Soul Shine Magazine had a chat with one of Dance music's finest, Armin Van Buuren, Label exec, DJ and international traveler extraordinaire.
1. You've collaborated with several artists over the years, who do you
find you work best with?
Armin: I learned different things from different people. That's so great about working with other people. When I worked with L-Vee for instance, he had a totally different way of making music which gave me a lot of good ideas and I was able to learn him a few things. The best I've worked with must be JUSTINE SUISSA. We do everything together, writing, compiling, and producing.
2. What music are you into at the moment?
Armin: I'm very much into the old synthesizer greats like VANGELIS. I'm in love with his version of the BLADERUNNER movie music. Last CD I bought was Faithless - Everything will be alright tomorrow.
3. ''Universal Religion 2004: Live From Armada at Ibiza' is being released on November 9, can you tell us about it? How is it different to the other compilations you've been making?
Armin: It's my first real "LIVE" compilation. The mixing and recording has been done in front of a live Ibiza audience. I knew that if I would make a little mistake there was no way of correcting that later so the mixing had to be perfect. Also, the track selection is made on the night itself, not upfront, although we did clear a big number of tracks so I had some choice. What you get is a cd that makes you feel as if you are standing right in the crowd in Amnesia. It's the perfect blueprint.
4. Are you playing as a resident anywhere or focusing on touring?
Armin: At the moment I'm still resident for GODSKITCHEN. Next year I'll be resident in NEW YORK and we'll return to AMNESIA in Ibiza with Armada again. Other than that I'll be focusing on a large tour when my new artist album gets released...
5. Your label, Armind started in 1999, how has it progressed since then. Is it still allowing artists full freedom within their contracts?
Armin: Armind started in 1999, Armada started in 2003 (www.armadamusic.nl). I'd like to see our company as one of the most diverse record companies in the industry. We have labels for trance, progressive, techno and house. It all depends on the mood of the artists on which label he or she gets released. Other than that, we try to support our artist by offering them full management in any way they like. Some artists choose to just release records, others want a full DJ schedule. It all depends on the artists, as they are the content of your business.
6. What has been your favourite club to play at recently?
Armin: I really enjoyed playing the Guvernment in Toronto, Bleu in Detroit, Vision in Chicago and the Ocean Diva in Amsterdam.
7. What was your first impression of the Canadian club scene as a whole?
Armin: I think certain cities in Canada are the best for dance music in the world. I see MONTREAL as the no1 clubbing capital of the world, closely followed by Toronto. The scene in the whole of Canada is huge. I love to come to Canada and play. The people are great and truly music lovers. This is all I do it for!
8. Where would you like to play that you haven't already?
Armin: I think I would love to play in South-Africa but unfortunately that will take a while because of my busy schedule.
9. What would be your favourite piece of gear to use in the creation of your music as a producer?
Armin: Ableton LIVE
10. You once said, "Don't be a prisoner of your own style". Do you have plans to adapt your style for future releases?
Armin: I never have concrete plans about styles. I've produced a lot of house records in the past which I would like to do again. It all depends on what crosses your path as an artist in your life. The reason why I use that phrase is because I don't want to be pinned down on just one style of music. I like to explore the boundaries of all styles by combining different elements. This can make music very interesting in my opinion.
Writer: Lindsay Bloemink