Is there a tendency to think trance is cheesy, cheap or obvious, do you think?
Most certainly. 20 years of godawful music made under that banner has tainted the term almost beyond redemption. When I was asked to do a mix for the White Light series last year I told them I wanted to do a trance mix to reclaim that word. I think they were initially a little worried about what I would submit as the term has such negative connotations and instantly evokes a certain sound in people’s minds.
Do you get a sense it’s coming back at all or do you think it’s always been there?
I think it’s always been there hiding in plain sight and not shouting from the rooftops, ‘I’m a trance track’. Lots of big dance hits of the last few years have been trance in disguise. A lot of what Todd Terje or Lindstrøm produced, for example. One of the biggest tracks I played in the last year was RRose’s ‘Waterfall’ – I’d call that trance. They may hate me for saying it, but I’d call a lot of Daniel Avery, Levon Vincent, Silent Servant and some of Omar-S’s tracks trance. Oni Ayhun’s OAR003 B is a track almost everyone loves – 100% pure trance. It all comes down to one’s personal definition of what it is. Maybe ‘hypno’ is a better term?
They may hate me for saying it, but I'd call a lot of Daniel Avery, Levon Vincent, Silent Servant and some of Omar-S's tracks trance.
Would you be up for a revival?
I’m generally not up for reviving anything. I’ll happily revisit, rediscover or even discover for the first time music from the past but revivals generally hit a brick wall fairly quickly. Seeking inspiration from and doing something new with it is a different matter. The recent James Holden album is perhaps my favourite record of 2013 and to me is pure trance, but it is a zillion light years away from most people’s definition of that and most certainly isn’t reviving anything. I certainly don’t want a revival of early 90s big room, euphoric trance or some horrible hybrid such as say trap-trance. If anything like that becomes the next in thing you can be sure I’ll be running as fast as I can in the opposite direction, but in the meantime I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop playing some records that are my definition of trance.
Do you often drop trance in clubs? What are the reactions like?
Sure. All the time. But I’m fairly certain nobody’s thinking, “He’s playing a trance track…”