On the back of one of his greatest artist collections to celebrate 20 years on the electronic dance music scene we caught up with Orkidea to chat about his new work, '20'...
It’s been amazing twenty years since me and my friends started organizing illegal raves in the squat houses of Helsinki in early 90s. Most bizarre experience must have been DJing for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Helena Christensen at a Berlin fetish club Kit Kat after their first ever Berlin show. Most flashy ones have been entertaining the rich & famous of Hong Kong or Russia while warming up Chemical Brothers, Paul van Dyk or Underworld was something I’ll never forget. From the venues I’ve DJed Tresor in Berlin, Pacha in Ibiza, Ministry of Sound in London and CODE in Tokyo were special places to play.
My recording career started in 1998 with Slusnik Luna’s Nicklas Renqvist. ‘Unity‘ was signed to british Steelfish label and found it’s way to Gatecrasher and Renaissance compilations. Sasha and Oakenfold opened their Essential Mixes with it and Pete Tong played it on BBC Radio 1. Gigs with DJ Tiesto lead into signing to his Black Hole label while other releases include ‘Embrace’ on Five AM and ‘Beautiful‘ on Sential (finnish national singles chart #1). Most famous colaborations include ‘YearZero‘ together with Andy Moor, ‘God’s Garden‘ together with David West and ‘Zeitgeist‘ with Solarstone. My remixes include Aalto’s ‘Rush‘ made together with Super8, Stage One remix made for Hooj Choons, Way Out West’s ‘Killa‘ and more recently a bootleg remix of Hans Zimmer’s ‘Time‘ from Inception soundtrack which Paul Oakenfold loved so much he did his own edit. In 2011 I released my third artist album “20” which also celebrates my twenty years of DJing.
As promoters we have come a very long way from the days of illegal warehouse raves. Together with my friends, we have run Club Unity for over ten years, promoted Renaissance’s events in Helsinki and organized events called “Pacifique” for almost 3000 people in a water park. We have had fun at 16 hour Sunday clubbing sessions at DTM and have brought Jose Padilla to Finland. We have organised events on boats, in parks, on ice-skating rinks and even did one of Finland’s first flash mobs: the infamous One Minute Raves. The longest set I’ve ever played was 23 hours on New Year’s Day in 2010. To me electronic music and club culture has always been about open-mindness, unity amongst people and pushing the musical boundaries forward, whether it’s ambient concert in a park or full on rave in warehouse. Uniting the sounds, the minds, the people.
After 20 years of dance music Orkidea’s new album is full a fresh new material and revisits from some of his all time classic tracks. We thought a few questions were in order to find out more behind what is one of his best artist collections to date.
i:Vibes: Thanks Tapio for taking some time to talk about your new album 20 with ivibes. You are celebrating 20 years of DJing. How did you come up with the idea to create this unique album 20 in the style that you made it in?
Orkidea: I knew for quite a while that the album would come at the same time when I'd be celebrating my 20 years of Djing. So I wanted the album to reflect somehow the long career and to be a true installment of my vision of trance music: atmospheric yet driving, euphoric yet not cheesy and with an old school vibe yet with a modern sound.
i:Vibes: The album has many classic tracks made in new versions. How difficult was it picking the special tracklist for 20? Through how many tracks and ideas did you shuffle through?
Orkidea: It took a long time to make this album and at the end I had well over 80 demos to choose from. The final tracklist came together quite quickly though at the end.
i:Vibes: You have worked with many special artists in your career. Which artist influenced you the most through the years?
Orkidea: There are so many great producers who have inspired and educated me during the years: Sasha, BT, Paul van Dyk, Way Out West, Cosmic Baby, Oliver Lieb, Andy Moor, Gareth Emery, Solarstone, Brothers In Rhythm, Tilt, John Digweed...
i:Vibes: The album cover is very beautiful and unique having a different color for each year. How did you come up with this idea and does each color mean something special for that year?
Orkidea: Thanks! The cover represents couple things: 1) every year has it's own box and color, 2) The range of colors represents the wide variety of styles, genres and forms of electronic music and how it has evolved during the years and 3) the colors start and end with the same color which represents a musical circle closing for trance with references and inspiration coming from the early years.
i:Vibes: You start the album with your classic Beautiful. How intense are the vocals for you in this track? What feelings about your 20 years does this track give you when you listen to this version?
