Category: PREviews / REviews

Ryan Farish’s “Spectrum” – A Kaleidoscope Of Emotion

*written by Cody Jandrok for Electronica Life

Spectrum has a very tropical, very chill vibe throughout and is absolutely perfect if you’re looking for study music that isn’t bogged down by mind-clouding vocals. The soundscapes are very dreamlike and make you feel like you’re floating above a chain of islands, looking down through fluffy clouds, down into crystal waters. If I could describe my own journey, it was that and more. I was sent diving through those waters, through incredible and gorgeous scenic underwater locations including a coral reef and even a sunken ship, with sun rays piercing the darkness and showing the beauty of all that surrounded me. It made me feel at peace with myself and with the world, it made me feel relaxed and calm, but also powerful and inspired.

I probably sound like I’m on some kind of drug, but the reality is music is my drug and Spectrum is a perfect example of why I’m addicted to it. Every sound, every piece of the songs were chosen carefully to create this incredible experience that will grasp anybody lucky enough to hear it. The level of production that went into creating this work of art shows me that there’s still hope when it comes to finding music that people can connect with. We’re so ingrained with festival bangers and which song has the sickest drop, but this album has neither of those and it’s still better than a lot of the music that gets mainstream attention these days.

At the time of writing, Ryan Farish only has 2500 followers on his Soundcloud page which I’m not surprised at honestly. He doesn’t present himself with a mainstream sound and allows the music to speak for him and his passion for it. After listening to the first track on this album, Ryan has a fan for life and I hope that those of you who get to listen to the whole thing listen well, because this is what real music sounds like and it’s what really deserves love and appreciation. No words can do justice for the amount of passion I recognize in the songs on this album.

Ryan Farish isn’t a name I’m familiar with, but boy have I been missing out! Going into this I didn’t know what to expect, and coming out of it I realized just how incredible music can be when it’s produced with such vigor and attention to detail. Ryan Farish has produced a masterpiece, a kaleidoscope of emotion came over me while listening to this 20 track compilation that sounds like it was ripped from God’s own playlist.

In conclusion, Spectrum is easily one of the best pure instrumental albums I’ve heard in a very long time. The level of detail and richness in the soundscapes presented hooked me immediately and instantly began jogging my imagination, conjuring incredible things that you can only really experience with the right mood. The mood presented with Spectrum is incredibly positive, incredibly inspirational and that’s why I believe everybody should give it a listen.

Checkout our interview with Ryan here!!!

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Arno Cost’s New Single, “Coming Home”, On Armada Music – Out Now On Beatport!

*written by Cody Jandrok for Electronica Life

‘Coming Home’, the latest release of French House juggernaut Arno Cost is a powerful and epic summer song with massive appeal. It plays like a festival banger, and pulls at your limbs just begging you to dance. A captivating performance by James Newman tops the tune off with heartfelt vocals and a smashing chorus, catchy, and easy enough to sing along to after listening to it a few times (or few dozen like I have!).

Armada Music is known for only having the best on their roster, and adding Cost to their ranks was a wise decision indeed. His huge influence in French House and his worldwide appeal, coupled with Armada’s legendary music selection and massive cult following only spells good things on both sides of the coin.

‘Coming Home’ is easy to dance to with a very Disco vibe to it, a calling card for Arno Cost and is without a doubt a harbinger of things to come. Their thirst for a pure dance track will easily be sated with this release, but with a recent string of massive tracks over the past year, how long must we wait until the next great Arno Cost choon is upon us?

Get it on Beatport

Living Life In The Full Spectrum Of You – An Interview With Ryan Farish

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
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In this day and age of electronic dance music, it’s a rarity to come across an album that takes you on a journey to a place you feel yourself above the clouds floating amidst a magical universe, and you realized that all is exactly as it should be in your world. If it were possible for endorphins and positive vibes to physically be released in music, that is exactly what Spectrum, the newest album from Chart Topping artist Ryan Farish, has the ability to fulfill.

I’m sent new music on a daily basis, and most of the time I admittedly don’t bother listening to every song in it’s entirety. This time it was different, upon hearing the first track of the new album I was absolutely enthralled. The 20 tracks on Spectrum each tug at your heart and soul, stirring up a fury of enlightened feelings and blissful emotions. I recently had a chance to catch up with the musical genius himself to chat about his latest release and the inspiration behind it.

Crystal Your newest artist album set to release June 30th, Spectrum includes 20 tracks. How do you manage to include this many tracks into one album?

RyanAs I got around to track 11, I knew I had a typical album’s worth of music, but I was really enjoying the “place” that the music and the process of this album was taking me. I just didn’t want to leave that “place”, so I kept going. I decided that this album was just going to have to be what the music says it should be. By the time I got to track 20, it all just felt complete.

Crystal How much studio time goes into creating a 20 track album?

RyanTHOUSANDS of hours, really. I never really thought about that, but it would be very interesting if there was a way for me to look back now and actually see exactly how many hours, and how many thousands of edits and takes throughout the whole writing and production process took place. I live and breathe​ music, so I guess an album like this is really more or less a snapshot into the last​ year ​and a half of my life. It’s probably best I don’t keep track of all those edits and hours, because it might feel overwhelming.

Crystal Considering that Spectrum is your 11th album to date, what motivates you to keep striving to make beautiful and melodic music?

Ryan Nothing really motivates me, it’s just who I am. I am an artist and musician first and foremost. To be honest, I can’t imagine NOT making new music and expressing myself through music. Music is life to me, so as long as I’m living, I ​hope ​I’m able to create new music and share it with anyone willing to listen.

