Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:22

Armin Van Buuren CDs

A brand new musical reflection of the intense ride that is Armin Van Buuren’s life, ‘Intense’ collects two years of genre-bending production work and impassioned songwriting from the world’s biggest DJ.

Bursting with extraordinary compositions, musical fusions and hymns for EDM lovers, ‘Intense’ deserves your full attention, from the first beat until the very last note of silence.

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Published in Competition
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 19:44

Armin Van Buuren 16.05.2007

ENTRANCED

Tiesto may be the superstar equated with trance, but like Germany's Paul Van Dyk, his compatriot Armin Van Buuren has the common touch. He is a DJ, not a pop star.

The Dutchman also has an Australian connection. His father, a doctor, has spent time working in Western Australia. Van Buuren is returning to these shores for a series of thematic parties, the novelty being that punters dress in white. It all sounds very Diddy. Nevertheless, Armin has just played a White Party in Montreal. Did everyone wear white? "Not everybody but I would say 98 percent," he says confidently.

Van Buuren is touring behind a DVD, 'Armin Only: The Next Level', a document of when he DJed to 12, 000 punters in Rotterdam last November. Remarkably, Armin DJed for almost 10 hours. "Armin Only is a concept. It's one of the things I do. I started it in 2001 because there were so many great records that I wanted to play in a peak time set, I wasn't really able to play slower or less energetic records.

"Trance music is much more than the stereotyped music that a lot of people have in their heads. For me, trance is really a journey through different styles of music like techno, progressive, tribal, electro and minimal. A lot of tracks could be labelled as 'trance'. With 'Armin Only', I'm the first person in the club and I'm the last one to leave. That's basically it. The good thing about it is that you can build the atmosphere - if you do it well, you can really hold the atmosphere of a night as a string and you can pull the string and do anything you like with it. It's one of my favourite things playing long sets."

Armin ensures his big room 'Armin Only' parties are exciting by bringing in vocalists and live acts.  "You can't really just watch a DJ for nine-and-a-half hours."

Many DJs complain about the downturn in record sales and so it's surprising that more aren't considering DVD projects. "It's really hard I think to fill a two-and-a-half hour main feature - to keep it interesting," Armin reasons, "Watching a DJ play, seeing some people in the crowd, generally isn't very interesting. But if you put on a real show with fireworks and dancers and you bring in live vocalists, guitar players, drummers, rappers and MCs, you do stuff with falling curtains, and you change up the music, then you can make it even more interesting to watch. I've watched the DVD with quite a few people and nobody switched it off after an hour - everybody wanted to see more.

"I think for a lot of DJs it's a hassle to actually put a show together, a lot of DJs rely on their set - which, of course, is the essence of DJing - but for 'Armin Only' I wanted to excel. I wanted to try and incorporate live acts without the music stopping - that's the idea behind Armin Only. The music doesn't stop the whole night."

Unlike some of his peers, Armin has never distanced himself from the 'T' word. In fact, in recent years, trance DJs have dominated the famous DJ Magazine poll, the most influential of its kind. However, Armin stands by the popularity of trance. "I think trance is the ultimate party music - not to slag off any other styles. I love listening to minimal house sets, it's one of my favourite styles, but trance music is really about the pay-off. It's about going out and letting yourself go. It's about the whole euphoric thing. Often a lot of other dance styles forget to kick in the ball, they forget to build to a highlight, and people sometimes tend to focus more on other things than listen to the music. Don't get me wrong - there's other DJs who can build towards a climax - but trance has much more of an obvious climax than other styles. It's the ultimate party music."

Van Buuren is the sensible type. He's completed a law degree as a back-up. Armin was required to do work experience - which he juggled with DJing. "I actually miss it - it sounds really nerdy, my God," he laughs. "But I was really interested in the stuff that I read. I enjoyed that."

Armin Van Buuren plays an exclusive Qld show at Bedroom June 7. 'Armin Only: The Next Level and 10 Years are out through Central Station.

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