Dash Berlin: Weighing heavy in the future of trance

According to their bio, “Dash Berlin is the future,” and from the success they’ve experienced so far it seems that this crystal ball might in fact be correct. The uber-successful pairing of veteran producers Pronti and Kalmani (formerly of, wait for it… Alice DeeJay!) with photogenic frontman Jeff Sutorius, the outfit that is Dash Berlin launched their career in a massive way with their 2007 debut single Till the Sky Falls Down, which was adopted as a favorite of the one and only Armin van Buuren.

Now signed to the ever-present Armada stable and their debut album The New Daylight released to the public, we’ll now be getting the Dash Berlin experience in Australia for the first time. ITM has a chat with frontman Jeff Sutorius ahead of the tour kicking off this weekend.

Your music has been described as the ‘Dash Berlin Sound’. Through your work with fellow producers Molijn & Kalberg, are you intentionally trying to create a new category within trance music?

No, not intentionally. I’m trying to create my own sound without alienating myself too much. People have been describing it as that ‘Dash Berlin Sound.’ So, that’s basically it.

Trance seems to cop a lot of flack in dance music debates; do you think that your new sub-genre will help to make trance music more respected?

Criticism is healthy. Because without it, all the praise that trance gets wouldn’t mean much either. Unfortunately, some debates are not really about how to progress but much more about the individual status of people’s “virtual” identity. We are living in a world of divisions, but still trance, and dance music in general, manages to bring all kinds of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, together on the global dance floors every weekend. So overall, I think it’s already very much respected with or without me.

Did you feel any pressure to follow up the success of your smash hit 2007 debut single Till the Sky Falls Down?

I don’t try to think too much about stuff like that and just concentrate on the fun part of music making, that’s what matters the most to me. As soon as you start to force things it just won’t work. It’s great to see though that, follow up tracks like Man On The Run and Waiting have been received really good as well.

You’ve received massive support from Armin van Buuren, who’s played your tracks on his A State of Trance radio show, featured your music on his compilations and this year launched your own ‘Aropa’ imprint under his Armada label. What’s it like to work closely with the world’s number one DJ?

Armin was the very first to pick up Till The Sky Falls Down and it seemed like he didn’t stop supporting it until everybody at least heard it once. He was really passionate about the record; it helped me get noticed by a much bigger audience. That’s the cool thing about Armin; he’s not afraid to share his success, he really cares for the scene by pushing forward new talent.

What is your ultimate goal?

Besides staying healthy, I would love to have my own night in Ibiza one day.

What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Being voted as the 105th deejay of the world in this years DJ Mag poll. Personally, it was a totally unexpected gift from the fans. Still can’t believe it.

The ‘Berlin’ part of your DJ name came when you saw more than a million people dancing at Germany’s world famous ‘Love Parade’, but where does the ‘Dash’ part of your name come from?

Good question. I didn’t really had anything to put before ‘Berlin’ so I used to draw a (-) before it. That’s how it later became Dash Berlin. The combination didn’t exist in Google either so that’s always a plus.

Where do you prefer playing; at massive commercial festivals like ‘Love Parade’ or at illegal Dutch warehouse parties?

Big crowds are fascinating to play for. When positive energy multiplies big time, something really special happens. It doesn’t really matter where that is. Illegal parties are exciting too of course, but for safety reasons it’s more relaxed to have everything organised properly so there is less stuff to worry about while partying.

When you’re not behind the decks, do you get to do much partying yourself?

Not as much as I used to, because my agenda is pretty full nowadays. But yes, I love to party. It’s great to watch and learn from other deejays doing their thing and enjoy myself on the dance floor as much as I possibly can. I got my enthusiasm for DJing from being a fan myself.

You’ve said that your passion for dance music was inspired by the likes of Sven Ví┬Ąth, Oliver Lieb and Sander Kleinenberg. Would you ever consider collaborating with any of them in the future?

I wish! These guys are way out of my league man, so I don’t think it’s going to happen. On the other hand; I did do a collaboration with the legendary DJ Remy on my album ‘The New Daylight’, who was really open minded about it and he is also one of my all time heroes, so who knows, fingers crossed then.

We know it’s a difficult question – especially for a DJ – but what’s your all time favourite record?

Art Of Trance – Madagascar.

What tune are you hammering right now?

John O’Callaghan feat. Josie Out Of Nowhere (Stoneface & Terminal Vocal Remix). I really like Josie’s vocals, hope to work with her sometime in the future.

What’s the most embarrassing record in your music collection?

I am really passionate about music and collecting records, my apartment is packed with vinyl, even in my bedroom. I love all kinds of styles, from hardcore to minimal, old, new there is inspiration everywhere. So you won’t see me being embarrassed by a record. I respect other people’s music; it’s all just a matter of taste.

What’s the perfect record to drop at midnight on New Year’s Eve?

I’m still working on it as we speak, so stay tuned for that one!

PS: Thank you for your support and hope to meet you all in January! My 2010 world tour is officially kicking off in Australia!

Dash Berlin tour dates:

Friday January 22nd – Rise Night Club, Perth

Saturday January 23rd – Brown Alley, Melbourne

Sunday January 24th – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney

Monday January 25th – Planet Night Club, Brisbane