Above & Beyond are consistently hailed as leaders in cutting edge, uplifting trance music. Ranked 6th in DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs for 2007, Above & Beyond's members Jonathan Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki are also the masterminds behind British trance label Anjunabeats. The label recently celebrated its 100th release with "Anjunabeats100," a fitting memoir of the label's essential productions.
The first disc opens with the Coco & Green remix of Cara Dillon vs. 2 Devine's "Black is the Colour" – a superb electro-trance track on the progressive tip, complete with angelic vocals. Super8 & Tab land their "Helsinki Scorchin'" track on this release, notable for its mysterious, indiscernible female vocals. You'll also find Alt+F4's self-titled track here, an uplifting, melodic trance bomb perfect for capturing the summer vibe. The disc not only represents the label's diverse range of producers and remixers but also showcases Above & Beyond's own key productions.
The second disc continues to deliver more captivating music. Personal favorites are the massive "Air For Life" by Above & Beyond and British collaborator Andy Moor. You'll find solace in the soothing trance track, "Amsterdam" by Luminary, which has enjoyed plenty of success since its original release in 2005. OceanLab sees further support with famed Dutch producer Armin van Buuren's remix of "Sky Falls Down." In addition, Ferry Corsten delivers his own stunning remix of "Clear Blue Water." And how can we forget the Seraque mix of Nitromethane's "Time to Die." - Arthur Galestian
Go here for Arthur Galestian's full interview with Above & Beyond.
24/7: Now you guys have traveled quite a bit to get here. Where are you guys originally from?
Tony McGuinness: I'm originally from London... from Kensington. Well Chelsea is the closest place. That's why I support Chelsea football team.
24|7: Right on. What about you?
Jonathan Grant: I'm from the southwest of England, but I now live in London.
24|7: Okay. So how did you guys end up meeting and getting together?
T.M.: We were both... Jono was working with Paavo. Jono and Paavo met when they were at university in London, and they were making music together, and I was doing some music with my brother, and for a number of different reasons we, sort of, crossed paths. And Jono and Paavo did a remix of a track that I was working on with my brother and it sounded much better than the ones that my brother and I were working on and a little bit later on we got asked to do a remix for Warner's—Chakra - "Home"—and I asked Jono and Paavo if they'd help finish it off... well, work on it with me, I should say. So we sorted of started one off; we were doing our own other things at the same time, it went really well, the remix became really popular. And so Above & Beyond kept getting more and more work. So our other things dried up...
24|7: Okay, so why was it Chakra's "Home"? Why that particular track among all the other tracks?
T.M.: It was always my favorite vocal trance track ever and I was working at Warner's at the time and the remixes were sort of being farmed out and I mentioned to the guy that I'd really like to have a go at doing it. And so he said "Okay, have a go 'on spec'" you know... not expecting it to do very well, but it got to number one in the club chart, Pete Tong played it three times, and we got a career out of it [laughs].
24|7: Quite an accomplishment! What about as a child? What were your aspirations as a child? What were you guys into when you were growing up and how did you fall into music?
J.G.: When I was a child, I always wanted to do music. I was into New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode. All that kind of electronic stuff. I think I wanted to stand behind a big rack of keyboards and play in a band at that stage. I didn't really want to become a DJ then, but I knew I wanted to do something in music.
T.M.: I've always been involved in music part-time, it seemed, up until we went full-time in 2001. I'd been in a band called Sad Lovers & Giants for a long, long time while I was still at work, and I used to use most evenings and weekends and holidays to do the rehearsals and recording and touring. So, you know, I've always really loved music. Wanted to play the guitar, wanted to do anything, and I got into dance music at about '95, and I don't play the guitar so much anymore.
J.G.: Thank God!