For the latter half of May, Finnish duo Super8 & Tab will be touring California from Sacramento to Santa Ana in celebration of their recent releases on Anjunabeats: “Unified (Extended Mixes)” and “Patience (The Remixes).” I was given the opportunity to chat with them about how they form their tracklists both on-the-road and on their radio show “SuperTab Radio,” as well as teleportation (or ‘beaming,’ for you Trekkies out there) and the world’s necessary transition to solar power. Here’s what they had to say.
AB = Me // Elo = to the left of the featured picture // Tab = to the right
AB: Congrats on the release of Unified’s (Extended Mix)! That’s got to be be a great little milestone for you guys. What would you say was your most favorite track to produce on the album?
AB: “No Frontiers.”
Tab: Yeah, key track. At least for me.
Elo: I was really into doing “Rubicon.” It was lots of fun to put those different elements together: a little something from old trance and bringing some of that new, fresh progressive house into it.
Tab: Yeah, working with David (7 Skies) is always lots of fun.
AB: Right on. When I heard “Rubicon” at ABGT 100, I lost my socks, so that was a great time.
Elo + Tab: Hahaha.
Elo: Luckily you didn’t lose your shoes!
AB: Hahaha. Yeah, exactly! Thankfully, I didn’t lose my shoes. Haha.
AB: What does the upcoming North American tour mean to you both?
Tab: Well, it’s always lots of fun to go back to the States. We are playing at Ruby Skye and Avalon, where we’ve been before. And also The Observatory in Santa Ana. Last time we played there, about six months ago, it was sold-out.
Elo: It was an amazing show. The crowd was so up for it. When we came to the States, everybody was just yelling. We were like, “What’s happening?!” It was so good. The spirit of the crowd was just… The Observatory was one of the best gigs last year.
AB: Yeah, I was there! I gotta say that it was a really good time.
Tab: So, you know, haha.
AB: Yeah, exactly. Everyone was singing along to everything. It was a really good time.
Elo: Yeah, it was really good.
Tab: We’re excited to be coming back.
AB: To cross the Rubicon again.
AB: And what should we expect from your shows?
Tab: Well, of course, album stuff and the remixes. We’ve been working on some new stuff, as well, like remixes for other artists. We’re gonna play a couple original tracks.
AB: Oooooo. Okay.
Elo: I don’t know if we’re allowed to say this… but it’s big-profile trance artists. So, when you come to our gigs, you’ll hear those new remixes.
AB: Right on.
Tab: One is with Cosmic Gate. But the other one is bigger and better.
AB: Bigger and better: the underlying secret.
Elo: At latest in autumn, there will be completely new, original tracks from us. We just visited Anjuna HQ in London last week, and spent a couple of the days with the guys in the studio. They were pretty excited about the new tracks, so it’s going to be really interesting.
AB: I’m excited to hear them.
Tab: Yeah, we’re definitely going to be road-test those tracks
Elo: They’re already playing one of the tracks. Paavo has been road-testing our tracks, as well! It’s a good thing.
AB: What feel or musical vibe do you hope to evoke during these shows?
Elo: We’re always trying to make our sets so that the energy is growing beat by beat towards the end. These days, you see deejays start with some energy level and stay the same. Ten years ago, when we would play three+ hour sets, we started with easier and deeper stuff than we do now. We would make about 10 bpm changes from start to end: starting from a bit lower and bringing it up all throughout the set. Of course, good vibes, good energy, and having lots of fun.
Tab: Yeah, it’s sort of like a journey. We always try to twist the track selection so that it’s not us. We add in some tech house or techno to mix-up the set. ‘It’s wrong to say uplifting trance, because it is not uplifting trance,’ but it’s emotional and melodic.
AB: So you’re taking the elements of these genres and putting them into your sets.
Elo: With some good surprises, as well. Mash-ups and surprising classics are nice. We like implementing those in our sets to change things up.
AB: Surprises tend to change things up, for better, I’d say.
AB: What location are you both most excited to play at?
Elo: For me, it’s exciting to be back at The Observatory.
Tab: I say… California.
Tab: Because we have four gigs in California! The Observatory was really, really good.
Elo: I think it’s unfair to pick just one. Everywhere in California is usually — actually in the US, it’s mostly just good gigs be it at the East Coast or the West Coast. It’s exciting to be back. We also have some days off so we’re going to hang around San Diego with Bruce, Maor Levi, and Kevin Wild.
AB: The whole crew going out, eh? That’s nice, haha.
Elo + Tab: Hahaha.
Tab: It’s a little bit dangerous. The boys are so energetic. You never know what’s going to happen.
Elo: It’s dangerous in a good way.
Tab: We’ve been going out the boys for many years now; we know them very well. It’s really exciting to go back to San Diego and see the boys.
AB: Right on, reuniting with the Anjunacrew. I like that.
Tab: We have not started anything with him, but we’ve been talking about it.
Elo: He will come to Finland for a few days. He lives in Berlin, so it’s only a two hour flight.
AB: Bringing him into the studio and making some more beats. That’ll be a good time!
