To celebrate every 50 episodes of their Group Therapy radio show, London-based trance trio Above & Beyond organised a spectacular live show. Due to the pandemic, for their 400th edition, they were compelled to host a virtual event, which they live-streamed from a boat on the River Thames via Twitch. With live events shut down, it offered another way to stay in touch with their legion of loyal fans and was composed mostly of classic tracks to mark 20 years of their Anjunabeats label.
In addition to “taking a welcome forced break from touring and catching up on other aspects of life,” Above & Beyond used the downtime to get back in the studio. After their last record ‘Flow State’ found the group exploring ambient music, they’re diversifying their sound again, working on a film score for the first time. This year, they also released a host of singles, including ‘Reverie’ featuring longtime collaborator Zoë Johnston, and a cover of evergreen New Order classic ‘Blue Monday’, which found fresh mileage in its already trance-like arpeggio bassline. Considering how productive they’ve already been in 2020, there’re bound to be more tunes before the year is out.
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
“Writing music, cooking, cycling/exercise.”
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
“Nothing lasts forever, and don’t take anything for granted.”
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
“Using music to bring people who disagree together is the key, as is the case historically with many movements.”
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
“The whole approach from Anjunabeats and A&B has been about inclusivity from the beginning. We won’t rest on our laurels, however, and will try and further diversify our artist roster on our labels.”
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
“This is a problem in our industry — the obsession with ranking and rating things, and it certainly doesn’t help at all with inclusivity or foster an environment to promote true artistic expression.”