Crystal Speaking of music is life, last year you released Decade, a compilation of 176 songs from 2004-2014 and over 9 hours of your original sound. It’s difficult for me to even wrap my head around such an accomplishment. What was the inspiration behind releasing a milestone of your life as an album?

Ryan We put that together with a sense to close a chapter, for myself and for my fans to have an inventory of all the music that had been created. Over the years, long before Decade, we had been occasionally asked if there was ever going to be a release or a way fans could download all my songs in one place, so that they knew they had them all. So at the time of Decade, it just felt right to do this.

Crystal Your music has been labeled as many different genres including chillout, melodic, ambient, progressive and uplifting trance, dream and Ibiza trance, etc. In your own words, how would you describe your signature style?

RyanMusic is art, and art should always be about communicating something, and hopefully something refreshing and new each time. I really don’t like to pigeonhole myself into any specific genre. To me, that would be very limiting. Electronic music though, is the best way that I can be described because one of the most beautiful things about electronic music, is that there is room to explore all the derivatives under that umbrella, and my writing and production process for the most part is primarily electronic music.

Crystal If you had to describe your life in just one of your songs, which one would it be and why?

Ryan“Life ​i​n Stereo”. To me, Life i​n Stereo means going for your dreams, following the voice inside you, and not listening to what other people tell you what you should be, or do, or what you can be, or do with your life. Being YOU… that’s the only “you”, you can be… and when you’re not afraid to be “you”, you’re living your Life in Stereo. The full Spectrum of you.

Crystal Ahhh that’s such a beautiful analogy, I love the way you relate living life to literally living music. Next question..who are your musical inspirations?

Ryan Pat Metheny Group, Bob Marley, Brian Eno, Above & Beyond, Coldplay, ATB, Mozart, U2, pretty much everything I’ve ever heard.

CrystalYes! I feel that if Above & Beyond collaborated with Coldplay, it would sound just like your music :)

Crystal What is your fondest memory of performing in front of an audience?

Ryan That would have to be back in 2011. I did a show in my hometown of Norfolk, VA. It was an incredible night. Back then, it wasn’t so easy to book an EDM night at any of the clubs in a small city. To be honest, there were absolutely no true EDM clubs in Norfolk, VA at that time. The clubs there were open format, and really just not about our music, at all. So, thanks to a friend who was a promoter and who also brought my radio show on the air every Saturday night from midnight to 2am, we were able to put together a proper EDM night. We used his rock venue and filled it with Trance!  ​I​t was an incredible night for me, because I believe so much in our music. I was finally able to bring my music, and the music I love so much to the small city I was born in.

Crystal What is your personal opinion on the current state of electronic dance music in America, and how has it changed since you began making music?

Ryan Wow, That is a question. It has grown so big, that I feel like now fans of EDM are ready to dive deeper into the vast, Spectrum of electronic music. It has become very commercialized. I feel like fans of EDM are ready and hungry now to discover more. The explosion of EDM has paved the way for all of the electronic artists, producers, and DJs. Once the hype simmers, those of us who were making electronic music before the bubble, will still be making electronic music… and THAT is when things are going to be the most exciting and expanding for everyone, I believe.

CrystalCan you tell me one thing you’ve never said before in an interview?

Ryan When I’m on my motorcycle, it’s very loud… but it’s funny, how in that loudness, everything becomes quiet. I really dream when I’m on that bike, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

CrystalThat’s awesome. Any upcoming news or projects you would like to share with Electronica Life readers?

Ryan YES! Please check out my new album, Spectrum. I worked really, really hard on it.

Thank you Crystal, and thank you Christian and everyone at Electronica Life for being there and supporting the music over the years, I appreciate it so much!

Tune into Pandora Premieres from June 22nd to 29th as they run a week long full album premier of Spectrum, with the album officially releasing on Tuesday June 30th.

Listen here June 22-29: Pandora Premieres

Connect with Ryan Farish: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

4 Things We LOVE About EDM & Rave Festivals

*written by Cody Jandrok for Electronica Life

Summer aka Festival Season is upon us! But some of the biggest and best are already happening with events like EDC New York that passed recently and the upcoming EDC Las Vegas just around the corner!

These events are known to draw crowds in the tens-of-thousands from places all over the world! Any festival you visit is a melting pot of humanity and it blends together perfectly to form the fondue we know and love as PLUR. PLUR is not new by any means, but it no doubt has stood the test of time. From Woodstock to Ultra the love is alive and this social media generation allows it to reach people who aren’t physically there, but who still want to experience a feeling like no other.

So what is it about festivals that hooks people so deep? That keeps them coming back for more year after year? That causes such a mass of humanity to come together and show their love of music and of eachother? Here are 4 things we LOVE about festivals that keep us coming back!

#1 – The Atmosphere
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Whether you’re under the Electric Sky or the beautiful Miami sun, the stunning locations where many major festivals are held are only a small piece of the atmosphere created by these events. The other part comes from people just like you, there to show love for the music and their fellow ravers. Language barriers are broken, with everybody easily understanding the language of music no matter where they’re from. Everybody jumping in unison as a crowd favorite tune comes blasting over the speakers, and dancing like nobody is watching. The spine tingling sensation you get when you finally hear a song you love, and you get to sing along with a thousand other people who share the same feeling you do. Looking around to see total strangers hugging it out and showing that there is still some humanity in this world. These festivals are a testament to that, where you’re welcome (literally) with open arms.

