and support from friends, family, and promoters to really get noticed. Thankfully, for me I had all of the above.

Have you ever had to overcome any obstacles in order to get into/continue working in, the music industry?

Saad: There are always small and big obstacles if you are signing yourself up as a musician, there is always a misery of trying to find a balance between your personal life to pay your bills and do what you love, play music for your fans that believes in you. Also when I first moved to Toronto just mixing music never got me anywhere but small unpaid lounge gigs, making tracks and getting your music out there is how you can overcome those musical obstacles, and I am still overcoming those by just keep producing and releasing new music! It’s a challenge more than an obstacle to be honest with you. 

Baranov: There are always obstacles in the music industry. One of my biggest obstacles was the lack of motivation. There were times where there was nothing happening for me outside of my studio at home and that really made me question myself whether or not I’d ever get somewhere in this industry. All I can say is that I continued to work hard, and things eventually started to happen. You just have to learn to keep your head up, and see the end means, not the process of getting there.

When, and why, did you guys decide you wanted to be DJs?

Saad: Its kind of awkward but funny at the same time, I became DJ because I broke up with my X Girl Friend because she didn’t like me for what I was and out of anger I wanted to show her that I will be bigger as person in my life than she is or anyone I know is [Laughs]. Jokes aside the reason I seriously took this as career is because there are a lot of people who believes in me and my music it’s the reason I actually became a DJ and chose it to be my profession

Baranov: I never intended to be a DJ when I first started producing. It’s only when my music started to take shape, my friends started to push me towards the direction of a DJ, so that I could start showcasing my work. This opened up a whole new world for me, and turned something I used to call a hobby into something more serious.

Any reason why you guys opted to use your real names, rather than opting for DJ aliases?

Saad: Aliases are overrated [Laughs]

Baranov: The reason why I opted to use my real name is because I want to be upfront with people. I don’t want to put on an act of some sort. I want people to remember me for who I am, rather than for who I am not. However, another alias for me is not out of question and could possibly be one of my future projects.

When and how did you guys get your ‘big break’? 

Saad: I haven’t got my Big break yet, at least I am working hard on it to get there. 

Baranov: For me there was no “big break”. Things happened overtime and over a bunch of small gigs. My first ever gig was at Lily Lounge for an event hosted by my friend Cody Blanchard (which also happened to be the first event he ever hosted) where I played as my previous alias “Papercut”.

How and when did you both first get into music?  And which artists and tracks did you hear, during your formative years that influenced your musical style?

Saad: When I was 10 I used to listen to Voices of Enigma by Enigma it was so euphoric that’s how it all started, then it all came back to me when I started listening to infected mushroom and Armin and all related to Trance. I used to listen to house music and spin it too when I first started as DJ with Ministry of Sound UK in Bangladesh.

Baranov: I’ve always listened to trance music but never got into production until my yearly university years. In fact, when I started producing I wasn’t even making trance, I was fiddling around with hip hop beats. I eventually got bored with that and started making more serious music. During this time (which was around 2010) my biggest influences were Orjan Nilsen, Tritonal (earlier stuff), Leon Bolier, Armin Van Buuren, Jerome Isma Ae, Arnej, W&W (earlier stuff), etc. Tracks like Vengeance Vengeance, They Always come back for me, This world is watching me, Arena, etc., are some of the tracks that inspired my production.

 
For Baranov:  you’ve produced some fantastic tracks… anything new currently in the works? Is there a particular track of yours, which you are most proud of or resonate with, the most?

I’m proud of everything I’ve released so far, but my best track so far, in my opinion, is the one I just finished with Australian vocalist, Amber Traill… she lives in Toronto and it’s been amazing collaborating with her.  

I played it in my set at Digital Dreams and got some amazing feedback from friends and fans. The release date for this one has not been announced yet, so follow me on my social media pages and stay tuned! It’s called ‘Velocity’!

For Saad:  if your Digital Dreams set list is anything to go by – you’re well-known for your wildly emotive Trance mash-ups… why do you make these and how do you decide which classic tracks to combine?

Saad: I make these mash-ups as messages to send out to people, a lot of the mash-ups reflects my mood and current status or position where I am in in my life for example, my breakthrough mash=up that Mark Oliver still plays Shana vs. Alchemy was about my ex-girlfriend who passed away and my mash-up of Nothing without me by Markus Schulz vs. Empirical Epitaph is about a girl I really liked and she liked me cause I was a DJ not outside it, so it was message I sent it to her, she probably didn’t even get it [Laughs].

