Above & Beyond (band)

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Above & Beyond
Above & Beyond 2011.jpg
Background information
Also known as Rollerball, Tongue Of God, Tranquility Base
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Genres Trance, progressive trance
Occupations Disc jockey
Record producer
Years active 2000 – present
Labels Anjunabeats, Anjunadeep
Associated acts Aalto, Anjunabeats, Colours Of Amon Ra, Dirt Devils, Free State, Nitromethane, OceanLab, Sad Lovers And Giants, Zed-X
Website aboveandbeyond.nu
Members Jono Grant
Paavo Siljamäki
Tony McGuinness

Above & Beyond is an English EDM/progressive music group consisting of members Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki. Formed in 2000, they are the owners of London-based electronic dance music labels Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep, and also host a weekly radio show titled Group Therapy Radio. In 2009, The trio ranked at #4 on DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs Poll. They ranked at #5 in 2010 & 2011 and at #8 the following year. They are currently ranked at #17.[1]

History[edit]

Formation (1999–2000)[edit]

Grant and Siljamäki met at the University of Westminster. Having discovered a common mutual interest for electronic music, they decided to collaborate in writing music together.[2] Following Siljamäki's suggestion, they set up the Anjunabeats label in the summer of 1999 with the release of their first single, "Volume One," under the alias Anjunabeats. Initially, the Anjunabeats record label was founded as a medium to release their own music. Since the label acquired the same name as their production alias, however, they started to release music under different names, most notably as "Dirt Devils" and "Free State."

The original mix of "Volume One," packaged with their "Tease Dub Mix," received immediate attention in various dance clubs and quickly gained support from DJs such as Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules, and Paul van Dyk, after Grant and Paavo Siljamäki personally handed a dub plate of the song to Paul Oakenfold in 2000 at the now-defunct London nightclub, "Home".

Following the success of "Volume One" and a string of singles and remixes under their Free State and Dirt Devils alter egos, the Marketing Director & Manager of the Warner Music Group, Tony McGuinness, was alerted to the duo by his brother, Liam McGuinness. Liam had purchased a sample library that Grant had created for Yamaha, and got in touch with Jono. Having been commissioned to remix Chakra's "Home," Tony McGuinness recruited Grant and Siljamäki to help him complete the remix.[3] When the group was searching for a name to use for their Chakra remix, the inspiration came from a web page belonging to an American motivational trainer coincidentally named Jono Grant. Grant had the poster stuck to his wall. The slogan used by the motivational trainer was "Above & Beyond," and they decided to use that as their name.[4] Although the group was relatively unknown at the time, their remix of Chakra's "Home" was picked over remixes by Rob Searle and Tilt to be the A-side mix, and after plays by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1, it reached number one in the UK club charts.

In addition to Above & Beyond's production work, the trio also established the vocal trance group OceanLab with Justine Suissa.

Other collaborators in the band's early stages include Andy Moor and vocalists Carrie Skipper, Ashley Tomberlin, Zoë Johnston, and Richard Bedford.

Early Productions & DJ Career Debut (2001–2005)[edit]

Sample of Above & Beyond's video remix of Madonna's What It Feels Like For A Girl.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Interest in Above & Beyond soon emerged from established trance labels and new remixes were requested: the trio remixed Aurora's "Ordinary World," Fragma's "Everytime You Need Me," Perpetuous Dreamer's "The Sound of Goodbye," and Adamski's "In the City." These tracks served as the foundation for Above & Beyond's reputation[5] as one of the UK's leading vocal trance remixers.

In 2001, Above & Beyond produced a club mix for the Madonna single "What It Feels Like for a Girl", and also remixed select tracks by Delerium, Three Drives, and J-pop artist Ayumi Hamasaki.

Above & Beyond at Trance Energy, 2010.

In 2002, Above & Beyond made their DJ debut in Tokyo performing for 8,000 clubbers alongside Ferry Corsten and Tiësto. As their fan base increased, the trio began to make regular appearances at some of the world's largest music festivals and clubs, including Rockness, Glastonbury and Creamfields in the UK and Amnesia in Ibiza, Spain.

In 2003, Above & Beyond remixed Tomcraft's "Loneliness," Motorcycle's "As the Rush Comes," as well as being asked back by Madonna to remix "Nobody Knows Me." Other remixes included Britney Spears' single "Everytime," Dido's "Sand In My Shoes," and Delerium's "Silence."

Above & Beyond's single "No One On Earth," featuring the vocals of Zoë Johnston, soon followed. It was voted Tune of the Year for 2004 in Armin van Buuren's trance radio show A State of Trance.[6]

Tri-State Era (2006–2009)[edit]

In 2006, Above & Beyond released their debut artist album, Tri-State. UK-based DJ Magazine gave the album a five-star review, saying, "A blend of sleek electronic rhythms, lush filmic textures and old-fashioned song writing. Tri-State is the fulfillment of any dance act's ultimate album aspiration: a padding-free, skilled, diverse long-player. In a word, 'Brilliant.'"

Singles from the album include "Air for Life," with Andy Moor, which won "Best Underground Dance Track" at the 2006 Miami Winter Music Conference and was named Tune of the Year for 2005, as voted by the listeners of Armin van Buuren's radio show A State of Trance. "Alone Tonight," featuring Richard Bedford, was nominated for best progressive house/trance track at the 22nd International Dance Music Awards held at the 2007 Miami WMC, reaching #4 in the Finland National Singles chart and #5 in the UK Dance Chart. Above & Beyond performed "Alone Tonight" at Global Gathering 2005 broadcast live on Radio One in the UK. Their single "Can't Sleep" was included on A State of Trance in episode 280, which featured at #3 on the best 20 tracks of 2006, according to the fans that voted in its polls. "Good for Me," featuring Zoë Johnston, was also voted Tune of the Year in 2006 on Van Buuren's A State of Trance. In 2008, Above & Beyond won "Best Underground Dance Track" at IDMA Awards at the Winter Music Conference with their single "Home."

On 31 December 2007, Above & Beyond unofficially hosted their largest show ever on Barra Beach, Rio de Janeiro, where they reportedly played to an estimated one million people.[7]

In 2009, Above & Beyond performed at the official launch of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. The event took place in the Mojave Desert and was hosted by Sir Richard Branson and attended by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The performance was secured after Above & Beyond's Buzz Aldrin-sampling club track "Buzz" was picked by Virgin to soundtrack the unveiling of the spaceship itself. [8]

Group Therapy Era (2010–2013)[edit]

The first single to be heard from Above & Beyond's second artist album, Group Therapy was "Thing Called Love" feating vocals from Richard Bedford and is featured in the Anjunabeats Volume 8 compilation album released on 19 July 2010. After months of writing, refining, and perfecting, Above & Beyond's hugely anticipated second artist album "Group Therapy" was released to widespread critical acclaim on 6 June 2011. Hitting #1 in the iTunes Dance Album charts, the album was also hugely well received by the dance music press.[9] DJ Magazine put the three members of Above & Beyond on the cover of their May issue, describing them as the "biggest DJ/production collective the UK has ever produced." Mixmag hailed the album as "Artist Album of the Year." The album contains downtempo moments, such as the classical piano-influenced opening track "Filmic" and the reflective "Only a Few Things," featuring Zoë Johnston, as well as the more uptempo club tracks such as "Sun & Moon," "Thing Called Love," and "Prelude." All songs are written and produced by Above & Beyond, with Richard Bedford providing the male voice throughout the album and Zoë Johnston providing the female vocals.

The first single, "Sun & Moon" featuring vocals from Richard Bedford, became a favourite of BBC Radio 1 personality Vernon Kay and ended up on the station's B-List, an achievement that was also followed by their second single, "Thing Called Love," which also featured Richard Bedford. Each single release from the album was accompanied by an "Above & Beyond Club Mix," which ordinarily takes the essence of the original song and reworks it for Above & Beyond's peak-time DJ sets, adding more traditional progressive house music elements.

In 2012, Above & Beyond embarked on the Group Therapy World Tour, performing sold-out shows at select venues and clubs across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The group also made their debut in Hawaii, performing at the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park in Honolulu.[10] In August 2012, Above & Beyond graced the cover of Mixmag, and performed a live set at Mixmag Headquarters along with Mat Zo. The 2-hour set was subsequently released as an exclusive label showcase mix titled United Colours of Anjunabeats.[11]

In 2013, Above & Beyond continued to headline and perform at several dance music festivals, including Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest, Tomorrowland and Stereosonic. The group also performed their first-ever acoustic shows at Porchester Hall in London and The Greek Theater in Los Angeles, featuring Zoë Johnston, Alex Vargas and Annie Drury, amongst other special guests such as Skrillex.[12] On 26 October 2013, Above & Beyond celebrated Episode 050 of Group Therapy Radio (their 500th radio show overall) at Alexandra Palace in London with a live 6 hour broadcast.

Acoustic and Third Artist Album (2014 – present)[edit]

Following the acoustic shows in London and Los Angeles, Above & Beyond world premiered the concert film Live From Porchester Hall on 24 January 2014. The studio album, Acoustic, was released on 28 January 2014:

"The acoustic project is a reconnection with the musicians that we were before we met ... the songs have been on an interesting journey to get here because we tend to write in a fairly acoustic way anyway. We don't just stick a bit of vocal over a dance track - that's not how we work. We try to start with a song and it's usually only later down the line that we take certain elements from that song and progress them into a more dancefloor-friendly version."[13]

—Tony McGuinness

A special edition of Acoustic was also released, containing a DVD of the concert film in London, a photographic journal, and signed commentary from all members of the band. A limited press double vinyl edition was released on 17 March 2014.[14] [15]

During their acoustic shows at Porchester Hall, Above & Beyond announced that their third artist album would be released in 2014. Vocalists Alex Vargas and Justine Suissa have been confirmed as collaborators on new material.[16][17] On 24 January 2014 during Pete Tong's Hall of Fame induction on BBC Radio 1, the group stated the upcoming release for summer.