#2 The Variety
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Let’s face it, even though we all come together for the love of music, we all have different tastes and opinions when it comes to what we like. The beauty of festivals comes from the fact that this variety in taste is sated by the massive list of DJs and producers that play at any given time. Dubstep, Trap, House, Moombahton, Dancehall, Trance, you name it and there’s likely a DJ booked to bring the sound. You’re not forced to listen to anything you don’t want to hear, but if you feel like experiencing a new type of sound there’s plenty of options! The downside to so much variety is that you may love a bunch of different DJs that are playing at the same time, and running across festival grounds to hear all of their sets is likely to wear you out long before the day is done. Not to mention your crew might want to check out other sets at the same time! But with many festivals being livestreamed now, you’re most likely able to catch the entire set on Youtube the day after.

#3 The Staff
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Without the fine men and women who put together these wonderful events, they would have never existed! Whenever there’s a festival, many people are too excited about the event itself and their favorite DJs playing that they forget about who really made it happen. The crews who work tirelessly to set up stages and fixtures, the ride attendants, vendors, police/security and medical crews! These wonderful people provide a fun and amazing event that creates memories for all of us. You sometimes see them when they’re busting a move on stage or when they’re dancing on the side, but the ones who work behind the scenes to make sure everybody is safe, healthy and having fun, they’re the real MVPs and they deserve all the love the DJs get! Next time you’re at a festival, find somebody who made your experience amazing and give them a hug. It’s what keeps THEM coming back every year to make your experience memorable. Show some love!

#4 The Outfits
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Everybody has an outfit (in some cases an outfit for each day!) that they love to wear when it’s festival time. It’s comfortable, it’s breathable and most importantly it’s an extension of your personality. Some of the most amazing and creative outfits have been worn at some of the biggest and best festivals around the world, and no matter where you go you’ll see people wearing their personalities like another layer of skin, displaying their love of the culture and the music. Kandi is a popular choice, with all colors of the rainbow on display along with matching bikinis, shorts, tanks and shirts, hats and masks, shoes, glasses and more! Looking out into the sea of people at a festival and you’ll see a kaleidoscope of personalities. The success of an outfit can mean life or death for some of the most hardcore ravers out there!

These are just SOME of the things we love about festivals! If we missed anything, feel free to leave a comment below and share with your friends so they can tell us about their favorites!

Armin van Buuren Releases Video For “Another You”… Here’s What We Thought

*written by Cody Jandrok for Electronica Life

The latest smash hit from Armin van Buuren has been making the rounds on the internet recently. With special features on Spotify and Saturday’s debut of the official music video, which already has almost 350,000 views at the time of writing, there’s been no way to avoid this amazing tune, and why would you want to?

‘Another You’ features a more recent folky sound similar to songs like Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’ but quickly transitions into a synth driven, snare assisted ascension, falling deep into a kick heavy breakdown & signature Armin synths. It slows before dropping off into the chorus where Mr. Probz gives us the sweet signature hook, accompanied by violins and light percussion, switching quickly back to the synth-clap and vocal driven buildup, ascending again before exploding into a final breakdown that’ll get you dancing like crazy.

Overall, this song is a powerful dance track and shows that Armin isn’t slowing down any time soon. The vocals provided by Mr. Probz are some of the best I’ve heard from a male vocalist in a while and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw more features from him in the Summer. Speaking of which, this is a tune that would fit in any Summer playlist!

The music video itself tells the story of a young man who’s lost his love, but is in search of another woman like the one he lost.

In the opening scene, a young woman is shown walking away from a young man, we’ll call him Chris (cause he looks like a Chris, work with me here!) obviously after an argument as he sits atop a stone wall. He can’t bare to look at her, so he looks down and away to mask his own frustration. The video then transitions to Chris sitting and playing poker with Armin, Mr. Probz and 2 other unidentified men. He’s obviously not having a good game and ends up throwing his cards down in frustration before leaving the garage and heading on a walk to clear his mind. As he’s walking down the street, head hanging low, a depression on his face, he pauses across from a bus stop and notices a gorgeous girl smelling flowers (we’ll call her Bel) on the other side of the street. He walks across but ends up missing her as she’s walking away. He stands outside the flower shop and looks around trying to find her, but with no luck he makes his way in the direction he thought she might be going.

Bel continues to walk through the beautiful streets of Spain, checking out shops and wandering through the alleys, Chris following her trail but always missing her before she moves on. The video will occasionally cut back to the garage where Armin, Probz and friends are still playing poker and enjoying their drinks, then cutting back to Chris who is still unable to locate Bel on her journey.

Bel is shown walking across this long beautiful bridge before stopping at the end and looking around herself. Chris finally reaches the bridge and looks around for her and when he’s unable to find her, he messes up his hair in frustration. The video fast forwards to sundown and shows Chris drinking a beer atop what looks like a parking garage. Looking out on the gorgeous view of the town, he makes his way down to the street and begins walking, making his way through the same alleys he missed Bel at earlier that day.

Walking by the neon signs and people out late at night, he makes his way to a club where he meets up with Armin, Probz and the rest of the crew. Armin being the legendary bro that he is, points out Bel in the darkness of the bar and Chris goes up to meet her. After talking for a bit, Mr. Probz brings up his collaboration with Armin on the stereo and the whole club starts jumping to the beat, with Probz singing along. Armin takes the mic and sings out the rest of the chorus (obviously Armin sang the whole thing and Probz is just an alter ego), Chris and Bel get close and romantic, with the video closing out on them touching hands.

