A Sit Down With DJ Binary Finary

14:19 Dec/15/2017


Alongside A-leaguers like Ferry Corsten and Paul van Dyk, UK’s Binary Finary is among the true veterans of the trance genre. Nearly 20 years ago—when the sound was reaching its first zenith—they penned the all-time classic anthem “1998.” The record encapsulated the heightened emotions that resonated through the early trance scene and have stayed strong to this day.

Binary Finary teamed up with DJ Ernesto to set up their own record label called ‘Future Focus Recordings’. The label very quickly managed to become a firm favourite in the Trance scene, and their releases are simply magnificent. Their remix for Alpha Duo’s featuring Fisher – ‘Fight For Love’, was a huge success followed by Binary Finary vs Pulse & Sphere – ‘High Stress’ and their latest one ‘Flight of Life’. Of course they release remixes and tracks on other labels also, including their very hot-at-the-moment collaboration with Genix on Digital Society recordings, called, Smoking Gun.  As it seems the Binary Finary beloved project is back in full force with a series of must-have future trance classics.

 

 "The one thing I keep going back to as the defining point for me personally was that when I changed the mindset of producing and creating music from something that needs to be played out."


 
Is it possible to tell us how the Binary Finary project started and why you chose that particular name for your project? Does this name signify something special for you?


Prior to the reforming of Binary Finary (Stuart and Sasha), I met Matt in a music shop in 1997, when I was looking to buy some hardware. He told me about a keyboard that wasn’t in the shop, but he had one at home I was welcome to come and check out. I went along to check it and heard the basics of 1998 (then called 1997) and things pretty much formed quickly after that. The scene at the time was so powerful; we just kind of got pulled together.

The name Binary was used because at it’s root the synths and computer were pushing binary numbers around to make the sounds, Finary because nothing else rhymes with Binary?



Seeing Binary Finary on the lineup for Dreamstate SoCal 2016 & Dreamstate SF 2017 was a dream come true for many fans. What were those experiences like, and how do they compare to trance events in Europe?


There is a really beautiful and lovely feeling around the trance scene in the USA. It was very telling to see it in San Francisco. It reminded me of how the scene was in the UK in the mid 90’s. Everyone there for the music, united by it and sharing the experience together. All ego’s set aside, promoters working together, to the benefit of the scene in general. That’s the biggest thing to take away from the Dreamstate SF experience. It was just wonderful. The production for the event was utterly amazing. I’ve not witnessed anything like this before. From the quality of the sound (high power without ringing your ears) to the incredible visuals, the moving lighting rig… It really was next level stuff.

Which style of performing do you anticipate doing more frequently, and why?

Well currently we are focusing on the Live side of things. I’m more of a producer than a DJ so it suits me better. However that’s where Sasha comes in, as he is primarily a DJ, so we have all basses for live covered.

It’s been around a decade since you guys relaunched with the new live show (I was there at your NYE show at Sensation in Melbourne). How has this evolved?

That was an amazing show. Funny, because I was being hassled by [Australian DJ and promoter] Sasha Vatoff in 2010 to come back and do events. I wasn’t really that interested, but he bugged and bugged me until I said, “Okay, but only if you come and join me.” Within a few days, he came back with Sensation White for a gig. In terms of the show nowadays, we now DJ the tracks out, but they are mostly our tracks, remakes and edits. We decided to do this to increase the production value of the tracks, because there were some compromises that had to be made to get the whole live angle working. We find the way it works now is better for overall productions. In saying that, it would be good to do the whole live show again; utilizing newer technology than we had back then could really make the live shows work.

How do you feel the Trance genre has changed in the past two decades?

For us, trance hasn’t changed. It’s still driven by solid melody and driving basslines. Generally, commercialism wrecked it after the 2000’s and it never really recovered. Artists who were writing trance music and performing it suddenly didn’t want to call their music trance music. The word ‘trance’ became a dirty word. I can’t count the number of times I heard on everyday radio people saying the one main genre of music they hated was trance. It was like it was fashionable and trendy to bag it out. So strange. The ones who count, the real purveyors of the sound kept to their roots and they have our total respect. The ones that went off to EDM and whatever else, are welcome to stay there. It would seem trance has become a bit more trendy these days, so it’s interesting to see these people come back. It’s based on money and commercialism, so when I say interesting, I’m just being as polite as possible…

Do you believe that you can bring back some of the old school magic back to Trance music? 

You know good music, is good music. It doesn’t matter when it was written or who wrote it, if people enjoy it, then that’s the main thing. If we can inspire anyone in anyway to start writing music, or just to go out and have fun, then we’ll sit back quite contented.

Can you describe what equipment you use while performing live on stage?

We use 2 MacBook pros, networked up with 2 JazzMutant Lemurs and a keyboard, all plugged into a traditional dj mixer. Clips are triggered live from the Lemur’s as well as the control of filters and effects.

Binary Finary’s presence has had a serious impact on trance scene over the years. What has been your favorite part about this journey as artists?

All of it!. The journey itself has been incredible. There have been some serious lows, but that just makes the highs that much more special. With something that’s so personal, in writing and producing music, it really does make the emotion of it so strong. We feel humbled and honoured that we are still able to play our tracks out to this day, and still able to perform out. We are truly lucky.

What inspired you to get back in the scene and what was your approach for doing so ?

Being honest again, when the option for Sensation come about, I thought, well it’s worth a go for a bit of fun. After the reaction we got, I was blown away, so decided it was time to put a bit more focus into making those types of events happen a bit more frequently. It’s all for fun and enjoyment, sure we take our music seriously, but this is just for the buzz of throwing some creative’s out loud, and watching the feedback.
You started the record label with Ernesto ‘Future Focus Recordings’, and already the first two releases include remixes from your side that follow the groovy progressive trance style. Are you going to abandon the fast paced uplifting trance tracks in favour of a more clubby progressive trance sound?


No we won’t go completely away from that type of sound. That sound is part of our DNA. It is good to branch out into slightly different styles, it just so happened that those tracks got released. We’d written a few around that time, of various styles etc. We are actually at the moment working on a 140 BPM driving Trance track. If we could make it faster we would but we always keep in mind and people tend to overlook this that as a producer you need to be aware of your market. Yes Trance has slowed down but it has also opened the doors to allow us to take this sound to the masses. There will always be haters out there who want the old trance tempo and sound back, but with every genre of music an artist’s sound changes over time.

https://soundcloud.com/binaryfinary/1998-original-mix



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