It's the Generation game featuring Agnelli & Nelson, The Thrillseekers and Lange
Reported by josie
Submitted 25-02-08 13:51
It’s been just over two years since much-loved London trance promotion Trance Generation turned up the house lights, chivvied the final few clubbers out onto the street, and closed its doors for the last time. The intervening months have seen rumours and false starts abound, but the news we’ve all been waiting for is here at last, Trance Generation is back, with a new name and allstar line-up.
The first Generation takes place at Hidden on 1st March, and for this auspicious event, the new promotional team have assembled the most solid slice of trance talent seen in London for quite some time. Irish duo Agnelli & Nelson, The Thrillseekers, Lange and special guest yet to be announced. In honour of the two year Generation gap (see what we did there?), we've simply asked them what they've been up to since 2005, then set a fiendish little test to see what they remember about trance from that year.
Agnelli & Nelson
Real names: Chris Agnelli, Robbie Nelson
Own label: none
Aliases: Afterburn, Cortez
‘El Niño' [Xtravaganza] in 1998
‘Everyday' [Xtravaganza] in 1999
‘Holding Onto Nothing' [Xtravaganza] in 2003
'Summer Sun' (as Afterburn) [Purple Eye] in 2003
'Shiver' [Xtravaganza] in 2005
What have you been up to for the last two years?
We've been busy in the studio – really busy in fact. Over the last two years we've done a new album and we're just starting to release the singles from it plus we've been doing a lot of other things. Nothing really changes!
Which singles in particular?
The next single that's getting released is called 'Just When I Think There's An Answer', we have about 6 remixes done of that and it's just had its second play on Radio 1. The original's more of a rock track, a male vocal with guitars and live instruments and a few other things in there as well. We've had a remix from Ben Gold – he's tranced it up, one from Tom Colotonio – another trance mix, and Genix has done a mix which is more clubby and there's a wee guy over here DJ Mog, he's done an electro mix. So it's a good package, there's something there for everyone. It's going to be on Deepblue records. We've also got another single coming on Coldharbour called 'Living In Airports' but it might not come out under Agnelli & Nelson.
Highpoint of the last two years?
DJing-wise, there's always 2 gigs that really stand out. One of them's Inside Out at The Arches in Scotland, everytime we play there it's always unbelievable. And twice a year we play Zouk in Singapore which to us is the best club in the world. Every time we play there we do a 6-7 hour set and the soundsystem is just something else, it's the only soundsystem like it in the world.
What about low point of the last two years.
Low point... I dunno! Let me think.
If you don't have one that's an answer in itself…
Ok put that then! Nothing's jumping out at me right away.
In your view how do you see the scene has changed in the last two years?
It always goes through different fads and in the last two years I think the big fad in the type of clubs that we play is that electro, big bass sound – a lot of people call it the Sander Van Doorn sound.
Do you like it?
We do play that sort of stuff. Depends where we're playing, if we're on after someone else who's banging it out – big trance tunes or whatever – we'll go on and change it for maybe half an hour or so and then take it back into the trancey stuff. But I love all types of music.
We've just done a load of remixes. The remix of Solarstone's 'Rain Stars Eternal' has worked well. We've also done a remix for Markus Schulz called 'Perfect' which has gone really well. Armin and Markus are playing it.
Real name: Steve Helstrip
Own label: Adjusted Music
Aliases: EnMotion, Hydra, Rapid Eye
'Synaesthesia' [Neo Records] released 1999, supported by Paul Oakenfold and Paul van Dyk, and still one of the biggest trance records of all time.
'Circa Forever' (2002) and 'Santa Cruz' (2004) as Rapid Eye with Tim Stark on ATCR.
'New Life' [Adjusted] in 2004
'Waiting Here For You' [Adjusted] in 2007
What have you been up to for the last 2 years?
The last 2 years have really been about my compilations, Nightmusic 1 and Nightmusic 2 and the global tour that went with them. I did 60 gigs last year, which meant week after week travelling somewhere new.
What's been the highpoint?
I think the best gig I did was in Melbourne on a tour with Godskitchen, a big stadium tour. I remember walking out on stage and you would've thought Madonna was playing… and it was just for four DJs, it was absolutely incredible.
What's it like playing to a really big crowd like that?
I don't usually enjoy playing to big crowds because there's no intimacy. I like to feel like I'm on the dancefloor and clubbing myself when I'm DJing, and when you've got 10,000 people in front of you and you're 3 storeys higher than them…
Oh poor you!