I mostly make these mash-ups in my head, I listen to trance 24/7 so whenever a trance track gets stuck in my head I try to sing something on top of it, if it fits well, it works in the dance floor, funny and ironically some those track are even on key in my head too [laughs]

When you guys aren’t producing or DJing, what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have part-time jobs or are you solely focused on your music careers?

Saad: I actually have a full time Job with Rogers as Tech Analyst and that pays my bill and living. Aside from DJing or Producing I try to give time to my friends cause I cant give them time most of the time [ sorry guys I try, smiles] 

Baranov: I used to be a full time accountant until my company closed down in Canada and I got laid off, so for now all my time is focused on music. When I do find spare time, I love to keep myself physically active and go for bike trips, gym, and lane swimming sessions.

If you had to describe your musical style in 3 words…?

Saad: Energetic, Euphoric, Uplifting! 

Baranov: Dark, Energetic, Memorable

 

Anything else you want to say to your fans?

Saad: Yes, I just finished my first EP which has two tracks, first one is called Elevation which is dedicated to my mentor Elevation from Coldhabor recordings. Second one is called Desperado and the EP is called Desperado, its something I wrote about the current scene of Toronto.  It will be out soon, I haven’t decided the label to release yet.

 

Thank you for the interview cheers.

One on One with the Man on the Run: Dash Berlin

At this years Digital Dreams festival we were lucky enough to sit down with one of the most recognizable and enduring names in Trance, Dash Berlin. Known for his signature vocal tracks that have for years evoked the kind of emotion that so few others are able to produce, along with his wildly creative Dash-Ups. He sat down with us to talk about the festival, Trance, the love he has for his fans and what inspires him at every performance.

 

dash

Hi Jeff, thanks for chatting with Trance United today at Digital Dreams Festival. Last year your set here was one of the most talked about on social media for months following your performance, and a fan favourite for many. Can you describe how it felt to receive such great feedback and energy from the crowd? How does it feel to be back this year?

Well, it certainly builds up an amount of pressure when you look back at last year- which was absolutely awesome, especially awesome for me as an artists. Coming here it definitely something I was trying to top. So I’m looking forward to the set and how people are going to react, and I hope I will be able to top what I did last year. It’s great to be back here in Toronto.

How do you prepare for bigger festival shows like Electric Daisy Carnival where you’re only allotted an hour to showcase your style versus a club setting where you are given a much longer set?

There are so many people here that I try to prep what I can regarding reworks, special edits, also I have to keep track of the time obviously. So I really have to keep that in mind sharply. Also I work with a visual artist as well- we prep as good as we can. A club set where we also work with a visual artist is more where you can jump in and try something, give a complete surprise to the people that they don’t see it coming. You could try that with a big crowd but I think that works differently for a big crowd. For big crowds I try to push my biggest tracks, my most important dashups, and new work for the upcoming album “We Are”.

You have a strong community of faithful followers more commonly known as “Dashers” from all around the world. What is the story behind DashBerlinWorld and who coined the term “Dashers”? Which country would you say has the biggest DashBerlinWorld following?

If I had to look back at it, it came from within our team. Just playing, randomly, and people started picking that up and embracing that term, to be a dasher. And it’s great to know that you know who your actual supporters are, and generally I kind of do because I am very active on social media. I like to know who I am interacting with- making the people using the term “dashers” has a feeling that they are proud of what they are supporting. And I am proud of that, so yeah its great!

So we have noticed that after your set you actually like to stick around the pit and meet your fans, do you have any stories you would like to share about a fan connection you made once that stuck with you?

Sometimes I have to kind of go into memories or really dig deep. I had a show recently at Marquee (where I am a resident) and this guy who went to an EDM show for the first time.. He was in a wheel chair and he was a veteran. When we noticed he was there we invited him to be at our table together with his girlfriend (who was a very sweet girl by the way). I got a chance to meet him, he was so happy to be a part of a night like that and to experience that and to be taken seriously also as a guy just hanging out and having a great party. We got feedback after the show that it was actually kind of a life changing expirience for him and that really stood out to me- that it shows the power of electronic music and what it can do for people, and when people embrace that , that’s the moment when the magic starts.

