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Beyond Trance

5 February 2014 | 3:40 pm | Cyclone Wehner

"I clearly have to state that without Eelke and Sebastiaan, there is no Dash Berlin – and without Jeffrey there’s also no Dash Berlin."

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Trance music has been copied by everyone in recent years – even rappers. Now trance is borrowing from pop. Dutch DJ/producer Dash Berlin (aka Jeffrey Sutorius) has covered Christina Perri's Jar Of Hearts as his latest single, saving it from Glee. “The funny thing is that I heard the song first when it was pointed out to me by my hairdresser at the time!” Sutorius admits. Encountering the 2010 smash ballad again in a Bali hotel foyer, Sutorius had “goosebumps” – and decided to remix it. But, in order to release that officially, he needed to find a new singer. Enter London's Christina Novelli. Sutorius had loved her vocals on Gareth Emery's Concrete Angel. “Christina did such a great job on [Jar…] that it's almost hard to tell which is the original,” he says. Sutorius wonders if Perri has listened to his rendition. “I definitely know that she got tweets about this.”

Sutorius, who touts his emotive style as “Trance 2.0”, is about to embark on his Australian #musicislife #deluxe Tour. The 30-something speaks slowly in mannered English, and is actually taking calls on the road – hitting Boston for the first time. He's placed at #10 in the current DJ Mag poll. In fact, 'Dash Berlin' is a “project”, Sutorius teaming with fellow DJs Eelke Kalberg and Sebastiaan Molijn since 2006. Dash Berlin broke through with the single, Till The Sky Falls Down, catching the ear of Armin van Buuren, who signed the enterprise to Armada Music. Sutorius later launched Aropa Records under Armada's auspices. He issued #musicislife, his second album, in 2012, the deluxe edition (containing Jar…) surfacing last year. Sutorius also has his own mix-CD brand, United Destination. Today Sutorius sees himself as being akin to Dash Berlin's “lead singer”. “I clearly have to state that without Eelke and Sebastiaan, there is no Dash Berlin – and without Jeffrey there's also no Dash Berlin. So, in a way, we complement each other musically and we inspire each other productively – and, going back and forth with beats or with melody compositions, we try to work on new material as I travel, and this works perfectly.”

Jar… is just one of the big Dash Berlin tracks that fans will hear in summer's 'shows'. Indeed, Sutorius has followed his Dutch (trance) compatriots van Buuren and Tiësto in developing a concert production that retains club elements, his role that of an illusionist: “There is definitely some live influences on stage when it comes to vocalists.” Sutorius will be accompanied by the “big guns” – Novelli plus New York electro-type Jonathan Mendelsohn (who, having recorded extensively with Way Out West, first graced Dash Berlin's Better Half Of Me) and Aussie, Emma Hewitt (the Chris Lake 'discovery' who sang on Dash Berlin's early hit, Waiting). “#musicislife [shows] are always extended DJ sets, which are based on my own Dash Berlin material and remixes and dash-ups, as I like to call my mash-ups, and a lot of great visual entertainment and decoration. It's going to be amazing, I'm sure.”