Haha! Usually with a big crowd you feel totally disconnected from everything that's happening, although it is an amazing sight. This gig was great though.
What about a low point?
Low point... crikey. I guess just the continuing decline of the industry. It's getting increasingly difficult to actually make a living from producing music.
I know you took a hit when Amato went down.
Yeah you could say that! That was quite a big hit actually. I've got to pay artist's royalties from my label and the artists that were licensed to my compilations, and of course now the money's not coming to me.
How do you think the trance scene has changed in the last two years?
In terms of clubbing I'd say its on the up – I just seem to get busier and busier every year, and while the scene may be declining in one part of the world, trance is always big somewhere. In terms of sales though its just a continuing decline.
Is that something you wish wasn't happening... do you wish you could do more producing and less DJing?
The way it is at the moment, I tend to be away most weekends. I leave on Friday morning, get back on the Monday then Tuesday's for recovering from travelling, so I've got two days in the studio which is nothing really. I wish I did have two weeks at a time to be in the studio.
Do you ever give yourself breaks where you don't play out for a month?
It just doesn't work like that, you have to take the work when it's there, and also from a creative angle – you can't plan when you're going to be creative, you either are or you aren't.
I've got two big, big collaborations coming out over the next couple of months but I can't say anything about them! I hate talking about things before they're finished, in case they never do get finished. It makes you look really stupid!
Real name: Stuart Langelaan
Own label: Lange Recordings
Aliases: Firewall, LNG, Vercetti
‘Drifting Away’ [VC Recordings] in 2002
Production on SuReal - ‘You Take My Breath Away’ (2000)
Remixes of DJ Sakin - ‘Protect Your Mind’ and Lost Witness – ‘Happiness Happening’
‘Another You Another Me’ (with Gareth Emery) [Vandit] 2006
‘Angel Falls’ [Lange Recordings] 2007
'Songless' [Maelstrom] 2008
So... what have you been up to for the last 2 years?
Crikey! Ok... well mainly writing this album – Better Late Then Never. DJing a lot. I did quite a few co-writes with my good friend Gareth Emery as well.
Some of which have been very successful…
Well yeah especially 'Another You Another Me', that one really took off. We've not done another one since, we've been too scared to! But the last couple of years primarily have been working on the album.
So how long did it take?
The album's a double CD, the first CD is all new material and the second CD is older stuff – that was the easy part, just choosing which tracks. For the first CD I had a couple of tracks to start with and then it took about 9 months in total.
Would you say that's been your highpoint of the last two years – getting that finished?
Definitely… definitely. It's a weight off my shoulders actually, it was long overdue.
Better Late Than Never was a good name then!
I decided my first album would be called that some time ago! I'd been saying I was going to do one and never got round to it. The good thing about it though is I know much more about music now, and it made for a better album than if I'd done it five years ago.
Has there been a low point in the last two years?
I was getting bored to be honest, around 2005, 2006. I had my peak days of commercial trance, well… I wasn't intentionally getting too much into the commercial side but it was just happening, and after that I wanted to go a bit more underground. I did but when it got to 2005 I felt that things were going a bit stale, certainly for me anyway. This might seem like a dream job but you end up forcing yourself to go into the studio and by doing that you can actually prevent yourself from being creative.
What re-inspired you?
I just relaxed about it to be honest and thought 'what will be will be' and I found also some of the things that started happening in house – electro and minimal – that kind of pricked my ears up. I also met my girlfriend Ruth who's an avid clubber so I got into the music again from a different angle, rather than looking at trance and trying to get inspiration from that.
So over the last couple of years how has the scene changed? What have been the major shifts for you?
I'm seeing a merging of the genres – certainly house and trance at the moment are very similar in some respects. Acts like Deadmau5 – he uses very trancey riffs but with more of a laidback house vibe to it, and also a lot of trance artists have gone a lot slower. What trance is has shifted a little bit, but at the moment it feels a little bit lost.
The album is out 25th Feb on CD, it's already out on download, and my new single 'Songless' is released the same day on vinyl and digital.
And now the moment you've all been waiting for... the 2005 Trance Quiz
Thrillseekers - TH; Lange - LA; Agnelli & Nelson - AN
Who was the DJ Mag top 100 number 1 DJ in 2005?
