Recent posts: Airwave
What do you get when two legends join forces in the studio? The answer is some of the best progressive sounds ever. That is what’s happening here, Phi Phi aka Philippe Toutlemonde and Airwave aka Laurent Veronnez combine their skills to deliver a solid progressive house stomper with “Back On Track” that comes backed up with a slew of quality remixes. Phi Phi has been a huge presence on the trance and progressive scene for a very long time (he celebrated his 50th birthday not too long ago). He was integral in the defining of the uplifting/vocal trance genres in the early nineties, a sound which carries through to this day. Still DJing consistently and now back in production we are sure to see lot more from this guy, no doubt. Another artist with legendary status is Airwave, Laurent has garnered this status over the last 17 years as he relentlessly poured out hit after hit through Bonzai. His work ethic is second to none and when he performs his live sets he dispatches his own unique style with great professionalism. Great to see these two guys get in the studio together with the hope of much more to come.
The Original Mix is a true progressive driven track, the intro sets up the scene beautifully with percussions slowly building up the rhythm and then settling in with a snappy kick. The attention to detail is astonishing with a multitude of FX going off adding great texture to the sound. The bass comes in and the track sets off through the wonderful world of progressive house. On the break a myriad of melodic sequences will keep the ear trained and send you back for more. One truly awesome ride and a sure fire hit with many!
Progressive guru Moshic is our first remix artist, this guy really needs no introduction as he is synonymous within the prog world for his outstanding quality. Moshic has appeared on many Bonzai compilations and has remixed quite a few Bonzai artists also. With a new track coming out very soon we get another taste of this guys talents on the remix. The subtle intro lulls you into a sublime groove made up of sharp hats, top notch percussions and FX with a surreal pad in the background. We are set on a hypnotic ride as the track continues to build layer upon layer before we are confronted with a massive wall of sound filled with superb bass and wonderful melodies. A masterclass and definitely one for any DJ box.
Rise and Fall return to BP after their well received debut “Imagination”. Solid kicks and swirly pads provide the intro before the well crafted percussion elements filter through. The bass drops like a bomb on this as it reverberates through the speakers with dramatic effect. Clever FX and lots of sub plots evolve from this and on the break melodies shine through adding a very cool contrast to the overall sound. A monster hypnotic, progressive cut and a must have on those playlists.
Australian producer Audio Noir is next up to the remix desk with his Drop Mix and we are really in for something special on this. This guy has been churning out some outstanding work recently, in particular his last BP release entitled “Floorlicker”. The epic intro is made up of a mixture of FX and brilliant percussion which gives a tribal feel and is built upon with many other sounds that take us up to the main event when the chunky kicks come into play. Subtle melodies offer a lot of diversity within the sound as the much more raw basses do their work. One hell of a ride with superb rhythms and one to watch.
Audio Noir also provides us with his Zen Mix, a stunning slice of chilled out vibes perfect for a set intro or for just chilling after a long day.
Moshic, one of the best progressive house artists in the world debuts on Bonzai with “False Emotion” which comes backed up with three top notch remixes. Israeli born Moshic is synonymous with dark, progressive, tribalistic and ethnic grooves. He performs DJ sets around the world at big events and has also been a guest on the famous Radio 1 Essential Mix. With well over 100 original productions across many top labels we are delighted to have this guy come through Bonzai with his unique style.
The Original Mix stays true to his production technique with a full on deep progressive offering. The intro subtly builds with dark percussions fading through alongside a tight kick. The track ramps up with a thump as a raw organic vocal sample takes control and an ethereal pad sweeps over the sound. On the break the bassline makes an appearance which takes the track to a whole new level and stays the course for what is truly a progressive masterclass.
First up on remix duties is the amazing John 00 Fleming. John is considered with legendary status in the EDM world with a mountain of productions under various guises. He is a worldwide renowned DJ who is always behind the decks at the best parties. John’s label JOOF (among others) has released some top tracks over the years, including many of his own productions and he has worked Bonzai for a few years now. He also started a brand new collaboration with Airwave and their label LCD Recordings. The remix is an epic progressive house stomper with a huge amount of energy, the intro gets things moving with a feisty kick and a background filled with quality FX. A strong rhythmic groove is built steadily as the tight percussion arrangement begins to flow. Synth leads fade through and the vocal sample adds a beautiful texture. Intensity builds up to the break and the bassline takes centre stage before crashing back to a full on stomper, top stuff!
