The temperature in Helsinki: Super8 & Tab @ Black & Blue
Finnish trance duo consisting of Super8 (Miika Juhani Eloranta) and DJ Tab (Janne Mikael Mansnerus) has been drawing accolades in droves from the likes of Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren and Gareth Emery since their initial release “First Aid” in 2006. Their innovative, sophisticated uplifting style has captured the attention of clubbers and producers alike the world over and the time is now for Super8 & Tab.
The duo built quite a loyal fanbase in North America due to their releases on the Anjunabeats imprint and their artist album, ‘Empire’. Having played here twice in the last year, Super8 & Tab are quickly growing a glowing rapport with Montreal and their next stop is at the Olympic Stadium during a coveted time slot during BlackJack-21, Black & Blue’s Main Event on Sunday October 9th.
“North America is probably the best territory for us right now and Canada and specifically Montreal, is no exception,” Super8 & Tab says. They are both quick to draw similarities between both countries as well. “Crowd-wise, there´s lots of similarities between Finland and Canada,” they say. “Maybe it´s our cold winters in both countries that makes people really let go on the dancefloor. The funny thing is that I think this year we have played more often in Canada than in Finland!”
From Helsinki, with love
Their distinctive style was enough for Above & Beyond to take notice and sign the duo to their record label, Anjunabeats back in 2006. “It was at that time when everyone was doing trance and copying the Anjunabeats trademark rolling bass at 138 BPM sound so we figured out that we need to do something different to be noticed.” Super8 & Tab then brought “Helsinki Scorchin’” to massive acclaim and put the Finnish duo on the DJ/producer A-list. “We went a bit progressive with that track and dropped the tempo to 134 BPM, but still kept it uplifting. We thought the track was about to scorch the floors. Hence the name ‘Helsinki Scorchin´’.”
Since then, the boys have been commissioned to remix the likes of Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz and just recently, Creep featuring the whispery vox of XX’s Romy Madley Croft on their electro-chilled, “Days”. With mostly trance producers remixing other trance producers, it was a labour of love for the boys to try a different venue to get the Super8 & Tab sound to a newer market. The track is massive, but even at this stage in their career, the boys remain humble. “As bright as we desperately think we are, there´s always someone brighter,” they said. “This time it was our manager Soraya who picked up that track and played it for us. We like it a lot and we thought we need to remix this track. Luckily, Creep was up for the idea too.”
It was just recently on the Anjunabeats messageboard that one of the Above & Beyond boys coined the phrase trance v 2.0, giving the genre slower tempos, less drumrolls, electro and dare I say it, in some cases even dub-step pulled into the recipe. Super8 & Tab figure are considered one of the forefathers of this innovation with elements of their earlier works hinting at a change-to-come in the production of trance music. “We used lots of same elements in ‘Helsinki Scorchin´’and ‘Won’t Sleep Tonight” which are considered as trademarks for Trance 2.0,” they said. “The sound has definitely kept evolving.”
“Trance has always been like a sponge, sucking in different influences from other genres. I think one of the biggest influences for today’s trance has been tech-house from few years back,” they continue. “Also new technology has driven producers to approach their production differently. We are not making a difference here, but we always try to figure out how to bring that melodic and uplifting side of us into the new sound. It´s not always easy as when BPM´s drop you have to work twice as hard to keep the energy in.
Black is the new blue
For years, the Black & Blue was mainly geared towards the gay community with DJs primarily playing vocal tribal house. In recent years, the festival opened the doors to allow for a more progressive sound during the main event giving Gabriel & Dresden, Sasha & Digweed, Dave Seaman and Gareth Emery to name a few, a chance to dish out their wares to an expanded market. Not only does the audience win, but the message behind the event transcends to an untapped DJ pool ready to give it all they’ve got. “This is actually the first time we have heard about Black & Blue and it was through an artist we know and what we´ve heard is that the vibe is really unique, so we can’t wait to play there,” they said. “We also love the fact that there´s a good cause behind this event.”
Super8 & Tab play the Olympic Stadium for BlackJack-21 on October 9th, 2011