Behind the Music
One of the chapters in the book that really stuck out to me was ‘The Next Frontier.’ This chapter perfectly captured a microcosm of the wider issues regarding the environment, and how insensitively large corporations will treat it in the name of financial gain. As an artist, I connected with the feelings of desperation and helplessness that accompany seeing injustice and trying to prevent it, only for efforts to be rendered futile. Yet I was inspired by the unrelenting hope of the volunteers and activists depicted in this chapter. It gave me a much needed reminder that change is possible.
Reading The Outlaw Ocean is a reminder of the power of words and stories. Much like the written word, music also has the fortitude to evoke an emotional response that taps into a memory, forges associations and reinforces what we may have forgotten.
I invited my friend and musician David Harrison (Super-Frog Save Tokyo) to lend his modular-synth wizardry in the creation of my tracks to help give my music an extra edge that reflected the subject material. After spending a week holed up in my studio in Wales — immersed in the words and sounds of The Outlaw Ocean — we re-emerged with four tracks that weave a tapestry of sobriety and hope. It was one of the most intense weeks spent in the studio of my career.
From scene founding father, to ringleader and flag-bearer of the Pure Trance movement, Solarstone — producer, composer and DJ Richard Mowatt — has an enduring influence that stretches back almost as far as the genre itself. Releases like “Solarcoaster,” “The Calling” and “Seven Cities” are all benchmark classics of their pre-millennial period. The latter track – among the first of the Balearic trance anthems – has been re-released three times, and now sold in excess of half a million copies. Remixed by Armin van Buuren amongst others, its instantly recognizable sunset/sunrise-sound legacy is still heard in tracks today. With the albums “Anthology One,” “RainStarsEternal,” “Touchstone,” “Pure” and most recently the cryptically titled “. - - - -”, he has also released a quintet of critically revered longplayers. Having championed trance’s true nature from his very first release, the last five years have seen Solarstone push its origin sound – almost singlehandedly – back to the top of the genre’s agenda. Through his gospel of #PureTrance – modernizing the genre’s heart, whilst ring-fencing its soul he caught the disposition of the scene with zeitgeist timing. Within its first year, Solarstone’s ideology of Pure Trance had developed into a bona fide musical movement. It’s one which has been captured by a major mix-compilation series, worldwide Pure Trance club and festival shows, the Pure Trance and Pure Progressive record labels and its weekly radio show.