U4RIA Trance Festival Lineup Includes Major Names in Trance

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Riding on the coattails of the recent popularity of trance events like Insomniac’s Dreamstate, Electric Escape is producing Canada’s first ever all-trance festival in Toronto. U4RIA will be held on Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd and it includes some major names in the beloved trance genre. Astrix, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Bryan Kearny, Cold Blue,

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Richard Durand Returns With Intense Trance Track “Pandora”

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One of the greatest trance producers is back with an exciting new track. Enriched with an enthralling synth line, Richard Durand’s “Pandora” is a welcome addition to 2018’s trance scene. Out now on Grotesque Fusion, the almost six-minute, 140 BPM banger is begging to be played on the dance floor this festival season. Durand’s perfect

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Warm up for Dreamstate with this set by Cold Blue [Exclusive]

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Dreamstate is set to take off on November 24 — or, as trance fans call it, “Trancegiving.” Known as the mecca for the genre on this side of the pond, Dreamstate has consistently delivered a slew of cutting-edge talent across the trance spectrum. 2017 marks the gathering’s third birthday, and shows no sign of slowing down as it continues its expansion across the globe.

Cold Blue has joined forces with us right in time for his USA debut at Dreamstate to work up further anticipation in the form of this exclusive mix. Each of its 60 minutes is packed with warm chords and moving, emotional melodies — per the Cold Blue’s signature aesthetic. Additionally, he ensures that plenty of his own gems are weaved within, showcasing his utter talent in trance composition.


“What I love about trance is the combination of driving forces/unstoppable power and the whole range of emotions that I feel on my journey through life. Sometimes it’s raw and pounding like pure techno, maybe to let out all the anger, but there’s also room for sadness and melancholy as well as the happy, even euphoric moments. It feels like the perfect soundtrack for my life.” – Cold Blue




Get your last-minute Dreamstate tickets here


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In trance we trust: Dreamstate’s rise to become America’s premier trance destination [Event Review]

Cold Blue: A retrospective of his takeover leading to Dreamstate

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Cold Blue: A retrospective of his takeover leading to Dreamstate

Cold Blue‘s takeover of the trance world almost feels like it came out of nowhere. The rising German talent, born Tobias Schuh, spent years simmering below the surface, building over a decade of professional experience into a breakout that has caught global attention.

Though he’d already clocked in releases on labels like Anjunabeats and Monster Tunes as early as 2009, respectively, his swift ascension to the top of trance ranks didn’t truly manifest until more recent times, where pieces like his Dennis Sheperd and Ana Criado collaboration “Every Word” and his remix to deadmau5’ “Avaritia” went viral and more or less put his name on the map. Success only snowballed from there, with Cold Blue burrowing deeper into the trance sphere to eventually be hailed as one of the major breakout talents of 2017.


His distinction in the music world is hardly a surprise to those who are familiar with his work. Schuh possesses an innate talent at melodic arrangement and fusing classic elements into his own unique and contemporary sound — one that he has showcased since the beginning of his career. Now, he is more poised than ever to take on the dance world, outputting a bountiful series of releases that deepen his imprint on the public psyche and growing demand for his presence in the process.

Cold Blue is officially a player within the festival game as well — having made it onto the Luminosity lineup over the past couple editions, he now looks forward to a spot on the esteemed Dreamstate (tickets here) lineup in California. Dreamstate has been hailed as the largest major trance festival in the United States since its inception, and the rising star will be making his USA debut there alongside other icons which include Subculture boss John O’Callaghan, Bryan Kearney, Gaia, and more.

Ahead of his first Californian “trancegiving,” Dancing Astronaut has opted to take a look at his career thus far through some of his most breathtaking releases.


Mount Everest

Cold Blue earned recognition by none other than Above & Beyond during his early years — a surefire indicator of his future success. Mount Everest showed off his uplifting chops right away, albeit washed in a tad more of a progressive underlay.



Avaritia (Cold Blue’s Uplifting Rework)

The blossoming German talent continued to pour his soul into every opportunity that came to him, including submitting his euphoric, trancey take on deadmau5′ classic “Avaritia” to a remix contest. It served as a strong addition to his repertoire at the time, opening the masses to the Cold Blue sound.