Overall I absolutely loved the imagery of the video. The location was exceptionally beautiful and the time-shifts showed that Spain is beautiful day or night, under the glow of the sun or of neon lights. The story was a little mushy and cliched when it comes to this type of song, but in the end the video fit the lyrics very well.

Armin’s music videos almost always have a cameo of his in them and this one had several. They’re also very cinematic where’s some producers tend to have footage from shows pieced together with studio footage mixed in, which can definitely fit well with songs tailored to being played live, but nothing beats the production values of a Armin van Buuren music video.

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Armin van Buuren’s Journey: Bringing Color To Life – An Interview At Las Vegas’ Newest Nightclub, Omnia

*interview by Christian Alva

Here are some video highlights of the interview…

Full interview below…

Christian Alva – So we’re here at Omnia, it’s a new club, you’ve played here before… what do you think?

Armin van Buuren – Amazing, I think this is one of the best clubs that I’ve played at in my life, and I’ve been DJing for 16 years and have played in a lot of different countries and venues. The sound is amazing, the club is amazing. You’re so close to the people, everybody can see you. The latest technology is all in this club… look at all of the LEDs… I think it’s really remarkable. And of course the chandelier, it’s like the icing on the cake. It’s beautiful, it looks like something out of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. It’s really beautiful.

Christian Alva – Why don’t you run us about 10 years back, 10 years ago ’til now. What was it like? What was going on? Where are you at now? What’s the transformation been like?

Armin van Buuren – I like to think that I’m still basically the same person. I mean I’ve learned a lot. The sound has changed a little I guess, but it’s still Trance… I’m very much focused on trance and about the development in trance music. In 2006 I was already pretty high up in the DJ magazine poll and I was already spinning all around the world. So, the only thing I’ve noticed in the last 10 years is that, all of a sudden, we have this big boom of dance music around the world and the term EDM all of a sudden came up (which isn’t new)… but people just started using it in a different way. And, this year’s scale of things, just blew up. I remember landing at an airport and you were very happy if the promoter would tell you, “Hey man you sold 800 tickets” you’d be like, “WOW!” and now it’s like you land somewhere and it’s, “Hey man, you sold 80,000 tickets” like, “WOW!” haha.

Christian Alva – Or you sold the show out, right?

Armin van Buuren – Yeah, so it’s really great that the numbers are bigger. Some people don’t like it, some people are nostalgic… they prefer the old times, where everything was smaller. I always tell these people, “Ya I know where you’re coming from, but you know, you cannot stop change”, the only constant is change. Music is changing, everything around us is constantly changing, and that’s just what we have to live with.

Christian Alva – I’ve had talks with a lot of people in the industry in reference to any DJ getting big, and for example, some people say, “Oh Armin is doing all these ASOT’s now… where it should be just a one (show) celebration, in one city. It’s now multi-celebrations, in all of these cities for the same ASOT show number”. But my whole reaction, coming from being a business owner, is that when you’re growing a business, in which you are growing a businesses as a DJ and Producer, doing something that you love, you also have a lot of people that support you to be able to become so big. A lot of people in my opinion don’t understand that part.

Armin van Buuren – I think the customer, at the end of the day, is always right. It’s right, we used to have one celebration, one party to celebrate the round numbers of episodes, but then you want to do a new thing every time. I cannot, as much as I would love to, just simply go into the studio and recreate the same track that I’ve done already. I’m very nostalgic about my own tracks from the past and I’m very nostalgic about older episodes of A State of Trance and I actually love to listen to them myself… but I want to keep developing. That’s also the reason why, for example, I’m not continuing the Armin Only Intense tour. It has to stop at some point. It needs to show to the people that you’ve moving forward with the sound, otherwise you are going in circles and it’s not inspiring to me. I want to keep learning, I want to improve myself or at least keep moving forward or keep trying different things all the time, ’cause you know what, that inspires me. This year we did A State of Trance 700, live from Luna Park in Sydney, which is a completely new location, completely different party. Then a few days later we threw a massive event in Melbourne. It was a great experience, but a whole new approach to the whole 700 celebration theme. So I think it’s important to stress to people, that in order to keep things interesting, you gotta try new things. Sometimes you love a good movie right? And, some people prefer to watch the same movie over and over, and that’s fine you know. But, I like to make new movies.

Christian Alva – I agree, I have a season pass to Disneyland and they are constantly changing and recreating the park. They do it for a reason… because if they are always the same park, no one would go or attendance would drop.

Armin van Buuren – Exactly, yeah of course.

Christian Alva – I don’t think a lot of people understand that. I also have a list of up and coming DJs and Producers that I help with marketing and stuff like that, and I’m always telling them, “Look at what everybody else is doing. Like Armin or Paul… or like all those types of guys. They’re always recreating, looking for new ventures and all that kind of stuff…”

Armin van Buuren – Well, I want to make one really important remark about that, because I think it’s really important to stress that I’m not trying to force this (recreating yourself) onto anybody. There’s nothing wrong with liking something. Some people just don’t like change. And, what they’re really actually saying, and I’m realizing this now, is that they liked the Armin of THEN (moreso than now)… and that’s totally fine. It’s actually a positive thing. That’s how I view it now. You know what? I’m still the same person, I’m just trying to move things forward. And not as a defense… and I’m not even trying to explain myself, I’m just trying to tell people, that the choices that I make, are for a reason.

