English underground trance producer John 00 Fleming has expanded his label JOOF Recordings, adding JOOF Mantra and JOOF Aura into the mix. What separates these subsidiary labels from each other? What does this mean for JOOF Recordings? What is the future of trance? We were given the opportunity to speak with John 00 about such topics, and more:
Q. Please describe your sound in five words or less.
A. Underground Trance.
Q. The beginning of 2016 is marked by the anticipatory expansion in JOOF Recordings: the addition of JOOF Mantra and JOOF Aura. Can you explain for our readers why you decided to add these two subsidiary labels?
A. This is a sign for growth in the underground scene and hunger for more serious music. Main JOOF was running at full capacity and needed to branch off another two labels to allow us to specialize in these other two worlds and give the labels more breathing space.
Q. What do JOOF Mantra and JOOF Aura mean to you? What key qualities distinguish these subsidiary labels from JOOF Deep and JOOF Test Series?
A. JOOF Mantra will solely focus on the Psy Trance scene; this isn’t just a fad move because Psy is becoming more popular. JOOF was born 18 years ago as the sister label to Transient Records, one of the forefathers of the Psy/Goa scene. We also have a love for the deep progressive side of things — my Deep mixes are a testament to this — so it was a completely natural step to have JOOF Aura concentrating on this.
Q. Critics of trance music proclaim that the genre is slowly stepping off the EDM scene. As an artist and performer, do you believe that trance is on the decline?
A. I think Trance is the strongest it’s been for a very long time, and I put this down to the demise of EDM as it heads more towards the House scene again. Trance got a terribly tarnished reputation due to the EDM Infection and it’s heading back to its roots of proper music aimed squarely for the dance floor. There’s so many people heading back to Trance again, arguably John Digweed, too…but this will be labeled as ‘Techno’.
Q. A counter to the aforementioned criticism is that the trance family — the global body of trance fans – demonstrates a full-on, loyal representation to trance artists. Can you describe for our readers your experience as a performer at Dreamstate SF? What are your thoughts on the United States’ trance family?
A. Over the past 30 years Trance has had a patriotic cult following; this is why I believe it will never ever die away. It has its lull moments, but then it bounces back twice as strong — it’s one of the most resilient genres around. This is due to passionate groups like Trance family that I see all around the world; they’re an amazing bunch. Dreamstate is another example of the growth of Trance: only three years ago there was no way a Trance-only event of this size could happen, yet over the last few months these two huge events have both sold out within weeks.
Q. In your eyes, what is the current state of trance, and where do you see it going?
A. Back where it belongs being one of the best genres on this planet! It’s growing around the world in all its variations: Deep, Tech, Euphoric, Psy. Good times are ahead for Trance music, and it will soon be back on all the main stages of festivals.
Q. With the addition of the two subsidiary labels, what should fans expect from JOOF Recordings in 2016?
A. JOOF can now focus on what it’s great at doing: releasing high quality Trance music. We’ve found plenty of it and have some outstanding releases lined-up from some of the best producers in the world.
Q. If you could change anything in the world with a snap, what would it be and why?
A. It sounds cliché, but to stop the world fighting. I don’t like people fighting; I don’t like wars.
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