British producer -- psy-trance leader, rather -- Simon Patterson is a frequent flyer on Beatport's Trance Top 10 and Armin van Buuren's "A State of Trance" radio show. His latest single, "Time Stood Still," features the vocals of Matt Adey and was released today (get your copy here). In more pressing news, Simon Patterson has been commissioned by the Ministry of Sound to mix this year's "Trance Nation" mix-compilation. Set to release this Thursday, on April 5th, the "Trance Nation 2015" mix-compilation features talent from the likes of Armin, Markus Schulz, Astrix, and many more, including seven album exclusives. We had the pleasure of discussing the elements behind the compilation, upcoming tracks, and genre-labelling with Simon. For more info on all the juicy details, scroll below.
DB: Describe your sound in five words or less.
SP: Emotive, Energetic, Futuristic, Driving.
DB: At what BPM does your heart beat?
SP: Every BPM.
DB: What instruments do you play, if any, and what’s your go-to?
SP: The piano; very badly!
DB: Who are your current and all-time favorites in the music industry – both EDM and non-EDM – and why?
SP: I love Calvin Harris’s mix of "Sweet Nothing" – it’s emotive and the vocals are good. Non-EDM-wise, I am loving Daughter right now. They're an amazing band.
DB: Can you describe for us the theme behind your weekly “Open Up” radio show, and what you aim to accomplish with each show?
SP: It’s just about being open-minded: not being confined to genres. As well as finding the key tracks from the week to showcase.
DB: How does it feel to be tasked with the mixing of “the Super Bowl of trance mix-comps” – Ministry of Sound’s timeless “Trance Nation?”
SP: Amazing. I grew up listening to these compilations from ‘99. It’s iconic and legendary. To be a part of this series is an amazing feeling.
DB: What should we expect from 2015’s “Trance Nation?”
SP: A journey of cutting edge forward thinking music. It’s everything I am about as DJ.
DB: How did you go about hand-picking the tracks for this year’s “Trance Nation?” Would you say that this year’s “Trance Nation” differs from Aly & Fila’s 2014 mix? If so, how?
SP: I haven’t listened to Aly & Fila’s "Trance Nation" compilation so I can’t compare, but my sound is so different from theirs as it is so I’m guessing it’s going to be different. We picked the best tracks from each genre that we wanted to represent and present it in a way that creates a journey through sound.
DB: What’s your favorite track from the album – not your own – and why? As in, why was it essential to this year’s “Trance Nation,” and how does it capture the essence of trance in the year 2015?
SP: My favourite track is probably Greg Downey & Bo Bruce's "These Hands I Hold." It has the right amount of vocals with a great hook and a good drop.
DB: Track selection is one thing, but track order is a completely different beast. How did you establish the track order of Disc I and II, respectively?
SP: Keeping it flowing is key. When there is a downbeat moment, it’s got to be relevant. The key was also in the tracks -- they do the talking. We spent a long time making sure that we had the right material.
DB: Can you describe for us the respective motifs and themes that are intrinsic to both discs? What variable(s) would you say distinguishes the discs from each other?
SP: The first disc is more laid back before slowly building up; it’s a bit more experimental. Disc 2 is formidable for clubs and picks things up quite a bit. There’s a lot of everything.
DB: The mix-comp features your rework of “Fire in the House” by the indie-rock band Hard Fi. What inspired you to give their track a retake? Can you tell us a bit about how and why you approached it the way that you did?
SP: I loved the original, and wanted to do a version for the album of a band that I’m really into. I take much influence from rock culture. It’s what I listen to in my downtime. Thankfully the band liked it enough to put it on the album.
DB: Your most recently debuted track “Time Stood Still,” featuring the vocals of Matt Adey, was played on Armin van Buuren’s legendary “A State of Trance” Episode 704 and is included in the mix-comp. How did you know that Matt Adey would be the right fit for the track’s vocals? Describe for us the emotions that you wanted to evoke from this track.
SP: I already had Matt’s vocals. I loved his song and I wanted to create a driving, but beautifully crafted, breakdown to let the vocals come through. It’s everything that I’m about: it’s got psy influence, techno, trance, rock and great vocals.
DB: How have you dealt with maintaining your signature sound despite the evolution of the scene, the genre, and the industry over the years?
SP: By maintaining quality control and having a great team of people around me to keep me focused.
DB: How’s it like to have a West Coast residency at Avalon, Hollywood? The weather here is pretty tough to beat now that the vernal equinox has set in. What do you love, if anything, about Southern California and the West Coast?
SP: I love America in general! The shows are huge and it’s so fresh here. The clubs and big events are all packed and there is a great inspiring buzz about being here. I love the west coast but I also love the east coast. They both have their pluses.
DB: What should fans expect from your upcoming shows? Including “Time Stood Still,” are there any fresh catches that you’ll be sharing with them?
SP: I have loads of stuff on the go and in the works. Stay tuned to my weekly Open Up radio show, as I’ll be airing lots of new tracks over the coming weeks.
DB: What would you say is the largest issue that the world is facing in this day and age? If you could change anything with the snap of a finger, what would it be and why?
SP: War. Pure and simple. Fighting is the worst thing. I’d love to change that.
DB: What’s the golden rule behind your success? Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the world out there?
SP: Never ever settle. 101% or not at all - that’s my motto.
Well, you heard the man: Never settle. Life is just much sweeter that way. Don't settle for that year-old Spotify playlist that you listen to daily, and pre-order your copy of "Trance Nation 2015" here!
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