Radio shows[edit]

Above & Beyond has produced several radio shows since 2004, including Anjunabeats Worldwide.

Trance Around The World (2004–2012)[edit]

Trance Around the World was a weekly radio show comprising a total number of 450 episodes from 2004 to 2012. It reached an audience of 30 million listeners in 35 countries weekly, making it one of the most listened to radio shows in the world.[18] TATW also served as a platform to promote new artists on Above & Beyond's renowned Anjunabeats label. There have been various special episodes of TATW, including live Above & Beyond sets from festivals and radio episodic milestones, such as Episode 400, which was celebrated in November 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon. Trance Around the World ended its nine-year broadcast in November 2012, celebrating Episode 450 in Bangalore, India.

Group Therapy Radio (2012 – present)[edit]

Main article: Group Therapy Radio

On 5 November 2012, Above & Beyond announced the launch of Group Therapy Radio, successor to Trance Around the World. Episode 001 was broadcast concurrently during Trance Around the World, Episode 450.[19]

Other Radio Appearances[edit]

Since 2004, Above & Beyond have appeared numerous times on BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix. In 2004 and 2010, their guest mixes were voted as Essential Mix of The Year. On 24 January 2014, the group was inducted into Pete Tong's Hall of Fame.[20] They are the only artist to have ever won the Essential Mix of The Year twice.

Discography[edit]

Above & Beyond's first artist album, Tri-State, was released in March 2006, along with the single "Alone Tonight." The album features collaborations with the likes of Zoë Johnston, Richard Bedford, and Andy Moor, known for his work with Tilt and as one-half of the duo Leama & Moor. The first single from the album, "Air for Life," was released in July 2005. In July 2008, Above & Beyond released the album Sirens of the Sea under the artist name OceanLab, one of Above & Beyond's side projects. In July 2009, they then released a remix album of Sirens of the Sea, titled Sirens of the Sea Remixed. Above & Beyond released their second album titled Group Therapy on 6 June 2011. The first single from this album was "Sun & Moon," featuring the vocals of Richard Bedford. Above & Beyond released their Acoustic album on 28 January 2014.[21][22][23]

Studio Albums[edit]

Remix Albums[edit]

DJ Mixes[edit]

Anjunabeats Releases
Anjunadeep Releases
  • 2009 – Anjunadeep:01
  • 2010 – Anjunadeep 02 (Mixed by Jaytech & James Grant)
  • 2011 – Anjunadeep 03 (Mixed by Jaytech & James Grant)
  • 2012 – Anjunadeep 04 (Mixed by Jaytech & James Grant)
  • 2013 – Anjunadeep 05 (Mixed by Jody Wisternoff & James Grant)
  • 2014 – Anjunadeep 06 (TBD)
Anjunabeats Worldwide Releases
Non-Anjunabeats Releases

Singles[edit]

Mixes & Remixes[edit]

Awards & Nominations[edit]

List of awards & nominations received by Above & Beyond.

A State Of Trance[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2004
"No One On Earth" (Gabriel & Dresden Vocal Mix)
(Feat. Zoë Johnston)
Tune Of The Year
Won
2005
"Air For Life" (Original Mix)
(Feat. Andy Moor)
Tune Of The Year
Won
2006
"Good For Me" (Club Mix)
(Feat. Zoë Johnston)
Tune Of The Year
Won

[6]

BBC Radio[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2004
Above & Beyond
Essential Mix Of The Year
Won
2011
Won

[27]

Beatport Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2009
Above & Beyond
Best Trance Artist
Nominated
2010
Nominated
2014
Anjunabeats
Label of the Year
Nominated

DJ Awards (Ibiza)[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2007
Above & Beyond
Trance
Nominated
2008
Nominated
2009
Nominated
2010
Nominated
2012
Nominated
2013
Nominated

[28]

DJ Magazine[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2004
Above & Beyond
Top 100 DJs
#39 (Debut)
2005
#19
2006
#9
2007
#6
2008
#4
2009
#4
2010
#5
2011
#5
2012
#8
2013
#17

[29]

