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Solarstone chat to Trackitdown about their label DeepBlue

Reported by Jess @ Trackitdown on February 23, 2006

Deepblue is a new label on the Trackitdown site. We have been thrilled to receive their entire content of trance tunes. I was shocked to be informed that successful trance (and previously house) act Solarstone were in fact the company behind the Deepblue label.

It seemed apt to welcome the label to Trackitdown by meeting and greeting the act behind the label management – Solarstone!

Jess: When was the Solarstone duo formed?

Solarstone: Technically 1997, but Andy and I began working together in '95

Jess: Your style has moved from progressive house towards intelligent trance. Was this a deliberate move or have your styles just changed with time?

Solarstone: Intelligent Trance? That's a new one!! It's a genre-buster!!! We always deescribed our style as 'quality-trance'… unfortunatly the 'trance' and 'pop' borders got blurred a couple of years ago… we just do what we feel and label it afterwards.

Jess: The new Solarstone mix album out now - 'Destinations V1’. How did you select the tracks for this album? How would you describe the finished sound?

Solarstone: The track selection was relatively easy for this one, bar the usual major label greed resulting in a few good tracks being unused…. We selected tunes that did it for us on our dj travels over the preceding months, and also great upfront tracks from our favourite artists. There are no at least 12 exclusive edits / mixes on the album, we even asked some producers to go back to the studio to tailor the tracks specifically for the album… it's the club equivilent of our 'chilled-out euphoria' album of a few years ago - a train spotters paradise in terms of fx and detail.

Jess: You have another album on the way - Solarstone's 'reterospective' double CD release (planned for mid 2006 release). Have you almost finished this creation? How long does it take you to work on an album?

Solarstone: The Reterospective is the first part of our 'anthology', it will include the more 'home listening tracks' on one disc, and the best club mixes on another. Then to follow it will be a collection of our remixes, and then a collection of our 'after-hours' material, all backed up with an international tour.

We've had about a million emails and letters over the last 10 years asking when there will be a solarstone album… well now there are 4

Jess: You not only run your own successful act, you also manage your own label ‘DeepBlue’. How did the label form?

Solarstone: Deeblue was formed initially as a springboard for our own material, we were so jaded with the music industry and mercenary record company tactics back in 1999 that we decided to embark on our own little label project… we try to be fair to our artists, not tying them into appallingly restrictive contracts and generally not take advantage of them, unlike many of our contemporaries who fleece their artists for all they can get.

Jess: Which is a more challenging task, running the act or running the label?

Solarstone: The label - it’s a 24 / 7 minefield.

Jess: How many releases does DeepBlue currently have?

Solarstone: Well… our output has been rather conservative up until recently…together with the 'madeinengland' catalogue I think there's about 20 releases, but 2006 is going to see all that change…

Jess: I hear you are planning on launching some new off shoots in the coming months. Can you give us a breakdown?

Solarstone: Yep, well as a result of receiving so many good demoes we decided to expand deepblue - considerably - and have formed several sub-labels. There's 'Limited' for the more underground tracks like Zehavi & Rands' Paroxetine', which is out in march, then there’s 'International', for the varying trance sounds from around the world which we sign, the first release is called 'Horizon' by a Ukranian guy named 'Pavliga', that's out in April. Also there's 'Digital', for the digi-only stuff, and lastly 'TokyoRecords' - for banging dark and dirty stuff. We'll likely pop out another label or two this years as well. Deepblue proper is reserved for our own material and occasional other projects.

Jess: Tell us about your new single “Like a Waterfall”?

Solarstone: What's to tell? It was a real labour of love that track… it's one of those records that you need to hear half a dozen times before you 'get it' - hence it not finding a home on major label despite its popularity… it’s a beautiful record, Jes Brieden has the voice of an angel…albeit an angel with horns ;-)

Jess: Do you think you will stay in the industry forever?

Solarstone: Ideally we'll score an international no.1 then I can go and live on a pig-farm in sussex and become a recluse, drinking 1987 pinot - noir and listen to radio 4.

Jess: Where do you see the DeepBlue label heading in the future?

Solarstone: Well I don’t know about the distant future, but this coming year will definatly be a case of 'substance replacing hype'. At deepblue we'll be expanding our online store 'deepbluedigital' to include other labels catalogue, we'll be releasing artist albums from some of our most talented signings, and with a bit of luck, making some dosh for a change.

Thanks Jess!

Jess: It was a pleasure!