Interview with Richard Mowatt, aka Solarstone on Pure Trance


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NOV. 16, 2013


How has trance evolved in your opinion?

That’s a mighty big question! If you go back to the mid 70’s there was music which sowed the early seeds of what we now call Trance, then through bands like Tangerine Dream  & Kano, producers like Pete Namlook and Eat Static, it has been constantly evolving for close to 40 years! The Pure Trance movement is simply another branch to that evolution. For a great overview of the evolution of trance I would heartily recommend Orkidea’s fabulous ‘History of Trance’ Fanpage which is great way to spend a few hours educating yourself about music you may never had known existed.

What have been some of the positives and negatives to its evolution?

I don’t see any negatives at all actually, because the creation of and enjoyment of music of any kind can only be a good thing – nobody is forced to listen to anything they don’t want to listen to. There are elements of the many variations of trance, which are not to my taste of course, the more abrasive and aggressive forms, the heavily saturated and mass-produced forms, but that’s just me – other people love it!

How has Pure Trance helped to defragment what you have called a fractured sound of Trance?

Well, this all came about because there is a particular kind of trance that I love, and a couple of years ago I became very aware that with all the genre-merging that was taking place in the scene the kind of trance I love was being overlooked and disappearing. This is a form of trance music that is free from trendy genre add-ons or contemporary / fashionable production tricks and things like that – what I call ‘Pure’ trance. The kind of trance music that is all about beauty and emotion; the eyes-closed euphoria contained within the notes. The Pure Trance movement is essentially a roots-return for the sound. This is music which millions of people around the world love and feel connected to spiritually, this movement is simply filling a gap left by a mass movement towards something temporarily popular.

What was the biggest progression in sound from Pure Trance 1 to Volume 2?

Volume II is a little different to Volume 1. For example, Orkidea joined me for the first one and he has a more progressive angle on things, whereas Giuseppe’s take on proceedings a bit tougher and stripped down – more edgy. Some people were asking if we were going to have progressive second disc again this time, but you know, I don’t see any point in repeating myself for the sake of it. When compiling the first album there was less music to choose from, this time when I sent out the call to producers for new music there was a much greater response. Also the mixing was more multi-level on my disc this time, it has more of an ‘Electronic Architecture’ feel to it – I did much more production and reconstruction of the tracks this time – particularly with my ‘Retouches’. As far as a ‘formula’ goes, the only formula really is finding new music from exciting producers and creating a journey for the listeners, of the highest quality. No mean feat!

Did you and Giuseppe Ottaviani ever have differing views on any tracks/mixes for Pure Trance 2?

Not especially, there was one track in particular though that we both liked, yet I felt it was not quite ‘Pure’ enough for the album, but decided to let Giuseppe make the call on it as it was meant for his disc – then at the final stages he told me on the phone that would I mind if he didn’t use that track as he didn’t think that is was ‘Pure’ enough – that was a really great moment, because then I knew – before even hearing his finished mix – that we were completely on the same page.

Where do you see Pure Trance and trance music overall heading in the future?

I cannot speak for the trance scene in general really, only really my part of it. As far as Pure Trance goes I think we are on the right track. The ‘EDM’ explosion has left a lot of doors open for Pure Trance, people are looking for new music, and Pure Trance is a logical next step for some – it is more melodic & emotional and has deeper meaning – it is music for the soul & spirit and people who have had their eyes and ears opened to electronic music by ‘EDM’ may find the sound of Pure Trance very appealing. In terms of our Events, we are definitely growing exponentially; we have big plans for 2014 including hopefully hosting our own stages at some festivals in 2014. Most artists are embracing the sound now, and most importantly there is a new generation of fans out there, for whom this music is something brand new. It’s going to ben exciting next 12 months, for sure.

You feature a lot of rising talent in this latest album, who are some names you think everyone should be keeping an eye on in the near future?

Names that jump out at me are Driftmoon, Colonial One, Winkee, John Mash, Elfsong and Aero 21. Some of the other names are already in ascendance, like Will Atkinson who has been doing great things for a few years now, and Walsh & McAuley who seem to have found their sound.

You called Pure Trance 1 a journey of rebirth and rediscovery, what would you call Pure Trance 2?

I did, that journey is still underway really, without sounding too melodramatic hopefully! Volume 2 is simply allowing things to progress and develop organically – which is how we have been approaching the whole Pure Trance movement – there is nothing contrived about it all, which is I think partly why it is becoming so successful.

What is the Pure Trance message?

Be proud of what makes you feel good. Know your own mind. Vive La Trance!



Pure Trance 2 on iTunes

By Lauren Stafford

Read Lauren’s Pure Trance 2 album review, HERE.