AB: Your monthly radio show “SuperTab Radio” is, again, one of those hour-long journeys of unparalleled energy and radiance, in my opinion. Can you tell us a bit about how you go about forming the tracklist for those? Is it similar to your sets?
Tab: Some of the tracks we like may not fit our sets, and we want to play them out. Every week, we go through about one hundred different promos and emails to find the proper track selection to fit into that one hour. It’s a good platform for us to showcase the tracks we like and want to play out.
AB: This might be a hard one: What’s your favorite track that’s been released this year?
Elo: Fatum’s “Mandala”… was it released this year?
AB + Elo: Yeah!
Elo: I’d go with that one. I never know when the tracks are released because we just get them.
AB: Hahaha!! The perks. I believe it was released about three weeks ago? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s been released.
Elo: For the last half year, we’ve been saying “something,” by Andrew Bayer. I think it’s been getting a little old now; maybe we should do something different, haha.
AB: Hahahaha. Bayer this, Bayer that. You want to change it up.
Tab: Jason Ross has been releasing good stuff as well. It’s hard to pick one track, because sometimes one track is really, really good, but for some reason it only lasts for one week.
AB: That’s very true.
Tab: Then, you find the track again. I would say Jason Ross. He’s putting out some really good stuff, and the newer stuff is great as well.
AB: “Atlas” is really good, I like that track, as well.
Tab: Personally, I’m really happy they jump-started the series again.
AB: Haha, it’s been a while.
Tab: Yeah, it’s been probably around five or six years since Maor Levi and Nitrous Oxide did the last one. So, it’s good to see that it’s back. Unfortunately, it’s only digital, but that’s how it is these days.
Elo: Maybe we will do our third one, someday.
AB: Third times the charm, right?
Elo: Yeah, let’s see what happens, haha.
Tab: We just recently found out it’s going to be back on the market. I don’t really know what their plans are for the future, but Ilan is the perfect guy to do it as he is on fire at the moment.
AB: Haaaaa… right on.
AB: When last we spoke with you, you told us that if you could change anything in the world with the snap of a finger, it would be climate change.
Elo: Yeah, and now it’s happened. So, let’s pick a new one!
Tab: Yeah… when we changed it, it unfortunately went worse.
AB: Hahahaha. So is there a new thing you want to snap your finger to?
Tab: I would speed up the process that they do teleportation. That you could beam yourself to other places.
Elo: *light chuckle*
AB: That would be very convenient…
Tab: I don’t know… Miika what do you want to change? Last time we changed the climate it got worse.
Elo: Just because I really messed it up, hopefully the whole world will start to use more solar power. That would be two big things at once, so we should start from there.
Tab: Has it been raining in California? The news has been talking about how dry it is there.
AB: Yeah, it’s pretty dry here. Just this morning, it was raining like crazy. *looks out window* … but it seems quite sunny now. I think the rain’s done. We have fickle springs here in California: we’ll have little bouts of rain for about a day or two, and then it’s sunny again. Three weeks later, we’ll maybe have some rain or gloom, and then it’s sunny again. That’s the thing about California. We don’t get much rain out here, so it’s pretty dry.
Tab: NASA was concerned that the water over there will dry out in about sixteen to eighteen months.
AB: It’s kinda scary. I don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’re going to have to figure something out. But hopefully I’ll still have my water in a bottle over here. I kinda need water, you know? I don’t really want to lose it…
Elo + Tab: Hahaha.
Elo: You would have to drink all the Coca-Cola. That would be bad.
AB: Yeah, that would be so bad, you know?
Tab: Or beer.
AB: Thankfully there’s a surplus of both of those, so I might be in a better place? Maybe? Who knows.
AB: Do the both of you have any closing thoughts, words of wisdom, or messages for the people out there?
Elo: When you go to California, bring your own water.
Tab: Sunscreen and water.
AB: I don’t want to tell you that it’s been really hot, because it’s been a bit cold around here. It’s been around the 70’s. By the time you both get here, it should be better. You have that and the great crowd at The Observatory to look forward to!
Elo: It will be a good time.
Tab: Are you coming to Avalon, as well?
AB: I personally won’t be able to make it to the LA show. I wanted to make it out to The Observatory, but I’m going to Lightning in a Bottle during that weekend. Have you both heard of it?
Elo: Mmm… nope.
Tab: Genie in a Bottle.
AB: Hahaha. It’s like a mini-Burning Man, but not as crazy. It’s nice.
Elo: That’s kinda cool! Lightning in a Bottle? Where’s it at?
AB: It’s above San Luis Obispo, a bit north of Santa Barbara. It sucks that it’s during the same weekend, because I was actually really excited to see both you guys and Jaytech perform. It’s unfortunate, indeed.
With exciting, new releases to road-test and play-out, this tour is not one you want to leave to #FOMO. Catch Super8 & Tab at Avalon in LA on the 16th, District 30 in Sacramento on the 21st, Ruby Skye in SF on the 22nd, and The Observatory in Santa Ana on the 24th.