International Dance Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2005
"No One On Earth" (Feat. Zoë Johnston) Best Hi-NRG / Euro Track Nominated
Above & Beyond Best Remixer Nominated
Best Dance Artist Group Nominated
2006
"Air For Life" (With Andy Moor) Best Underground Dance Track Won
Best Progressive House / Trance Track Nominated
Above & Beyond Ortofon Best European DJ Award Nominated
Anjunabeats Volume 3 Best Full Length DJ Mix CD Nominated
Anjunabeats Best Global Dance Record Label Nominated
2007
"Alone Tonight" (Feat. Richard Bedford) Best Progressive House / Trance Track Nominated
Above & Beyond Best Producer Nominated
Anjunabeats Worldwide Volume 1 Best CD Compilation Nominated
2008
"Home" (Feat. Hannah Thomas) Best Underground Dance Track Won
Anjunabeats Volume 5 Best Full Length DJ Mix Nominated
Above & Beyond Best Producer Nominated
Best Dance Artist (Group) Nominated
2009
Above & Beyond Best European DJ Nominated
Best Global DJ Nominated
Best Producer Nominated
Best Artist (Group) Nominated
Above & Beyond (For Trance Around The World) Best Radio Mix Show DJ Nominated
Anjunabeats Volume 6 Best Full Length DJ Mix Nominated
Trance Around The World Best Podcast Nominated
Anjunabeats Best Global Record Label Nominated
2010
"On A Good Day" (Above & Beyond Pres. OceanLab) Best Hi-NRG / Euro Track Nominated
Best Trance Track Nominated
Above & Beyond Best European DJ Nominated
Best Global DJ Nominated
Best Producer Nominated
Best Artist (Group) Nominated
Above & Beyond (For Trance Around The World) Best Radio Mix Show DJ Nominated
Anjunabeats Volume 7 Best Full Length DJ Mix Nominated
Trance Around The World Best Podcast Nominated
Anjunabeats Best Global Record Label Nominated
2011
Above & Beyond Best European DJ Nominated
Best Artist (Group) Nominated
Above & Beyond (For Trance Around The World) Best Radio Mix Show DJ Nominated
Anjunabeats Volume 8 Best Full Length DJ Mix Nominated
Trance Around The World Best Podcast Nominated
2012
Above & Beyond Best European DJ Nominated
Best Artist (Group) Nominated
"Sun & Moon" (Feat. Richard Bedford) Best Trance Track Nominated
Above & Beyond (For Trance Around The World) Best Radio Mix Show DJ Nominated
Anjunabeats Best Global Record Label Nominated
2013
Above & Beyond Best European DJ Nominated

[30]

Mixmag[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2012
Above & Beyond
Greatest Dance Act of All Time
#19

[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 100 DJ's". DJ Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Above & Beyond Bio, News, Music & Shows". DJZ.com. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Above & Beyond Interview from 2004". Retrieved 24 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "www.gurn.net/interviews/above_and_beyond/04-07-2004". 
  5. ^ The DJ List: Above & Beyond
  6. ^ a b "A State of Trance Episode 181 (Top 20 of 2004) Tracklist". Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "ABOVE And Beyond Release Anjunabeats 100". 365 Mag. 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Above & Beyond Soundtrack Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two Launch". Above & Beyond Official Website. 2000. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Above & Beyond debuts second artist album Group Therapy #1 on iTunes". Trancesound.net. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Above & Beyond Announce Debut Show in Hawaii". Above & Beyond Official Website. 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "August 2012". Mixmag. 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Above & Beyond Surprises with Skrillex and a Stellar Acoustic Show: Review". Billboard Magazine. 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Above & Beyond Acoustic OUT NOW!!". Above & Beyond. 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Above & Beyond Acoustic Special Edition Photographic Book (CD/DVD)". Anjunastore. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Above & Beyond Acoustic Vinyl". Anjunastore. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "We are Tony and Paavo of the band Above & Beyond, AUA!". Reddit. 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "We are Tony and Paavo of the band Above & Beyond, AUA!". Reddit. 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Trance Around The World with Above & Beyond #301". Above and Beyond. 2009-12-29. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  19. ^ "Welcome to Group Therapy Radio". Above and Beyond. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  20. ^ Above & Beyond enter the Hall of Fame. "Above & Beyond enter the Hall of Fame". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Tweet by Tony McGuinness". @Tonymcguinness. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  22. ^ "Tweet by TonyMcGuinness". @Tonymcguinness. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  23. ^ "Tweet by TonyMcGuinness". @Tonymcguinness. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  24. ^ "Above & Beyond – Small Moments". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  25. ^ "Above & Beyond - Tokyo". TapeFire.com. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  26. ^ "Dance/EDM Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Above & Beyond Win Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2011". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "DJ Awards 2013 / Electronic Music Awards - Ibiza". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 100 DJs". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "28th Annual International Dance Music Awards - Winter Music Conference 2013 - WMC 2013". Wintermusicconference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  31. ^ "Mixmag's Greatest Dance Act of All Time Revealed". Mixmag. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 

External links[edit]