by Grant Manley, Staff Writer
Trance icon Simon Patterson is making his return to the United States this weekend, coming off the road from shows around the world at venues in the UK, Australia, Argentina, Ireland, the Netherlands and more. His first stop will be right here in Hollywood, California at Avalon to debut a world exclusive 8 hour long marathon set. Joining the ranks of Armin Van Buuren and Markus Schulz, not very many DJ’s have attempted the epic feat of performing an extended set for 8 or more hours, making this night incredibly special and not to be missed.
Since 2006 Patterson has been releasing hit, after hit, after hit. With early releases including “F-16,” “Bulldozer,” and “Smack” he has gone on to produce 11 consecutive #1’s on the Beatport top 100 making him a household name in the trance genre. Patterson has been showcased on BBC 1 Radio several times, releasing his personal Essential Mix along with many of his tracks being aired as well. With his music spreading globally, Simon has been busy traveling the world DJing at massive festivals including Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnivals, Electric Zoo, Stereosonic, Trance Energy Emporium and many more. Patterson’s most recent major appearance was at the A State of Trance 650 in Russia, closing out the night which featured a star-studded trance lineup including Ruben de Ronde, Alexander Popov, W&W, Armin van Buuren, and Aly & Fila.
Simon has continued to release multiple tracks almost every year, most recently remixing Armin van Buuren’s “Ping Pong” and his own song “Thump” which was originally put out in 2009. Between touring the world and constantly producing Patterson has found time to develop his own on-going podcast titled “Open Up,” featured every Thursday on Digitally Imported’s Trance channel.
If there’s one thing for sure Patterson has developed a deep arsenal of personal productions and DJing experience over the past 8 years which together moonlight the one of a kind experience about to be delivered this Saturday at Avalon Hollywood. We believe trance is one of the few genres able to tell a tale through its strong melodies and vocals, taking every listener on a truly memorable journey through music. Marathon sets are incredibly rare to catch, and we’re very grateful he chose Avalon Hollywood to host his first ever! With LA-local Kristina Sky opening, we look forward to Simon Patterson being our guide for the night as we prepare to dance together while he tells his personal story though an epic 8 hour tale of trance music. We recently spoke with Simon and you can catch our interview below!
Hey Simon, hows it going – hows 2014 treating you so far?
Great. I had a few weeks off after NYE which was much needed after 2013’s insane schedule but it’s great to be back on the road now. I’m most comfortable when I’m on tour.
Seeing how you recently passed the 50th landmark for your radio show ‘Open Up’ have you started planning out anything special for the 100th episode?
Absolutely. But I can’t give any details out. Keep watching my FB and all will be revealed in due course.
What does the future look like for your radio show “Open Up” in terms of guest mixes and exclusives?
The show is always full of exclusives. All my own tracks and remixes get aired there for the first time so it’s absolutely the hottest show to tune into for the sounds I make and play. In terms of guests I don’t have a regular guest appearance scheduled but when something or someone cool comes to my attention – I try and get them on the show.
Your track with Astrix “Shadows” was amazing by the way, how did that collaboration come to be and what was the inspiration behind the track?
Well for me Astrix was and still is my main inspiration – both for this track and many other productions I make. He is still the king of psy. How it worked was I would work on the track in my studio and send him the project and he would carry it on and then fire it back. It carried on back and forth till we were both happy and then he did the final mix down and master at his end.
One of our personal favorite tracks is “The One” featuring Lucy Pullin on vocals; with that being said when producing a track of similar magnitude is there a certain mind set you envision yourself in or is it more of a go with the flow setting?
I spend a lot of time in the studio just writing riffs. So with The One I had melody ideas already mapped out in my head before I began work on the arrangement. If you liked The One you will love my new single called Dissolve – which is the follow up to The One. It features the vocals of Sarah Howells and it comes out on Armind on May 26th.
Any artist collaborations in the works that we can expect in the near future?
I’ve just made a chill out track called Iridescent with John Askew. You can hear it on my soundcloud page. We’re giving it away for free on 19th March. I’m also doing something with Will Atkinson and a few others.
How has the Psy-Trance sound evolved since you started DJ’ing and producing?
Psy trance has always been a pioneering form of trance. The tracks tend to be better produced and more interesting than regular trance so the impact on the dance floor is often incredibly powerful. It’s the sound that I’m most comfortable playing I guess but I also love blending techno and breaks and some progressive trance into the equation – as well some 140 tech – which a lot of people want to hear me play.
People say that trance has slowly transitioned into a more generalized sound with the commercialization of electronic music culture as opposed to it being an underground type sound during its origins in the 90’s, what’s your opinion on this?
There is a hunger for a lot of producers to not only be successful but to do better than their peers. There’s a fierce competition that drives so many people forward – so I guess the natural thing for them is analyze what form of music is most successful and popular and then to head down that road in the hope that it will give their career or profile a lift.
Having played at various events such as ASOT 650 in Russia, what would you say is one of your favorite festivals/events you’ve ever played?
Avalon in Hollywood is currently my favourite place to play. Don’t get me wrong I love playing festivals and ASOT 650 was incredible – as were all the other ASOT events I played before that – but when you play a festival you get an hour, maybe hour and a half if you’re lucky and so you’re limited with what you can do creatively. At Avalon I play extended sets on a kind of quarterly resident basis and the place just feels like home. The crowd get what I’m about, the sound system is phenomenal and the Avalon / Giant crew are incredibly hospitable.
You’re playing at Cream May in a few weeks; can your fans expect any surprises during your set?
I never really know how to answer the “what can we expect for your set” question. I guess if you asked the same question to Metallica – they would answer “heavy metal.”
Any crazy fan encounter stories you can reference to while touring all over the world? Any pre-show ritual you do before stepping into the DJ booth?
There are a few stories but nothing too out of the ordinary. My only ritual before playing is checking and double checking that my Macbook is working!
If you were not DJing or producing what could you picture yourself doing?
Something in music. I couldn’t work in any job unless it was focused around music.
2013 was a huge year for you and something that a lot of fans noticed was the change in sound with the ‘Open Up” sound (introduced last year) as opposed to the “F-16” sound that we had come to know you by prior. What was the motive behind the change?
I think every artist – not just in electronic music – wants to be able to evolve so embracing the new sounds that I love felt natural, but at the same time I’ve in no way lost my love of hard 140 tech trance which I still make and release – like my track Brush Strokes last year. The whole point of Open Up and what Open Up stands for is being open minded and appreciating a varied palate of music. I like music with a certain attitude as opposed to bpm or genre definition. It could be slow techno or raging drum n bass. Open Up is about the journey and the evolution through a variety of moods to create an overall emotional picture.
Did you ever have moments when you had a hint of doubt or questioned where the change in sound would lead?
Never. I didn’t change in the respect of stopping playing a certain sound – I just Opened Up the doors to let a load of new shit in.
Having an A&R background do you feel like that influenced a huge part in helping you prepare for what you’re doing now as opposed to someone who wouldn’t have that A&R starting background?
Maybe but I think I would still be where I am today, playing the music I’m playing if I hadn’t worked in A&R.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your fans?
Thanks for listening!
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