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Wednesday 21st, November 2007
First State
Updated: Thursday 28th, May 2009

Trance.nu spoke to Ralph Barendse and Sander van Dien a.k.a. First State, because of the release of their brand new First State artist album 'Time Frame.

Trance.nu: Hey guys, your first artist album ‘Time Frame’ is just out now. How are the reactions to it so far?
First State: The reactions to ‘Time Frame’ are amazing! We've gotten many phonecalls, e-mails and myspace comments about it. It's nice to see how many people mail us about different tracks on the album; people seem to have personal favorites. Some like the real trancers on it, others prefer the more housey tracks so everyone gets what they want. Sales are going very well too. In some stores it's currently the number one selling dance album. We are very happy about this. When you bring out an album you don't really know what to expect, and how people will react to it. It seems to be turning out very well.


Trance.nu: How long have you been busy with the entire album?
First State: We have spent about one year producing. Many tracks didn't make the album, about as many as there are on the album right now. Some tracks were already approved by the label but still we didn't want them on it in the end. Making a good album is not easy; we had to remain critical on ourselves. We think you need to bring something new, and there has got be a lot variation in it. You don't want to listen to an album which contains 10 tracks with exactly the same style, sounds and arrangements. So thats why we merged our original sound with different influences we liked, but it still contains the First State sound. We don't like it when an album suddenly contains breakbeat and ambient tracks which you never expected.


Trance.nu: During one of his last gigs in The Netherlands (Amsterdam, HMH) Tiësto even played 3 tracks from the album. How were your reactions when you found out about that?
First State: It was great to see Tijs playing the tracks. People went mad when Falling was played. It was an absolute highlight of the evening for us. He supports us a lot in his sets and Club Life radio show, and this is not all because we're on his label. If he wouldn't like the tracks he certainly wouldn't play them at all. Besides Tiesto, Armin is also really supporting us in his shows and sets, it's nice to know we're getting played by more and more DJ's. The word gets around!


Trance.nu: The track ‘Falling’ with Anita Kelsey is doing very well, all big jocks such as Tiësto, Armin and Ferry are playing it. How was it to work with Anita?
First State: Our track Falling is indeed doing very well. We're glad people start playing the new mixes too. It was great to work with Anita, she has a strong voice and she really stands for "quality". She is a perfectionist like we are too, although we really had a hard time convincing her that Falling (original mix) was a hit. She wasn't very charmed with the fact we chopped up and cut her vocals into a minimal influenced track! But we made it up to her with the "Stranded on Ibiza mix" which really focusses on the full vocals and is very suited for radio or in the beginning of a set. For Falling we asked Anita to put in some of her welsh accent, which turned out really nice in the vocals!


Trance.nu: Are you planning on doing more tracks together with her in the future?
First State: Yes, we will make a follow up with her in future. But there are a lot of other vocalistst we also wanna work with. So we'll see when it happens.


Trance.nu: What will be the next release from the album?
First State: It looks likes it's gonna be "Your Own Way" featuring Elliot Johns. We are working on new mixes to accompany the single release at the moment. The vocals of Elliot Johns give so much possibilities and depth, so we are looking forward to the single release.


Trance.nu: The first ‘First State’ track ‘First State’ is not on the album. It was a big hit, so I was surprised that it was not on the album. Why is that?
First State: We wanted a fresh sounding album with only new and unreleased tracks. No need to put older tracks on it which have been released in 2005. We hate it when you buy an album it suddenly contains the artists’ whole known discography. But if you buy Time Frame digitally at Beatport.com, you'll get the First State and Sacred track as a bonus with it. The tracks at Beatport are all in full length by the way, not the album versions.


Trance.nu: What is your personal favorite track on the album and why?
First State: There's a story behind every track, but the personal favorites are Falling and Your Own Way. Technically we think these tracks have a very high standard. Also we think these tracks don't really sound like other tracks out there. Both are mixtures of different genres. Trance, House, Minimal and Pop. And, both of the tracks are hitting it on the dancefloor.


Trance.nu: There are some vocal tracks on the album, what do you prefer yourself? Instrumental or vocal? And why?
First State: We prefer vocals because they give an extra dimension to a track, which creates possibilities. Also a vocal track has more potential to become known by the people. Most of the public just likes it when a track contains vocals. So if it's done right they can really carry a track. The only thing is that the process of getting vocals can be very difficult sometimes. We had a few bad experiences already with some wellknown vocalists and vocal producers. So we also know how it's not to be done!


Trance.nu: Are there plans already for another ‘First State’ album?
First State: Yes, as a matter of fact it will be released next week and is called "Time Frame II - the sequel". A Time Frame III is already in the making, funny thing: this will be the prequel to the other two! Give us a break! And some time! We'll see what the future brings, and it might be..... A second first State album!


Trance.nu: In the past you did some ‘First State’ remixes from tracks from ‘Solarstone’ and ‘Midway’. Can we expect some new remixes soon?
First State: Yes we are currently working on a remix for Tiësto. One of his album tracks is getting the First State treatment. No other remixes in the making yet, we'll see what happens.


Trance.nu: Besides ‘First State’, you both are behind the ‘Midway’ project as well. Any updates on that project?
First State: We certainly will continue the Midway project. Midway has a different style. So there will be new releases for this project. Recently Midway - Amazon was remixed by Carl B and Midway - Monkey Forest was remixed by Danilo Ercole and both signed by Black Hole Recordings. They weren't really asked to make a remix, they just did it on own initiative and got signed.


Trance.nu: Besides the studio work, can we expect you guys as DJ’s as well?
First State: Yes, we started DJ-ing too so if you want us, just book us. We're also thinking about setting up a live performance. And if a radiostation wants a guestmix we're happy to do it.


Trance.nu: What can we expect from ‘First State’ in the next couple of months?
First State: As said, there will be a new single with brandnew mixes and a new remix for Tiësto. Besides this we will continue working with new productions for both Midway and First State alias. This album was just the beginning! wink


Trance.nu: Thanks for your time and good luck in the future!
First State: Thank you too!First State


Written by:
Twan van Loon

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