Trevor Dans - The HarderFaster Forum Producer #1
Reported by Nick Rockliffe
Submitted 30-12-08 18:23
Welcome to a new series of features where you, the Harderfaster user and producer, could be featured right here on the pages of HF and via the airwaves on the HF Podcast - and who knows where you could go from there! Kicking the series off is a producer who is taking big steps to seal his own name in hard dance history, Trevor Dans. Nick Rockliffe has more inside.
Over the years we have seen the Harderfaster forums give rise to some great production talent, many of whom joined the site when they were fresh-faced clubbers, and have gone on to become established firmly in the dance music scene. Long time HF user and forum regular, Trevor Dans has risen rapidly through the ranks and is regarded as one of hard dance's most exciting up and coming producers for 2009.
For the last few years I have followed Trev's career with great interest and have had the pleasure of hearing his sound develop from humble beginnings to a something far greater. His dedication and hard work has not gone unrecognised. As well as a continually rising DJ Profile, Trevor has been snapped up to fill the role of in-house producer for Electrik Shandy, one of the new breed of hard dance labels.
We took a few moments to catch up with Trev and throw a few questions his way,
Hi Trev, for those who haven't heard your work before, how would you describe your sound?
Easy now, Nicholas! How would I describe my sound? I started off creating hard edge trance with elements of filth and NRG, but over the last year or two, I have really been focusing on the UK sound of hard trance, or London hard trance as me and DJ Zone refer to it as, as you don't really seem to find it outside the M25! I like to describe my music as euphoric and uplifting.
So when and how did you get into music production?
I started off on Rave/Dance eJay back in my early teens. As basic as this program was, it helped me understand how to structure a track. I made the leap to FL Studio (formally Fruity Loops) around version three or four, after having watched an old school friend, Andy Woodall, having a go on it at a crack on many moons ago. I guess I should really add him to my influences!
Of course, it helps coming from a musical family. My brother is drummer and songwriter for a band called The Auteur who seem to be touring Europe every other month!
Who & what are your biggest influences in your music?
It was Micky D (aka Chrysus/Michael Dow) who really got me into producing. In his early days, he used to send me over his tracks and I was taken aback by how professional they sounded. That's the goal I set myself - to be as good as him. Then, after help and guidance from some of the scene's best up and coming youngsters, namely Ashley James, MDA & Spherical and Technikal, I have really developed my sound - it's hard to look beyond these fellas as my biggest influences.
Of course, I have to mention Phil Reynolds in there as well! Whenever I write a tune, I always refer back to his sets. The energy they have are unparalleled and I am constantly thinking, "is this something I can imagine him dropping?" Special mentions to Zimma and Syfoon - we used to share our latest tracks, using them as benchmarks to constantly improve our own individual sounds.
Other than those guys, my other half, Dani has been the biggest influence on the music I make today - she has the final say as to whether something sounds good or not - and lately, some of my tracks have even ended up with a "donk" on them! (lol – Ed.)
I know what you mean, Amy is the first and last person to have say in my productions as well. Feedback is 'number two' on the list of what partners are most useful for, ha ha! But anyway, back to production! Which VST’s are top of your list?
V-Station, no question. I use it for everything: leads, basslines, quirky sounds, etc. Other than that, Audio Realism for my 303s and anything by Rob Papen.
I understand you have recently been involved in the launch of a new label, Inertia Digital? Could you tell us more about that and what we can expect?
We have high hopes for Inertia and to be involved with it alongside of two of the best up and comers the scene has to offer is amazing. For those who don't know, there are two sides to the label, Inertia Digital and Inertia Hard. The former will cater for the euphoric sounds of hard dance and the latter is pretty self-explanatory!
I have been impressed with Dean's production since his very first tune and he has just gone from strength to strength. We made the decision that we wouldn't release any of our own material on the label but in the end, we thought it would be highly unfair to the masses to not make our stuff available! Over the next few months, you will see the very best that Dean, Kevsey and myself have to offer! I am really excited at how far the label can go. As a threesome, we are planning something which we hope will give us more recognition in the London scene and beyond.
We've also heard you've been asked to be in-house producer for Electrik Shandy? How did this opportunity come about?
Dave Mac asked me, and I said yes! It actually came as a complete surprise - I am very self critical when it comes to my own material, so being asked to be in-house producer has certainly given me a real confidence boost when it comes to my tracks. It's an honour to be so closely associated with what I reckon is going to be 2009's best new label - alongside Inertia Digital of course!
What can we expect from you in 2009?
More fun, definitely a lot of reminiscing and back to basics. I loved the sound of hard dance back in 2002/2003 and that's exactly where I want my production to go. Obviously, I will still be writing UK hard trance as it is today but I also want to re-create that old Prime Mover sound - I love it!
I want to collaborate with some of the big boys as well - I think that's my next, most immediate goal.
Finally, do you have any hints or tips you can share with us?
"Keep at it!" is my best piece of advice for new learners. It's taken me a bloody long time, and there's been lots of shit tracks over the years, but finally I am starting to see the rewards from all that hard work!
Well, that just about wraps things up, thanks for your time Trev - it’s been a pleasure! All the best for 2009!
On the 24/12/08 both 'Overturn' and 'Con Air' will be available from Trackitdown.net via Electrik Shandy Recordings along with remixes by Iriduium and SQ.
More info on Trevor Dans can be found at http://www.myspace.com/trevordansmusic
Photos courtesy of the HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Nick Rockliffe:
Defiance & Revolution: Dejavoo Explain All!
Phil Lankester AKA Libra 9: Its Only A Matter of Time!
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.