Spotlight: Above and Beyond have got the label, Anjunabeats, the radio show, Trance All Around The World, and you’re touring all over the world. How do you do it all?! Is there a specific way you split the workload?
Tony (Above & Beyond): It’s an enormous amount of work! In terms of DJing, we always send 2 people to do the dates, apart from special cases like Ibiza, where we’re all doing it. It enables us to keep the production going, which is very important. We’re producers first and foremost, and DJing is a way of expressing that music to the public. In terms of the label, we do A&R for the label, which is a time consuming thing, but there’s a lot of people in our office, doing a lot of work on our behalf, helping us collect all the promos for the radio show, etc. as it’s got bigger we’ve got more and more people helping us, at the moment we’ve got about 12 staff!
You’re currently on radio show number 325, when is the next landmark show? Have you got anything special planned?
This week we’re doing an Ibiza Special, we’ve been asking our fans to nominate an Ibiza-esque track, so I’ll be splitting the radio show in between new stuff and requested Ibiza classics. We’re maybe thinking of doing something around 350, although we did have a daft idea to just pick a random number, why should all the even numbers get all the attention? What’s so special about Trance All Around The World 350, what about Trance All Around The World 377? It’s become an incredibly important part of what we do, and in some respects, it’s the main way that most of the people around the world hear us.
How do you keep on top of Above and Beyond’s web presence?
We’ve got 4 people helping with I.T related stuff. So much of our communication goes through Facebook, email, viral campaigns, Twitter...it’s important to keep on top of that and keep one step ahead of it. We’ve got all sorts of funnelling gadgets on our website so that if you post something on one, it will automatically show on others, to try and build a sense of community, which has always been really important to us.
Only 10% of downloads are legal, how has music piracy affected Anjunabeats?
Like every record label, it’s severely effected the amount of money that we make from record sales. It seems odd to me that the world’s musicians and producers are expected to work for free. Unless you’ve got some sort of live out-put, your career as a musician is hugely effected by piracy. I hope it doesn’t happen to film and books in the same way. As we move increasingly into an ideas-based economy, it doesn’t really work if there’s no economy for the ideas.
DJs such as Judge Jules and Eddie Halliwell have a massive presence in Ibiza, how come your presence hasn’t been as significant?
We were residents at Judgement Sundays 5 years ago, and then at Cream for 3 years, but this year we’re taking a year off to really concentrate on recording our album. Although this year, we’ve got 2 big nights in Ibiza, we’re doing our own night at Cream on July 1st, and we’re coming back again to do the Radio 1 night at Amnesia. Hopefully we’ll be back to do more dates next year.
Do you see Ibiza as important to your career?
Ibiza’s important for people who like club music because a lot of them go there on holiday, there are other locations that people go, and we play at some of those, for instance Ayia Napa, Malta, etc. but Ibiza has a kind of perennial strength, it goes up and down every year, but I still think it’s the most important summer location to play, and more importantly I just love it there, as a party location it’s second to none.
Can you let us into any hot gossip about the secret beach party?
Because we’re only doing one Anjunabeach date, we wanted to make it extra special for those who booked their holiday in that week, so we decided to do a little beach party at a secret location. There’s going to be 100 competition winners, plus probably a few stragglers, and we just wanted to give something back. I’ve seen the beach, it looks like a lovely little place and it’s just going to be a bit more relaxed, I think I might play a hastily prepared tech-house set, just something different from the night before at Amnesia.
What’s your favourite track on your new album, Anjunabeats Volume 8?
I have to say, our new single which is called A Thing Called Love! We’ve been incorporating a lot of the tracks off the album into our sets over the last few weeks, it’s great when we get a great crop of tracks; it really reminds us why we spend all that time and effort on the label. The artists we have on the label have really come up trumps this time, I think this album is one of the best we’ve ever done.
Who are your ones to watch for the year ahead?
Mat Zo is an incredibly talented new producer/DJ from the UK, he also does drum and bass, he’s amazing. We’ve also just signed a young guy from Russia called Arty, he’s really on fire at the minute. Both those guys I mentioned, pretty much every track they do is fantastic.
Finally, on your website, you have flags next to where you’re playing, how come Glastonbury has an American flag, and Ibiza, an Italian one?
That’s, er, that’s a fuck up! I will sort that out!
Calling all art lovers!
...asserting Schwarz’s position as one of the dance industry’s most technically proficient musicians
Elements, OpenLab and Benirrás. Perfect combination to start their season.
Remember that secret money-belt your parents made you take the first time you went travelling?
These two combined are going to tear Amnesia's house down.
Ibiza is proper mad, mate.
This party is going to make Ibiza move!
Fruity tunes this Friday.