“Man on the Run.” “Waiting.” “Never Cry Again.” The music of Dash Berlin (the Netherlands’ Jeff X. Sutorius) washes over listeners, creating an ethereal trance experience that is physically and emotionally moving. He makes his first-ever Las Vegas appearance headlining at Rain on Dec. 11 (doors at 11 p.m., $30 and up, free for locals).
While some DJ/producers generate tracks every couple of weeks, you’ve released only a handful in the past few years. What is your approach in the studio, and how long do you typically work on a specific track?
Probably way too long! It’s all part of being a perfectionist, I guess. I’m constantly trying to learn and improve. And it can take time before I am satisfied enough to let something go. Less is more sometimes, if you want to do it right.
It seems like quite a bit of trance that’s come out lately follows a similar formula that hasn’t changed much since the genre’s inception. What is your take on creating unique tracks that still appeal to the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) audience?
It has become easier to produce an EDM track nowadays. The software to make music is widely available, which has made the whole thing a lot more democratic. The result is that there is a lot of music out there, but unfortunately not everything is of the same quality. That is where the challenge lies for me as an artist and as a DJ, proving to the people that there still is great music out there.
“Man on the Run” with Cerf, Mitiska and Jaren has become one of my favorite tracks. How did that collaboration come about, and what was your vision with the song?
Thank you for the kind words -- that’s really cool to hear. It started with a remix that I did for their track “You Never Said.” That did really well, so we decided to work together on a track, which eventually became “Man on the Run.” I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Jaren, though. She has a stunning voice, which really tells a beautiful story via the lyrics and truly gives the track a soul. My personal vision was to make her shine and build everything around that as far as production ideas go. Matt Cerf and Shawn Mitiska are really professional and easy to work with, so that helped, as well.
Are there any specific vocalists you hope to work with in the future?
Madonna hasn’t called me back yet, unfortunately, but yes, there are many fantastic voices out there that I can’t wait to work with. I’ve got some amazing vocalists working with me as we speak for my new album, so watch out for that, as well!
Which came first for you, DJing or producing?
The two have been going hand-in-hand most of the time, but I would say I am most importantly a DJ.
Do you recall the first time you heard electronic music?
I don’t think I can accurately say that, but my mom’s heartbeat was definitely the first beat I bumped my head to.
Are you still an avid vinyl collector?
Absolutely! Once a vinyl junkie, always a vinyl junkie!
Where did the 42-minute “Flashback” YouTube video mix idea come from, and what went into putting it together?
I wanted to try something different, and I felt challenged by the idea of adding different remixes to existing videos, and then mix the whole thing together, music and footage. I had to cut and re-sync all the material to new BPMs and stuff, but it was all worth it. The response to it has been really great.
What’s next for your label Aropa?
I’ve recently released tracks by talented artists such as Paul Trainer featuring Antonia Lucas [“Rise Again”] and Hoyaa ["The Other World" EP], and I will continue to release high-quality stuff from all over the world on Aropa in 2011.
What’s in store for you personally in 2011?
Well, for 2011, I will have a brand new single, plus a music video on the way and a new album, which is the follow-up of my debut album, "The New Daylight." I’m also proud to announce that I will be doing my own monthly iTunes Top 15 in 2011, and I will be touring the globe once again to party with as many of you as possible.