Every Word (Uplifting Mix – with Ana Criado & Dennis Sheperd)

Ana Criado’s vocals add a distinctive touch to any trance piece, but the underlay created by Cold Blue and his Anjuna veteran collaborator Dennis Sheperd would shine as a standalone piece as well. It’s emotive as ever, indicating the producer’s hand in its production.




“Nevada” served as Cold Blue’s first release on Aly & Fila’s prolific FSOE Recording — a hallmark for those in the uplifting realm of trance. Its mysterious, yet jubilant melodies paired with futuristic accents made it a favorite across the circuit.



Until We Collide

Shortly after “Nevada” came “Until We Collide” — the first of many powerhouse releases for the exploding act on Subculture. A menacing atmosphere takes over, as Schuh displays his dark side in creating tense, powerful melodies backed by equally pounding kicks.



Once In Time

Spring 2017 brought about the release of the touching “Once In Time,” also on Subculture. Cold Blue was becoming a quick favorite at this point within the Subculture family, and “Once In Time” swiftly became a staple in John O’Callaghan’s sets, among others.

“‘Once In Time’ probably created the biggest buzz out of all my releases this year, but in general I’m very happy and proud about the response to all of my tracks this year, as each one seemed to find its home in many music lover’s hearts out there.” – Cold Blue




“Bliss” listens exactly as its title connotates — sunny chord arrangements strummed by warm synthesizers wrap around a gripping hook and sweeping breakdown, catalyzing bliss.



Speed Of Life

Another heavy Subculture staple heading into Dreamstate, Cold Blue’s “Speed Of Life” is a monstrous cut, filled with haunting pianos and bittersweet overtones. It embodies Cold Blue’s aesthetic — sentimental, impactful, and complex.




Armin van Buuren embarks on a 14 hour ASOT mission in honor of ADE [LIVE STREAM]

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Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is officially underway, with thousands of artists and fans filling up the city in celebration of their beloved music. Virtually every single genre under the sun in covered in this all-encompassing celebration, which began on October 18 and will continue into the 22.

Armin van Buuren is in a particularly good position for the current festivities. Having moved the ASOT headquarters to a sleek new studio in Amsterdam at the beginning of 2017, the purveyor of pop and trance is hosting an extra special episode that began in the early hours of Thursday and will continue beyond the ASOT studio and into ADE itself.

Trance fans are able to tune into the action and get their fill of caliber music from Armin van Buuren, Standerwick, and more on the ASOT YouTube Channel.


Feature photo credit: Rukes



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The Radar 99: Mixed by Sneijder

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Those who enjoy trance of the uplifting or tech shades are likely to point to Sneijder as one of the top talents in this arena. Hailing from Ireland, he joins an extensive list of fellow countrymen as one of the new generation of greats — especially with the recent creation of his new label and podcast, Afterdark.

While Sneijder’s year has been brimming with a series of dynamic new releases and appearances at the most reputable festivals of his genre, he kindly agreed to provide Dancing Astronaut with the latest edition of The Radar.

His mix is powerful as ever, packing an entire journey into just an hour of intense music that plays around with emotions. Plenty of peaks and valleys ensue as Sneijder weaves expertly through sweeping uplifting landscapes and back down into raunchy, dark tech trance. Not many can balance out such sonic poles with the skill this maverick can, and once more we’re reminded why his reputation continues to climb to new heights.



01. Sneijder & Neal Scarborough – Your Way (Original Mix) [Subculture]
02. Sneijder & The Noble Six – Question Mark (Original Mix) [Kearnage]
03. Sneijder & Mark Leanings – Now or Never (Original Mix) [Kearnage]
04. Thomas Bronzwaer – Sundown (Sneijder Remix) [Armada]
05. Giuseppe Ottaviani & Marc van Linden – Until Monday (Sneijder Remix) [Vandit]
06. Sneijder – Viper (Original Mix) [Kearnage]
07. Sneijder – Polarize (Extended Mix) [Afterdark]
08. Sneijder – Vaporize (Original Mix) [Subculture]
09. Team Argentina – Alpha Omega (Sneijder Remix) [Armada]
10. Sneijder – Neutralize (Extended Mix) [Afterdark]
11. Sneijder & Christina Novelli – Love Of My Control (Sam Jones Remix) [Armada]
12. Sneijder – Outsider (Extended Mix) [Afterdark]
13. Sneijder – Jackknife (Original Mix) [Kearnage]


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[Exclusive Interview] MaRLo: Maximum Altitude