Next up is another legendary figure namely, Airwave with his New School Breaks Mix. Currently Laurent is working on lots of new material and remixes which makes for exciting times ahead. He is running LCD alongside John 00 Fleming bringing in lots of new upcoming talent. His radioshow Progrez is going strong with the fanbase increasing with every new episode. Here Airwave takes on his breaks persona which always leads to amazing results. A stunning intro brings with it top notch FX with an intense vibe coming through on the pads. The track then throws out big chunky kicks that pack a huge punch. The first drop brings with it some amazing synth work with very subtle and teasing melodies. The powerful groove intensifies and on the break a massive build up takes us right back into this energetic journey through progressive utopia.
UK based Philthy Chit aka Philippe Sartre & Chitra Kumar are next up for their remix. The guys have been enjoying much success with their releases on Bonzai and they have worked closely in collaboration with other artists including original material and remixes. Here the guys bring their brand of progressive to the fore with a top class rework. Classic intro with a full kick, crisp hat and a wonderfully sublime pad. The bassline powers through to take over the groove and a very vivid picture is painted through this strong progressive vibe. The drop gets down to business with a brilliant melodic sequence built up with a myriad of quality sounds and expert arrangement before jumping back into this awesome groove.
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October means ADE and this year is no different! Here is a selection of 60+ tracks featuring original works and remixes from Manu Riga, Gai Barone, Nico Parisi, Kintar, Airwave, DJ Fire, 06R, Narel, Rise And Fall, Samotarev, deepAlexander, Kabalo, Kevin Vega, Audio Noir, Matteo Monero, Rishi K., Kindred Spirits, Philthy Chit, Blufeld, Yuriy From Russia, John Scott, Anthony Yarranton, Steve Sai, Pierre Zamyatin, Mindgamers, Florian Meindl, Chantola, J-Junior, Thomas Genchev, Eric Powa B, Ecco, Jusa, Haze-M, Saccao, Matan Caspi, Mylan, Michael Berklin, Alen Simple, In2Deep, Fulltone, Dimitry Liss, Solartoff, Harmon, Landowski, Rick Wade, Sebastien Desay, Rogerio Martins, Accatone, JR From Dallas, Lurob, Hurlee, Fauvrelle, Oushanmete, Chrono, Ascaloon, Electric Bastards, Oz Romita, Van Czar, RV, The Revolving Junkie, Darouge, Active Line Six, Tribal Warriors, Ugur Yurt, Tofke, Lyle Quach, AngelLopez, Redraft Memories, Sander Bongertman, Sean McCaff, Project KF, Jey Fever, Soren Aalberg, Zolex, Gabriel Ben, Ed Whitty, Re Dupre, Rod B., Angelo Fracalanza, Sa.Du, M.R.T.N, Onofrio Conter, Ozan Kanik, Mariano Santos, Filth & Splendour, THiN, Franky Jones and Redhead.
Gai Barone is back after a very successful remix on Manu & Nico’s “Reborn” with a fresh twist on progressive house. Gai has been hard at work fine tuning his productions and with results like this we sure are happy to have a great guy like this on board. “Lullaby” comes with two fantastic remixes that will blow your mind for sure.
The Original Mix is quite simply stunning, deep, hypnotic grooves that draw you right in and take control of your senses. Superb arrangement all round with tight drum patterns and rhythmic percussion keeping the flow. The bassline alone is enough to get right into your head as it ebbs and flows alongside top notch FX. On the break a huge sub bass takes control and some awesome synth work adds intensity before crashing back into this solid groover.
Airwave is up first on the remix, this artist has such a hectic schedule at the moment with festivals and parties taking his time alongside his studio work which in itself is epic! Here we see Airwave get into his breaks mode with stunning results. The track intros with calm serenity contrasted with underlying tension and builds up to a powerful thumping kick in breaks style. Melodies are abundant as they weave in and around the track while the bassline springs out of nowhere and adds true progressive depth to the vibe. The break offers up what Airwave does best and that is real intense melodic pads that allow the mind to wander and get lost in the realm of music, amazing.
The hugely talented Manu Riga is up next with his Ethnotic Mix. Manu is another of those artists that puts every effort into his projects to get maximum effect out of his sounds. Much much more to come from Manu in the future so stay tuned. Here he delivers yet again as the track intros with subtle kicks that come out in breaks style before blending into traditional four four beat. An arped bassline rules supreme as it modulates and filters through many different phases then settles into a full on pulsating and hypnotic rhythm. All the while a multitude of FX are going off in the back ground and these add perfectly layered texture to the sound, another fine example of progressive vibes that will most certainly be a feature on many playlists.