Orkidea: Beautiful is interesting track because it started as an instrumental chill out/downtempo track, then I added the vocals to it, then came my first own club version, then came Marc Mitchell remix with the Star Wars samples, then the uplifting (and hugely popular) Alt-F4 remix and now this my new version kind of brings all of those together with a 2012 sound and groove. And yes, the vocals are very touching
i:Vibes: Hale Bopp has a nice atmosphere bringing back that 90s feeling incorporated with more modern sounds. How much fun was it giving it a 2011 touch?
Orkidea: Very much fun indeed! Me and JS16 were listening to some KLF and similar 1991-1992 in your face techno and rave tracks and wanted to bring some of that raw energy into the version.
i:Vibes: You produced Slowmotion with the fabulous Solarstone. What will you always remember from the making of this album with Rich Mowatt?
Orkidea: We share lot of same musical vision and background with Rich so he has been very helpful and supportive with the album. For Slowmotion II we wanted to create continuity and a theme the same way as Jean Michel Jarre did with his Oxygene series in the 70s. So the sound is similar as with Slowmotion yet the track and melody are new.
i:Vibes: I was more than excited when I saw the classic Sundown from DJ Dag and Steveie B Zet on your album. I know you liked the classic EYE Q tracks. What made the original Sundown track so special for you?
Orkidea: To me Eye Q is one of the greatest labels ever and essential part of the whole foundation for trance music. Sundown is one of the less known yet equally amazing as some of the better known Eye Q classics. I really hope that DJ Dag and Stevie B Zet would consider I did justice to their amazing original
i:Vibes: You kept the original melody of Sundown in the new version.What was most difficult in getting Sundown 2012 perfect for you?
Orkidea: The original has a very soft groove so I wanted to toughen it little bit but ensure that it would loose the atmospheric and hypnotic vibe of the original.
i:Vibes: What was your inspiration behind Pacificque?
I wanted to do something more housey, soft and summery and that's how Pacifique came together. The names comes from a 2000 people indoor waterpark event called Pacifique (http://www.pacifique.fi/
) which we do annually in Finland.
i:Vibes: You made a fantastic remix for Art Of Trance Chung Kuo. What was most appealing for you from the original sound wise and what was most challenging about remixing this?
Orkidea: It was a big honor to remix a track by Art of Trance and the fact that it was a cover of a Vangelis track made it even more special. With this remix I wanted to finally test a concept I had in mind for long time: a track without a breakdown! It was challenging to make it work but I'm very happy how it turned out.
i:Vibes: I imagine your track tw3nty is a homage to your 20 years. What track besides Unity, Beautiful or Killa in your vast musical collection made a big difference in your music life?
Orkidea: Other than those three my Flight 643 remix, YearZero with Andy Moor, Metaverse and the Aalto: Rush remix I did with Super8 are probably the most important landmarks in my musical career. Also each of my artist albums Taika, Metaverse and now 20 have all been very important.
i:Vibes: Killa from Way Out West is a classic that was given a nice remake by you. Why did you choose to add this track on your album?
Orkidea: The new version was done specifically for massive Whiteout event here in Helsinki. So it wasn't supposed to be included on the album but as the feedback was so positive I decided to include it as well.
i:Vibes: How difficult was it general remixing a classic like Hot Trigger? A track that means a lot to you. You obviously didn´t want to make something you weren´t proud of. What was the time table on this track? Did you bleed in the studio until the sun came up?
Orkidea: For Hot Trigger I had a clear concept in my mind to make a very traditional PvD like thumping 138 bpm track from the 1993 hard trance (165 bpm!) classic. It took three or four days to finish.
i:Vibes: How important was your track Unity to your music career? Where would Orkidea be today if Unity hadn´t been made?
Orkidea: Unity is a very very special and important track to me in many ways. First of all it was done to be an anthem of our Club Unity which run in Helsinki from 1996 onwards. Secondly it was my first released single in 1999 and thirdly it opened so many doors to remixing etc outside of Finland. I'm sure I would still be making music and Djing without Unity but my life might have been very different without it.
i:Vibes: What will you want the listener to remember most from the album Orkidea 20 the most?
Orkidea: It is my vision of trance music and I think it's quite different from majority of today's trance releases. So I hope people will find something unique and touching from the album. Music of the future inspired by the past.
ORKIDEA - '20'
:: Available right now!