[Paul van Dyk]
TH: We're in 2008 now... it's Armin now, it was Paul van Dyk the year before... Paul van Dyk? Or was it Tiësto... I'm going to go with Tiësto. 
LA: It must have been... Tiësto. 
AN: Paul Van Dyk. 
Who won best DJ at the Trance Awards in 2005?
[Trick question – the Trance Awards skipped a year in 2005]
TH: Tiësto? 
LA: Probably... um... I don't know... Armin van Buuren? 
AN: No idea. 
Name a Sander van Doorn release from 2005, under any alias.
[Sander van Doorn – 'AKA' / 'Bling Bling'; Purple Haze – 'Adrenaline' / 'Eden' / 'Rush'; Sam Sharp – 'Error' / 'Hoover:Craft' / 'One Solid Wave' / 'In-Deep'; Sandler – 'Chemistry EP']
TH: Can I just get my record bag?
No you can't you cheat!
TH: Oh my god... I bet I had all of them. I'm so terrible with names! I don't know. 
LA: I would say Purple Haze... ooh it was on my Global Phases album... 'Adrenaline'. 
AN: Er don't know! Purple Haze?
Which track though?
AN: When it comes to track names I'm hopeless. I can't remember any Sander van Doorn tracks. 
Which massive vocal track did Dogzilla release in 2005?
TH: Was it 'Without You'? 
LA: Um... 'Without You'? 
AN: Oh yeah we used to play it all the time. I can't remember. Jesus. And it was a big track for us, we even did a bootleg of it. 
Which volume of the Anjunabeats compilation series was released in 2005, and just to give you a hint the last release was volume 5?
TH: Er... could it be two? 
LA: I'd guess I would be two. 
AN: Four. 
Now some questions about the artists on the Generation line-up on 1st March. Which 2004 Lange presents Firewall track did Stuart re-release in 2005?
TH: Oh my god I'm shit with names! Mmm... I don't know, is the honest answer. 
It was 'Sincere'.
TH: Oh ok... that one that I remixed!
LA: 'Sincere'. That was easy! 
AN: No idea! 
Which track did the Thrillseekers re-release in 2005?
['Synaesthesia', called 'Ultimate Synaesthesia' for the re-release]
TH: I think it might be 'Synaesthesia'... but I'm just guessing! 
For an extra point what was the name of the re-release? [feeling a bit sorry for Steve at this point]
TH: There was disc 1 and disc 2… ah... I chucked it all on one CD and called it 'Ultimate Synaesthesia'. 
LA: 'Synaesthesia'. 
AN: 'Synaesthesia'. 
Last one... what male vocal track did Agnelli & Nelson release in 2005?
TH: I remember the track… I just can't think what it was called. I don't know. 
LA: I liked it, I liked it a lot. I can't remember the name of it though. 
AN: 'Shiver'. 
And the final scores are  for the Thrillseekers and Agnelli & Nelson, but Lange takes the crown with a hard fought .
Agnelli & Nelson myspace
Lange album minisite
Photos courtesy of Lange, The Thrillseekers and Agnelli & Nelson. Not to be reproduced without permission
Saturday 1st March
22:00 - 06:00
£11 early birds / £14 advanced or before 11 on door / £17 after
Click here to buy tickets
Over two years ago, we threw our last official party at the now legendary Soundshaft in London. We always said we would be back - but I don’t think anyone could imagine how quickly two years would shoot by.
We have not spent that time sleeping however. We have evolved. Dance music (in all of it’s forms) has undergone a dramatic evolution too. As such we have bought with us the good bits that made our events so special from the past, enhanced and expanded them, added new twists and turns to make something that is extremely unique in the capital.
As with the past, we have gone a little mad. We have thrown away the golden rule of promoting. We have built this event on one premise- to pull out all the stops and have one hell of a party. We are not interested in making money nor turning profit. Our line-ups are a testament to our intentions, and they need no introductions. We want to give you the best music, the best talent, and the best night out that you’ve had in a hell of a long time.
We have selected the cream of home-grown talent, from the tried and tested through to the next big names.
Remember- this is your generation, and you are a part of it.
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Other Features By josie:
Peach at Heaven: Reviewed
The Gallery at Turnmills: Reviewed
The International Indoor Festival at SeOne: reviewed
The double ender: interview with trance legends Darren Tate and Mike Koglin
Knowwhere @ Heaven ... reviewed
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.