Interview: Lange

Ranking at #31 in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll last year, Lange has quickly become one of the most influential dance artists of our time. As a trailblazer in the trance genre, the UK DJ-producer has worked with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Ferry Corsten and Andy Moor as well as dished out slamming sets at major gigs from Godskitchen to Gatecrasher. Lange continuously reinvents himself, embracing a variety of genres in the process, and the release of his new album Harmonic Motion will see this industry leader further dominating parties and festivals with his stimulating soundscapes. We find out what makes the DJ tick in this JUICE exclusive.

2010 has been quite a busy year for UK DJ/producer Lange and we’re only just past the half-year mark. Besides doing his usual summer rounds hitting up festivals and big parties like Tomorrowland in Belgium and Cream at Amnesia in Ibiza, the prolific EDM artist also found time to release his Intercity: Spring 2010 mix compilation-a spinoff from his radio show Intercity-joining the list of DJs who have resorted to starting their own radio shows to stay connected with their fans from all over the world. “A radio show is a very useful tool,” says Lange. “I enjoy doing it because it’s a great way to reach out to those who can’t come out to the clubs and for those who live in regions we haven’t ventured into yet.”

Of late, many have argued that trance has hit a stagnant point where there isn’t much evolution in its sound. Lange agrees and disagrees, “Trance has sort of lost its identity of late, and I think trance is the people rather than the music itself because the music has evolved into taking the best parts of other things. So you have some trance artist who will make a complete electro-style track or be adding techno bits and still calling it trance. But most of the time there are trance elements, nice melodies and uplifting tones.”

Just when we thought that the trance music scene was going through a meltdown, an album arrives that could very well leave music critics in awe. Following the release of his debut album Better Late Than Never in 2007 is Lange’s sophomore Harmonic Motion. While Lange’s debut showcased his musical creativity with experimental sounds, Harmonic Motion displays his maturity and conviction in his music productions.

To pigeonhole Harmonic Motion as trance would be to do the album an injustice. It is, of course, still a trance-based effort but Lange exhibits an incredible ability to break genre boundaries without losing his trademark touch. “The 2nd album kind of follows in the footsteps of my 1st album as not being a release full of just dance tracks,” he explains. “I’ve included a couple of quirky things in there and it’s probably more club-oriented than the 1st one, but I also think Better Late Than Never had more unusual sounds compared to this new one.”

The album features powerful vocals by Emma Hewitt on the hit single ‘Live Forever’; Sarah Howells on ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Let It All Out’; Betsie Larkin on ‘All Around Me’, Hall of Mirrors on ‘Angel’, Alexander Klaus on ‘Strong Believer’ and Sarah Ozelle on ‘Clouds Across The Sun’. Looking for vocalists to complement your tracks isn’t always an easy task, but sometimes fate lends a hand and that was the case with Sarah Howells. It’s safe to say that Lange is the one responsible for introducing the sultry singer into the dance world. It all began when Lange rented a studio that was meant for bands and not so much for electronic dance music producers while he was briefly living in Cardiff, Wales. “I literally asked the receptionist if she knew any good vocalists and then I was introduced to Sarah,” he reveals. “She does come from a totally different world but is no doubt one amazing vocalist. I introduced her to the trance scene but at the moment, she’s on the verge of getting a deal as an indie artist. That just proves how good she is.”

Lange certainly likes to do things a bit differently, attesting to his uniqueness from the rest of the herd. While most producers churn out the melodies and beats before implementing the lyrics, Lange likes to do it the other way around. “For some reason, I prefer to take the vocals and use it as inspiration to make the music based on that,” he explicates. While the vocal tracks do give us good goose bumps, the other half of the album that features instrumental tunes is guaranteed to send chills up anyone’s spine. One of those spine-chillers is the ever epic ‘How Long’, a beautifully crafted creation that could appropriately soundtrack movie sagas directed by Steven Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick.

Lange’s debut might have been Better Late Than Never but Harmonic Motion is the long overdue, iconic trance explosion waiting to happen.

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