Only Armin Van Buuren
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Emerging once again as a popular genre after reports from WMC it was 'the sound', outside of the Paul Van Dyk movement, it's impossible to think that the trance scene has a longer-serving name than Armin Van Buuren. He's been attached to just about everything in recent years, has a DVD of a mega-show he calls a "concert", and is currently sitting as the world's number-two DJ. 'Busy' is one word. As we speak to Van Buuren, he's doing the promotional duties for his latest record.
"Believe it or not i'm signing 500 copies of my new CD at the moment. It's quarter past eight in the morning. I woke up especially for you."
After some small talk and lack of confirmation on a secret gig that might be on the cards during the Sydney leg, TranZfusion decides to get the proverbial hands dirty.
In an industry that is prolific for producing one-hit wonders, only a handful of artists can say they've truly 'made it'. What started out as just something to get by while finishing school became a lifestyle choice for Van Buuren, a Law school graduate. The realisation that he's made a career out of a hobby is only starting to sink in for the world's number-two.
"I think I just realised," Van Buuren jokes. "I finished my Law degree, so I always saw it as, you know, 'I'm gonna DJ for a couple of years and then I'm gonna jump into a suit and work for a law firm'.
"Then all of a sudden, seven years later I'm sitting here talking to you. It's crazy, man. Seriously, it's the best job in the world."
While it's easy to assume that Van Buuren is at the helm of a career that rose to fame through a little record entitled Blue Fear, having a family immersed in a range of musical influences - his father loved everything from Punk to Electronica and his brother is a prodigious drummer - helped him understand what a good record needed. He explains.
"Well, you know, the way I've always been thinking is [that] if you think in styles, you limit yourself to that style. Good music is simply good music. It doesn't matter what label's on it...
"I know it sounds very philosophical, but that's the way I see things. I think, at the end of the day, we all love a good Coldplay album, or we love to listen to dance music...most of us love good classical music...it has a lot to do with timing more than our tastes.
"We all love certain music. A good record is a good record."
One thing Van Buuren is also certain about is that his new album '10 Years' is anything but a 'Best Of...' album. In a time that sees artists like Princess Superstar gracing the "acclaimed" compilation status (after releasing one pseudo-successful track), it's important that producers such as the Dutch native aren't tainted by moment-music hits. Van Buuren is quick to distance himself from the 'Best Of...' title.
"It's not really a 'Best Of...' I can understand why people say that, but if it was, I would have put tracks like Control Freak on it. It's more about tying up loose ends. I have so many tracks that were previously unreleased or special remixes...it's a sort of celebration and also it's a way to put that stuff behind me now.
"I had so many tracks that I said to management I wasn't going to put those records out. we had 22 tracks that were just lying on the shelf...so as a sort of 'in-between' album, we decided to release 10 Years and it's doing really well."
One thing consistent to the evolution of such a producer/DJ is that there's never a slow time, with 'AvB' also releasing a new 'State Of Trance' compilation. This time, however, he's focused on providing not only the listener with a different facet of his abilities, but also providing himself with a challenge that ensures he remains fresh.
"It's become a concept CD now. I basically chose two concepts to make it< Tags