Christian Alva – Let me tell you something that I was going to get into. 10 years ago, I believe that was one of the first times I actually started listening to you on a regular basis… a friend had shared the 2005 countdown with me. It had “Tracking Treasure Down”, “Serenity”, Dogzilla was in there… and at that point in time, I was going through some really hard times in my life. At the same time, I was also doing a lot of writing, that’s the way I was expressing myself. And that mix, basically got me through those hard times.

Armin van Buuren – (laughs) Cool!

Christian Alva – I would just listen to it over and over and over. So like you were saying that people love you (“the old Armin”)… I still love you to this day. I listen to all your stuff still.. but that one mix, was one of the staples for me… to be here, to keep on coming.

Armin van Buuren – That’s cool, that’s awesome!

Christian Alva – So, thank you, I really appreciate that!

Armin van Buuren – No worries (laughs).

Christian Alva – I have a question from my mom, she’s like this (knowledgable) music person, who loves all kinds of music. She doesn’t really know anything about dance music at all, but she asks, “In your opinion, why is it that music strikes a universal note with everyone, and specifically, what is that touch-point for you?”

Armin van Buuren – I think music is giving color to life. Try to go to a funeral without music, try to go to a wedding without music. It’s like watching a black and white or color TV. It gives color to everything, it gives it dimension. It’s something that has been amazing me all my life. I’m so amazed by the fact that it’s trembling air, that’s what it is. It’s speakers, trembling, the frequencies that touch your eardrum and you know our brain responds to it. The references that we have… the melodies. It evokes emotions sometimes, if you listen to a track that you really like. It’s something really magical, it’s what makes us unique as human beings because I think most animals, not all of them, but most of them, don’t even respond to music. It’s a very human thing which makes us human… and like I said, it gives color to life, it’s like the leaves on the trees.

Christian Alva – So, storytelling… I heard an interview one time, I believe through SIRIUS XM, and it was in reference to, “What does Armin Only give you the ability to do?”, and I believe your response was something to the sort of, “Storytelling”. Can you elaborate on storytelling as a musician, as a DJ & Producer, and as Armin Only as well?

Armin van Buuren – Well, I think of a DJ set as a composition. If you play a shorter set it’s like watching a short movie, a short film. If you go to an Armin Only show it’s like a feature film, and every good feature film has a beginning and an ending and a story. There’s maybe a car chase scene, maybe a love scene, maybe a fighting scene or a whatever kind of scene… it’s like a roller-coaster. It’s not the same thing all the time, you try to bring people on a journey, you want to give people an experience and you can do the same thing with music. I try to use the tracks that I play to paint my painting, that’s what I’m doing, or to make my “movie”. I’m making my own “movie”. And with Intense, Intense is an album that’s really a reference to the birth of my two children. That’s why when I the start the show i’m DJing in the womb and I’m being born at the beginning of the show. So it’s like a life cycle, that was the story of Intense…you know, “catch your light”, that’s the story we wanted to bring across with people and that’s what people still remember to this day… people still come up to me like, “Hey, that’s very clever”. If you have Christmas dinner for example, you’re not starting with the dessert, you don’t start with something sweet, you save that ’til the end. That’s how I approach the DJ set as well… it’s so great to be able to really take people on a journey. Like, “Hey WOW it’s  already 4 am?! That night really went by fast.” (laughs)

Christian Alva – And that brings up a good point. If you’re getting so many people involved (in your music) that they lose track of time, that’s a good thing you know. I like to tell all the DJ’s and Producers that I teach & train, to tell stories with their music. That’s how I believe you’re really going to dig really deep into people…. because your 2005 countdown episode, that dug really deep into me… ‘tiil this day it’s still on my computer and I listen to it every now and then.

Armin van Buuren – (laughs) Cool.

Christian Alva – So do you think that’s (storytelling) really a big and important thing for up and coming artists to put into practice?

Armin van Buuren – Absolutely! Well, everybody has a different story to tell and your story doesn’t need to be like a movie or anything… but it (these stories) shows your character, you decide how you want to to tell YOUR story. How you want to entertain people. What I mean by storytelling is every good movie has a surprise element. It’s something that makes you laugh, something that makes you cry or something that makes you scared… that’s for music as well, you can entertain people in so many ways. With a big drop, with a nice melody, with good lyrics, with just maybe a techno groove that’s really cool and really nice to dance to. There’s so many colors into a good DJ set. There’s so many ways that you can entertain people and if you’re really an aspiring DJ, you want to tell people a story. There’s a million ways or more that you can tell YOUR story.

Christian Alva – Especially when you introduce the visuals and all that kind of stuff. I went to the Intense show at the Forum and I was blown away. I didn’t even know what to expect because I had never been to anything like that before. I’ve seen you play at some festivals and things of that nature, but nothing like that. I was just completely blown away.

Armin van Buuren – That’s also because I had full control of the night, it was my show and my crew there, and we were really able to lift things to the next level. I’ve learned so much throughout the years, 16 years of DJing and I’m just the type of person that knows that, “Ok, wait a minute, if the crowd is not feeling my set, am I having a good time?”. If i’m not having a good time, why would the crowd be having a good time. So, the most important thing for me as a DJ, and I always take this as a ground rule: I want to do stuff that inspires me. Because I know for a fact, that if I’m doing something that I’m not liking… I see a lot of DJs that go on autopilot, I see them DJ with a pre-mix set or whatever and they just mix and they go like this (waves hands in the air), then take a drink… or they go like this (waves arm)… it’s not really DJing, you have to do it with your heart. That’s just how I am, there’s no rules in music of course and I’m not here to tell anybody what to do. I’m just saying that’s who I am. I like to entertain people by surprising them, and you know what, I’m doing it actually to surprise myself. I’m trying to entertain not only the crowd, but also myself.

