April 29th 2011 bears witness to a truly historic occasion in London... No, not the royal wedding, but the launch of dancevirgin, London’s hottest new dance event at Hidden Club in Vauxhall. With a main room focus on all things Trance and Progressive, dancevirgin is set to shake up a London dance scene traditionally dominated by the sounds of House and Tech.
All great club nights are backed up by solid residents. From the likes of Terry Francis and Craig Richards who keep Fabric rocking week in week out to Scott Bond, Judge Jules and Matt Hardwick who were the undeniable backbone of Gatecrasher’s success in the superclub years, the importance of dedicated and talented residents cannot be overstated. Understanding this need for enthusiastic, passionate and driven residents, dancevirgin were quick to offer 25 year old dj/producer Mark Landragin a main room residency. With recent appearances alongside Paul Van Dyk at his massive London warehouse party and main room sets at superclubs Ministry of Sound and Pacha, the future certainly looks bright for Mark.
We catch up with Mark for a quick chat ahead of his opening set as resident at dancevirgin on Friday 29th April.
Hi Mark, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a bit about how you got into dance music and dj'ing/producing trance.
My interest in dance music came from listening to Dave Pearce and Judge Jules on Radio 1. The first ever club night that I went to was The Gallery at Turnmills in 2002, so it was a great introduction into the scene. I decided I wanted to make my own mix Cds and it was in late 2005 that I played my first gig at the old Southside Bar for Prehab. Since then things have progressed really well and I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the main room at clubs such as Ministry Of Sound, Pacha and Hidden. Production wise I was given some good advice from some DJ/Producers who said it was really important to start making my own tracks. Slowly but surely things are starting to come together.
It has been a very busy year for you so far. Tell us what you have been up to, and what they can look forward to for the rest of 2011.
You could say the year kicked off with a bang as I played straight after the Thames NYE fireworks display on the Electronicsessions boat party. That was an incredible event to be a part of. Since then I’ve featured at parties such as Planet Angel, Spangulation, and also Trance Sanctuary, which is a new bi-monthly daytime party that I am co-promoting. Upcoming sets include Forward in Leeds, Friendz and the next Trance Sanctuary on the 14th May.
On the production front James Rae and I had released ‘One Hour Journey’ on Total Digital Recordings. Up next is a track titled ‘Boom or Bust’ which has already seen early support from the likes of Mike Koglin and Jon O’Bir and that should be out at the end of May.
What are your influences when in the studio and how are you finding production?
At the moment I’m still experimenting with sounds so my tracks are quite varied. ‘In Between Two’ would be best described as Progressive House, ‘One Hour Journey’ Melodic Trance and ‘Boom or Bust’ Uplifting Trance. My influences vary from artists such as Ali Wilson, who can blend house and Trance styles together brilliantly, to uplifting producers such as Dan Stone and Super 8 & Tab. It can be quite difficult to juggle DJ’ing, Promoting and Producing but with the help and advice from some friends in the industry I’m slowly but surely getting there.
What has been your best gig to date, and what in your mind makes a night special?
Two sets spring to mind. The first was playing after Paul Van Dyk on his UK Tour at the Ewer Street Warehouse. To be on the line up with such a legend of the scene was a huge honor and playing in such a big room was an immense feeling.
Also headlining my first international gig in Canada was a great experience. It took place in a Dome besides the Wasaga Beach in Ontario and there was a great party atmosphere.
So, onto dancevirgin. You are the main room resident at London's newest trance night. How does it feel to have your residency in the DV main room?
I’m delighted to be a resident for Dancevirgin. There are some very good small parties in London but I think we all desperate for a big Trance alternative in the capital on a Friday or Saturday night. The main room at Hidden is one of my favourite places to play and I am sure there will be a great buzz around the place for this new event.
dancevirgin is looking to pioneer a new approach to trance in the London scene, offering main room club appearances to upcoming talents. What are your thoughts on this format, and who has been catching your eye, or ears, recently?
I think new talent is exactly what the trance scene is in need of right now to prevent it from going stale. Mark Eteson and Ben Nicky often play across the globe but it’s rare for them to appear on line ups in London. So Dancevirgin is providing a great opportunity so see some of the best up and coming talent that the scene has to offer at the moment. I know the promotion is also keen to give local talent their chance as well so that bodes well for the many HF DJs.
So what can the DV crowd expect from your first set as resident on April 29th?
I will be warming up the proceedings so I will play a mixture of Progressive House and Trance. There is now an influx of tracks that are being produced between 130-133bpm, which means I’ll have plenty of new tracks to play. I’m also keen to drop a few classics in my set for instance The Ridgewalkers – Find (Andy Moor Remix)
What are your thoughts on the trance scene these days?
I think the Trance scene in the UK is the best that it has been for a while. In recent times Armin Van Buuren and Above & Beyond have sold out their Brixton Academy dates. Digital Society has been going from strength to strength up in the north and now we have got the emergence of some new events in London such as Dancevirgin, Trance Sanctuary and Futurity. I don’t think there has been a massive influx of younger people listening to Trance, I just think it’s down to the dedication of Trance clubbers has helped the scene move forward.
Finally, what is your favourite tune right now? And can we expect to hear it at dancevirgin?
My favourite tracks right now are Russell G - Rush (Ali Wilson Remix) and Ummet Ozcan - Transcend and they will both be ready to play at Dancevirgin.
Thanks Mark. Been great chatting to you. See you down the club on Friday 29th for the launch of your residency at dancevirgin.
Images courtesy of Mark Landragin and the HarderFaster Archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
On Friday 29th April dancevirgin take over the Hidden nightclub in London for our spectacular London Launch Party. Spread across 3 fantastic rooms including a main dance arena complete with state of the art light and sound, a second more intimate dance arena, chilled out bar complete with 2 great lounge areas and a smoking terrace that is the envy of many a London club, Hidden is the ideal space for you to come and lose yourself with dancevirgin to the best electronic music in town!
On the night the Main Arena will play host to a real Trance stomper. Headlining we have a special launch party 4 hour back2back session from Godskitchen worldwide resident Mark Eteson and the rapidly rising trance star Ben Nicky. With 4 consecutive UK Global Gathering appearances, a residency with one of the biggest names in electronic music and a production history that has received acclaim from the likes of Armin Van Buuren and Above & Beyond....Mark is sure to set Dance Virgin on fire. Not to be outdone, Ben has a career that has seen him play to crowds in Russia, USA, Malta, Germany, Tunisia and Ibiza. Representing some of the biggest names in dance music like Godskitchen, Fire It Up, Slinky, Gatecrasher and Wonderland to name just a few. He is a real rising talent in the UK trance scene and he just keeps on getting better. Support comes from someone who's no stranger to the London Trance scene it's the The Viceroy and our resident Mark Landragin will kick off proceedings, to get the party well and truly started.
With the Blue and Red Arenas hosting some of the best local up and coming talent, there's only one party to be at on Friday 29th April!