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Interview with a UK hard trance legend - Steve Blake

Reported by Wiggii / Submitted 17-05-05 10:30

Steve Blake has been involved in the UK hard dance scene for over a decade and has toured countries as far afield as Australia and New Zealand and only a stones throw away in Ibiza. His name is one of the most recognised names in the UK hard dance scene, with his productions played week in and week out and still receiving the recognition they deserve by waving hands in the air crowds going mental whenever the tunes are aired. He is not only an amazing dj, but a prolific producer and a remixer and does a damn fine job at all three! He has approximately 20 singles under his belt, numerous remixes and most of these crowd pleasing productions are featured on some of the biggest and best selling compilations that have hit the commercial market in the last few years.

Some of his best work includes ‘Adrenaline’, ‘I Get A Rush’ and ‘Phase 2’ to name a few and his productions have been signed to the likes of Fevah House & Trance, Tidy, Tripoli Trax, Nukleuz, Impact and the list goes on….

His remixing skills are equally as impressive as his production, being given the opportunity of remixing some of the biggest tunes the UK has to offer. The most prolific of these are ‘Breathe’, ‘Dreamer’, ‘Malice In Wonderland’ and ‘Reincarnations’. Although some of these have been collaboration remixes, you can clearly recognise his raw talent in the elements that contribute and make these remixes some of the most cherished tunes that we will ever have the pleasure of hearing!

Steve has been kind enough to give up some of his valuable time to answer a few questions for us.

When you are not entertaining the masses, what do you get up to to keep busy?

I like to try and get one or two days in the studio during the week but this can often prove to be a struggle as I’m still, and always have been, working full time and I also have many things to do and organise for the Impact label. This includes mastering, metalwork, artwork, test pressings, promos, release schedules and mail outs… there’s so much involved in running a label so that all keeps me extremely busy indeed!

You co-own the Impact Record label with Phil Reynolds. Can you give us a brief description of what you have and still are trying to achieve with the label and what you are aiming for in the future?

We started the label initially to release our own productions on, but very soon started to sign tracks from other artists and progressed from there. We’ve had releases played on Radio 1 by Dave Pearce, a couple of tracks signed to bigger labels and quite a few releases signed to compilation albums so far and we’re now coming up to the 15th release since we re-launched after Infectious went bust; there were three releases previous to that.

We’ve never really been out to achieve anything as such, but are extremely happy with the way things have gone so far.

The latest project has been the website for the label that I’ve been working on with a friend of mine. It’s taken a lot longer than anticipated and we’ve had a lot of problems with the server but we’ve just changed over and it’s all coming together now. Once it’s done we’ll be uploading samples of forthcoming releases, selling Impact mp3 downloads, vinyl and merchandise, so watch this space for the official website launch!

You pride yourself on your energizing and charged productions. What element of your work do you think makes it different and stand out from all the other stuff out there?

I think my key ingredients are energised bass lines and uplifting riffs. There’s lots of other little elements as well but those are the essential ones.

The tune ‘I Get A Rush’ is simply an amazing piece of work that never fails to get a “hands in the air” response every time it is played. What was it that inspired you when creating this floor filler?

At that time the harder side of trance was coming through and as I was into both trance and hard house I was naturally inspired to create a track with a fusion of both.

Have you been in the studio much recently?

Yes I’ve done a remix of a track by Greg Brookman that we signed and I’ve also done a couple of collaborations with Scotty Hedges and Brad Thatcher recently.

Your productions have been featured on so many big mixed compilations. Which of these would you say you are most proud to have some of your work featured on?

Pretty much all of them, Extreme Euphoria, Tidy, Frantic, Trade, React, Dance Valley, Hard House Nation but above all the best one for me was the last compilation that Tony De Vit mixed which was for Warners called Elements. It was an honour to have my work on that compilation.

Any plans in the near future for an album launch?

No I don’t have any plans or time to do one!

There is a lot of talk about at the moment revolving around a theory that the trance side of dance music is on it’s way out and hard house is here to stay and will only get bigger and more popular as time goes on. What do you have to say on this topic, do you feel this is true?