Christian Alva – And if you don’t FEEL what you’re doing…

Armin van Buuren – You’re going to stop doing it…

Christian Alva – Yea, but not only that, but you’re not going to inspire people, and that’s what I think THIS music has so much power of doing… is inspiring people, like it did me with the 2005 countdown, and like it has done with a lot of other people. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not gonna inspire people and those people are eventually, in my opinion, are going to get turned off.

Armin van Buuren – (laughs) True… very true.

Christian Alva – So we are a LA based entity and I saw on the Facebook newsfeed that you were giving a shout out to two of our fellow Trance family guys that had passed…. Andrew and Marvin. Can you elaborate on that? How did the news make you feel? Is there something special that you would like to say?

Armin van Buuren – Well the Trance family is obviously a close community and some people are really tied into that community, and sometimes you hear of the unfortunate passing of people… which just always breaks my heart, especially if it’s a member of that family. When i heard the news, I immediately got text messages, and to be really honest with you, I didn’t know them personally, but I heard that so many fans were really touched and moved by the news and they were really shocked. I felt like I needed to say something on the radio show because my radio show, for me, is the perfect medium to reach out to people personally. Sometimes I wish a couple who just got married (congratulations) and other wishes to fans of the show. So yea, it’s a great way to reach out to people and I just felt really shocked about all of this with Andrew & Marvin. And unfortunately, this is what… LIFE happens… some people that are dear to us, sometimes have to leave this earth and I don’t know why. It’s very unfair. The only thing I can do is bring some comfort to people by saying, “Hey guys, this is terrible what happened, let’s comfort the people that are close to these people…”

Christian Alva – Yea, lets come together as the community that we are, and lend a helping hand.

Armin van Buuren –  Yea, it was really a shocking thing. I could feel throughout the vibes… because I was reading through the forums as well, what that (the mention on ASOT) did to the community and how good that made everybody feel. And it makes me proud… it makes me feel good, the fact, that just by saying this on air, that I can give some relief to some people who are with the deepest grief and going through the hardest times in their life, losing someone they love. I can only imagine how hard that must be for the family members and friends of the 2 guys that lost their lives… It’s just horrible.

Christian Alva – Rest in Peace Andrew and Marvin.

Christian Alva – What’s the advice you can give up and coming artists, that is besides the, “don’t give up, hard work”, you know… that kind of stuff?

Armin van Buuren – Recently I became a fan of all the clips on youtube and websites like macprovideo.com. You can find sooo many tutorials online and a lot of people ask me, “Ok, so you tell me that I have to make a track. So, how do I do that?”. And it’s a very (complicated thing), I understand that. Because you’re sort of in the dark. There’s so much information out there, you don’t know where to start. You’re looking at your blank screen, you have your DAW set up… you have an idea for a song, “but how do I get from my idea to the song… to actually to the dance floor… and to Armin Van Buuren playing my track”. Well, I recently found out that there are so many great tutorials on youtube, you don’t even need a professional education, you can if you want, there are some great schools out there, but I think self education is key. Why not instead of watching another (TV) series that everybody is talking about, use that exact time and go online and watch a couple of these tutorials… because that’s what inspires me. I’ve learned a lot of tricks for producing, making specific sounds… you know, “how can I make this pad and make it sound really wide? How can I make this trance riff… how do you program that? How can I make my kick sound really fat? How can I have that clap with the big reverb behind it and reverse it? how do you do that? How do I arrange my song… do I have enough elements to arrange my song?” All these questions and a million more, you will find answers online. You find them on youtube… you find them on websites like macprovideo.com. Or for example, if you’re a big fan of spectrasonics, or native instruments or whatever plug-ins you like to use… like reFX, you just go to their websites. There’s free tutorials… there’s really experienced sound designers that tell you everything about compression, about limiting, about mastering. And all you really need to do is take time, go online, and self educate.

Christian Alva – So, basically what that means is get your ass to work and focus.

Armin van Buuren – LEARN, LEARN, LEARN!!

Christian Alva – Like you said, no more series, no more netflix… nothing on regular TV, just go learn. I don’t do any production myself, but I DJ. But the stuff I do study, is online, and I do it all damn day long.

Armin van Buuren – Imagine if you would just take an hour of your time everyday, 5 days a week. That’s 5 hours a week, 20 hours a month… that’s a lot during a year. You can really learn sooo much, just study and learn tricks of the trade. Learn your DAW. Learn how to make a good track. And then… I promise you, as soon as you finish a couple of these courses (and training), you will feel sooo inspired… and the music will start writing itself.

Christian Alva – Here we go… last question. This is from the fans, it was pretty much the #1 requested question: When is GAIA coming to Los Angeles?

Armin van Buuren – Uhh, GAIA (laughs), you’ll have to ask GAIA themselves. I don’t know ;]

*scratches head

I think GAIA is making an appearance very close to Los Angeles really soon… and I mean within the next 2 months. Might not be so far from here actually (laughs). I spoke to them. They really don’t want to do that many gigs… but yea, it’s a fun side project to be honest. It’s fun times.