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If there was ever a college course on becoming a DJ (DJ 101), one of the main objectives would probably be whether to keep your real name or have an alias. Whether you want to be known as a Deadmau5 or a Ferry Corsten (or if your name is difficult to pronounce, a Tiesto), it’s

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DA’s Hypnotic Grooves, vol. 6: Presenting the best in trance & progressive

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Hypnotic Grooves is Dancing Astronaut’s bi-weekly space for nothing but true, unadulterated trance and progressive. Only the highest quality sounds are valued here, curated with a mission to show the thriving, yet often underexposed side of these genres. The first half of each mix starts off deep and progressive, featuring music from labels such as Lost&Found, Last Night On Earth, and Sudbeat. Then, we venture into trance territory, travelling through various shades of uplifting, tech, and psy that display the music’s artistry and credibility in a climate where it’s widely disregarded.

Both the progressive and trance worlds have been brimming with quality releases as of late. Guy J’s Lost&Found imprint has had a slew of powerful progressive weapons, including the ever-evolving “Triptico” by the renowned duo Matteo Bruscagin & Visnadi in addition to a remix of theirs by the label boss himself. Jeromic Isma-ae and Alastor continue their streak of dark, technical progressive, while Crisptoph’s forays into Last Night On Earth and Bedrock demand the dance world’s attention.

Tech trance is heavy in this edition’s selection; titan Alex di Stefano returns with a heater on Kearnage Recordings titled “Don’t Back Down,” while The Noble Six formulated a hard, driving piece in “Chemicals.” On the uplifting side, both Bryan Kearney and John O’Callaghan dominate with much-awaited singles, one of which is O’Callaghan’s remix to “Two Trees,” by Ludovico Einaudi and the other being Kearney’s Plumb collaboration, “All Over Again.”

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Aspire to Inspire 165: Omair Mirza

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(Original Photo By: Beaux Arts Photography)

One of the most difficult things we do is try to figure out what the hell we want to do with our lives. More often than not, what we envisioned ourselves doing when we were children rarely aligns with what we end up doing as adults. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that a left turn in life can’t be a good thing. That was the case for Dallas-based producer/DJ, Omair Mirza, best known for tracks such as “Eleven 11” and “Perfect Imperfection (featuring Avari),” as well as remixes of Markus Schulz’s tracks like “Destiny” and “Erase You.” Omair grew up in a traditional South Asian household where he wanted and was expected to pursue some type of career in healthcare, science, or technology. Music was always a presence in his life, but nowhere on his radar as a career choice.

“This may come as a surprise, but growing up I really wanted to be a cardiologist. I was enrolled at Southern Methodist University when I was only 13 and my electrical engineer professor was the Nobel Prize winner, Jack Kilby! I graduated high school two years early and was immediately accepted to several medical schools, but my dad didn’t let me attend any of them because they were all out of state. I guess you could say it was fate because if I had gone to med school, I would have never started in music. With my love for music in tow, I started spinning back in 1999 after graduating high school. I didn’t start producing my own music until 2010. In May 2012 my life would begin to change as my tracks “This Music” and “8 Gig” were signed to Christopher Lawrence’s label, Pharmacy Music. My life in the electronic dance music scene took off from there. I have truly dedicated myself to the music industry and the past few years have been a whirlwind in the studio, crafting tracks and EPs that make me proud. Fast forward to November 2016 and I am thrilled to announce that I have launched my very own record label, OHM Music. Life has a funny way of taking you to places you never saw coming.”

It was a long time before Omair made any headway into the music industry; success does not happen overnight. In fact, he spun as a DJ for more than a decade before he even started producing his own music. However, more than ever, there is no clear path to success in the music world. Omair stressed the importance of developing a unique sound as an artist, especially as it becomes easier and more accessible for producers to get their music heard. He is motivated to stay ahead of the curve, and as someone who transitioned from wanting to be a cardiologist to becoming a DJ, he’s certainly not afraid to try new things.

“Staying relevant is probably my biggest fear. With the explosion of dance music both nationally and internationally, naturally we are seeing new producers coming up and making a name for themselves every day. In addition, the ease of access and use of the latest and greatest production software is making it so more and more artists can put their material out there for the world to hear. This pushes me harder than ever to stay at the top of my game without compromising my own personal sound. I have to stay true to who I am as an artist and avoid following recent trends that have been emerging in the electronic dance music scene. With all this said, I will let my music speak for itself and hopefully my fans will stay true and faithful for years to come.

