Trance is a beautiful genre which has managed to connect all its listeners and give us a family around the world! It’s not uncommon for us to talk to the producers and the creators of this wonderful music and ask them for their opinions on the genre. But after all, a genre is made great because of its loyal and true-blue fans! Whenever we speak about trance as a genre, most of the times, prime focus is laid upon the artist. What most fail to realise is, there are a lot more people who are responsible for propagating the genre and pushing it out to the public eye. However, since they mostly work behind the scenes, they usually aren’t at the receiving end of the limelight. So, we decided to ask a few prominent members of our lovely trance family who have stuck with the genre through thick and thin and have strived to make it reach the pinnacles that it is at today. After all, they are truly an inspiration! And it will be interesting to hear their side of the story!
The first person to be featured as a part of this series is a man who is single-handedly responsible for the recent spike in the trance scene in Thailand and all across Asia. Yes, we speak to Lonskii aka Srangkun! Owner of Pure Pleasure entertainment, founder of UnKonscious festival and the reason behind Transmission branching out to Asia, he is a man who adorns multiple titles – A promoter, an artist, a lover of hard trance and most of all, a man who is true to what he does. We are honored to have the opportunity to speak with him, as he shares some wonderful stories about how his career started, what made him fall in love with trance, his dream booking and a lot more!
Hi Lon! It’s wonderful to be speaking with you! You have single-handedly been responsible for the rapid growth of the trance scene in Thailand. How did it all begin?
Thank you TranceHub for the interview, it is such an honor to be interview by 1 of the biggest Trance communities in Asia! ☺
Well the story goes way back, I’ve been a big trance fan since 2000, I started Djing in the clubs in 2004, and threw my 1st party in 2010 while I was living in Melbourne. By the end of 2010 I told myself that my biggest goal was to throw a festival for 10,000 people and I knew it was going to take many years to achieve.
When I moved back to Thailand in 2012 I noticed the trance scene there and in Asia was very small and I wanted to do something about it. Trance and throwing events is my passion and even though I’ve done some club shows from 2013 on it didn’t really make an impact in the scene.
So, in 2014 I decided it was time to really do something about it. I wanted to do something really big something that would draw people from all over Asia and around the world to Thailand. This is when I managed to contact Martijn from Transmission, unfortunately we couldn’t make it happen until 2017. There just simply was not a venue hall big enough for Transmission and I still needed the right partner to co-host the event. But we made it happen, we had 70 countries fly in from all over the world and had close to 10,000 people.
I thought to myself, what’s next? How about I do something of my own, so I can go as crazy as I want, something that hasn’t been done, and it has to be big enough for people to flying in from around the world. What hasn’t been done in the trance scene in Asia? A beach festival, an outdoor / open air event with music labels each night. This is where thw UnKonscious concept came from.
I really hope that these 2 festivals do really well and help boost the trance scene in Thailand and Asia as Trance is such a niche market compared to other genre such as EDM / Trap.
You recently had the opportunity to play with Johan Geilen, who is someone who you really look up to! Congratulations! How was the experience like?
I would never imagine that 1 day I would be playing after him, I’ve admired him since 2002 and I still listen to his sets from 2002-2004. I’ve seen him play twice (as Johan) in my life, once was 2004 in Melbourne, and in 2017 at Tomorrowland. So, to be there standing on the stage with him, take a photo with him, and have a few drinks with him, I nearly cry.
We see you having an affinity towards the harder styles of trance and are a flag bearer for that style of music in Asia. What draws you to it and why?
Many people know me for playing (classic) hard trance, this is because back in Melbourne hard trance was HUGE. I decided to give it a test run in Asia for the first time at the Transmission After party in 2017. I did just a 30-minute closing set, I didn’t want to do a whole hour because it was the first time hard trance set was being played in Asia and if people didn’t like it, after 20 minutes they will leave, however if it was only 30 minutes set if they didn’t like it they might stay until the end.
The feedback after the show was great, I had people came up to me saying “I never heard anything like this before and it was really good” or some people said, “I haven’t heard this track in 15 years it was amazing”. Many people were asking me for more, so for the Transmission after party this year I did 1.5 hour set and everyone had a wonderful time including myself.
If I were to play trance or uplifting like other DJs, then there is nothing special about my set.
We have seen you bring some of the biggest names in trance to Thailand with your company Pure Pleasure Entertainment. I’m sure it must have been quite a challenge in the earlier stage. What were some of the hurdles that you have had to face initially?
