Last year, trance veterans Above & Beyond chose Bengaluru as the venue for the final live broadcast of their decade–long radio show Trance Around The World. Their previous broadcasts were at Los Angeles, Moscow and Beirut. India is now a preferred destination for the biggest DJs around the world — a milestone that the industry has witnessed of late; considering the fact that all among the top 10 DJs have toured here in the recent past.
This month, Above & Beyond return here with a four-city tour (Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai), from November 21 to 24. In this interview, Paavo Siljamäki — one-third of the trio that also comprises Tony McGuinness and Jono Grant — talks about their shows in the country and the recent EDM boom in India.
Above & Beyond played a big show last year. What are you looking forward to this time?
I am already sensing a lot of excitement. And, this time, it is not just one show; we are playing in three cities. The Indian audience is very open-minded and the experience here is overwhelming.
How do you perceive the growth in EDM concerts of late?
In India, the scene has come together in the last three years. It’s really important to be there when things are born. India is one of the top places on every DJ's mind. There is also a practicality involved here. Because the country has a big population, promoters can compete in numbers. This encourages many artistes to come here. It is great to play to an enormous audience. You can do cool things; the stage production and the amazing sound system are also exciting.
How relevant do you think radio shows are in today’s time?
I think they are more important today than they have ever been. They are not location based and very up to date. They help people discover good music.
What is the current state of trance in the electronica circuit, especially when there are so many genres and sub-genres appearing? What do you feel about the obsession for categorising music?
People like to label things. Trance has undergone many reincarnations, just like house and techno. The need to tag music is quite interesting. But very few artistes go into the studio while telling themselves, 'Tonight I’m going to compose a house track’. It is others who label music but that also helps sometimes I guess.
How has your sound changed in the past couple of years?
The tempos have dropped ever so slightly but we are trying to make it all about the groove. We are working to produce stuff that’s funkier. It’s like we’re getting into a more old trance-like space. I was missing the epic-ness of that sound.