Above & Beyond

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Above and Beyond, kings of Trance and all things Dance. “Few Trance artists have reached Above & Beyond’s stature in terms of integrity and respect,” states IDJ, and when looking at the history of this trio of massively talented musicians, A&B seem to be flying higher than ever in their 11 year Trance career. These guys have remixed artists such as Delirium to Britney and Madonna; giving the tracks their special touch that gives you goose bumps every time you tune in.

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When you listen to their music, you feel connected with the track and the euphoric sense the vocals give. Each song has been written to create a connection with the listener; seeing them live is an inspirational experience and one where you feel part of the music. They have played in front of crowds of millions across the world, amazing to say that the music of this group was once created within the small four walls of their university bedrooms. Voted number five in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s from across the world, there doesn’t seem to be much left for Above & Beyond to conquer, but this doesn’t seem to lessen the group’s enthusiasm. Their Australian tour is sure to be another heightened masterpiece of Trance, love and soul. We just can’t wait for more from their record label Anjunabeats, their next track release and their radio show broadcasts ‘Trance around the world’…

Hello, how are you? Where are you right now?
Good evening, Good morning, how are things going in Australia? I am in London and very much looking forward to coming over to your side of the world.

How have things been since the New Year?
Things have been mad. We have already done one bus tour in America and Canada and the other two are in Brazil doing the South America tour. We have been doing so many gigs and travelling to say it’s only February, and I have been getting back into the thick of it in the UK with the music writing which is very very exciting.

You’ve been creating the world’s finest Trance for over 11 years now, describe your journey in three words…
Surprising and emotional and fun!

Oh mate, I’m more than sure it is! Do you have a favourite track of your own which you love to play?
At the moment, it keeps changing but ‘On My Way To Heaven’ from our last album, ‘Group Therapy.’ But this always depends. I get excited about the new stuff but then an old track comes back and so it’s always changing. It’s incredible how it comes about, today I’ve been playing piano at home with my little one-year-old boy, and I was thinking about how crazy it is how things start so small and then they grow to be something that is listened to around the world. I’m a very lucky guy to have a job like that, to be able to share that with so many people.

Do you think it is one of the most important things to make the crowd feel connected? You always involve the crowds and make the crowd come so alive…
Yeah we never really think of ourselves as DJs as such. We are musicians and enjoy writing songs. DJ’ing is just our way to get in touch with people who listen to the same kind of music. Music is ultimately making something you are happy with. And then when they go out into the big world, you realise what music does for people.

How did it feel to win the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix twice in 2004 and 2011?
Yeah to get it twice is very cool. People might know us outside of the UK, so the essential mix is a cool chance for us to go into the studio and do more than just a DJ set. The essential mix is a very exciting studio experience.

How did the name Above & Beyond come about? Did you ever think you would get so big as to be voted top 100 DJs by Mix Mag on more than one occasion?
I think once we got started we got the feeling that we could make good music. We just needed people to hear our thing. But if you start planning that you’re going to do really well, we didn’t want to become disappointed. So we just want to be very happy with what we are doing currently. This hopefully works better!

So how did the name come about?
Well back in ‘99 I met Jono at university and he and I were already making electronic music. So it made sense to do this together and then we met Tony through his brother and we had all heard each others stuff. We remixed a track called ‘Home’ by Chakra, and when we finished as a trio we realised we didn’t have a name. We were in Jono’s student flat in London and we just didn’t have a name for ourselves. There was a poster from a very cheesy motivational speaker on the wall, which said ‘Above and Beyond’, and so that was it. It came from thin air but…

And yeah you’ve done exactly what it says on the tin. So, tell me more about your label Anjunabeats and your radio show…
Yeah, Anjunabeats started as a way to release our own music and then pretty quickly our mates who produce music wanted to release too – that we really loved. We grew from there. And now we have a sister label too, Anjunadeep. We are now releasing a compilation album and both labels are doing a lot of stuff . We have over 100 artists that we work with and we work together, and we are very happy to see it grow. The radio show is released every week and it looks at what is exciting around the world. It’s become huge, like 25-30 million people listen in, and there’s also the free podcast and it’s pretty big in Australia too. It allows us to access places that didn’t really have a Trance scene.

Your debut album was released in 2006 and ‘Tri state’ received absolutely rave reviews. DJ Mag gave the album a 5 Star review, In a word, ‘Brilliant’.” Did you therefore feel the pressure releasing Group Therapy last year?
The pressure for us was for the second album after ‘Tri State.’ ‘Group Therapy’ was the second one we released under ‘Above and Beyond’ but the third one we worked on. The pressure mainly comes from the incredible tour schedule, which we try to keep going. Alongside trying to write music and then also trying to agree on everything we do. But ultimately we are so proud of how ‘Group Therapy’ has turned out and yeah it was a very high pressured situation but we are looking back and seeing how worth it, it is.

You obviously remix a lot of vocal Trance; I loved your remix of Silence, Delirium. How do you choose a track, which you know, will work as a remix?
Well we always try to find a new take on the new song, which we chose. We love the remixes people do of our stuff too. It always shows a real new side to a song. We always feel very lucky when doing the remixes as it gives you a chance to look at other aspects of a tune, not just the vocals for instance. It’s really fun to concentrate on the other parts. We are just doing a remix of Kaskade.

So you have the big Australia tour coming up soon, how are you feeling about Creamfields? What else can we expect from you this year?
Yeah I have heard such great things about Australia. Tony was the only one who made it over last time. But this time we have the big stage, the big audience and I cannot wait! This year is going to be a big year for the UK tour too.

Yeah I cannot wait to see you smash it at Creamfields. Keep making the music, you guys are incredible.
Aww thanks so much Frankie.

Cheers Paavo.

Sat, 28 Apr 2012
Creamfields 2012 at Melbourne Showgrounds / Melbourne, Australia
Sun, 29 Apr 2012
Creamfields 2012 at Entertainment Quarter / Sydney, Australia
Sat, 05 May 2012
Creamfields 2012 at Supreme Court Gardens / Perth, Australia
Sun, 06 May 2012
Creamfields 2012Parklands Showgrounds Gold Coast/ Brisbane, Australia

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