One of the main proponents of today’s trance, German duo Matthias Gierth (Stoneface) and Henry Nix (Terminal) will be playing alongside Euphonic label mates, Kyau & Albert at Avalon on 20 July 2012 in what is expected to be a mini-trance fest.
With ‘Breaking Through’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ considered perennial favorites for peak-hour trance legends like Armin and Above & Beyond, Stoneface & Terminal are still very much in the game after 12 long years.
Zul Andra catches up with the duo as they discuss about GEMA — a tax initiative that might shut down clubs in Berlin, working behind Alex M.O.R.P.H, and female trance vocalists.
Firstly, dance music communities all over the world are well aware of GEMA’s new tariff system that’s threatening to financially destroy clubs in Berlin. How has this affected you personally and professionally?
It hasn't affected us yet, but we are shocked to learn that some clubs might have to pay up to 1,400 per cent more to GEMA from the beginning of next year. We hope they will find an intelligent solution for everyone.
Much has been said about dance music growing to be more commercialized — especially in North America — and with that, growing interest from governmental and corporate sectors. As an artist, what are the pros and cons of non-industry influences?
With external influences, EDM will be able to profit even more with the increased publicity. But with that said, it will be a continuous stream of the same big name artists; limiting the chance for fresh talents to shine.
Matthias Gierth and Henry Nix have been producing and DJing together since the late 90s. From being the production team behind Alex M.O.R.P.H to holding out on your own, do you think Stoneface & Terminal have found their comfort zone and signature sound?
No, we always want to find something new to work on. However, many people have said that they can recognize a Stoneface & Terminal production out of say, a thousand tracks from different producers. So maybe we found it without knowing.
Stoneface & Terminal ft. Ellie Lawson – ‘Breaking Through’
Your newest release, ‘Breaking Through’, features the vocals of Ellie Lawson. Though most trance producers are quick to use female vocalists, you guys rarely do.
Yeah we worked on it for almost a year till we found the right idea. We don't care about the gender, but the vocals must have the right emotion for our track. Another of our newest single, ‘Here Comes The Sun,’ contains a vocoder, so we are pretty picky when it comes to vocals.
Another recent track of yours is a remix of Everything But The Girl’s classic, ‘I Didn't Know I Was Looking For Love’, which you co-produced with fellow German compatriot, Ronski Speed, and featuring Johanna on vocals. Though it has received mixed reviews, what do you think about the track?
We produced two versions — one for the club and another for the video. It was a good experience for us to produce a cover as we are very open-minded about music.
Stoneface & Terminal – ‘Here Comes The Sun’
You’ve worked with Ronski Speed for quite a bit. From 2005’s ‘Drowning Sunlight’ and ‘Incognition’ to 2007’s ‘Soulseeker’, it sure sounds like a stellar partnership. What about working with Schneider that you particularly enjoy?
It's more a friendship than a working relationship; we are always on the same wavelength.
He is also in the same label as you guys are –Euphonic. With other big trance names like Kyau & Albert, Armin, Above & Beyond, and Aly & Fila on the label’s roster, how do you keep yourself current?
We always listen to different kinds of music and we try to bring some of these influences in our tracks.
Come July 20, you’ll be playing alongside your label mates Kyau & Albert at Avalon. Sounds like a mini-trance fest; a Euphonic get-together.
You can expect a lot of new and fresh Stoneface & Terminal tracks and remixes plus a lot of energy!
Entertainment writer Zul Andra has published over a hundred interviews with local and international artists in the last five years; from Carl Cox and Lamb of God to BBC TV presenter Simon Reeve. On top of covering Singapore's entertainment, art, nightlife and drinking landscape for I-S, Time Out Singapore, Nylon, The New Paper, inSing.com and Ziggy, he also maintains a column in Juice magazine. He is also a prominent blogger, on his own portal Kiss My Culture.