EPM Music podcast 24 features Bonzai All Stars with a exclusive retro mix, plus a small interview about the duo’s past, present and future projects.
Also this week we saw the digital release of the Bonzai All Stars Ultimate Megamix album hit the digital outlets.
Q&A with Bonzai All Stars
1. Please give us a quick walk through your selection. Why did you choose these tracks for the mix?
The mix is a selection from some of the biggest hits our label has had at the end of the 90’s, unfortunately not all tracks could be put in there.
2. The origins of Bonzai go way back to 1992 when you set the label up in the Blitz Record shop in Belgium. Can you please give us an insight into the dance scene at the time?
The dance scene was totally different with many more clubs and real DJ’s, everyone was supporting everyone because genres weren’t so split up as they are today. It were great days and many people seem to want those days to come back.
3. What was your initial goal for the label? And what have been the biggest hits you have released?
In the beginning there was no real goal, it just all happened and we grow into a huge company resulting in global club hits like Push – Universal Nation, Yves Deruyter – The Rebel, but also tracks that we made big at the time like Da Hool – Meet Her At The Love Parade and Energye 52 – Café Del mar just to name a few.
4. Now nearly twenty years down the line what are your future plans for the label?
About a year ago we’ve decided to finally step away from the struggling trance scene and move forward into house/tech house and techno which is more the music we personally like. Beyond that we’re building out our artist roster and develop further as a digital outlet for labels.
5. Bonzai is revered as THE label that put hard trance on the map. Would you agree?
What’s in a name, once they called it the Bonzai sound, then they called it hard trance, now they call it hard dance, but yes you could say we were pioneers for trance music in general. If you listen to what’s hot in trance today, all the basics were put down by our label end of the 90’s and all these are ideas still come back today.
6. Who are the new Belgium producers that we should be looking out for?
Not necessarily Belgian producers, we got Dennis Franchi and Fab Code who have a lot of talent, but also foreigners such as Zas & Sanze aka Mindgamers, Chantola and others are people to look out for.
7. What would be the dream DJ line-up for the ‘Bonzai All Stars’ to headline?
Potentially with all the stars from our era with all of them doing a set with the sound from those days, names such as Marusha, Westbam, Yves Deruyter, Tiësto, … would be a good start for the ultimate retro line up.
8. Fly and Marnik, as the Bonzai All Stars DJ tag team, how do you approach a set and how do you split it between the pair of you?
The approach is simple, the set has to bring one hit after the other in a seamless powerful mix made by Fly, Marnik on the other hand takes care of the technical side of things + additional live keys and effects on top of the mix.
9. If Bonzai had to be remembered by only one record, what would it be?
That’s a tuff one, we’re going to have to put more than one here, Push – Universal Nation as our biggest hit from our own owned catalogue and from the top licenses back in the 90’s we definitely have to add Energy 52 – Café Del Mar as well. Both tracks are still today timeless trance classics.
10. Please give us your top 5 Belgium clubs (old or new):
1° Extreme, 2° Cherrymoon, 3° La Rocca, 4° Café D’Anvers and 5° FUSE.