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FREq interview: the FREquent Flyer

Author: Blaire Lumsden
Thursday, 10 August 2006
FREq, a.k.a Aran Gallagher, is a name synonymous with the progressive/trance genre. Born in New Zealand, but now based in Melbourne, FREq (a shortened version of his 'DJ Frequence moniker) has been producing music since 1990. Inspired by influences from the early underground house and trance scene, his successful record releases and acclaimed touring performances have cemented his status as one of the top international progressive/trance artists. FREq's latest studio album 'GoSub20' represents "a rich journey into deep, slick and phat progressive music".

Who or what has inspired you musically-
I have had a lot of influences over the last ten years or so… from early 80's house music, break-dance and 90's trance (Platypus, Eye-q etc.), through to Timo Maas and Thomas Penton. More recently, I have been into music from Ticon, Atmos, Frank Beckers and various dudes.

Your music is considered by many to be progressive trance. Is this how you would describe it- If so, what draws you to this particular genre-
Generally, I would describe my style as progressive- branching between the deeper style and the more pumping psy side. This genre lets you appreciate the flow of music while being able to let you shake your ass.

How has your musical style evolves since the release of your debut album 'Alloys'-
Since 'Alloys', I released 'Strange Attractor' on Iboga Records a few years ago. Now my style is based on this fat prog sound, but with some slight funky electro edges. 'Alloys' was my very early release in 1998- it was based on more uplifting trance, quite different to now.

As well as being an electronic engineer, you are also a trained keyboard player. How has this skill contributed to the style of music you currently produce-
Some of the equipment I use I have designed as an engineer at Frostwave., which helps toward my productions. Having trained as a keyboard player has really helped a lot in terms of musical structure and melodies.

Your latest album 'GoSub20', has been described as a natural extension of your previous album 'Strange Attractor'. What were your personal objectives when producing the album- Did you draw on any outside influences-
'GoSub20' is really about the next step. I wanted to keep this album in the same genre boundaries as 'Strange Attractor', but also bring out a more funky, slick edge.

How does your work under the FREq moniker differ from your collaborative productions, such as Nyquist- Is it important for you to have different outlets to explore other styles-
Sure. If you appreciate different forms of music, it's important to have different outlets for them. FREq is my alias for the more trance-inspired productions, while Nyquist is a collaborative project for a deeper sound. I also have a project entitled SimpleHarmonicMotion for my chill releases.

You were born in New Zealand, but are currently based in Melbourne. What factors motivated you to make the move to Australia-
Moving to Australia was about expanding by horizons as a producer- and it's happened even more than I ever thought!

You have performed live and DJ sets at a number of high profile events right around the globe. Any particular highlights-
Sure, many highlights- Universo Parallelo on the Northern beaches of Brazil last New Year, Voov and Fusion in Germany, and this party in the Spring Alps also springs to mind.

How does your preparation vary in terms of whether your performing live or doing a DJ set-
Usually there is very little prep for a DJ set, except to organise your tracks and keep up with the latest released and un-released tunes. A live set involves layering tracks, samples and triggers depending on the gig. It usually takes a few days to prepare.

What can we expect you to deliver at Earthcore in November-
Fat prog beats from deep to epic, both live and DJ… the latest and greatest from Scandinavia to Australia.

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