What a brilliant year 2015 has been musically. Yet again I’m going to sound like a broken record banging on about Trance and how it’s already well on course for its return to prime position. I bloody love Trance music and dedicated my career to it, so I think that qualifies me, so why not? The last few years Trance’s great name has taken a bashing. Once the big money was bled dry and Trance’s name was tarnished, others fled in pursuit of greater riches to new popular genres, whilst many like me stayed back to pick up the pieces and fight for it#s great name.
I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, I have something more special in the form of having almost 30 years in the music industry. I’ve seen the musical fads come and go; we all look back at names form the past and ask the question ‘where are they now’? I’m still here, so must be doing something right! With all those years experience we gain the most powerful tool of all, its called ‘A DJ’s gut instinct’. Many of the worlds most successful: promoters, A&R people, agents, managers, even cult movements in both mainstream and underground worlds have been born off the back of this, it’s power can’t be underestimated.
It’s important to look back in order to move forward. History gives you an insight of what succeeded, failed and why. The most recent, a manufactured genre called Dubstep. While the world embraced it, those with the gift of a DJ gut instinct stood back to keep their distance then took a moment to thank their special gift for the right answer.
As history shows, when a genre takes a monumental crushing, a natural filter process happens leaving only the true dedicated passionate people behind dedicated to it’s cause.
Quality Trance will last for as long as people are willing to fight for it, something we’re not short of. We reach out hands of help and friendship to each other and become an inseparable community that attracts yet more likewise passionate people. It’s called a movement. This movement is growing at a rapid pace and reminds me of pivotal Trance movements from the past. There’s many little signs that feed my gut instinct; dedicated Trance festivals selling out, club owners and promoters actively hunting for Trance again and most recently Mat Zo and Gouryella dipping their toes back in.
I’ll say this once again, Trance is one of the most resilient genres out there due to it offering so many flavours inside from: Deep, Uplifting, Vocal, Progressive, Hard etc. enabling a dance floor to remain interesting throughout the evening. Though many of us have different styles within the Trance world, we keep that unity and work in harmony providing those epic musical journeys on the dance floor.
When it comes to my personal love of the deeper Progressive side of Trance, I see once again this world growing. Progressive Trance has always sat parallel with the Progressive House world, though today it’s labeled as Techno. As history once showed, when the world of John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren etc. boomed, shortly after the Progressive Trance world followed with people looking for a more energetic version. These days are upon us right now and feel 2016 will be a wonderful year for this much beloved sub genre.
For me personally as an artist I’ve been fighting the same gremlins as we did with JOOF Recordings. We needed to grow and expand launching two new labels to enable us to focus on these specialist genres under a sub label name. I’m a rare artists that has a broad musical pallet and often find it impossible to keep all camps happy with each release, for example the Psy world is miles apart from the Progressive Trance scene. As with JOOF Recordings, I’m splitting myself in two and creating a dedicated Psy alias. It was an instant creative fix in the studio not having those boundaries, so much so I’ve written a whole album! The same happened with my Trance and Progressive Trance productions, the music keeps flooding out.
Over the years my fans have given me the nickname of JOOF,so it seems a natural choice to use this as my Psy Alias that I plan to perform Live shows in the Psy world, thus allowing John 00 Fleming to continue with my Trance quest.
2015 has been a really fantastic year for everything JOOF all round and must give special thanks to the Bonzai family in Belgium and Music First agency in Ireland for supporting and making this happen. JOOF Editions tour concept has grown into the platform I dreamed of playing extended sets along with the larger events where I bring a bunch of guests, KOKO London being the highlight where we had Ace Ventura, Alex Di Stefano and Airwave. I will certainly concentrate on more of my solo open-to-close and extended sets throughout next year as I’m in at my ultimate best performing when in my zone of these sets.
I have to admit these extended sets drain me, both physically and mentally. I spend hours each and every week hunting for music, then practice marathon sets in my studio getting used to the new music I have found in order to get to know my music and knowing what playlists to place them. I take this very seriously. I’m also a label boss, host a radio show, a music producer along with the long haul flights often leaves me with very little time for myself to recuperate.
I’m still that kid DJ inside that wants to play out each and every weekend and can’t say no, but I don’t want it to affect my music production. Often having only 3 days in the UK at home doesn’t allow me enough time to be creative in the studio, soI must learn to say ‘No’ now and then to buy me extra studio time, you’ll certainly hear the rewards via my releases.
The only low point of 2015 was resigning as director of The Brighton Music Conference. Over time it soon became clear that we all had different ideas of what direction to take the company so decided to part ways so that I can carry on with my lifetime quest of giving help, education and support to the new emerging talent. I’m already well into my next project and will give information very soon.
As always I’m extremely thankful for the constant support and as a gesture of thanks of the support you’ll get a treat of a 2 hour Deep Mix on Global Trance Grooves next week. Yes, those who are asking, I’ll also look at doing an extended full power ‘JOOF’ turbo mix later in the year.
Have a wonderful 2016 everyone.
– John ’00’ Fleming