Nov 14, 2016

Solarstone: Pure Trance V

Year after year, Solarstone continues to bring his Pure Trance movement to the forefront of the trance scene. His Pure Trance mix compilations, a staple of his movement, have continued to set the standard for the sound so many have come to love. With his recently released three disc Pure Trance V, Solarstone continues to raise the bar. Gifting listeners his new collaboration, “Lifeline” with Ferry Tayle, and recruiting Forerunners and Sneijder to mix the other two CDs, the compilation is sure to satisfy all trance fans! Solarstone joined us for an in depth look at the mix compilation, his music, and the future for all of his projects.
How would you describe your mix of the second CD as a whole?
The idea behind PT5 was to give listeners a taste of what our Pure Trance club events are all about – the journey, the whole night, from the deeper, progressive sound which is summed up nicely by Forerunners – the ‘warm up’ and the intro to the night, through me doing what I’m best known for on Disc 2, and then Sneijder who delivers the harder-edged side of things which is what happens later in the night.
How were Sneijder and Forerunners selected as the other mixers? What do you think that they brought to the table?
Both are producers who I respect and have worked with a lot over the years, and with V5 I wanted an album to represent a ‘Pure Trance Event.’ Everything from the deeper more progressive side to uplifting to chaotic end-of-night material needed to be included – there was no option other than to make a 3 disc album. Forerunners was the logical choice for Disc 1. Brenden has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past year. I pressured him to get back into production after he’d pretty much stopped a couple of years ago. His Foundation Mix of “Lifecycle” was what did it, I found he has fallen in love with a new sound. Previously he was producing uplifting 135-138 BPM trance, but his new sound is very deep and moody, but still beautiful. I wanted to showcase his talents on Disc 1 – it’s a very immersive disc, very deep. Sneijder on the other hand has played a whole bunch of our Pure Trance events over the past few years. He knows exactly how to rock a crowd in the latter part of the night, and he’s also on our Pure Trance Artist roster. He was a shoe-in for Disc 3. Then I do my ‘usual’ thing on Disc 2 which links it all together.
How did your collaboration with Ferry Tale come to be? What was it like working with Ferry Tale on "Lifeline"?
I don’t do many collaborations. The track with Ludo was actually the idea of my manager, Paula. She noticed that Ferry Tayle was a good fit for our Pure Trance events, hence we added him to our artist roster, and I’ve been playing his music out for years, so it seemed like a good idea. Ferry actually used a different DAW [Digital Audio Workstation] than me; he uses Ableton mainly, and I use Cubase, so I asked him to get the latest version of Cubase so we could work together more easily on the project. As he had previous experience with Cubase, he agreed! Essentially I sent him a project which was fairly well developed in terms of melody, sounds and a rough arrangement, then he fleshed it out with his own sound, his own bass, percussion and he also came up with the big synth riff which emerges at the breakdown, based upon what I had already written. It was a very smooth process, actually – we both wanted the same things from the track so there were no problems. I did remove a tricky chord change he’d added which didn’t work for me, but other than that it all gelled really well.
Can you highlight three other tracks from your mix and what made these tracks stand out to you?
Well, the first is the intro track to Disc 2, Simon Bostock’s “Marrakech.” That one was released a while ago on Pure Trance, and I remember at the time being unsure whether or not I should ‘save’ it for Pure Trance 5. But when I started mixing the album I realized that an edit or reconstruction of it would be simply perfect for the intro track, and felt that the track still had life in it and that it had been overlooked or missed by a lot of people. The second I’d highlight is my reconstruction of the Matt Smith track, “Trance Nation” with Saint Saen’s ‘Aquarium’ movement from ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ I like to use pieces of classical music in my sets and had used this piece of music several times in ‘live’ mashups in the clubs. I really wanted to use it on PT5 and Matt Smith’s track was the perfect opportunity to do that as he’s sent me the stems. I think the result is really fabulous. Another great one is the blend of Paul Denton’s “The Way Back” with the acapella from Giuseppe’s “Brightheart.” As a DJ I get sent a lot of mashups which are in key, but don’t really have that extra ‘something’ – they don’t have that special ‘1 + 1 =3’ magic. But when I dropped G’s acapella on the Denton track it really, really worked. The chord changes emphasised the emotion in the vocal, so I was pleased with the way that one worked out.
How has Pure Trance grown and evolved over time?
Well, it started out as simply a term I used to describe my own music, then I started hosting my own events, then the record label, and then I relaunched the radio show as Pure Trance Radio, so it’s been pretty much all-encompassing. Added to that, ‘Pure Trance’ has developed into a genuine movement within the scene, the term ‘pure trance’ has become adopted into the vocabulary for people describing what they love about our scene, or what they don’t, and I feel proud to have contributed to the scene I love in a positive way.
What does the rest of this year and beginning of next year hold in store for you?
The new Solarstone album is my No. 1 priority and it is taking shape nicely. When it gets released, it will have been five years since ‘Pure’ which is a long time, but I’ve not been resting on my laurels! There have been six compilation albums and a whole host of new tracks in that time, but I know my fans are hungry for a new album so I do need to get it finished! Also Giuseppe and I are super busy with PureNRG, so hopefully next year will see the successful release of the new Solarstone album, building up the Pure Trance brand further to include stages at some big events, and for G and I to take PureNRG up a few notches in terms of what we do live and the events at which we play. 2017 is going to be a big year for trance, and I’m fortunate to be at the forefront of it rather than watching from the sidelines!
You can buy or stream your own copy of Pure Trance Vol. 5 here:
To hear more from Solarstone and Pure Trance, be sure to check out his Pure Trance Radio show. We have all of the episodes and tracklists for you here.
Connect with Solarstone: Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter
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