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Luna - The Many Phases Of Luna

Author: Rezo
Monday, 2 March 2009

Why not give the punters more of what they love- After a blistering set at last year’s Q-Dance festival, DJ Luna returns in 2009 as one of the event’s headline DJs. Sydney, we hope you’re prepared. 3D’s Rezo spoke with the Dutch master of hard.

The punters that know hardstyle know him, his collection of self-produced anthems is massive, and even if the track names aren’t immediately familiar, you all will have at some stage shuffled to Bring That Shit Back and Biological Insanity. The master of the hard in mention is Luna, and the Dutchman is returning to Australia to once again destroy the appetites of fans – as he did at last year’s Q-Dance – and bring in a new legion of admirers.

Richard de Mildt is now a veteran of the scene, after entering the scene as a teenager in the mid-’90s.

“When I was 17 years old I was visiting a lot of parties here in Holland and I got interested in how the DJs were spinning up there,” de Mildt says. “I bought some turntables and started mixing and sending a lot of demo CDs to a lot of organisations. I was only playing in some local clubs and villages here and after a while I sent a CD to Q-Dance and they gave me the possibility to play at some of their old school parties in 1999.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t hardstyle that first caught de Mildt’s attention, but rather hardcore. “When you’re young, you appreciate harder sounds a lot more I think,” he says. “That’s why after a while I began mixing with hardcore sound and started playing more of the old school tracks of which there were a few records available. That was around 1998. But then a new style came up and it is what could be described as a blend of a lot of different stuff, there was techno and trance and it was a really unique sound. It was from English and Dutch and German music – it wasn’t called hardstyle at the time, but when Q-Dance started doing the Tempo parties we decided to call it hardstyle and that was the beginning of the scene that I grew up with.”

Not one to rest on his laurels de Mildt decided he needed to take his love of hardstyle to the next level, and thus StraightOn Recordings was born.

“I started the label a couple of years ago as it was one of the first in the genre,” he admits. “We would be in the studio and making tracks with friends of mine. At the time, we were trying to send our stuff to a lot of the record companies and things like that – and the best they could come up with was a lot of conditions and a lot of bullshit. I wanted to make music to enjoy it with my friends and give something back to the fans. It was never about the money and it still isn’t for us; we just need a creative outlet for the music we produce and there is no better way of doing that, than with our own label.

“The other really important thing I wanted to achieve with it was to make sure that new and upcoming producers who had talent weren’t turned off from producing good music. I wanted to give them the chance to produce and write tracks without those conditions. That’s what I have always wanted to avoid and I keep telling them it is not about the money; it is about the feeling and that is what we have always wanted to give to the people. Since then, I have started a new label called Minus is More and that is where we are concentrating our ideas now with the same philosophy as StraightOn. We have some big talent there with a few guys doing some big, big records.”

By late 2008 the label had already been witness to a number of releases and in 2009 de Mildt anticipates plenty more.

“There are a few sequels we’re working on,” he says. “There is also a whole bunch of stuff that I’m doing so by the time we all get to Australia there will be some fresh records. Eventually, I also want to do something like an artist album and that is something that we haven’t done before. The format though, I think, will be a little bit different – it will be like an artist album but also a label album – so it will feature, say, six tracks of Luna, with some more from my buddies Crypsis and Konexion. Of course, we think they will turn out to be really good.”

Could Luna, or anyone for that matter, have guessed just how quickly and powerfully the hardstyle scene would take over the world-

“When the scene started, it was big in Holland and one of the first places the scene grew was Australia and Switzerland, and now it’s like huge in England and Scotland and Ireland,” de Mildt says. “No matter where you go today they really get into the hardstyle, whereas before it was the hard house. I always knew the music would evolve and get fresher and harder so we have to make sure we play our part in doing that. Countries like Hungary and Poland are coming up now. It is happening slowly but more and more we are witnessing this sound taking over.”

Finally, the Q-Dance tour returns to Australia in 2009. What can punters expect from de Mildt-

“This is my fifth visit to Australia,” he begins. “Normally we come with two or three other DJs but this time it’s a whole bunch of us so we plan to really bring the house down. We will be playing the freshest tracks and a lot of exclusive stuff with some edits and new tracks. There will be plenty of my own stuff plus a lot from the talents we have producing, so it will be really good shit!”

WHO: Luna
WHAT: Plays Q-Dance at Hordern Pavilion
WHEN: Saturday 21 March
MORE: q-dance.com.au

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