A major challenge I faced was the quest to defining my own unique sound that would set me apart from other artists as the dance market has become so saturated with similar productions. I enjoy trance, but I am also in love with house, progressive house, tech house, and techno. You can hear different vibes and energy in my various original releases and remixes as well. My drive to be unique in everything I create keeps me ahead of the game and hopefully will keep me relevant as electronic dance music continues to evolve.”

Despite the massive inroads Omair has made in the music industry, one of the toughest challenges was informing his parents that he was pursuing music full-time. In fact, he never even told his own dad his intentions. Although his parents may not necessarily agree with his career path, they are proud that their son is following his passion. It’s tough to find a job that is both productive and fulfilling. There’s never been a better time to pursue your passion.

“Growing up as a child of South Asian descent, I was raised and expected to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or a corporate professional. No one tells their parents they want to be a musician! In fact, I was part of corporate America for several years – finance – for some of the biggest investment firms. However, my true passion and life plan was to become a cardiologist. So, you could imagine how hard it was to explain to my family that music was the path that I ultimately chose. Because of this, I never actually communicated this to them. I have been spinning since 1999, and they would hear me practicing in the bedroom. My mom was the first to know about the music business side. I never told my dad because he is so old school and traditional. To this day it’s still an internal struggle that I endure. However, this struggle has been motivation for me to succeed in this industry. I want my family to be proud of me. I know that if I show them how hard I work, and as long as I continue to achieve great things in this industry, everything will work itself out. I am following my heart and for that I know they are proud.”

There is no question that Omair is a thoughtful guy, mindful not just of his career choices but also how they affect those around him. He also touched on being raised in a very traditional South Asian home (he is Pakistani-American). As such, he is in a unique position to use his platform to make a difference in the world at large. He has personally worked with a charity called Last Night A DJ Saved My Life and their Peace One Day initiative. It utilizes the power of music to help promote peace and humanitarian aide in war-torn regions. What a beautiful concept.

“My family comes from Pakistan…I’ve been there a lot. I’ve lived there, seen the results of poverty and war, and been privy to the suffering. After seeing this firsthand, I have been driven to do something about it. I’ve worked with a charity several times before called Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, during the initiative Peace One Day. This has become a global initiative with tons of charities and countless celebrities working to end violence that third world countries suffer on a daily basis. The idea is for just one day a year on September 21st, everyone lay down arms and joins together in peace, offering families the opportunity to leave their homes to get things like medical care without the fear of being injured or killed. This is a global day of unity on a scale that humanity has never known. Small movements like this will hopefully bring the tides of change, even if just for a moment. If we can bring peace to war ridden countries for even a day, think of what that could mean on a larger scale! Peace is possible if we all work together. I want nothing more than to be part of a world that can finally breathe and live without the fear and destruction that war brings.”

If you want to get involved in the Peace One Day movement head to http://www.peaceoneday.org. Check out Omair’s exclusive interview with iHeart Radio where he talks in depth about his #SETFORPEACE and experience with Peace One Day here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrL3AQepRm8

Omair is a perfect example of how you can never know where life will take you. Also, it’s good to have multiple interests and passions. Masters of their craft do dedicate themselves to it, but a rich life involves diversity. Aside from his interest in science and medicine, Omair is also an avid poker player; he says he may even go out for the World Series of Poker one day. With all that he’s set out and accomplished so far, I wouldn’t put it past him.

“I love poker! I would consider it my second passion. I wouldn’t say that I play ‘professionally,’ but I would like to think I am semi pro. I put in 35-40 hours a week playing, studying, learning, and constantly evolving as a poker player. Would I ever pursue a spot in the World Series Of Poker if I weren’t a musician? I think so. To be honest I am pursuing that even though I am a musician. I think sitting down at the poker table and standing in the DJ booth have a lot of parallels when it comes to reading the player or reading the crowd, respectively. You have to predict the next player’s move just like you need to predict what the crowd wants or needs from you during a set. You have to be a forward-thinker and also have the ability to stay calm under pressure. I like to think that I have what it takes to be successful both behind the DJ decks and at the poker table.  So who knows…maybe one day you will see me in The World Series Of Poker. We will just have to wait and see!”

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Aspire to Inspire 165: Omair Mirza