Despite heavyweight Deadmau5 closing out this year’s Creamfields on the mainstage, Perth locals Illuminor were captivating the crowd with a spankingly amazing set. They managed to hold the crowd’s attention till the very end and even then they wanted more; screaming “one more track, one more track”. GLEN CANNING was privy enough to watch them tear it up at Creamfields and was eager to find out more.
At just 21 years of age the future is destined to be a bright one if their success to date has anything to go by. Formed in 2009 by Joe Benger and Michael Ware, Illuminor has quickly risen to the trance DJ elite here in Perth but their productions are being heard around the world and this is just the beginning. So where did it all begin?
“Illuminor was founded on great friendship. We met at Future Music Festival 2008 and found ourselves challenging each other to identify the names of the tracks Markus Shulz was playing! It made sense to form Illuminor based on the determination we had to push the boundaries of trance, and desire to share music with an whatever audience would hear us!”
The production duo has been a successful endeavour over the past decade but with all its benefits, it can also raise a similar amount of challenges. The guys explain why their partnership works.
“Joe is meticulous. As an established and long-time trance DJ, his knowledge and experience of music assures that the projects Illuminor undertake meet the standard required for an impact in today’s scene. Michael brings a more classical approach, with vast experience as a producer and classical musician, the fused result has so far proved to be exciting, and more importantly – unique.”
Speaking of unique, let’s talk production – what are Illuminor’s essential tools in the studio and why? “FL Studio 10 is the centre piece of all of our productions. Work flow is everything. The simple truth for us – there’s nothing quicker and more intuitive than FL Studio in getting an idea down onto the canvas. Coupled with Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Lennar Digitals’ Sylenth and a whole host of high quality sample packs, we find quality results a small step away.”
The foundation of their success together began on their individual pursuits before forming Illuminor and has continued on. They reveal what accomplishments they have had with their productions so far.
“Mike really catapulted his trance career upon winning the Sean Tyas’ Melbourne remix competition in 2009 – now signed onto Discover, the track jumped to the top 10 Audiojelly.com charts within 2 weeks of release. On the other hand, Joe’s mashup of Sundriver and Oceanlab – Satellite received airplay by world no. 1 Armin Van Buuren on his ASOT radio show. Together, we’ve also managed to receive airplay by trance juggernauts Mark Sherry, Lange and Randy Boyer.”
Illuminor’s loyal fans are eagerly awaiting the release of their first EP and the guys have some good news, it’s not too far around the corner.
“Absolutely. It’s been a monstrous few months with gigs and larger shows, but the EP is now our major focus, and we hope to have it ready by September 2011. We’ve written far more than an EP’s worth, but the most important thing is that the music is right, and the world’s first impression of Illuminor is truly our best work.”
With the advances of technology it has made production software available to anyone with a PC, flooding the market with thousands of sub standard tracks. How does Illuminor make sure that their tracks stand out amongst the others?
“Sometimes the best thing an artist can do is stop and objectively look at what’s going on around them. Avoiding the wave of generic tracks is unfortunately something that every artist worth their salt has to deal with. Our solution is to simply ignore it – we believe it’s essential for trance artists to listen to their heart & soul and create with music that comes from within. After all, people don’t listen to trance because it’s “cool” – it comes from somewhere else.”
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience an Illuminor DJ set, one can attest to their ability to always raising the bar including live vocals which is an impressive leap from the standard DJ sets one might see here in Perth. The lads offer some thoughts on what they might try in the future.
“Playing live is a hard beast to tame. This is why we have attempted to make it a part of the Illuminor experience from day one. We intend to start with what we know, and tightly integrate everything we learn as we go. The ultimate goal is trance with a 120 piece symphony orchestra – although that may be a while away.”
Regardless of talent, Illuminor’s biggest hurdle may simply be a geographical one and they agree wholeheartedly with this suggestion. “Perth is just so isolated. For a place as small as Perth we need to fight tooth and claw to promote the music we love. The biggest challenge lies with those local promoters who bring international artists over and need to fill the venues – so that those internationals want to come back!”
Wrapping up an intriguing interview, the duo share one last message to the EDM crew. “To all those fervent followers of the electronic music scene – keep it locked! Trance & Progressive has some of the most original and inventive artists in circle today. With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate there has never been a more exciting time to follow it’s tracings in the worldwide music scene.
You can witness the exciting energy of Illuminor @ Shape Nightclub for Amon Vision’s White Party this coming long weekend, Sunday June 5th. The boys can also be found laying down the beats @ Bar Open for Ascension and Juicy @ Niche Cocktail Bar in Leederville and even bringing it to the country @ Studio 146 in Albany.
Illuminor are certainly one’s to look out for as this is undoubtedly an extremely, talented and motivated pairing that has the world stage beckoning.