In other interviews you mentioned that you describe yourself as trance 2.0 what do you think would be the trance 3.0 if anything?

Well I think its probably already out there but people don’t know it yet, people are using different terms because they want to have a separate style, or they think they are working on a separate style. I kind of turned back the clock a little bit and tried to use the term of “trance” more as an umbrella title, and that kind of shows how well versed we are, because we are trance; we are electronic music and that goes from A-Z trance. I remember an artist tweeting a while back saying we need more melody and emotion in music and that’s the point. I was like why are we not calling it trance because that’s what trance stands for in my point of view. So, trance to me is like a lot of emotions, great melodies, vocals, and alot of us go for that. So in my point of view there is a lot of trance 2.0 at this point.

Deadmau5 takes a stab at Trance – Armin Van Buuren fights back

2012 JUNO Awards - Press Room Photo credit: Dominic Chan / WENN

2012 JUNO Awards – Press Room
Photo credit: Dominic Chan / WENN

Superstar dance music producer Deadmau5 is stirring up trouble over the internet yet again. After already taking shots at dubstep, hardstyle, and EDM as a whole in the past, Zimmerman has recently targeted trance, joining in with criticisms that real trance died in the late 90’s.

Adding fuel to the fire, the Canadian producer set his sights on Armin Van Buuren and A State of Trance, which triggered countless rebuttals from the community.

Both Binary Finary and Armin shot back, knocking deadmau5 down a notch

Armin’s tweet is most likely referencing the track the two producers worked on in late 2012. The unfinished track was premiered on episode 585 of ASOT, but never saw a release as Deadmau5 claimed to have grown bored of the production. As for Binary Finary’s reaction, the duo doesn’t seem to be taking the criticism to heart. As they posted on Reddit hours after the incident: “This will just go down as another social media “EDM” blow out. For the time being we are just laughing and going with it.”

It seems some bad blood between the two giants remains, though it’s unclear how much of the fight is in good fun. We can only hope they make up for a coffee run.

Addicted to trance? Stay connected with Trance United for more trance news, events, articles, interviews and more!

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Richard Durand & Lange Continue to Impress with the 12th Installment of ‘In Search of Sunrise – Dubai’

 10155803_10152348397864662_8835726930909992669_n

On June 2nd, 2014, the dance music community was treated once again to the masterful compilation and production skills of Richard Durand with the release of In Search Of Sunrise 12 Dubai on Blackhole Recordings.

The 3-disk, 49-track album boasts an impressive artist involvement including trance giants Ram, Sean Tyas, Ruben De Ronde, Tiesto, Driftmoon, and ReOrder among many others with the entire third CD mixed by Lange. The 12th installment of the series picks right up where ISOS 11 Las Vegas left off, and continues the exciting and uplifting ride for the listener. Almost every song has a bright and lively feel to it, making it hard not to feel extremely elated while getting lost into the three and a half hours of brilliant music.

With the start of CD 1, the listener feels instantly whisked away to an exotic and mysterious location that could only be Dubai. The first couple tracks elicit the sensation of wandering in the desert on a clear starry night, getting lost in the beauty of your surroundings. The pounding beat in “The Space Between” by Jeremy Vancaulart & Assaf ft. Laura Aqui snaps you back to reality and gets your blood pumping. Laura’s seductive voice gives you chills as she sings about lost love and the heartache that goes along with it. In the middle of the song, the melody is dropped and all that is left is a stunning piano tune accompanied by Laura’s sweet serenade. A set of chords ring in, pulling the listener out of their dream-like state and back to the beauty of the track. It is simply one of the finest produced tracks on the album as it provokes emotions you didn’t even know you had.

Other noteworthy tracks off CD 1 include Ram’s “Epic” and Faruk Sabanci & James Dymond’s “Spinx.” In true Ram form, “Epic” starts off with an intense and high-energy trance melody. The intricate build up leads to an awe-inspiring and almost spiritual mid-portion with melodic vocals and tones. The drop is MASSIVE and would easily cause any dance floor to erupt in “epic” euphoria. And last but certainly not least for CD 1 is “Spinx.” Immediately punchy and in your face, the rhythm explodes into a driving, heavy beat. It slows down for a bit and instills a sense of wonder and appreciation for the attractive track until the hard-hitting build-up leads to forceful drop. The listener is left feeling invigorated and with high anticipation for CD 2.

