From scene founding father to, of-late, initiator and flag-bearer for the Pure Trance movement, Solarstone’s enduring influence spans the near length of the genre’s history. Having championed the true nature of trance music from his very first release, the last 24 months have seen Solarstone drive its sound, almost singlehandedly, back up to the top of the genre’s agenda. Through his #PureTrance gospel – modernizing the genre’s heart, whilst maintaining its soul – he captured the mood of the scene with zeitgeist timing. Solarstone’s Pure Trance concept has subsequently spun off into a mix-comp series, Pure Trance shows worldwide (including electronic music capitals like Miami, Ibiza & Amsterdam) and most recently the Pure Trance Recordings label.
Solarstone has long brought his sound to some of the most famous clubs, arenas and festivals on the planet. Most recently those have included Global Gathering, Cream Ibiza, A State Of Trance and Tomorrowland in Europe, whilst further afield he’s rocked TomorrowWorld, Stereosonic, FSOE & numerous others. With ‘RainStarsEternal’, ‘Touchstone’ and most recently ‘Pure’, he’s released a trilogy of critically acclaimed artist albums, whilst releases from Solarstone’s manifold label projects (Pure Trance & Pure Trance Progressive Recordings, Touchstone Recordings and Molecule among them) continue to provide the foundation blocks of his inimitable sets. Pure Trance Radio – his weekly radio show – enjoys a die-hard fan-base and is now broadcast across some 30 + FM & Internet stations. In October of 2013, off the back of the Pure Trance wave, Solarstone re-entered DJ Mag’s list of the planet’s Top 100 DJs.
Solarstone: The Music
Solarstone’s musical history though stretches back almost as far as the genre itself, with tracks like ‘Solarcoaster’, ‘The Calling’ and ‘Seven Cities’ all hallmark anthems of its pre-millennial period. The latter track – among the first of the Balearic Trance anthems – has been re-released 3 times and has sold in excess of ½ million copies. Remixed in 2002 by Armin van Buuren, its instantly recognizable sunset/sunrise-sound legacy is still heard in tracks today.
In 2012 Solarstone released the ‘Pure’ album. A reaction to the fragmentation of the trance sound, Solarstone used the album as a means to clarify his position in the genre. Thus far it has spawned seven singles, ‘The Spell’ (“a revelation” – EDM Magazine), ‘Fireisland’ (with Aly & Fila), its title track, ‘Falcons’ with Giuseppe Ottaviani (Tune of the Month! – MIXMAG), “ Jewel”, “Please” and “Lovers”. ‘Pure’ became the natal point for the Pure Trance movement.
Mix-Comps: Solarstone is best known as the helmsman for two on-going, highly successful mix-compilation projects. Now enjoying four outings, Solarstone Presents Pure Trance has seen him team up with Giuseppe Ottaviani Orkidea, Bryan Kearney and Gai Barone to mix-define the sound of the movement. In October 2013 MIXMAG magazine said of the second release: “Vol.1 was a tough act to follow, but Solarstone Presents Pure Trance 2 is a huge step up”.
Born from his longstanding love of pop art, Electronic Architecture won immediate acclaim for its imaginative concept. It was hailed as “a magical blend of music, art and design” by Tilllate Magazine, a “genuine gem” by DJ Mag and in March 2010 was nominated for an IDMA award in the Best Full Length Mix category. A progressive-trance Yin to the ‘Pure Trance’ Yang, two years later Electronic Architecture² (Or Electronic Architecture Squared) was released to similarly high praise, with MIXMAG’s giving it an Album of the Month award and saying it “captured the essence of what we all love about trance”. Summer of 2014 saw the arrival of the third in the EA series.
Solarstone: The Dj
Solarstone behind a pair of CDJs is something that every electronic dance music lover, planet-wide, should witness at least once in their clubbing lifetimes. Worldwide his Pure Trance shows have captured the imagination of tens of thousands in electronic music hotspots like Miami, Ibiza & Amsterdam. Since learning to spin in the late Nineties, he’s played some of the most renowned names (inc. Global Gathering, Cream Ibiza, A State Of Trance, Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, Stereosonic, FSOE & numerous others) and spun alongside the worlds best-known DJs many times over. Richard’s worldwide travels have also taken him to some of the biggest events and festivals across the globe, and also some of the most remote. Over the years these have included islands in the Philippines, bush parties in Australia and massive festivals in the heart of Brazil.
