DJ style: “Progressive, trance.”
Best known for: “Remixes of various Armin van Buuren tracks, and my own track 'Not Alone'.”
What’s the next new big track? “Armin van Buuren & Hardwell 'Off The Hook'.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Frainbreeze.”
Can you Feel it?! For six years in a row, Russian trancemeister DJ Feel placed in the Top 100 DJs poll. But then last year he just dropped out — to No.103. Signalling that a disappearance from the Top 100 doesn't have to donate a career end, he's rallied this year to just pop into the sacred 100 once again.
The DJ, originally from St Petersburg, has long had an asssociation with Russian radio station Radio Record — he's helmed the Trancemission show for the past 15 years, turning a lot of Russians onto the wonders of trance. Over the years he's thrown his own Trancemission festival (played by the likes of Armin, Paul van Dyk and Ferry Corsten); played with Tiesto in Moscow's iconic Red Square; and played his album live with a full string orchestra.
One of his main aims of late was to be regularly supported by Armin van Buuren on his far-reaching A State Of Trance (ASOT) radio show. And his tracks 'Disappear' (with Adara) and 'Not Alone' were both played by Armin for three weeks in a row. Then he wanted to release on Armin's label Armada — and sure enough, the Fairy Trancemother granted him this wish, too: 'Bali' and driving epic trancer 'Not Alone (Three Friends)' both came out on Armada this year. Whatever DJ Feel wishes for next, he's probably gonna get it.
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“Big support from Armin van Buuren and his label, Armada. And this is not the end.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“Oh yeah, when the biggest DJs like Calvin Harris and others have yearly money that amounts to about 60 millions — more than Madonna — then yeah, it's very serious.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“I'm a DJ and this is all I need — turntables, mixer and headphones. So I’m always happy to work on new turntables, 'cause it gave me more convenience in my DJ life.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I love massive electronic music, so I think it can be drum & bass or dubstep… but for a regular party it might be deep house.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“If it will be solo DJ performance, I think it can be 50 Euro for person.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“The main thing is to grow the generation, who will know what is OK and what is not OK. So every parent has to work on this to grow his children in the right way. Like my mother grow me, cause I never trying anything from drugs.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think our planet has many many different artists. Some of them working in popular styles with the regular sound, but some of them working with the underground and experimental scene. And they give us regularly something new. I think it's enough.”
WORDS: KIM O'CONNOR