There’s always a trance vs. hard house battle going on but to be honest both genres have been around for quite a few years now and are just going round in circles, so I wouldn’t say either is any more popular than the other… at the end of the day it’s down to personal taste and not musical trends.

You last did an international tour in 2003 to Oz & New Zealand. Are there any plans in the pipeline for another tour in the near future?

I’m going to try and organise a tour over there again towards the end of this year or very early next year when its summer!

Every single time I’ve been over it’s been summer over here and winter over there, so it’ll make a nice change.

What are your thoughts on the whole London hard dance scene at the moment? Do you think it has all gotten a bit to serious with a lot of promotions revolving too much around politics and not just plain good old fun and partying?

There’s lots of talk about hard dance being dead but I don’t think it’s dead at all. There are still many big promotions around that are filling clubs and there’s still a great atmosphere at many of them too, for example, Heat, Tasty, Logic, Frantic, Twisted, Innovate and many, many more. There’s also a few new smaller promotions that are doing very well like Addiction, Friendz & One, all very intimate with a buzzing atmosphere.

There is a certain degree of politics among some of the bigger promotions but I don’t think it affects the quality of these events for the clubbers though.

I see that your next London event is at Heaven playing for a rather popular up & coming promotion called BASIC. Is this the first time you have played for them and are you looking forward to it?

Yes it is and I’ve not played at Heaven for a long time. I used to play there regularly so I’m really looking forward to it… bring it on!!!

Do you think progression in a set is essential no matter what time you are booked to play?

For a warm up set I would say its essential but not really any set time, the way a set is played depends on many things, for instance the style of the previous DJ, the mood of the crowd and the style of the next DJ… etc.

I keep hearing people talking about the death of vinyl. Do you think this is the case and CD is taking over?

I don’t think it’s going to die totally but I think its certainly going to slow down regarding sales.

Many DJs still prefer to use vinyl but I think the use of the mp3 format will increase as more labels release mp3s and more mp3 download websites become available.

There has been a big shift in the way that people want to buy there music now, whether it’s by ordering vinyl from an internet mail order record store or from mp3 download sites.

Which medium do you prefer to mix on, CD or vinyl?

I really have no preference, but CDs are a hell of a lot easier to carry!!

Lastly, would you prefer to play for a small to medium but very intimate, fresh and energetic promotion or a big scale one that is a little static and less charged?

The scale of the event really doesn’t matter, what matters to me is people having a wicked night with an electric atmosphere, which quite often is the smaller more intimate events.

Many thanks to Steve for his time and the use of his photos.

Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Friday 20th May
At: Heaven [map]

From: 10pm - 6am
Cost: £10 Advanced tickets / More on the door
Ticket Info: ::Ticket Info::

£10 + bf Advance / More on the door

Guest lists
07906 091 769

::Where to buy::
08700 600 100
0870 246 2050
07908 809 077
Mad Records
0207 4390707
Cyberdog Camden
0207 4822842
07813684399 / 020 83520705
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: Habittz Media Proudly Presents:


Friday 20th May
10pm – 6am
Under the Arches, Villiers Street, Charing Cross, London

BASIC’s rise to prominence has seen it go from a small party in an unknown, underground venue to one of London’s biggest and busiest clubs, Heaven in Charing Cross! BASIC has come a long way in ten short months and is quickly becoming a promotion that has earn't it’s respect in the hard dance scene and one who’s reputation far exceeds it. With it’s unique and mind blowing line-up’s to it’s no politics attitude and electrifying atmosphere that is sure to get your toes twitching and your bum wiggling and leave you smiling at the end, you now know where to be on May 20th 2005!!
Region: London
Music: Trance. Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Psy Trance. Nu NRG. House. Deep House. Funky House. Prog House. Tribal House. Vocal House. Breaks.
DJ's: ::Hard Trance Arena::

Steve Blake
El Greko (Basic)
Nick Basic (Basic)
Stretch (Basic)
Stu Cox

::House Arena::

Phil Able (Cyberdog)
Alex Parsons
Roffie (Sweet As Taboo)
Steve Haines (Bounce)

