Trance act Above & Beyond to play set at Barrowland
Tony McGuinness sees trance music as a form of 'group therapy'
Some dismiss trance as lowest common denominator dance music but for many it’s the epitome of club culture: the big build-ups, the huge breakdowns, glo-sticks, lasers and Gatecrasher kids. Whatever the critical reception, trance is wildly popular. Only names like Tiësto, Deadmau5 and Armin van Buuren can sell out stadiums, arenas and festivals. And Above & Beyond are joining their ranks.
‘Unlike some more disjointed, technical dance music, trance music has songs. Above & Beyond’s music is an attempt to deal with the emotional questions we all ask from time to time and if not provide answers at least show that someone else is feeling the same way as you,’ explains Tony McGuiness, one third of A&B alongside Jono Grant and Paavo Siljamäki. ‘That’s the reason why trance is getting more popular, rather than being in a dark club with your head down lost in a journey of your own, it’s a group therapy experience which is where the name came from.’
He’s referring to Above & Beyond’s second album Group Therapy, and McGuiness is right they pay far more attention to the live experience than most other DJs who are happy to spin the records and hide behind the decks. ‘We’ve put a lot of time, effort and a considerable amount of money into producing something that we think looks good while your listening to the music.’ Above & Beyond want to create a shared experience with the crowd writing messages on screen to further connect with the audience. ‘Paavo has been instrumental in getting the software from the decks to speak to the software that drives the visuals so that whatever clips we choose to put up are exactly in time to the music. They’re all themed so it’s almost like a little film.’
Barrowland, Glasgow, Fri 20 Apr.