The level of intensity and energy increases drastically on CD 2, with almost every song having a pounding beat interlaced with edgy sounds. The second half the CD will be enjoyed immensely by fans of 138+ beats per minute with tracks “Step Into My World” by Amir Hussain & Allen Watts, “On Her Behalf” by Dimension, and “Amatoria” by Ferrin & Morris. All three are “sssssseriously” uplifting songs that are beautifully crafted by relative newbies to the trance community. Each is unique in it’s own way but all embrace a harmonious nature that is guaranteed to make anyone feel overjoyed but still at peace.

Lange takes over the reins on CD 3 a really puts on a show for the listener with his technically skillful mixing capabilities. The journey through Dubai continues with such a vast collection of impressive songs. All are simply amazing but some standouts include “Firebird” by Tangle with its heavy, hammering tempo, “Hey! While the Sun Shines” by Lange & LNG with its bouncy and cheery melody, and of course the Lange vs. Refracture Breaks Mashup of his single “A Different Shade of Crazy” With the original being one of the best trance tracks of 2013, this mashup with Refracture Breaks only adds to its brilliance. The tough and edgy drop is quite the surprise after the beautiful melody established in the original. It’s this unexpected surprise that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the remaining few songs of the album.

Richard Durand, with the help of Lange, has done it again with another artfully constructed masterpiece that is In Search of Sunrise 12 Dubai. The ease at which the listener can get lost in the moment and feel like they are being transport across the world to one of the fasting growing and innovative cities is unsurpassed by anything else. The only disappointing part about this album is that we are forced to wait another year for the next installment of the series!

Click here to purchase the album

 Tracklist: In Search of Sunrise 12 – Dubai CD 1
  1. Dubai Desert Fish (Intro Mix) – Richard Durand
  2. Day and Night – Azotti ft. Bagga Bownz
  3. The Space Between – Jeremy Vancaulart & Assat ft. Laura Aqui
  4. Ocean Drive (Savid Remix) – Talamanca
  5. Chasing Stars – Somma & Yang ft. Michele C
  6. Whatever You Like – Kam Delight
  7. Shield of Faith – Richard Durand & Cynthia Hall
  8. Lost Soul – Nomosk & Roman Messer ft. Christina Novella
  9. Take a Moment – Sean Tyas
  10. Higher (Hazem Beltagui Remix) – Rafael Frost & Jennifer Rene
  11. Luminance – Driftmoon
  12. Epic – Ram
  13. Come With Me – Ronny K & Ren
  14. Sambuca – Richard Durand
  15. Sphinx – Faruk Sabanci & James Dymond
CD 2
  1. Atlantis (Intro Mix) – Richard Durand
  2. Eve – Gai Barone
  3. Better in Time – Ira & Paulina Dubaj
  4. Forever in our hearts (David Broaders Remix) – Ruben De Ronde
  5. I Go On – Moonbeam ft. Polina Griffith
  6. Cocoa (Trance Mix) – Alex O’rion
  7. The Thousand Sun – High 5 ft. Nanje Nowack
  8. Into the Light – Adam Kancerski ft. Aneym
  9. Karma – Sunny Lax
  10. Imagination (Cold Rush Remix) – Roman Messer ft. Ange
  11. The Inquisitor – Driftmoon
  12. Beyond Horizon – ReOrder
  13. Seldarine – Elfsong
  14. Step Into My World – Amir Hussain & Allen Watts
  15. On Her Behalf – Dimension
CD 3
  1. Contact – Danilo Ercole
  2. Hussar – Max Freegrant ft. Matrey
  3. Just Be (Kris O’neil Remix) – Tiesto
  4. Verano – Dimension
  5. The Recluse – Johnny Yono
  6. Fade to Light – Andy Moor
  7. Quantum (Future Disciple Remix I) – Bissen
  8. Carnivale – Michael Badal
  9. Firebird – Tangle
  10. Hey! While the Sun Shines – Lange & Lng
  11. History – Andy Duguid ft. Jaren
  12. Never Far – Ari Kyle & Audioscape ft. Simon Latham
  13. Vilnus – Anske
  14. Out of Coverage – Bobina
  15. Dreamcatcher – Anske
  16. A Different Shade of Crazy (Lange vs. Refracture Breaks Mashup) – Lange
  17. Zeal (In Search of Sunrise Mix) – Mateusz
  18. Melbourne – David Gravell

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