Who's Going? (35) : Alex Parsons, aninha, BASIC, cd, dani d, Dave85, Dickon Laws, dj stretch, Dr DUZZIT, eddas, El Greko, em83, George-E, Goliath Jones, HouseGuy, Hypnosis, JC FRANTIC, kevster, kulu, Neil Farnham, Nick Basic, Pandora S-K, Pent uP!, Pepper, Phil Able, PolysexualBex, Richard Launch, Roffie, Special K!, Steve Blake, Stu Cox, TemptationGirl2, Ugniukas, Wiggii, Zoelee 

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Other Features By Wiggii:
An audience with Paul Maddox
10800 seconds with Mr Simon Rutherford before his world exclusive 3 hour set
Interview with a new hybrid dj & producer - Kutski
Interview with a born and bred scouser - GUFFY
Interview with The Greek - EL GREKO
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: Andy T on 17th May 2005 10:54.56
Not worthy... Not worthy... Absolute Legend Thumbs up There's only one Steve Blake !!!

From: sexyminx on 17th May 2005 12:12.26
A great legend & Angel its a pleasure to know you Steve Kiss missing ya loads - rita the minx xxx

From: Stevi D on 17th May 2005 12:31.14

From: DJD4RK on 17th May 2005 12:40.40
Great interview.
Steve Blake is one of the nicest guys I've met and an amazing DJ. Uplifting, yet Hard, just the way the Squelcher massive like it.

Looking forward to seeing you again at Squelcher vs Guilt on June 3rd!

From: carl nicholson on 17th May 2005 13:45.41
Big up to blakey!Thumbs up

From: HeatUK. on 17th May 2005 14:23.03
Add your comments here ! One of my favourite DJs and one helluva guy! Damo HeatUK

From: James Jaye on 17th May 2005 15:23.01
Awesome dj/producer.Some of my most memorable clubbing moments have been during your sets mateNot worthy... The first record i bought was 'Get a Rush' on Vinyl Tension.Remember trying to sing it to Thermobee in Kinetec cos i didn't know what it was!to have you sign and then remix Real High was incredible. Best of luck SteveThumbs up

From: Baynesy on 17th May 2005 15:50.29
Biggups.... Will never forget Steve Blakes set @ The Starlight Ballroom - Wellington

From: Michelle G on 17th May 2005 17:37.26
Legend Go go go In lurrve Go go go Kiss Great interview Babe x

From: El Greko on 17th May 2005 18:26.07
Top stuff mate, "get a rush" is still one of my all time faves.

See u at BASIC Wink

From: Charlie Rox on 18th May 2005 13:18.51
The guy is a legend, plays the best sets ever and is a totally nice bloke, big respect and keep firing the dance floor!!!!!

From: Janie Mac on 18th May 2005 15:52.23
Love you Blakey!

From: Trevor McLachlan on 18th May 2005 16:51.44

Nice work Blakey and good interview ... Steve is one of the nicest blokes on the scene and an awesome DJ as well. Keep up the good work mate .... Thumbs up

From: Charlie Bradley on 19th May 2005 11:03.39
Steve Blake - absolute legend!
Total class DJ and quality tunes!

From: Maria on 19th May 2005 14:40.17
We love you baby!!!

From: Lozz on 20th May 2005 12:11.31
Top bloke - the most consistent DJ I have ever heard, always hits the spot anywhere, anytime!

From: torbs on 20th May 2005 17:09.20
Add your comments here !
Yo younger bro - Chisel made me do it honest! Slap her ass!
bah bah bee bahdeebah - wiggle it!
Stefano you have been the tops since '95 & its been legendary ever since! Long may it continue.

From: Ian Edwards on 22nd May 2005 19:41.55
well done for all your achievements. Top bloke..

From: Carine on 22nd May 2005 20:41.41
My favourite hard trance dj and such a friendly chap. Your sets are always top quality. I get a rush always puts a smile on my face...

From: anton@heat on 24th May 2005 14:30.20
Blakey is a legend. Have always followed him since the old fevah days. I have never heard him play a bad set and thats saying a lot. Besides all that he has done some of the biggest tunes ever. Keep up the good work!!

From: *Ting* on 15th Jun 2005 01:07.07
Love to you Blakey... Great to finally meet you in Thailand. Splash...

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