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Poll 2021: ATB

35
ATB
Up
21
From: Germany
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Barkley.”
 
 
It's been an exciting year for André Tanneberger, aka ATB, despite the first half of 2021 being consumed very much with Covid-19; he finally released a remake of his epic trance anthem '9PM' with Topic and A7S. “In the last 20 years I've received so many requests for collaborations, remakes and cover versions,” he begins to explain, “but I turned them all down because I was never really satisfied.” Embracing life with his one-year-old son has played a massive part in making this year extra special, he says. 
 
As with so many DJs, artists and performers, the past 18 months have given him a whole new perspective on life in general. After spending much time working on his eleventh album, planned for release next year, ATB also isn't shy to talk about precious family time. “I have once again become very aware that work is not the most important thing and that one should find a healthy mixture of work and enjoying life.”
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“It was just insane. I had goosebumps all over. I've been used to being on stage since 1993, and this was the first time since then that I hadn't been in front of an audience for more than two months.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“When you've been on the road for so many years, it feels at first as if time has stopped. You think that it will soon go on, but then you realise that this is not the case.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“Energy from green power should be used by the industry (streaming platforms, festivals, clubs, record labels, artists etc) or more sustainability at events that generate large amounts of plastic waste.”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“My new flight simulator platform that I built into my home studio.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“No favourite album in 2021 so far.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 11:56

Style: 
“Energetic and emotional dance music.”
Best known for: 
“'9PM (Your Love)'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Toni Palucci 'Skywalker'.”

Poll 2020: ATB

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ATB
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17
Somewhat inevitably, DJs’ reactions to the global handbrake placed on touring have run the spectrum. At the extreme ‘silver lining’ end though, you’ll find ATB. Right as lockdown really started to hit everywhere, something else was starting to kick round at his. “The birth of my son was my absolute highlight this year,” he says. “As I was at home a lot due to the Corona crisis, we could follow every little step in the development of the little one. For me, the greatest thing has been being there every day and being able to see him grow.”

Musically, there has been the occasional toe-back-in for Andre. Aside from plenty of studio time, he performed and streamed a second Under The Stars show. Recorded at (his local) Bochum Planetarium, the astrologically themed set was once again released as a limited edition mix-compilation. By and large though, in 2020 Andre (and the now expanded Tanneberger clan) have taken their stay-home luck where they’ve found it.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 

“My wife, my son, and the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“The crisis showed that everyone loves art and it's a fundamental part of day-to-day life that is heavily missed when it's taken away. However, artists along with many other cultural workers will be the last to return to their profession but are receiving less support from governments than many other sectors. The industry needs to learn that we cannot rely on government support anymore and we have to carve out our own support system for global crises like this one.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 

“I believe that the dance music scene stands for openness and tolerance. These are the roots of the scene, with no place for racism in such an environment.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“I think music lives from the fusion of different styles and cultures. This creates something new again and again. I don't think we should change much at all, but rather use this message and the power of music as a voice in order to show the world that we are one — regardless of our birthplace, faith or skin colour.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-19 16:49

Style: 
“Energetic and emotional dance music.”
Best known for: 
“‘9PM’.”
Tune of the year: 
“London Grammar ‘Baby It’s You’.”

Poll 2019: ATB

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ATB
Up
10

ATB’s accomplished a lesser-achieved distinction in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll. A few from his bloc have managed to hit its loftiest time after time. Most though bounce up, down, out and sometimes even back in. Andre, however, has done both of the former, but neither of the latter, notching now 15 consecutive years in the poll. That, as they say, is staying power. 

Despite a quieter release period over the last 12, he’s had another strong showing in 2019. Indeed “getting closer and closer to my perfect work/life balance” is one of the accomplishments he highlights most swiftly. Others include founding his own label — Ruhrtone Records. “My first release was the single ‘Heartbeat’,” he says, “my first outing together with my good friend Markus Schulz.” 

He’s spent a considerable part of his year studio-sequestered, writing the follow-up to his ‘neXt’ album. The first fruit from that will drop “in November when my new EP ‘A New Life’ comes out,” he says. Gig-wise, Andre concentrated on the bigger picture shows. “During the summer I played many festivals,” he says — Mysteryland, Nature One, Parookaville and Untold among them.

 

What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Health is the most important thing and when you’re on stage 80% of the year’s weekends, it leaves a mark. After 25-plus years of stage experience, I think I can judge that quite well! After a few weekends on tour I just need a break.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“I actually got myself an e-Smart [car] that accompanies me on most of my routes. It runs on green electricity and is really fun to drive.” 

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

“Sweets... especially Marzipan Ritter Sport!” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 12:10

Style: 
“Emotional and energetic dance music.”
Best known for: 
“‘9PM’, ‘Ecstasy’ and my ten studio albums.”
Tune of the year: 
“Graig Natal ‘High’.”

Poll 2018: ATB

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ATB
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5

From: Germany
DJ style: “Emotional and energetic dance music.”
Best known for: “‘9PM (Till I Come)’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Post Malone ‘Rockstar’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Vintage & Morelli.”

German superstar ATB’s marriage to wife Laura this summer, who he honeymooned with in Greece, marked yet another chapter in his ongoing success. Almost twenty years since his global smash ‘9PM (Till I Come)’ (insert joke about wedding night here), it’s Laura who he credits with helping him avoid the industry pitfalls that have claimed so many now-forgotten names who rose up alongside him during trance’s heyday.

Andre Tanneberger, to use his given name, is still a globe-trotting headliner, touring the world from America to Eastern Europe and headlining huge events such as S2S in Manchester and numerous Awake events across his home country. These days it’s balanced with his private life. There have been weekends off to savour in South Germany and Italy, the sign of a man who knows that his reputation was assured long ago. Following up 2017’s ‘neXt’, fans will also be ecstatic to know that for the rest of the year he’ll be working on a new album. Expect this in the early part of 2019.

Words: JOE ROBERTS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-11 10:27

Poll 2015: ATB

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ATB
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24

Andre Tanneberger, aka ATB, has come a long way since his UK No.1, ‘9PM (Till I Come)’. In the almost 20 years since the smash hit, that additionally found fame after being featured in cult Ibiza rave flick Kevin & Perry Go Large, the German producer has repackaged himself as a big room killer, playing sets like Ultra USA and Europe, EDC and Tomorrowland.

His productions have undergone a similar metamorphosis, though he’s still staying true to the excellent studio standards that first helped garner him respect in the early noughties.

“I think I can't hide my influences from the past, but it's very important for me to get into today's culture with my sound. However, I also think that my experiences from the past have shaped my unique sound — so I am grateful for all of this,” he told Ministry Of Sound back in July.

No matter what style he's producing — ATB has also released multiple times on Armin van Buuren's A State Of Trance imprint thanks to his roots in prog and trance — the German shows no signs of slowing down. 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 16:17

Style: 
“Electronic music.”
Best known for: 
“'9PM' and 'Ecstasy'.”
From: 
Germany
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Zhu.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“They should be able to finally mix two records without a computer!”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Of course!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It's a part of my life! Since forever.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“My wife, family and friends!”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Tarm Center, Bochum, Germany.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I don't know the result yet!”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“That's a part of the business these days! I couldn't do it like this! My music is my identification.”