Solarstone – The Aliases:
In order to showcase different musical perspectives & sounds, Richard has also recorded under a number of pseudonyms. In 2002 he initiated the 80’s-influenced Young Parisians outfit who scored substantial club hits with ‘U Write the Rules’ and ‘Jump the Next Train’. The natural successor to Young Parisians, 2012 saw him reteam with Ben Lost as Federation – a new band-based live act. Drawing on an even greater range of influences, from several decades, it was signed to Oakenfold’s Perfecto Flouro and has so far resulted in 4 Beatport top 10 charting singles.
Solarstone – The Remixes:
Over the years Solarstone has always maintained a keen balance between original production tracks and remix works. Most recently he has worked on remixes of Armin van Buuren’s ‘Forever Is Ours’, Royskopp’s ‘I Had This Thing’, Alex M.O.R.P.H.’s ‘Eternal Flame’, John O Callaghan ft Ria – I’ll Follow and Delerium’s ‘Days Turn Into Nights’. He has also remixed for A-list names like Paul Oakenfold (‘Bullet in The Gun’), Ferry Corsten (on Moonman’s ‘Galaxia’ and ‘Gabriella’s Sky’) & BT’s ‘Calling Your Name’.
Pure Trance Radio:
Pure Trance Radio is the latest incarnation of Solarstone’s long-running, widely syndicated radio show platform & an extension of the Solarstone-founded Pure Trance Movement, Pure Trance Events & Label. Now firmly established worldwide, this movement is a roots return for the genre & a rally against inorganic and trend-driven Trance – a rediscovery or what first drew so many to the genre’s flame.
Previously known as Solaris International, its weekly hour-long format focuses on the forward thinking sound of Pure Trance & includes features like the Progressive and the Uplifting Selections; It’s Not The Kind of Thing We Usually Play, the Big Tune and the Chill Out Moment. From its early cult following, over the last 8 years the show has developed into a tune-in essential for broad cross-section of the electronic dance community. Pure Trance Radio is broadcast worldwide across some 20+ FM stations to a listenership in excess of 8 million.
Solarstone – The Labels:
Solaris Recordings Molecule Recordings Crashing Waves Recordings Touchstone Recordings Touchstone Recordings
In 2014 Solarstone’s cornerstone labels Touchstone Recordings and the more experimental Molecule became a trinity with the launch of Pure Trance Recordings. In partnership with esteemed Dutch music house Black Hole Recordings, it brought a label platform to the movement’s most gifted music makers. Previously he has owned, co-owned and A&Rd and many successful labels, including Solaris Recordings, Deepblue and Crashing Waves. At the start of 2009, Richard launched solarSwarm, an online community record label for die-hard Solarstone fans. In the summer of the same year his insatiable label morphed into solarSwarm Recordings. In a groundbreaking move solarSwarm became the world’s very first social network record label.
Solarstone In Quotes
What the Magazines say:
“Standby to receive your trance refined, clarified and 100% Pure!” – Tilllate Magazine
“Vol.1 was a tough act to follow, but ‘Solarstone Presents Pure Trance 2’ is a huge step up” MIXMAG magazine
“Pure’ celebrates the feeling you get when you hear a truly outstanding track” – Euphoric Magazine (India)
“(‘The Spell’) is a revelation” – EDM Magazine (USA)
“A guitar ‘n’ piano soaked goosebump popper (‘Fireisland’)” – DJ Mag UK
“Touchstone’, Solarstone’s new artist album will shake up expectations of what trance should be.” DJ Mag (UK)
“Solarstone has definitely delivered an amazing piece of work on Electronic Architecture and understood perfectly how to combine different styles on this compilation.” Raveline
“A magical blend of music, art and design” that “recalls the understated magic of Sasha and Digweed’s first Renaissance albums” Tilllate Magazine (UK)
“Electronic Architecture is a very strong and original compilation to say the least. Nothing of the typical uplifting trance sound, but very innovative and one that will last for another 10 years!” Release Magazine (Belgium)
“Solarstone has amassed a worldwide following from clubbers and DJs alike” M8 Magazine (UK)
“(Electronic Architecture is) a very different compilation than the ones we are accustomed to hearing… Without resorting to the obvious and commercial, it is one of the best shots of 2009!” DJ Sound Magazine – Brazil
“Solarstone has always been about quality rather than quantity.” BPM Magazine (Canada)
“It (Electronic Architecture²) captures the essence of what we all love about trance – Album of the Month” Mixmag (UK)
“Richard Mowatt proves his class. In the times of electro-trance stuffed with buzzing basses, he brings a unique beauty to his sound. It’s the kind of that we have seriously missed.” DJ Mag (Poland)