A year ago, nearly every music website and magazine was publishing trend pieces tracking the explosion of electronic dance music in America. Fast-forward to the present, and nearly every general interest magazine and website is publishing similar stories, with the added clarity of hindsight.
But for Above & Beyond, a trance DJ and production trio known for melodic compositions and a deeply personal connection with their fans, none of this is news. Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki have been creating dance music for over a decade, releasing three studio albums, two remix albums and countless compilations and singles along the way. The cumulative affect: a devoted following that numbers in the millions.
Festival-goers and office-earbud ravers alike are familiar with the group, whose Trance Around the World radio show draws tens of millions of listeners each week. The trio is coming to New York this Labor Day weekend for two sets at Electric Zoo, where they'll headline both their own Group Therapy Stage (following acts like Mat Zo and Ferry Corsten) on Friday and the main stage on Saturday.
HuffPost Entertainment caught up with Grant and Siljamäki in two separate interviews that have been edited together below. Among the topics: how EDM can get smart again (Grant says it has been "dumbed down"), why trance doesn't suffer from the same problems as pop house and dubstep and whether pop DJs' days are numbered.
In what ways have you seen your fan base grow over the past few years? Do you feel as though trance -- which is in some ways the world's most popular genre of music -- is growing at the same pace as, say, pop house?
Paavo Siljamäki (PS): Pop house and dub house have taken the place of hip-hop in the charts in the past couple of years, and they've just had this incredible explosion -- particularly dubstep, but also pop house. And trance has gone through this gradual, really long term slow but steady growth. I don't think we've necessarily broken into the commercial charts and stuff. We feel like it's a very nice thing, things are gradually getting better but we don't have to compete for chart success as such. It's a much freer place for us to be as musicians. How much bigger can pop house and dubstep necessarily get? Trance is still growing around the world.
What's happened with the internet is that people have a much more direct connection with the music and the producers, so a genre-based grouping is [archaic]. I know a lot of people who are into artists who aren't in the same genre, because people have access to the music they really love. So they jump between genres, which is great, because it lets us feel a bit freer.
But are there downsides? What's the biggest challenge you've been facing as of late?
Jono Grant (JG): As you get bigger and as you're selling out shows, there are people coming to your shows and demanding hits. We try to balance that a lot, because I think it's important that you don't just become a jukebox. There's a lot of temptation, as you get bigger and there's more money on the table, there's a lot of temptation for artists to chase after that and dilute what you're doing. I'm proud that we're not doing that, because I see a lot of people drifting off and not knowing where they're going.
In that realm, do you feel any differences in the reception around the states? At, say, Electric Zoo in New York versus EDC in Vegas?
PS: It used be for us that the west coast were where things seemed like they were ahead of the curve. But as times progress, that difference has been getting less and less. EDC in Vegas and EZoo in New York even draw a lot of people from around the country and even the world. The whole clubbing scene in New York has such a long history and versus more of the rave side of things, so there's less of a difference now.
JG: If you drive through the strip in Vegas and you look up on on the screens and you see the number of DJs playing, how long can that be sustained? And when people are playing the same records, how can people choose between DJs? That's what I'm questioning, particularly in Vegas, because it has the potential to be an amazing dance music scene, but when a lot of people go there, they dumb down what they do and stick to the hits, which is kind of sad. If you're an artist, you got to where you are because of what you're doing. You'd be best off not just playing a gig if you have to severely change what you're doing.
The main thing is that people will want something more, and they'll move on to some new things. Personally, I'm very optimistic about dance music because I think it will get smart again. It's been dumbed down a little bit over the past year, but we try to operate around that and focus on what we're doing.
I spoke with Pasquale Rotella [founder and CEO of Insomniac, which puts on large-scale raves such as Electric Daisy Carnival] about how he is growing wary of having celebrity DJs at his events because it causes everyone to stand there with a cell phone instead of dancing around and making friends. That's a slight oversimplification, but what do you make of that point?
JG: Forgetting our gigs for the moment, if we strip that back to not booking big artists and that means not people that are popular. And the reality is that people going to these shows are going to see music that they like and people that they know. Presumably people that are booked are booked because they made their career and have recognition.
