ENTRANCING LEGENDS: Oakenfold and Van Buuren recall their best Zouk moments
Legendary DJs Paul Oakenfold and Armin van Buuren share their memories of playing at Zouk @ Jiak Kim Street
Get ready to be put in a major trance next week.
Three of the genre's biggest names are coming to town for upcoming electronic dance music festival ZoukOut 2015.
Two of them, English producer Paul Oakenfold, 52, became the first DJ to headline the main stage at Glastonbury in 1995.
His Dutch compatriot, Armin van Buuren, 38, has his own wax figure at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam.
Just as highly revered and armed with glittering credentials is Dutch DJ Tiesto.
In separate e-mail interviews with M, ahead of their sets at ZoukOut 2015, Oakenfold (PO) and van Buuren (AVB) share their thoughts on Zouk's impending relocation, the pressure of being pioneers and why they feel trance isn't dead.
You are no stranger to Zouk, and I am sure you must have heard about its impending relocation to Clarke Quay next year. What are your best memories of playing at Jiak Kim Street? Are you excited about its new location?
AVB My favourite memories are the extended sets I've played there. I remember clubbers going crazy and jumping and trying to get into the DJ booth. I also love the siren in the DJ booth and the famous pieces of art that were in the club.
A new location always has an impact on the crowd, but usually it is for the best. New locations bring forth new vibes.
PO I think it is a shame that Zouk is moving. Zouk is a pillar of the electronic music community. I am afraid the relocation might change its impact on the clubbing scene.
However, all great things come to an end and moving forward, we hope Zouk's new management will bring it the success we all want it to have.
You are often referred to as dance music veterans and trance legends. Do you feel flattered by these labels? Is it pressurising, having to live up to expectations?
AVB Of course I feel flattered, but I feel I am not worthy. There are many other DJs playing trance who have done a lot for the scene.
I always feel a bit of pressure, which is a good thing. It keeps me on my toes, as I am always invested in my own shows - from my crew, visuals to fireworks - and music.
PO Yeah, it is an absolute honour to be called that, but I don't really take such labels literally. I've been lucky, but I've also worked hard.
Paul, in an interview with Billboard earlier this year, you called DJ-ing a "dying art''. Why do you feel that fewer youngsters are into DJ-ing?
PO The true art of DJ-ing is starting to fade away. Technology has made it a lot easier for all of us to DJ and that is just the way it is.
What would you say to critics who claim that trance is dead?
AVB That is what they have been claiming since 2001. Check out the intro for my album A State of Trance Yearmix 2004. (His defiant spoken-word introduction goes: "Progressive and trance have been declared dead officially for the fourth time. And while more and more people try to criticise dance music, it always seems to get bigger.")
Trance, to me, is more alive than ever with lots of new rising stars like Bryan Kearney, Arisen Flame, Denis Kenzo, Mark Sixma and Will Atkinson.
PO I released an album, Trance Mission, last year and the idea behind it was to do trance classics in a new form, to freshen them up so that I could play them to the new generation of clubbers. I still get asked many times to play (trance) classics at my gigs.
Is there rivalry between the both of you, as well as with Tiesto? Fans are stoked to know that all three of you are coming for ZoukOut 2015.
AVB I have no beef or bad feelings towards any other DJs. I respect everyone's sound and really look up to most of them. You can learn something from every DJ.
PO Armin and Tiesto are friends of mine. I have known them for many years, and I watched them rise in the scene. They are great guys, and I am happy for their successes. They work hard and are good at what they do.
Dec 11 and 12, 8pm onwards
Siloso Beach, Sentosa
On event day, it's $188 for Dec 11 and $198 for Dec 12, from 6pm at the entrance.