Christian Alva – Everybody is just like (GAIA GAIA GAIA)… there wasn’t any other real questions… other than a couple of track IDs from shows and stuff like that. Mainly it was: GAIA, GAIA, GAIA!!! And I’m like, “Ok I got it! It’s on there, it’s on there. Don’t worry about it…”

Armin van Buuren – (laughing) It’s great because it’s blowing up to this massive thing and I told my management I want to keep things on the low with GAIA…to keep it exclusive and to keep it special. It already has it’s own cult status already (laughs)

Christian Alva – It does. It totally does.

Armin van Buuren – (laughs) Hey, maybe we can get GAIA on DJ Mag Top 100?! That would be awesome ;]

Christian Alva – (laughs)

Armin van Buuren – (laughs)

Christian Alva – Alright Armin, thank you so much!

Armin van Buuren – Thank you!

Photo Credit: Al Powers: powersimagery.com

Photo Credit: Al Powers: powersimagery.com

—————————————————–the end——————————————————————-

Special thanks to Armin van Buuren and his wonderful team for their time & arrangement of this interview! Also, special thanks to Omnia Nightclub for allowing us the time and privilege to do the interview inside the nightclub!

Connect with Armin van Buuren: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Connect with Omnia Nightclub: Website

And a very special thanks to Unity Travel for helping with the video production of this interview!
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6th Annual Firefly Gathering Set To Light Up Northern Arizona

This upcoming weekend marks the 6th annual Firefly Gathering in Northern Arizona. A three day camping experience spanning from June 12-15th, Firefly Gathering will be complete with three stages, live art, yoga, healing, and educational workshops.

A collaborative effort of the community, Firefly represents a group effort to achieve an enlightening and transformational experience for all that attend. Each night, there is a ceremony that will gather attendees together, a unique feature when many of today’s festivals are so large in size that there can occasionally be a disconnect between attendees.

Firefly claims, “The music of Firefly is unlike that of any other festival. The musical journey is curated so that you are presented with an opportunity to see and hear some of the world’s most powerful and moving performances that you won’t find at other festivals.”

If you are in the Arizona area this weekend, I would definitely recommend checking out Firefly. All expectations are pointing to this being an amazing experience. Tickets are still on sale at fireflygathering.com
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Electric Forest Festival 2015 Is Finally Upon Us!

Electric Forest Festival, one of the festival community’s most anticipated events, is returning to Sherwood Forest in Rothbury, Michigan on June 25th-28th.  A large festival that manages to retain it’s intimate feel, the grounds are scattered with 7 intentionally and beautifully designed stages that add to the natural landscape as well as expansive areas for vendors, workshops, and art installations.

The festival boasts a stacked lineup with an impressive group of headliners such as The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Kaskade, Flume, and Big Gigantic. Other artists such as Carl Cox, Gramatik, Datsik, Odesza, Shpongle, Lotus,  Phantogram, and G-Eazy ensure that there is definitely something on this well rounded lineup for everyone to get down to. A cocktail of genres, Electric Forest will be anything but predictable.

With one of the coolest venues, best lineups, and a reputation that precedes it, Electric Forest has completely sold out, and for good reason. This festival is an absolutely amazing experience, and is sure to impress anyone who makes the commitment to attend.

Picture yourself surrounded by people radiating positive energy, in the middle of a technicolor forest buzzing with activity, complete with an endless amount of art installations and musical performances. The perfect way to connect with nature, one another, and yourself… Electric Forest Festival is finally upon us!

For more information visit: www.electricforestfestival.com
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SYMBIOSIS GATHERING Announces Complete Lineup For 10 Year RE:UNION

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Symbiosis Gathering, a multifaceted lakeside music and arts event has announced the complete musical programming for its 10 year Re:Union featuring world renowned electronic and live performers. The Gathering takes place at Woodward Reservation Regional Park in Oakdale, CA Sep 17th-20th.

Consistent with past years, Re:Union will feature a series of very rare performances including the first edIT & Ooah present Crying Over Pros and Of Porcelain set since Symbiosis 2009, Tipper’s only 2015 California appearance, Carbon Based Lifeforms 1st US appearance, and Raja Ram of Shpongle’s 1st solo West Coast appearance. With a diverse lineup featuring artists from five continents this will truly be an international gathering.

Rapidly rising California party crew Desert Hearts will bring their scene sweeping mantra of House, Techno, Love to Symbiosis with their own visually and musically curated stage featuring resident artists Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Deep Jesus, Marbs, and Porkchop.

Symbiosis Gathering offers its community an awe-inspiring portal into a creative utopia, a glimpse of a more united future. The 10 Year Re:Union will fuse a finely curated musical lineup split between 6 stages with otherworldly art installations, a 2700-acre lake to swim in, permaculture education programs, kids area, live performance, yoga, gourmet food, a speaker series and a slew of interactive activities and creative spaces to get lost and find yourself.

For More Information and Tickets to Symbiosis Gathering 10 Year Re:Union visit: www.symbiosisgathering.com

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Lightning In A Bottle 2015 – A Transformational Journey Of The Mind, Body, and Soul

*written by Lizze Rose for Electronica Life
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Having begrudgingly returned to the real world after a magical weekend at Lightning in a Bottle, a festival that took place in Bradley, California on May 21-25th, I have realized what a crazy summer and festival season we are entering. As time passes and the weather begins to grow warmer, something awakens within us that is mischievous and adventurous, a desire to play and experience new things and feelings. We start to feel the sun on our skin and our soul sometimes manages to return to a childlike anticipation of summer.