Ultimately if people are going to pay for a ticket, they're going to want to know what they're getting. Pasquale's point is that it's about the production and the fairground rides and all of the experience, but from our perspective, they want to come and see us and hear our music. They've lived with our music and they want to come see us play it out at festivals. They want to be part of that experience.
You get some festivals that could potentially sell out on the basis of the name of the festival (EDC, Ezoo, Creamfields etc.). But the fans are going to wise up. So then next year if they do the same thing and the lineup was poor or its a lot of artists that people don't know, they're not going to buy the tickets the second time. So it's a bit of a poor economy. But I think [Rotella] is going a bit further, which is to say he'd like to put on a festival with no-name DJs. And that's going to be tricky to do, because there's a great entry point for another promoter to come in and say, "Well, we'll book all the big name DJs."
But to answer your point, hopefully the difference with our show is that the inclusive aspect -- we try to make it about the whole experience, which is essentially what Pasquale wants at his events. Personally, I don't see the attraction in feeling like a god-like figure on stage and getting the crowd to worship us. The real emotion and power comes from shared experiences.
There's another point, which he and others have raised with me, which is that there's this notion of people standing around now and filming on their cell phones instead of meeting people and enjoying the music. Is that something you're conscious of?
JG: There's a certain amount of frustration when you want people to just listen to the music and absorb what's going on and they end up filming. But I don't think you can find that. They've paid the money to come into the event, if they want to film let them film on their camera. It's a shame in a way when some people don't let go and let themselves lose themselves in the environment and music. I'm sure many DJs feel that way.
On the other hand, that's the exact same mentality that's created this huge dance scene, the idea of staring at the DJs, because festival promoters around the world want to book big name talent because it's those same people who are very excited and passionate about coming and seeing the artists. So I don't think you can criticize those people if that's what they want to do, but if I had my way, would I rather have people just kind of dance and lost themselves more? Absolutely, definitely.
PS: Five to ten years ago, people might have gone to a club night and we might have been playing. But now it's like we do shows with a plan and people come with an anticipation, enthusiasm and expectation like they're going to see a band. I think it's going much more toward that sort of thing. But ultimately the best things that we do at shows all come from accidents, or things that we take along and keep doing. If you really tried to come up with this stuff you might not, but if you have a bit of fun you can find some great ideas.
Of course putting on amazingly intricate events must be rewarding, but do you ever wish you could just show up and hit play in a stripped down place? With, perhaps, just some CDJs on a folding table?
PS: I suppose that's like the pool parties that way we do, there's always opportunity for really doing it and a lot of people still have a great time and enjoy the music together. My personal interest is in the theatrical part of it. My background is in theater and I'm really into the idea of giving people an experience they'll talk about a week after going to the show.
JG: Sometimes I definitely enjoy club gigs where it's all about the music, and we are doing less of those these days. If you think about the level of focus in a small gig, they're almost 100 percent your fans these days. There's maybe 20 percent or less in a small club who don't really know who you are. But if you're at a big festival and you have big production, you're probably playing to 50 percent, if you're lucky, to your core fans. The rest have drifted in from other tents and stuff, so it's a real opportunity to give them something special and get them to understand what you're doing. I think production is very important and we do so much. That visuals are the most obvious thing, but the lighting is more important. I say it goes in the order of sound, lights then visuals in order of importance.
With shows like Electric Zoo coming up, Is there something different about headlining a festival that ends relatively early, or is that not a factor?
PS: There's a thing where you can do a show too late -- sometimes even before you get on, if it's 4 or 5 am you can tell that people are starting to get tired. If I could pick, I would always do earlier. The type of thing we do requires knowledge. But some of our best gigs have been at 4 am and some have been at 2 in the afternoon. It's kind of a different thing but I like parties in the dark.
JG: Within reason it's pretty much the same. If you get a sunrise or sunset set, I would say, they're quite different. Those are the two key points where you have to think about what you're playing at that time, so that affects what you're going to play. But whether it's day or night, we generally play the same.
But did you read that thing about Hyde Park where they cut off Paul McCartney and Springsteen? There comes a point where you have to just -- it's great to be rock and roll and say you're going to carry on playing, but at the end of the day, if someone has to come and take you off stage, you don't know what's going to happen. You could get arrested in some countries. But it is really nice when the audience knows why you get stopped, because there are situations where they don't know why you had to wind down or not play an encore, and sometimes it's because there's a policeman standing at the side of the stage.
Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford "Sun & Moon" (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
itunes.apple.com Facebook.com Director: Ferry Gouw Inspired by a song that combines bittersweet lyrics with uplifting electronic melodies, the video for Above & Beyond's 'Sun & Moon' focuses on the pain and release of a couple's break-up; showing that relationships live on forever in the memory. With the video drawing its aesthetic cues from the legendary Northern Soul era, the lead male is seen re-living the relationship and the final breakdown through a series of emotive flash back scenes and some lonesome, drink and music fuelled longing. Just as 'Sun & Moon' finds its release through its emphatic, riff-based breakdown, the lead recognises the song and finds his own peace of mind the only way he knows - by dancing. Through a set of skilfully twisted and visually arresting dance moves straight out of the Northern soul era - where sad love songs like 'Sun & Moon' fuelled a generation of late night dancers lost in lyrics. In doing so, he finds his freedom... in the moment. Receiving BBC Radio 1 support from Pete Tong, Scott Mills and Cosmic Gate (Essential Mix), Above & Beyond's 'Sun & Moon' (feat. Richard Bedford) is out on 21st March. Website: www.aboveandbeyond.nu Tour Dates www.abwall.com Facebook www.facebook.com Youtube: www.youtube.com Twitter: www.twitter.com Google+: bit.ly TATW Podcast: bitly.com iTunes: www.itunes.com Anjunastore: www.anjunastore.com Spotify: spoti.fi Mixcloud: www.mixcloud.com Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com
Above and Beyond - Alone Tonight
Above & Beyond - Alone Tonight set to space and surfing videos (Surfing videos taken from Step into Liquid). You may add: &fmt=18 to the end of the url for super high quality video/audio. This was my first attempt at video editing. If you enjoy it, feel free to rate it-thanks!
Above & Beyond - Home
Above & Beyond - Home ( Planet Earth Special Video Edit ) Here I come to find myself, catch the tide Looking for a peace at the end of the line. Sometimes I can't help myself, fever's high I'm all at sea and so unwise. I'm so afraid I'll lose your love as times goes by But courage is a fire and a beacon so bright. The sunset built a memory, our love sign And all at sea we come alive. Will I wash away, turning like a stone? I need a place where I belong, Call a setting sun, to throw me down a rope And take me to a place called home. I close my eyes, I know you're there, love of mine Standing on the shore in a world I design. The sunset fires a lonely flare into the sky And all at sea we say good bye. Will I wash away, turning like a stone? I need a place where I belong. Call a setting sun, to throw me down a rope And take me to a place called home. Looking for a place called home. Music: Above & Beyond - Home ( Above & Beyond Club Mix ) Link: rapidshare.de Images from: Discovery Channel Video Edit: Guuu :: myspace.com/guuubr
Above and Beyond - Hope
Above & Beyond - No One On Earth(Gabriel & Dresden Club Mix)
This version from their album "Anjunabeats 100".....Listen and Enjoy!!!!