The biggest challenge would be that there is a very limited Trance scene in Thailand. It was very difficult to convince people to come to Trance shows. I would book Aly & Fila, Sean Tyas, Cosmic Gate and with these big names we would struggle with numbers not like in Melbourne where they would sell out a venue of 6000 people easy.
People in Thailand only really stated listening to electronic music say around 2012. So for them Trance is still a new thing unlike in Europe, Australia where it has been around for 20+ years. This is why I need to be creative and go big with the concepts to get their attention.
In Thailand people only start listening to electronic music from 2012 onwards, for them Trance is a new thing while it has been famous for the last 20 years in Europe and Australia. These are all the reason why I needed to go big and with all the unique concepts.
You have also founded UnKonscious Beach Festival. For its debut edition, you have left no stone unturned in terms of the lineup and the venue amongst the rest. How did the concept for the festival originate and why was the name UnKonscious picked?
For the venue, I searched a few places; Pattaya, Samui and Phuket. The reason I choose Phuket is because there are flights from all over the world fly directly to Phuket it’s very convenient for everyone, and cheaper than flying into Samui as they would need a stop-over in Bangkok.
I looked at about 10 different beaches in Phuket, but Paradise Beach Club was the best one. It has the best private beach is equipped with a stage, lights and uses the world’s best sound system ‘Funktion 1’
Also, there are many activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, beach volley ball and you can eat and drink at the venue. I don’t want people just to come to party go back to the hotel, rest all day, then come out again at night. You can do much more at Paradise during the day, or even travelling to the islands around Phuket. I want this to be an all-inclusive experience, where guest can explore during the day and listen to Trance at night.
For the lineup, there are so many great trance producers that never been to Asia. There are the same famous ones who keep getting booked such as Aly & Fila, JOC, Brian Kearney, Ferry Corsten etc. Yet there are so many artists the never get book to come to Asia or don’t come very often. I feel this is a great opportunity to promote some up and coming producers to the Trance crowd. My mission is not just to throw events, but I want to help build the scene in Asia for the crowd and the artists.
There was a little negative feedback like “I like trance but I’m not going because I haven’t heard so many names on the lineup”, to me this is not a bad thing as I’m exposing new artists and music to people while still having some well know DJs they can recognize.
Apart from being an outdoor beach festival with different trance labels this is where I get to unite the Trance community from Asia and the world. Each day we have Trance families from Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia to perform warm up sets before the international Djs start. We have ambassadors from around the world close to 20 countries helping us promoting this event and they have a privilege of giving discount code to their community.
As for the name ‘UnKonscious’; I wanted a name that’s easy to remember, it needs to be harsh as well, so that’s how UnKonscious came up. I had another name, but I think it was harder for some people to pronounce which was ‘oblivion; meaning the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening’. Now you see, who would remember if it was Oblivion. Many people would have a tough time pronouncing that name too!
Who was the first artist who made you fall in love with the genre?
If it was Trance when I first started, it was Alice Deejay – Better off alone, Darude – Sandstorm, Public Domain – Operation Blade.
If it was Hard trance – Johan Gielen, DuMond, Cosmic Gate
Who would be your ultimate dream booking?
I would rather throw an ultimate classic night instead; it would include Johan Gielen & Svenson, DuMond, Cosmic Gate, Scott Project, Hennes and Cold, Derb, DJ Issac, Walt & feliz.
What is one thing you love the most about the trance scene and one thing you dislike?
The Trance family the sense of community, exchanging rubber wristbands and candies.
I don’t like when I hear people say Trance is the best and start saying bad things about another genre publicly.
To the people who don’t know you as well, how would you describe yourself?
Hard trance wh*re. I love trance, lasers and vodka.
How has trance as a genre helped you connect with people?
When I travel to festivals in Europe, I always bump into familiar faces, not only Asian but people from around the world. I am really happy to be making more trance friends at every trance event I go to. The Trance crowd is the friendliest crowd and the happiest crowd!
Any anecdote you would like to share with us about any memorable moment you associate with the genre or a particular music event?
Transmission 2017 was the 1st time my parents saw me performing on the stage, and it was my first event that they have attended! I was a little teary when I saw my mom waving from the back of the hall. It was a very special moment.
Any message you would like to share with us and your fans out there?
Together let’s make Trance great like never before!
Follow LonSkii on Facebook here
Follow Pure Pleasure Entertainment here
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