From: London, UK
DJ style: “Enthusiastic.”
Best known for: “Our awesome Anjunafamily.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Gabriel & Dresden ‘You (Myon x Elevven Remix)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Spencer Brown.”
“Last weekend we hosted the 300th edition of our radio show Group Therapy in Hong Kong,” says Tony McGuinness of trance trio Above & Beyond, “with an all-star line up, and debuted half a dozen new productions of our own.” It’s a neat encapsulation of just how high the London crew behind the hugely popular Anjunabeats label is flying at the moment.
In 2018, Above & Beyond released their fifth album ‘Common Ground’, which featured collaborators such as Zoë Johnston and Richard Bedford, and spent much of the year performing it for their devoted fan-base around the world. Their almost constant touring took them to Ukraine, Japan, Canada, the US, Australia and Indonesia, while they managed to squeeze in a few new singles along the way too, including ‘Rocket Science’ and ‘Red Rocks’. And as if that wasn’t enough, their label Anjunabeats continued to pledge its allegiance to the deeper end of trance; McGuinness is particularly chuffed at signing one of his favourite duos. “We got Gabriel & Dresden onto Anjunabeats, where they belong, after years of trying,” he says. “Their second album has done rather well.”
Words: BEN MURPHY
When we catch up with Jono, Tony and Paavo to chat over A&B’s last 12 months, initially at least the chaps are considerably more focused on their last 12 days. Shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall throughout 2016 whetted the collective appetite for gigs in iconic spots — an inclination that’s continued into this year.
"We've just returned from our first Group Therapy Weekender at the Gorge Amphitheatre near Seattle”, says Tony. “For us, it’s one of the most scenic venues we’ve played yet”.
The event, thrown to hail the 250th episode of their Group Therapy radio show, involved “25,000 people joining us, 16 Bit Lolitas, Yotto, Oliver Smith and Seven Lions for the weekend,” says Jono. “We live streamed it worldwide on YouTube in 4k, and took the opportunity to break news of ‘Common Ground’ — our next album — while we were there. We just knew it was going to be the right moment!”
Musically, back in February, the 13th volume of their annual Anjunabeats mix-comp arrived right on cue, while singles ‘1001’, ‘Balearic Balls’, ‘Alright Now’ and ‘Another Chance’ kept floors hot. Looking to the end of 2017, December will see the trio release the documentary shot in the run up to, and during last year’s acoustic gig at The Hollywood Bowl.