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Newcastle NSW, Australia Trance Techno Progressive House

If I had to make a statement about myself as a DJ, I’d say I’m most widely known for playing sets smack bang in the middle of the Melodic and Uplifting Trance spectrum. The simple fact is, though, that I also love to dabble in the sounds of guys like Jaytech, Ellke Kleijn, Reuben De Ronde, Sven Wittekind, Aeron Aether, Viper XXL, Arovane, Sasha, Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer, Eric Sneo....This list could go on forever.

Flexibility like this has provided me with many amazing opportunites over the past eight years, from being one of two local DJs asked to play at the Sydney Trance Energy party, warming up the festival crowd at Global Gathering, having entire hour long mix broadcast nationwide on FM radio, to undertaking the rather daunting task of keeping a post-new years nightclub crowd moving after Ferry Corsten had just spent three hours tearing its roof off.

It’s definitely as much of a personal journey as it is a shared one. Finding that balance between satisfying myself musically, and satisfying the people who come to see me play. I try to strike that balance between keeping things unpredictable whilst still keeping them within the realms of what the audience would appreciate.

I love nothing more than spending two hours gently teasing the drinking crowd toward the dancefloor, right through to playing slamming Tech-Trance and Techno sets to warm up for the Hardstyle boys and girls in my hometown of Newcastle, Australia.

As much as performing on stage is my favourite part of being a DJ, there are other things that surprised me with how rewarding I found them. In 2008 I started a podcast, called Trance Essential. I did it as a way to show off music that I didn’t get a chance to play out at gigs. I had absolutely no idea what a monster it would turn in to, at that point. From consistently reaching top ten status in the iTunes music podcasts charts, to being featured front page on iTunes “Top Podcasts of 2008” feature.

Not long after this, I figured it was time to give this very fast growing entity a life of it’s own. I’d had a bit of experience working with record labels in the past (Trancetribe Recordings and its sublabels), so I figured it was time to not only put my stamp on the musical world, but give others a boost along the way. That’s the point where I founded Trance Essential Records.

This provided me with an even wider range of challenges, but still felt like a form of DJing. Bear with me, I’ll explain! It starts by hunting down a quality but unheard track. Then that is closely followed by finding suitable artists to remix it. Then you need to pick the perfect time to release it upon the world. That’s just the beginning, though. The rewarding thing about this, is that it’s just turned from being a personal experience you simply show to other people, to being one you can actually share with other people (And it needs to be said that having an artist, who’s first ever release I had just launched, send me an email one night saying “Roger Shah just played my track on his radio show!” will go down as probably the single most satisfying moment in my musical career, thus far. I could actually sense his excitement, from the other side of the world).

This in turn has influenced me again as a DJ again, to no end. Just like most DJs in the beginning, it used to be all about playing the biggest sets in the biggest clubs in front of the biggest crowds or with the biggest name DJs. But it was that realisation that I find my favourite moments when I was right in there with the people who came to see me play, not stuck up on a stage 12 metres away, that has continued to give me fresh experiences over eight years down the track.

It’s a cycle that I hope continues to change me, musically.

I’m already beginning to influence this change upon myself. A project is in the works that is based around performing live with drum machines and synthesisers. Music made up on the spot by me, but conducted by the actions of the people on the dancefloor.

Early 2013 i’m hoping to launch my new night. One solo DJ playing for 6 or more hours, to a small tightly packed club. Start to finish. An opportunity to finally tie in all periods of a club night that DJ’s are faced with, but to do it all on the one night, non stop. A break from the other nights jamming four or five DJs into short sets.

2013 holds space for a lot of refreshing changes in my music. Hopefully that brings fresh enjoyment for those who want to be a part of it.

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