A re-entry this year, Solarstone's presence at the tail end of the poll serves as a throwback to the presumption that traditional trance is getting whitewashed by chart-friendly “EDM” this year. Nobody is more purist than Solarstone and over the past couple of years he's made a significant comeback
“Eighteen months ago I was totally disillusioned with what the trance scene had become, and was seriously reconsidering my place within it,” says the Welshman, Richard Mowatt. “But what started as one man raising his voice and making a case for a roots return for trance has grown into a fully fledged worldwide musical movement, and a personal renaissance for me as an artist. It couldn't have been a better year.”
The “movement” he is referring to is his Pure Trance project, a club night (and CD) concept that has encouraged DJs, producers and clubbers to stick true to the undiluted principles of the trance genre as a reaction against the commercialisation of the sound within the world's stadiums and festivals.
“[The US dance explosion] has created a large audience who are hungry for what I play,” he says. “People who discovered dance music via the 'EDM' sound are subsequently seeking alternatives — and many of them are hungry for Pure Trance.”
This year, singles such as 'Please', 'Jewel' and 'Breath You In' (feat Betsie Larkin), plus 'Pure' remixes for the likes of Alex M.O.R.P.H, John O'Callaghan and Zoo Brazil, have helped place Solarstone at the forefront of a wave of producers rejecting progression at the expense of integrity — and it's proving just the ticket for today's newly initiated generation digging deeper.