Above & Beyond: Small Moments Like These
A short film about the year we've all had. Download this track for free.. on.fb.me Over the last 12 months, Above & Beyond have taken the sound and ethos behind their critically acclaimed "Group Therapy" album ("artist album of the year ****" Mixmag) across the globe. From an intimate gig in a London pub to two sold out dates at Brixton Academy, from a landmark 400th radio show broadcast from Beirut to a sunrise set at Creamfields Argentina, and an epic 30-date North American tour, these are some of the moments that have made up their most memorable year to date. The video features a brand new piece of music from Above & Beyond. As a thank you to all the fans who have joined them on their tour, Jono, Tony and Paavo have made the track available as a free download from www.facebook.com Website: www.aboveandbeyond.nu Tour Dates www.aboveandbeyond.nu Facebook: www.facebook.com Youtube: www.youtube.com Twitter: www.twitter.com Google+: bit.ly TATW Podcast: bitly.com iTunes: www.itunes.com Anjunastore: www.anjunastore.com Spotify: spoti.fi Mixcloud: www.mixcloud.com Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com
Above and Beyond - World On Fire (Original Mix)
I couldn't find the album version of the song,only mixes so i made one myself...only for listening...hope u enjoy PS: i didn't make the mix...its the album version:P
Above & Beyond TATW400, Beirut - Official Film
Listen to TATW400 podcasts here: www.bit.ly LIKE A&B on Facebook: on.fb.me NOTE: For various subtitled language options, please click the "CC" button. More languages being added very soon. On Saturday 26th November, Above & Beyond broadcast the landmark 400th episode of their Trance Around The World radio show with a special eight-hour event in the jewel of the Middle East - Beirut, Lebanon. Capturing the sights and sounds of the city, this special episode of A&B TV shines a light on the positive effects of electronic music on the city's youth - and the role it plays in helping to unifying them. Casting aside the shadows of the city's war-torn past, this thought-provoking episode presents the positivity and vitality of modern Beirut - ending on the epic release of the TATW400 show itself. Thanks to Antoine Sawma and Nour Barrage for their time and interviews. Tracklist: Andrew Bayer "Monolith" Dusky "Stick By This" Dusky feat. Soloman "Running" Andrew Bayer "Nexus 6" Ost & Meyer "Scarlet Heaven" (Dan Stone Remix) Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford "On My Way To Heaven" (Above & Beyond Club Mix) Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford "Sun & Moon"
Above & Beyond - Prelude (HQ)
My favourite track from their new album, Grouph Therapy. Watch in HD:) NOTE: I do not claim to have any sort of owner ship of this song, I am simply promoting it. I would also like to make it clear that if any party(s) involed in the production, release or sale of this track have any problem with this video, please do not contact youtube but contact me instead and the video will be removed immediately.
Above & Beyond Feat Zoe Johnston - Alchemy
* I DON'T ANY FOOTAGE OR MUSIC. Fan made. *I compiled this and did not shoot it myself. Sources: vimeo.com Music: Above & Beyond-Alchemy
Above And Beyond - A Thing Called Love (Club Mix)
Above And Beyond feat. Richard Bedford - A Thing Called Love ( Club Mix) - Anjunabeats Vol. 8 Edit - If You like buy it on itunes.apple.com All rights belong to Above & Beyond and Anjunabeats
Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab - Breaking Ties
BUY THIS ALBUM! Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab: Sirens Of The Sea  01. Just Listen 02. Sirens Of The Sea 03. If I Could Fly 04. Breaking Ties 05. Miracle 06. Come Home 07. On A Good Day 08. Ashes 09. I Am What I Am 10. Lonely Girl 11. Secret 12. On The Beach 13. Breaking Ties (Flow mix) Order this album at www.anjunabeats.com! Label: Anjunabeats 2008
Above & Beyond - You Got To Go (Seven Lions Dubstep Remix)
Best!!!! Purchase: itunes.apple.com www.beatport.com Seven Lions: soundcloud.com www.facebook.com Above & Beyond: www.aboveandbeyond.nu www.facebook.com Picture: www.sendspace.com
Above and Beyond pres. Oceanlab - Come Home + If i Could Fly
Enjoy, ill upload something more cheerful next time =P
Above & Beyond feat. Zoe Johnston - Love Is Not Enough HD
I DO NOT OWN THIS THIS IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
[HD] Above & Beyond - Good For Me
Above and Beyond - Only a Few Things
=)) Feel free to give your feedback/ comments so many reasons to live ;) Be sure to check out Devin Graham - www.youtube.com Music by Above and Beyond
Above & Beyond - Good For Me (original mix)
Above & Beyond - Good For Me (original mix)
Above & Beyond - No One on Earth (Original Mix)
mp3 file: rapidshare.com This is the original version of 'No One on Earth' by Above & Beyond, released in 2004 on the AnjunaBeats Label and featuring the angelic vocals of Zoe Johnston. (If it's playing in low quality then type &fmt=18 after the url in the address bar for high quality) The picture is a repeated 30-second CG animation created by Piotr Podermanski. nothing to do with the song, i just thought it'd be more interesting than a picture :)
Above and Beyond - Good For Me (Club Remix by A&B)
The club remix made by Above & Beyond for the great track Good For Me by A&B.
Above & Beyond - Oceanic
Above & Beyond Present Tranquility Base, and awesome underground trance wonder. Check out our YouTube page for more great hits!
