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Darude: 'No-one Can Tell If You're Mixing CDs Instead of Vinyl.'

Author: Skrufff
Friday, 7 September 2001
Darude are Finnish duo Jaako Salouaara (aka JS-16) and Ville Virtanen and together, they've recently established themselves as Finland's biggest pop stars. While producer guru Jaako stays out of the limelight, 24 year old Ville fronts the band, whether as a performer or for press. Their breakthrough single Sandstorm, a trance anthem of instant accessibility, swept Europe's charts last year, after Neo boss Eddie Gordon (also Pete Tong's mainman) discovered it as an unknown MP3. Their follow up 'Feel The Beat' next went top 5 in the UK, setting up a happy plot for their debut album Before The Storm, which is out on September 17th in the UK (Strictly Rhythm handle its US release).

"I prefer mixing CDs since my life now revolves around them, my keyboard, and my sequencer,' says Vile Virtanen, one half of Finland's biggest pop/trance act Darude. "I don't need vinyl and I don't want to carry it around with me. It's heavy and impractical for what I'm doing right now." What's he's doing right now is carrying out promotion for their debut album Before The Storm and this week, Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro met up with him in London, as he passed through on the way to the States.

Skrufff: 'Out Of Control' is already out in Europe, how pleased are you with the reaction-

Darude: "Quite pleased. It's double platinum in Finland and has done really well in Scandinavia and Germany. I believe it is doing well in other European countries too, although I'm not really that concerned with numbers. It's just about to be released in the UK, which makes me slightly nervous, but the work has been done, we've made a few changes, and now we'll see what happens.."

Skrufff: What do you think of the UK club scene-

Darude: "There's not much difference to the Finnish club scene, to be honest. In my opinion, other Europeans party just as hard as the British. The British may be more knowledgeable about the music, but you'll find small pockets of European fans that react to it, in just the same way. The big difference is that England, or London rather, is the Mecca for music in general and in a way, if you are successful here, chances are that all the other markets will follow. I think the big difference in audiences can be found if you cross the Atlantic. Americans don't follow what happens here in Europe; they're into deeper house, hip-hop, country… They're not better nor worse, just different."

Skrufff: You teamed up with Jaako Salouaara (JS16) to develop what your biog describes as 'the unique Darude sound', what is it essentially-

Darude: "It is basically a very kicking sound. I like the beat of my drums, they're kicking and rolling, and they go fast. I also like simple and catchy melodies, hooks, and interesting sounds. Variation to me is also important."

Skrufff: Did the success of 'Sandstorm' take you by surprise-
Darude: "Definitely. My biggest dream has always been to hear my track in a club and see people dancing to it. Already that happened when I released my first record. It was discovered in the UK from an MP3 file I sent out. I had been doing that for nearly two years before I was 'discovered', just to receive feedback on what I was doing. I've always had very good comments in return, and that's what has kept me going."

Skrufff: 4 years ago there was a lot of interest from the major labels towards JS16, how much interest do you have in teaming up with them-

Darude: "None at all. In a small label environment things happen faster, I mean, you can have a word with the boss anytime you need to, without having to climb so many steps to get there, so to speak."

Skrufff: You're on of the few DJs working in big clubs who only mixes CDs, can you also mix on vinyl-
Darude: "I can mix vinyl a bit, I'm usually not as good though. I prefer mixing CDs since my life now revolves around them, my keyboard, and my sequencer. I don't need vinyl and I don't want to carry it around with me. It's heavy and imp
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