Not A Dirty Word

12 July 2012 | 11:05 am | Reuben Hale

Melbourne’s MaRLo tells Rueben Hale that trance is bigger than ever, even without the drugs.

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Dutch-born Melbourne DJ MaRLo says the scene in his hometown is going from strength to strength, with many clubs devoting their decks to trance these days. Around the country you only have to check out the steady stream of trance artists pulling mass crowds at our festivals to understand the genre has a loyal and growing following. He argues there may have been a brief fall-off in popularity, but this certainly is not the case now.

“I think the trance genre for a while had a bad stigma or had a dirty word attached to it. I think all that's finally starting to fade now, which is a great thing,” says Marlo Hoogstraten, aka MaRLo. “Trance isn't just that fast music with people taking drugs anymore. Now it's opened up a lot. In the past people may have avoided it because they didn't see it as being very social. People are realizing that trance is very emotional and passionate, and Australians tend to be a bit that way about their music in general.”

MaRLo is well known for diversity in his music, using a variety of influences in his trance sets ranging from house to tech – and even classical influences – to mix it up and keep things interesting. He says trance is holding with the punters all over the world and producers are tending to flow with the times. “I think there are a lot of chords and melodies and a lot of classical influences in trance music these days, but at the same time it still maintains the modern sounds and energy of contemporary dance music as well.

“With this Onelove Trance Mission CD, I think there's a great example where you have this kind of diversity,” explains Hoogstraten of his new double-CD mix compilation. “On the first disc, I've kept things very broad with a lot of different influences and different genres, yet still managing to maintain a trance vibe on the disc. There are a lot of vocals on there and it's a little housier than on the second disc. The second disc is more the big-room type of sound.”

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In the last few months, MaRLo has had a string of success with the massive hit Island and the release of two EPs that have done exceptionally well on the EDM charts and getting regular airplay by Armin van Buuren on his radio show. “I've just signed off on a couple of new remixes which will be coming out over the next couple of months. I'm playing some big shows such as ASOT in Ibiza at Privilege, which is the world's biggest nightclub,” points out Hoogstraten. “I'm really flat-out busy, but I'm lovin' it.”

Hoogstraten accounts a lot of his success to the support he has received from AvB and Ferry Corsten with their constant airplay of his tracks. “I've been able to remix Armin and remix Ferry Corsten twice now. They've played almost everything I have made. I guess it seemed like the next logical step was to ask me to remix for them. I guess I just got on their radar from having tunes out that people liked. It did well on YouTube and the Beatport charts, and places like that.”

MaRLo is touring the country for the Onelove Trance Mission tour throughout July, before taking off to Ibiza to play some massive shows for AvB. He says he sees his future staying and building on what he is doing now, which can only promise for some amazing shows to look forward to in years to come. “I am looking forward to keeping doing what I love to do. That's the most important thing to me; to be able to keep doing what I love,” enthuses Hoogstraten. “Having said that, I am not necessarily limiting myself to any genre, and I will always just make music that I like the sound of.”