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Episode 9 of the Afterhour Trax compilation series featuring original tracks and remixes by Manu Riga, Nico Parisi, Chantola, Gai Barone, Kintar, Matt G. & Booya, Relaunch, Kay-D, Airwave, DJ Fire, Van Bellen, Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic, Matias Chilano, Neon, Moshic, Monojoke, Anton Chernikov, Franbeats, Santiago Garcia, Dark Soul Project, Matan Caspi, Rise And Fall, AquaDro, LoQuai, Steve McGrath, Chris Sterio, Yuriy From Russia, Frangellico, Midnight Star, Concealed Truth, Cut Knob, Hector Sawiak and Rue Duo.
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7th installment in the Club Traxx – Progressive House series this time with original tracks and remixes by Matan Caspi, Gai Barone, Relaunch, Miika Kuisma, Manu Riga, Nico Parisi, Anthony Yarranton, Marc Poppcke, Airwave, DJ Fire, Van Bellen, Jimmy Galle, Kay-D, Moshic, Sagittaire, Rezo, CJ Art, Rise And Fall, White Resonance, Kindred Spirits, Stan Kolev, Audio Noir, LoQuai, Midnight Star, Andre Bonsor and deepAlexander.
We caught up with Laurent Veronnez and Jurgen Leyers the one time duo of Fire & Ice and now on the verge of their new release as Airwave & DJ Fire with “Kabalash”. Two hard working guys with studio and gigging taking up their time but we get a chance to get them settled and ask a few questions about their schedules and lifestyles.
Hi guys thanks so much for taking the time to have a quick chat with us, how are you both?
L: Fine here thanks. I’m having a very hectic schedule nowadays. I have no single second to breathe.
J: Hi Brian, I’m fine thanks. Actually at this moment I’m not doing a lot of DJing or producing, since I’m getting a room in our house ready for our second boy which will be born in a couple of weeks!
Congratulations Jurgen and Mrs Fire!
Outside of music what are your interests, what do you like to do in your downtime?
L: Back in the old years I would have had a ton of hobbies and things outside music. Today I’d say I keep watching movies, I still play games a tiny bit (10 mins a week? LOL), and most of the time gets spent with the kids as they’re what matters most after all! Teaching my daughters a lot of things about life is the most enjoyable experience in life.
J: I’ve always been into movies, usually the new stuff but a nice classic from time to time is nice too. Besides that I love playing tennis and travelling to foreign countries.
You have both been connected with Bonzai for a long time now, what is it about Bonzai do you think has allowed that relationship to last so long?
L: We’ve been connected thanks to Bonzai because the people running the labels, the management, are themselves devoted to only one thing, Good Music, which results into a sense of self-commitment. Many people inside the Music industry think about two matters, themselves and money. While it’s very important not to forget yourself in life and while there’s no acceptable alternative to money for the outside world yet, self-commitment and passion bring people together. I think you’ve got your answer. This thin and fragile line, almost imperceptible in a world where you’re blinded by money and fame, makes a relationship last forever.
J: Indeed, I was a customer in the Bonzai recordstore since the end of ’92, when I started buying my first vinyls. I met up with Fly and all the other DJ’s-producers that were around at the time. That way I got my first contacts in the business and started working in the record store a few years later. Bonzai is really like a family, I think that’s why I’m still working with them as a DJ and a producer. They’re weren’t only my employer, but also personal friends (which they still are).
Let’s take a moment to talk about your most popular project together, Fire & Ice. How did you guys got together for F&I and how did the working set up go, were you both in studio together or was there some remote working?
L: Back in 96-97, NO Internet, NO Digital Audio, NO virtual effects and instruments. I was fortunate enough to have a computer with a soundcard that could import Samples into RAM. Each piece of hardware would cost you an arm, but that was amazing. I remember Jurgen and I sharing some mutual ideas about music at the 97 Love Parade in Berlin, and get in the studio in September of the same year. In 3 hours, Lost emotions was born. The die-hard fans know the rest of the story I guess.
J: Fire & Ice started up by accident. Me and Laurent both were on the Bonzai Truck at the 1997 Love Parade in Berlin. During the long journey on the bus from Antwerp to Berlin, we started talking about music. I already had a project called Energy Source and Laurent had started up several successful projects which I liked a lot. So one thing led to another and a few months later we were in his home studio producing “Lost Emotions”. Still one of our biggest tracks to date!
The latest single Airwave & DJ Fire – “Kabalash” (which is awesome by the way) will be out soon, how did you get working together on this particular track?
L: You know, everything has changed today, there’s much more importance brought to sound and tech stuff. As we had this very tribal idea working for both our styles, we had to put ideas together very quickly, which we did in April of last year. Then it took us weeks after that to figure out how to mix it down correctly until the very last details, but it paid off. By far one of my favourite tracks on Parallel Lines and currently getting a well deserved bunch of outstanding remixes now.
