Ruben de Ronde plays Festival X in Sydney and Melbourne.
As vast and nebulous as the world of trance can be, Ruben De Ronde has become one of the key influencers moulding and guiding the form.
Ruben is a well-respected figure in trance and EDM at-large, having started as an A&R Manager in 2007 at Armada Music, the label of Armin van Buuren. As well as running his own progressive trance label Statement! Recordings, Ruben is also the co-host and co-producer of the popular A State Of Trace radio broadcast.
From these positions, Ruben has a keen insight into the intricacies of trance and EDM. We catch up for a chat about his appearance at Festival X and to discuss the current and future 'state of trance'.
What are some of the projects you have been working on this year? This year was all about the release of my album ‘Different’. It was released last June, and is a milestone in my career. I took a little bit of a different approach (pun intended) making this album, as I have really involved my followers in it.
By using twitch.tv/rubenderonde I stream my studio sessions, and the viewers have a saying in the choices I make. I have tried to involve as many people as I could in this album, and I am super happy with the outcome.
What can audiences expect from your set at Festival X? Lots of new music, besides the new single from the album. Ever since I finished ‘Different’, I have been working on a few new tunes, and I think Festival X would be a perfect spot to start road testing them. I also received a new remix of my new single with HALIENE, ‘The Hardest Part’. So that will be a set highlight for sure.
When you're not onstage at Festival X, where/ how will you be spending you time? These last couple of months have been full of hardcore touring, and in the time between now and Festival X I will be playing in the USA, Lebanon, Austria, Portugal and more, so I am super stoked about the way things are going.
Some of your most memorable Australian experiences? I think it is my third visit to Australia. The first one was a small club tour following ‘A State Of Trance 500’, which was really memorable, and in 2017 I joined my dear friends Marlo and Jano on Marlo’s Altitude tour. That was an unforgettable series of events.
As a producer for the A State of Trance radio show, what is your process for curating the playlist? We receive SO much fantastic music every week. We could easily fit four hours with the tunes we get. So sometimes we find out, after the recording, that we didn't play that one tune that we really wanted to feature. Even my own tunes aren't safe for being skipped at times, because we just have too many tunes.
I think the most important thing is that the tune sounds BIG and stands out. There is nothing worse than a dull-sounding track or even worse, a generic track.
In this role you've become a key influencer in the world of trance – what advice do you have for aspiring producers who want to get their music heard? I think it is linked to the above. Make sure to stand out. There is a lot of generic music out there. Same arrangements, same sounds, same everything. You see that the big tunes always stand out in that way.
As a tip I would say educate yourself. Every day is a new journey, and every day you can learn something new. I watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube.
Based on your own observations, do you have any predictions about how progressive trance music (or even EDM in general) is set to evolve and develop over the next few years? I think the techno scene will embrace trance even more, and I hope this will influence a lot of younger producers to start making melodic stuff too. I am not sure if this sound will take over the main stages though, because it is a little bit too low on energy. But I am loving the return of progressive trance.
The artists and bands we'd find on your personal playlists? I am really loving Highasakite right now.
Any new and emerging trance producers we should be listening to? Make sure to listen to my friends that release on my Statement! label: Estiva, Rodg, Elevven, Lumisade, Gardenstate, Sound Quelle and more.
Ruben De Ronde plays Festival X at Sydney Showground 30 November and Melbourne Showgrounds 1 December.