After wrapping up a weekend in Japan, Stuart Langelaan, better known as Lange, took some time to speak with us from his studio on the UK. In the midst of touring the world, Lange is the first to admit that the life of a musician is non-stop. Between producing his latest artist album, mixing an upcoming compilation album, releasing new singles, touring the world, and managing his record label, Lange admits there’s “no rest for the wicked.” Luckily this international DJ had a few minutes to chat with EDM TOR about what he’s got coming up for the rest of year, check out what he had to say!
EDM TOR: First of all, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today! Word is out that you’ll be mixing a pretty big compilation album this summer. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Lange: Unfortunately I can’t reveal what is is yet, but it’s going to be a double album with two mixes that I can take into different directions. I’ve got some new exclusives to put on there along with plenty from my label. A very exciting project!
So it sounds like this will be a great build up to the release of your next artist album!
Yes! The next artist album will be my third, and that’s coming out toward the end of the year.
How excited are you?
Very! It’s always quite a task to do a new album, but I felt like it was the right time. The last album I made was in 2010, so I guess I tend to do one every couple of years – all the stress of writing an album kind of puts you off of writing one the next year, let’s put it that way! This year I am doing things a little bit differently – rather than hiding here in the studio for 6 months, I am literally writing the tracks and releasing the club mixes throughout the year. Towards the end of year I am going to put together some special versions of the tracks to make a flowing album that will be interesting to listen to in one piece, from start to finish! That’s the idea, to do something different.
Now that there are so many new DJs and producers, do you feel you need to step out of the box like this to stay at the forefront of the scene?
Well, that wasn’t the only reason I chose this route. The thing is, when I do a club mix quite often in the breakdown there is some music I want to take in a certain direction, maybe develop it differently, but because of the club mix format I have to stick to things that will work in in a club. I don’t always take things as far as I want to musically, so this gives me a chance to go back to the tracks I’ve been making over the year and try something different with them. It makes it quite exciting and, like I say, the end product will have a twist.
Do I need to do this? Yes, you definitely need to have more output these days as tracks don’t really last as long as they used to. I remember the days when you used to put out promo vinyls – you’d put out 10,000 free copies for starters and a track would build over a six month period while people would be waiting to hear it over the radio and in the clubs. Now with YouTube and all, everything is instant. People get bored of track so easily in just a few weeks’ time. Everything is so fast-paced, so it’s good to come out with a few new ideas to keep things interesting!
Sounds like you’ve got a good idea in the works, so all the best with that! The album is entitled We Are Lucky People. Where did the inspiration for the album come from? Is there a story behind the name?
Basically the name comes from a track I wrote last year called We Are Lucky People. I remember coming up with the name sitting on a flight and I just thought “I am very lucky to be doing this. Wow.” I never thought when I started writing music some 15 years ago, that I’d be sitting on a plane going to all these different places every weekend, meeting all these people, having all these experiences. I just saw how lucky I am, and in fact people in the scene are very lucky…that’s where it came from. When it came to naming the album, it just felt right to use the same title.
The album will feature one of your latest tracks, Risk Worth Taking, featuring the vocals of Susana. How did the collaboration with Susana come about?
We’ve been threatening to do a collaboration for a years now actually! I first met Susana on tour, I think it was in Egypt, and I talked with her a couple of times. It’s always been lots of fun and we said we must coordinate sometime. Of course schedules don’t always match up, but finally we managed to do it this year. She’s absolutely brilliant to work with and she’s a lot of fun. She came up with the vocals and I made the music around it. That’s how I work, and it always happens naturally.
With the release of the new album, you plan to integrate interactivity with your fan base. How do you plan to get your fans involved?
I’m going to be doing some behind the scenes footage in the studio to show how the tracks have been built. I’m meeting a lot of people on tour and have been doing tons of of meet & greets where I’ve been handing out these wristbands. We are thinking of doing something very special with everyone who’s got a wristband. I can’t reveal anything yet, but I’m certainly going around the world handing them out.
Let’s talk a little bit about the evolution of dance music. You’ve been around for about 15 years now, how was the landscape changed in your opinion?
It’s changed on many levels. I mentioned earlier about the way the promo is a lot shorter and tracks are a lot quicker these days. The internet was obviously a massive factor in that. Trance music has gone through massive change over this period of time. There has been a bit of an uproar online with people being upset that trance is kind of absorbing other genres, particularly the “EDM” big room sound. Personally, I think trance music has to evolve. As an artist I would have found it difficult to make the same tracks I was making years ago. I think it’s critical that you try different things and stretch your legs in different directions, but I always come back to trance at the end of the day, that’s what I’m passionate about. I might stick in some techno or electro here and there, but it’s not because I to want to want to jump into another genre – it’s just to enjoy it.
The word on the street is that some producers are switching out of trance, not because they lost interest, but because of the intensity of fans and the way the industry is going. Do you have comments on this?
I personally haven’t gotten any backlash. I suppose I’ve always tinkered with other sounds and I’ve seemed to have gotten way with it! My fans seem reasonably happy to accept that I’m going to try doing something different or that I may try throwing that curve ball track in a set. I’ve been doing this for along time, so maybe my fan base is bit more accepting than other peoples’? If artists are being pure trance all the way down the line, they probably are seeing a backlash when they suddenly change their sound. It’s funny, we talk about the golden trance days being 1999-2001 etc, I remember people complaining then that trance had gone commercial and wasn’t sticking to its roots effectively. Of course there was trance before that, and it was very underground. At every stage someone can look back and say “it’s not how it used to be.”
Of course we are seeing a huge boom of electronic music in North America. People are calling Vegas the new Ibiza of America. Would you agree with that statement?
Vegas is definitely the Ibiza of America, thought I wouldn’t say necessarily it’s the new Ibiza. It’s a very different vibe. Vegas is a very showy place where people spend big bucks. There’s a little bit of that in Ibiza, but it’s more about getting down and dancing to underground music. It’s a very different place.
Do you have plans to schedule Canada in the near future?
Nothing scheduled right now, but I hope it’s not too long before I get a chance- I’m sure it won’t be too long!
Tell us a little bit about Intercity Radio – what can one expect when tuning in?
Intercity is my radio show. I try to make sure the music quality is there every week – I put a lot of effort into the show. It’s not just what I DJ in the clubs – I do put some more progressive stuff in there sometimes, but generally it’s a good guide to the stuff I am into at any time. It’s been going for nearly 5 years now, we’ll be celebrating 150 episodes soon!
The 100th episode was a huge celebration!
Yes! The 100th episode was a 24hrs celebration. It literally streamed online for 24hrs, and generated 20,000 tweets. I was very excited and overwhelmed with how successful the show was.
So what’s left for you to accomplish?
That’s a difficult question, as there’s lots I haven’t accomplished. I am just living moment. There are cities I haven’t visited, and events I haven’t done. I’d like to put on some of my own events, and do more personal things with my music. I can’t be specific on what exactly I want to do in the future, I’m just enjoying it right now.
Sounds like the way to go! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today, hopefully we’ll see you in Toronto soon!
Thanks so much for your support, I look forward to sharing both the compilation and the album this year, and I look forward to seeing you guys soon!
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR