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Armin van Buuren talks special Aussie vinyl set and all things ‘Armin Only Embrace’

“I’m excited to bring the biggest show I’ve ever done to Australia,” Armin van Buuren tells The Trance Project.

Armin van Buuren will bring his Armin Only Embrace show to Sydney Showground on January 28, where he will be performing solo until 5am, joined by vocalists, dance acts, striking visuals, special effects, and, of course, a lot of music from his ‘Embrace’ album.

Armin will also bring his own private collection of vinyls to Australia for a special vinyl set – no trance music fan should miss!

We recently spoke with the legendary act to talk more about his upcoming show and the future of Armin Only. Read the full interview below and grab your tix here.

We caught up with you in September to talk all things ‘Armin Only Embrace’ and now we’re just over a month away from the Sydney show – what’s going through your mind right now? 

I’m super excited to come back to Sydney of course! I’ve had so much love from Australian fans and on the radio stations, lots of my singles went really well as well, so I’m excited to bring the biggest show I’ve ever done to Australia again, and I really can’t wait to be there when its summer! I’m actually going to travel around a little bit with my family as well.

What experience have you got planned for your thousands of Aussie fans?

Well I’m bringing my Armin Only tour, a show that I created around my last album, ‘Embrace.’ I’ll bring some of the artists that are featured on the album like Kensington, Mr Probz, Angel Taylor and many more. We’ll fly down with a massive crew for this one-off show, it’s the only time you can see it in Australia.

I want to stress that it’s a live DJ set, so I’ll still be playing a lot of new music, it’s not pre-programmed. When we do the live tracks and I decide to play ‘Another You’ for example, Mr Probz will be there to sing live and generate some extra excitement.

I’ll also be playing a special vinyl set in Australia, so I’m very happy about that, I like giving something extra to my fans.

What did you want to do differently on this Armin Only tour from all previous tours.

Well first of all, the music is different of course. All the collaborations are different, none of the artists that you’ve seen in past shows will join me on this tour, so it’s a complete new line-up and the stage is also developed differently than the ‘Intense,’ ‘Mirage’ and ‘Imagine’ shows.

It’s a different album as well. The ambition with this album was to embrace different sounds and embrace them into my world. For example, the ambition was to not just use the lead singer of Dutch band Kensington, which is really doing well in Holland right now and all over Europe, and put him over a beat, but to have the entire band play along on the track, so that it really makes a difference.

You will be sharing the stage with some of the most amazing artists and we’re super excited for your performance with Eric Vloeimans – how did this collaboration originally come about?

I was invited for a concert in Holland via our King and Queen for the Kings Day concert, and I was completely blown away with the sound of his trumpet. He’s a very skilled trumpet player, he has a very unique sound and a lot of people will tell you the same because he’s world-renowned for the way he plays the trumpet.

I thought you know, I’m just going to give him a call and see if he’s up for collaborating and I immediately got a response from his management. He works mostly with classical orchestras and jazz trios and all that sort of stuff, but I never heard a trumpet like that in a trance track, and it was part of the ambition of ‘Embrace’ to embrace different sounds into my own sounds.

He is one of the most important people for the Armin Only Embrace show because he leads and connects everything in the show, he is actually going to play more than just one track.

Anybody who has a little bit of knowledge in the trumpet world will tell you that he’s one of the best in the world! It gets very emotional when he plays and he does a unique performance every time. I think everyone will appreciate the fact that it’s just different.

Watch the first 15 minutes of Armin Only Embrace with Eric Vloeimans in Amsterdam:

What can fans expect from your special vinyl set in Sydney?

I’ll bring a huge amount of vinyls, and I’ll bring plenty of classics from my own private collection to Australia, it really depends on the mood of the night. There’s no live performances on stage with me, it’s just a vinyl set.

I also love the contract, when we have the main show its all pyro’s, videos, live performances and all that, and the vinyl set is just me and two decks, I’m really going back to basics to how Armin Only actually started.

Watch his vinyl set in Amsterdam:

You will also be celebrating 20 years of your solo career in 2017 with the massive ‘Best Of Armin Only’ show – what do you think is the secret to staying in the music business for the long haul?

Keep reinventing yourself!

I learnt a lot in my massive writer’s block that I had in 2001 – 2002 after the ‘Communication’ track. It did so well and I had no follow-up! I learnt after that it’s not about creating a follow-up, it’s about having fun in the studio and I think the most important thing is that you keep reinventing yourself and keep challenging yourself.

For example, on the last album ‘Embrace’, I was in the studio with Kensington and all of sudden I wasn’t in my own home studio like I would usually be, I was actually directing an orchestra and I was helping Kensington to record their parts for the collaboration, so it was a really different approach on how I usually work, and that’s after 20 years. One of the fun parts about ‘Embrace’ was not just creating the album, but the learning experience when working with different artists like Eric Vloeimans. You see how he approaches music and you can learn from that.

Do you see yourself still producing and performing big shows like Armin Only in another 20 years time?

Maybe, who knows, Armin Only is my baby. At the moment, after the ‘Best Of Armin Only’ show, I don’t have any shows planned. It feels like a good moment to close all the shows down that I’ve done, but who knows what the future will bring.

Again I will constantly try redevelop myself and there a lot more things I want to do and discover.

At the moment I don’t think it’ll be coming back but who knows in the future. . . 

Armin Only Embrace
Saturday January 28, 2017
New times: 10.30pm – 5.00am
Exhibition Halls, Sydney Showgrounds.
Tickets on sale here!

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Written by Miguel Ramirez

My name is Miguel, and i'm a trance addict.

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