J: Laurent contacted me since we hadn’t produced a track together in some time. He was working on his latest album and asked me if I was interested in doing a collab, since he wanted to do some collabs with different DJ’s-producers. Of course I immediately said yes, and because it wasn’t Fire & Ice he wanted to do something special, we ended up doing a tribalish track with some oriental influences. Wait till you hear the remixes, they’re amazing too!
Clearly you guys have a great understanding of each other’s style, what do you think the other guy does so well and why?
L: Jurgen in a good shape is like a train that never stops when DJing. That and his very good memory make it very easy to work with him into a studio environment. He has the “feel” that so many DJ’s lack today.
J: I think we’ve always tried to meet each other in the middle. Laurent is a bit more underground-prog-oriented than I am, so I think there’s a good mix between commercial-dancefloor music and high quality progressive. Since I used to play in clubs every week, I was able to communicate with Laurent what really worked on the dance floors. We blended ideas and came up with some good stuff that did well on the floors all over the world and was also on a lot of compilations and on track lists of the top jocks.
Given that you do work very well together can we expect to see some more projects from you both as a duo?
L: Of course! When Things Go Well (sigh!!), and get made out of passion, why question these facts?
J: Who knows? If we both find the time to do some work in the studio, I’m sure we’ll be back as a duo!
Laurent, rumour has it that you are revamping another of your past projects, can you tell us anything about that?
L: Oh yeah? Which one are you talking about? LOL. If I had to resurrect another side-project besides Planisphere and Velvet Girl, that’d be a big surprise in terms of sounds. For example, I think the Green Martian project would get the same 140 BPM beat, but going a lot more hypnotic. Oh, yeah, I am still open for collabs with past collaborators, but time will tell if they can happen or not!
Jurgen, you have many other guises you have worked under, do you have any plans for more studio work and do you think you will consider bringing back some of your past projects?
J: I’ve had some guises in the past, let’s think, Energy Source, Power Station, E.N.E.R.G.Y., Captain Kirk, Fire & Ice, Freebase, Intimo (with Mike-Push) and of course DJ Fire. I guess that’s it. Not nearly as many as Laurent! I’ve already started on some new studio projects, together with different producers. I think some completely different styles as well. I’ve already been in the studio with Manu Riga (big up and coming producer in the Bonzai Team) and DJ Bountyhunter. Normally these projects should see a release this year. I might consider doing a final but huge Fire & Ice with Laurent or a new Intimo with Mike. But that’s only possible if they’re up for it…
Recently gigging has been something you guys are doing more of, do you prefer DJing or producing?
L: I prefer simply making and performing music. The way I see things evolve is that DJing will remain a matter for Music Lovers and respect to that, while True creation will happen much more often on the fly. The Technology is here with us, only a question of months. The superstar DJ days are completely gone, although you still have a few exceptions, meanwhile EDM Musicians still make it on every level.
J: I do prefer producing lately since I’m getting more offers for classic retroparties, while I normally prefer playing new music. So I play on parties, but lately only play the classics… Producing is something I’ve started doing solo lately, so I might come up with some more stuff later on.
Last year you guys were the opener for Bonzai’s 20 Year party, how was that for you both?
L: Such a kick. That’s when playing all this music from 15 – 20 years ago that you realize how disposable and forgettable the mainstream music is today, just as it was back then, but now including the mainstream electronic stuff.
J: It was a cool experience, we already played together on some other festivals the past years. It always works out, although we didn’t really put together a track list.
Overall what do you guys have in the pipeline for the future, are there anymore gigs planned either as individuals or as a team?
L: I for sure have a few plans into my head, although Jurgen doesn’t know about them yet LOL. I’m now throwing parties in Belgium, starting from zero again, what a blessing and a relief it is! Jurgen doesn’t know but he’s part of those plans .
J: As a production team, there are no concrete plans just yet, I might make a new DJ Fire with Laurent if we can find the time to get into the studio. As a DJ-team I don’t think we’ve been booked this year, I have some gigs coming up in Belgium. In June there’s the Sunrise Festival and in September I’ve also got a booking for a new festival in Belgium. And in November there’s the big annual Bonzai anniversary!
And finally for now, you have both worked with some brilliant artists over the years, is there anyone you would really like to get studio time with (apart from each other of course)?
L: I have a ton of good names on a list, and you know what? Half of those already have confirmed they’re in! You see. My next few months will see me collaborate with great guys, Manu Riga to begin with, but also surprising collabs will see the light of day in the next few days already. Keep an eye on my blog-facebook and you’ll see!
J: I’d love to work with guys like Eric Prydz or EDX, I like their productions a lot. Also Jeremy Olander is on fire lately.
Well it’s been a real pleasure to talk with you guys, thanks again for sitting with us, take care.
J: Thanks for the interview!