Mention the word “trance” to most people and it will conjure images of superclub bombast, extravagant laser shows and DJs with their hands held aloft for minutes on end. To John 00 Fleming, however, the word means something different. Something altogether deeper, darker, more hypnotic. Something… entrancing. As a key proponent of trance music since the genre’s inception at the dawn of the 1990s, John has watched the music go through many changes, but he has never lost sight of the original underground ethos. With the release of his second artist album One Hundred Ten WKO on March 4, 2013, John is about to send out a timely reminder that trance is something you can truly get lost in, at home and on the dancefloor.
One Hundred Ten WKO can only be described as a journey: both a musical journey for the listener and a personal journey for John as he has pushed the boundaries of his hard-edged club sound into the realms of experimentation. As track titles such as ‘Star Gazing,’ ‘Pillars of Creation,’ and ‘Colliding Galaxies,’ suggest, One Hundred Ten WKO is a voyage into deep space. The universe and its awe-inspiring beauty has long been a signature destination of trance, and John taps into the same star kissed beauty that burns within transcendental genre classics like Dance 2 Trance’s seminal “We Came In Peace” and Cosmic Baby’s ” Space Track”. Cascading melodies flow like solar tides across basslines glittering in the light of distant stars, while breakbeat glitch edits are executed with the precision of orbital docking manoeuvres.
An album John has promised to himself for years, One Hundred Ten WKO is masterfully crafted with the obsession of someone working on the opus of his career. A session at London’s famed Abbey Road studio resulted in pianos and strings melding seamlessly with John’s iconic electronic glitches and synths. Inspiration was found on dark, underground dance floors around the world, and midnight oils were burnt brainstorming with like-minded producers and devotees of the pure trance sound. All this effort has resulted in an album that shuns any commercialised urge to produce cookie-cutter music for the masses. This is an album for the devoted listener who understands the roots and the essence of trance.
“With this album, I really wanted to prove that the old form of trance has survived and is moving forward,” says John. “People have been saying ‘trance is dead’ for years now but to me, it’s never looked more alive and vibrant.”
Following the release of his debut artist album Nine Lives in August 2011, John switched his focus to scoring for major network TV and films. His work has featured in the soundtracks to shows on BBC, Fox, and NBC and in films released by Universal, Warner, Sony and others. Diversifying his talents into the soundtrack world, John honed a separate facet of his artistic identity, and gave himself the freedom to focus on his sophomore album when the time came.
2013 will also see the launch of the J00F Music Group, bringing together like-minded artists and DJs from labels such as Platipus, Mistiquemusic, Baroque, Renaissance and John’ own J00F Records imprint, with the aim of creating a unified platform from which to launch the next wave of deep space expeditions into the serious side of trance and progressive. With underground resistance gathering momentum, the future looks bright for this sleeper movement of contemporary club culture.
“At the end of 2011, I was disgruntled with commercial intrusion into the electronic world. I felt the spirit of what made the scene special was fading,” John says. “I’m in a different place now, where I’m focused on moving the music forward instead of focusing on what’s wrong with it.”
With One Hundred Ten WKO, John 00 Fleming has delivered an album that plots a course back through the history of trance music, whilst simultaneously hurtling headfirst into the future. Strap down and prepare for launch: this one goes right out there and back.
1. The centre of the Universe
2. 5000 Light Years from Earth
3. Star Gazing
4. Tears From Heaven
5. The Stroke of the Midnight Hour
6. WR 22
7. 340 Million Pixels
8. Clouds of Karma
10. Pillars of Creation
11. Colliding Galaxies (John 00 Fleming vs. Lyctum)
12. Time Lapse NGC 2264