Above and Beyond - Only a Few Things
join our page facebook.com
Above & Beyond - Sun In Your Eyes
Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford "Thing Called Love" Official Music Video
Group Therapy: bit.ly Group Therapy Collector's Book:bit.ly Like A&B:on.fb.me Single: bit.ly US & Canada: bit.ly D&B/Dubstep Remixes: bit.ly Preview other mixes of 'Thing Called Love': anjunabeats.com "There's a thing called love, that we all forget And it's a wasted love, that we all regret You live your life just once So don't forget about a thing called love" Drawing on the song's poignant lyrics about unspoken love, the official music video for 'Thing Called Love' is all about those 'Sliding Doors' moments when love slips through the grasps of those chasing it. A tale of frustrated pursuit, the action follows a young man desperately racing to meet the object of his affections in a lively rock gig -- where he is met with Above & Beyond performing a subtle cameo as the band. Reaching that moment of truth when all he has to do is find the girl and tell her how he feels, the lead male finds himself repeatedly frustrated as his efforts are thwarted -- first by the swaying crowds and ultimately by a gang of thugs who eject him from the building. Like Above & Beyond'srecent crossover smash 'Sun & Moon', the office music video for 'Thing Called Love' is again directed by the talented Ferry Gouw - whose previous credits involve working with Major Lazer, Late Of The Pier and Mystery Jets. Above & Beyond 'Thing Called Love' is available now as a CD single that includes the Extended Radio Mix, Above & Beyond's 2011 Club Mix and the Extended Album Mix, as well as remixes <b>...</b>
Above & Beyond feat. Zoë Johnston - Love Is Not Enough (Kaskade Remix)
iTunes: bit.ly Beatport: bit.ly iTunes: bit.ly Beatport: bit.ly Full Buy Links: bit.ly CD: bit.ly Group Therapy UK Tour: on.fb.me LIKE A&B on Facebook: on.fb.me ""Love Is Not Enough" is a song from the heart about the challenges in a relationship that can arise outside of a core feeling of love for someone. Love is not enough to be with someone - a relationship needs to "work" day to day." Jono Grant, Above & Beyond A poignant tale of a deep love that wasn't quite to be, Above & Beyond's "Love Is Not Enough" ( feat. Zoë Johnston ) is the the latest single from the widely acclaimed album "Group Therapy" - last year described by Mixmag as "artist album of the year". An elegant, melodic progressive builder with stirring strings and poignant vocals from Zoë Johnston , "Love Is Not Enough" perfectly captures the bittersweet beauty of intense, but ultimately unsuccessful relationships. Adding a stadium-sized energy to the track, the huge, groove-fuelled Above & Beyond Club Mix is also included in all its riff-driven glory - and has been receiving huge responses on the trio's recent North America tour. Maor Levi & Bluestone add their own big room trance 2.0 twist on things, US house heavyweight Kaskade contributes an uplifting house remix, while the prolific prodigy Mat Zo contributing a future funk drum & bass remix under his MRZO guise. An ethereal bass interperation from Synkro completes the package. Website: www.aboveandbeyond.nu Tour Dates www.abwall.com Facebook www <b>...</b>
Above & Beyond - Liquid Love
* All rights reserved to this song by the artist and aboveandbeyondtv * If there is a problem with this track being up here, please contact me and I'll have it removed ASAP. * My objective is allow the world to hear great music that might not have heard otherwise Above & Beyond - Liquid Love Lyrics ------------------------------------ I wait for you my love I ache for you my love Call this a liquid love Rain down on me (You should have come over) Your love slips through my hands These streets like sinking sand Drowning in liquid love Rain down on me I call out your name (You should have come over) Your love is chasing through my veins (You should have come over) Such a foolish game (You should have come over) Your love's no good for me - good for me But it makes me happy (Makes me happy) I wait for you my love I ache for you my love Call this a liquid love Rain down on me I call out your name (You should have come over) Your love is chasing through my veins (You should have come over) Such a foolish game (You should have come over) Your love's no good for me - good for me But it makes me happy (Makes me happy)
[HD] Above & Beyond - Anjunabeach (Original Mix)
Above & Beyond - Anjunabeach (Original Mix) Mixed in Trance Around The World 282 with Above & Beyond Learn more about Above & Beyond and their radio show Trance Around The World at www.anjunabeats.com
Also on HuffPost: