Miika Eloranta and Janne Mansnerus folded temporalities on their recent compilation, Past, Present & Future, to simultaneously contemplate the origins of the trance genre, its current configurations, and the progression of its sound. With more than 15 years of expertise as trance producers, Eloranta and Mansnerus–collectively known as electronic duo, Super8 & Tab–are genre veterans who lay claim to a wealth of accrued insight regarding the maturity of trance sound over the years. It is this intimate familiarity with form that guided their fastidious shaping of Past, Present & Future, released this past March on Armada Music.
As its title denotes, Past, Present & Future scales the continuum of trance music, to position modern updates of older genre efforts like Super8 & Tab’s 2019 remix of their 2012 Anjunabeats instrumental, “Helsinki Scorchin.”
“We have a long, long history in [trance],” Eloranta tells Dancing Astronaut. “We wanted to take that journey that we’ve had over the past 15 years, and put it on the compilation. [Past, Present & Future] reflects what we play during our DJ sets: testing some new tracks, playing some classics. Now, it’s packaged.”
The forward-thinking quality of Past, Present & Future indeed figures in Super8 & Tab’s live sets, which Eloranta and Masnerus regularly use as platforms for debuts of new IDs. Both Eloranta and Masnerus hail from Finland, and return to the country to play about ten shows on their “home base” each year. Super8 & Tab’s interweaving of unreleased material into these sets has grown to be an experimental practice familiar not only to Eloranta and Masnerus, but also to the fans who attend Super8 & Tab’s annual Finland based shows.
“We usually test a lot of new tracks there for the first time, so it’s interesting for the people who come, because they know [to expect that],” Masnerus said.
While Super8 & Tab cite Finland as one of their favorite places to play, the duo’s travels have taken them all over the world, from Singapore to Madrid, and recently, to New York City, where Super8 & Tab caught up with Dancing Astronaut aboard Crust Nation’s Past, Present & Future Boat Party.
Enacted in support of the eponymous EP, the Past, Present & Future Tour is a live initiative that extends an engaging experience to fledgling fans of the genre. The new listeners who progress from first-time trance show attendees to well-versed dwellers in the domain comprise the future of the genre from the perspective of fan support, as Super8 & Tab know, and know well. Yet, Super8 & Tab also strive to apprise trance newcomers of the genre’s detailed past through their live format. Eloranta and Masnerus’ shared goal of acquainting their attendees with genre staples by featuring older and iconic trance cuts in their performances translates to Past, Present & Future.
“There’s a lot of new fans, so we wanted to get them to dig in deeper, to see what we’d been doing earlier,” Eloranta said of the release.
Super8 & Tab highlight Ashley Wallbridge‘s remix of the duo’s “Alba (Mixed)” as an emblem of a particularly well-executed contemporary rework on Past, Present & Future.
“I think he did a brilliant job,” Eloranta said when asked to identify the remix on the album that best exemplified a present take of a more dated trance release. “He kept the essence of the original, but brought it to 2019,” Eloranta added.
Both Eloranta and Masnerus underscored their 2019 revamp of “Helsinki Scorchin’” as another example of a successful current revision of a prior trance production. The present trend of re-imagining the celebrated cuts that color a genre’s past is one that Eloranta sees as sustaining the future of trance. Eloranta attributes the sustainability of remixing as a means of gleaning (and maintaining) listeners to a key component of trance tunes: their enduring melodies.
“There’s a lot of strong melodies in trance. They don’t get old; they’re timeless.”
Thinking further about the future of trance music, Eloranta and Masnerus salute Helsinki-based artist, Avenia, as a rising producer to watch. Avenia appears on Past, Present & Future, to collaborate with With The Winds on “Traverse (Mixed),” and to contribute his own individual release, “Kingdom (Mixed).”
“He’s really young: he’s 19 and has been growing up listening to Anjunabeats, but also Avicii, so he’s combining all [these influences], and has a new angle to transmit music. He’s talented and hard working and ready to take criticism,” Eloranta said.
Past, Present & Future features productions revered trance entities in addition to Super8 & Tab, including Armin van Buuren, Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Ferry Corsten, and more. The wealth of support just further solidifies the torrential trance twosome’s profound presence within their sonic sector of choice.
Photo credit: Super8 & Tab/Facebook