I feel as though festival season awakens a deep desire to feel that innocent, pure happiness and bliss again. It reminds us that there are places we can go where we let down our guards and interact with like-minded others. These festivals allow us to regain the enjoyment of pleasure and fun that we had as children.

​The first night of Lightning in a Bottle began as most festivals begin. We arrived, unpacked our stuff, and turned a small patch of desert into our home for the weekend. Happy to be reunited, my four girlfriends and I set off on a walk to explore the grounds. The first night of a festival often feels similar to getting your sea legs. You walk around and try to get a feel for where all of the stages and art installations are.

In the case of LIB, seeing the grounds in person far surpassed my expectations. After catching Andrelien, we eventually went back to our campsite, making at least three sets of friends as we walked. I snuggled up in our tent excited for what the next few days would bring.

​When morning came, I awoke with that confused feeling you get when you wake up in a strange place. Then the realization set in, I was at Lightning in a Bottle. THE festival I had been looking forward to for months, with so many of my best friends by my side. I knew that this weekend was going to be nothing short of amazing, starting with tonight. We explored further, eventually settling at the Lightning stage to see the always upbeat and talented artist Pumpkin.

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Later that evening, Odesza put on an amazing show as expected, setting the mood with thick fog and new releases. Lastly Griz, one of my personal favorite artists took the night to a level of funk that the crowd had been craving. His energy was contagious as he quickly switched back and forth from saxophone to his tables, to interacting with the crowd through the microphone.

I spent most of Saturday wandering around the different facets of the venue, exploring places such as The Meditation Lookout nestled atop of a hill, the range of unique vendors, and eventually got sucked into the Woogie Stage for two hours. If you’ve ever found a song or an album that you played on repeat all day long because it felt so good to listen to, you know what it’s like to spend a few hours at The Woogie. Comfortable and somehow always complete with the best vibes, this stage definitely felt like home base.

Saturday was stacked with impressive artists, starting with artists Lindsay Lowend and G Jones (who was wearing a Nickleback shirt, yes, I caught that) tearing up the Thunder stage. Later in the evening the Lucent Dossier Experience was a thought provoking journey that engaged awe and imagination.

To wrap the night up one of the most anticipated acts blew the crowd away, Flume. His music just makes you feel so good, as though every atom of your body hears the beat and agrees that it’s dope.

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​One thing that I’ve realized about festivals is that no matter how much fun you are having, Sunday always finds a way to arrive. Sets by Zion I and SNBRN orchestrated the beautiful sunset as we realized this was the last time we would see LIB during the day. Hermitude and RL Grime closed down the Thunder stage for the night while electronic lullaby Tycho’s sweet sounds trickled over from the Lightning stage.

The last night of LIB was probably my favorite. Somehow nearly every single one of my friends that attended the festival ended up together, something almost unheard of at bigger festivals. We decided to stay up until sunrise and watch it from the top of Meditation Lookout. Passing by a secret Kaminanda set at the Third Eye Pinecones booth, we all marched up the mountain together. Once at the top, the sun lit up the foggy sky. As I fell asleep in my friends lap, I knew this had been one of the best weekends of my life.

​I can honestly state that I have never been in a place where each person  (and I mean absolutely every person I met) was as kind, loving, and helpful as they were at LIB. I felt completely comfortable talking to strangers, because at the end of the day none of us really felt like strangers to each other. LIB created a common vibration, a unified heartbeat.

Workshops throughout the weekend targeted major issues that today’s conscious society is concerned about such as sustainability, human connection, and self-improvement. Yoga workshops ran constantly throughout the day helping people strengthen their bodies throughout the festival conditions. Healing tents offered energy work and other services that rejuvenated and educated festival attendees.

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Lightning in a Bottle is so special. It is a fertile place where dreams, connections, and self-realizations have the potential to emerge. It provides an atmosphere conducive to a deeper level of human connection and the freedom to unapologetically radiate your essence. This festival was simultaneously uplifting and humbling.

If you were to ask me what my favorite part of the weekend was, I would see flashes of so many amazing moments. Being in the the crowd during Flume’s set and seeing all of those beautiful faces screaming and smiling, sending their energy towards him moved me immensely. My mind raced in awe of all of these people standing together and creating so much happiness and bouncing their excitement off one another.

​They say all things happen as a result of fear or of love. Many crowds gather together out of fear; wars, protests, chaos, etc. This crowd could not have been a clearer example of one that was united out of love. In our lifetimes and especially recently, with all of the crazy events happening in the world dealing with hate, violence and injustice, a crowd united out of love is the most beautiful and humbling occurrence that I could’ve possibly seen. That sight changed my life. This is how I know Lightning in a Bottle and other transformational festivals are changing the world, because they are rewiring the way that we interact with each other. They are setting an example of how things should always be.

I am still thinking about Lightning in a Bottle almost two weeks later (checkout my full photo album), and I am positive I will still be thinking about it months down the road. My friends and I will still talk about it, draw inspiration from it, and keep our uplifted vibration alive. There’s something really special about a festival that empowers you to return to real life changed, better, and affected. A festival like Lightning in a Bottle that inspires me to bring a sense of belonging and acceptance into my everyday life is a festival that I plan on attending for years to come.

Couldn’t get enough of the Woogie Stage this year? The Do Lab is hosting a new festival Woogie Weekend LIB’s old home Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA from July 17-19th! Imagine a whole festival devoted to that Woogie vibe we couldn’t get enough of!

For more info visit: www.woogiewknd.com
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