BY SORAYA DEAN
Prolific UK producer and dance DJ Lee Haslam was thoughtful when he mused about why trance music has been so enduring over the years, connecting with dance audiences around the world.
Trance and hard house are like entry-level clubbing. You get into the hard stuff or you get into trance and stay with that for a while or move on to something more progressive, he told the Star.Â [Trance] is more of a commercial sound and it’s still a genre you see topping the national charts. I think one of the reasons is purely because of its commercial appeal.
Haslam has certainly enjoyed his own commercial success. Best known for his epic dance anthem Punch Drunk, Haslam sold 40,000 copies of his first UK release and sat comfortably at the top of the UK dance charts. He started out in the trance scene before becoming ensnared by the world of hard house while working at his former label, Tidy.Â Haslam began the label as a platform for releasing the plethora of tracks he was working on.
When I started DJing in 1996, I started playing trance and got corrupted by the world of Tidy, and that’s how we got involved in developing a hard house sound for the label.
Now, in returning to his trance beginnings, Haslam has joined pre-eminent UK global clubbing brand and production label Slinky. He considers the move to be a move back to my roots.
I’ve actually come full circle in my career but most people just know me as involved with hard dance. I think it’s a natural progression, Haslam said.
When Slinky presented him with the opportunity to put together and remix a compilation of classic trance tracks, Haslam was keen to take on the challenge. The process of choosing the tracks was arduous. Haslam wrote down a list of 84 songs which he whittled down to 34 as he tried to craft an album representative of the brand’s journey over the past 12 years.
I didn’t want to release an album that followed the pattern of other compilations. I wanted to put tracks on there that are classics in their own right, but also aren’t as well known as something like Cafe Del Mar…I wanted to put on tracks that are synonymous with Slinky.
The result is a fast paced and punchy album, Slinky Trance Classics, which Haslam remixed. Featuring seminal dance artists such as Laurent Garnier, Armin Van Buuren and Paul Van Dyk, Haslam has dubbed a compilation for trance purists.
info: Slinky Trance Classics is out now.
Visit www.slinky.co.uk to find out more.