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Marlo on ‘trance purism’: “I don’t really get what the big deal is”

Dutch-born, Australian-based MaRLo has worked his way up to be arguably the country’s finest trance export, signed to Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance label and touring the world with its arena-sized shows. He’s headed back our way for a string of solo dates this month, including shows at Marquee in Sydney and Family in Melbourne, before joining the massive Stereosonic tour in late November. He’s also got a new 25-track compilation album out (on iTunes here) with some fresh tracks of his own; ahead of his local visit, we stopped in for a chat about the state of trance. [Photo via Matthew Oldfield.]


You’ve got a new compilation out, ‘Visions’: what are you most excited about on this one?

I included three exclusive tracks of my own on my ‘Visions’ compilation, and of those three, my track ‘Barracuda’ also got signed as a single on ASOT recordings. The track’s been doing really well and getting played by Armin Van Buuren, W&W, Markus Schulz and many more. It shot up the buzz chart and it’s currently sitting at #12 on Beatport. It’s named for when my wife and I saw a massive barracuda while snorkelling in Mexico.

You’ll be playing the Stereosonic tour – any secret weapons for your sets on this tour? Any artists on the bill you’re looking forward to catching up with?

Yes! I have lots of new tracks, mash-ups and remixes to bring something fresh. I’ve played Stereosonic for a few years now and every time I try to bring something completely new. A couple of years ago I even brought my studio on stage and did a full live show playing keyboards, etc. As for other artists, it’s always great catching up with all my friends like Dash Berlin, W&W, Andrew Rayel, Orjan Nilsen and more.

You’ll also be stopping in to EMC in Sydney – did you enjoy the conference last year? What’s top of your must-do list for EMC this year?

Yeah, I really enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to catching up and having coffee with a bunch of industry people outside of the noisy clubs; and of course I’m also speaking on the Artists’ Panel to close the conference.

Where do you see trance heading in the next year? A lot of stalwart trance producers are concerned about the way “pure” trance has changed and evolved and taken in elements from other genres, including big room house and pop: what’s your take on that?

I have never had an interest in sticking to an old formula in order to fit into a small tight-fitting pigeonhole. I make the music I love to make, and enjoy thoroughly experimenting with different sounds and different ways to do things as a producer, but I keep getting drawn back to those big epic melodies and chord structures which “trance” is known for.

I’m actually much more influenced by the old 2001-2005 hard trance sound like ASYS, Scot Project and DuMonde, and also the 2004-2009 tech trance sounds of Marcel Woods, Marco V, Sander van Doorn, and of course also the classic uplifting trance sounds of Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten. It’s a shame that some of the classic hard trance tracks and tech trance tracks that I fell in love with would now be mislabelled.

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