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 Interview with Noel Sanger





12-4 Big Wig, Chicago
12-5 Three, Milwauke
12-6 Club Temptations, Levittown NY
12-7 Arc, NYC
12-13 The Forum, Ft Lauderdale
12-20 The Hacienda, Los Angeles































During the past decade, Noel Sanger has established himself as a progressive house pioneer and one of the most easily recognizable names within the dance music industry. Though he may not be on the cover of every magazine at the local wax shack, Sanger has shown a depth that few possess through the release of numerous original works, countless remixes, and several highly-successful compilations, including "Ritual", "Beatbox 2000:Essental Trance", and the multi-selling "Trance II: A State of Altered Consciousness".

Now Sanger is delivering the sequel in the Summerbreeze series on the Nettwerk America label. Following the lead of DJ Tiesto, who was recently selected as the #1 DJ in the world in the DJ MAG Top 100 Readers Poll, may be a tough act to follow, but Noel Sanger is the just the man to pick up the gauntlet and run with it. This 2-disc release may at times seem like a departure from the trance that has been synonymous with his name, yet Sanger doesn't stray too far into uncharted territory. Sanger displays his true love of vocally-based music throughout the release, which includes his own vocal debut on "Trapped" and the stunning "My Prayer" featuring the vocals of his songwriting partner and wife, Dauby.

Sanger has put together a fluid collection of tracks that, at times, range from progressive to tech-house to breakbeat, including standout releases from Stryke, Mike Hiratzka, Pete Lazonby, and Memnon. Summerbreeze 2 is a wonderful mix showcasing the wide range of talent of Noel Sanger.

Recently, Shawn Wallace conducted a two-part interview with Sanger, both before and after he joined Tiesto on a couple of recent tour dates in New York City, Miami, and Minneapolis. (The following portion of the interview was conducted over lunch in downtown Orlando just a few days before Sanger left on tour with Tiesto.)

Are you currently holding any residencies?

None right now. The last year has mainly been devoted to writing and producing the Summerbreeze 2 release and taking care of his 2-year old son, Aidan, and newborn son, Nevin

What was your first big break?

When Noel was younger he and several of his friends worked as interns at a local radio station in Naples, Florida. While there, Noel began hosting two radio programs that led to influencing the local scene with a shows devoted to bringing in guest DJs and an alternative show that focused on mainly gothic, industrial sounding releases. While Sanger is quick to point out that he wasn’t yet a “DJ”, it was at this point that he began to hear a trend in the music being played that drew his interest more toward the electronic realm.

How much of your day do you spend listening/playing music?

Noel explains how he listens to music all day while going about his normal day-to-day business. Noel goes into detail about how he continually has music playing in his house in an effort to become more familiar with the music for when he is playing out.

Do you prefer to play first or are you strictly about the peak hour?

Noel laughs and replies, “I’d like to play five hours!” Sanger adds, “There are so many things that I want to do with a crowd that can be done over time.”

You have done a slew of remixes the years, how do you determine what tracks to work with?

Normally, I am approached by labels to do work for them. It’s this kind respect for his abilities as a remixer/producer that has kept Noel in-demand for over a decade.

Do you know Tiesto or have you played out with Tiesto before?

“Yes, I have played with Tiesto a couple of times.” Noel then informed me how he “feels honored to have known Tiesto since before he has gained all of the attention this last year. He is definitely the most in-demand DJ in the world right now”. Sanger goes on to speak with admiration as he points out that Tiesto has “kept a very level head” in the midst of his popularity with the media and dance music press as his career “has grown tremendously” this year.

Have you had a chance to hear Tiesto’s “In Search Of Sunrise 3” and Andy Hunter’s upcoming “Exodus” releases? What are your thoughts?

Noel relays that he hasn’t had an opportunity to hear either of their new releases in full, but adds that he has heard Andy Hunter’s track “Amazing”, which he says is “”good music to listen to!”

Your playing with Tiesto at The Roxy (NYC), Club Space (Miami), and Quest (Minneapolis), have you played any of these venues before?

Noel mentioned that, ironically, he hasn’t played at any of the venues on this tour in the past. Sanger adds that the last time he played in New York, was coincidentally also opening for DJ Tiesto. Sanger then smiles and stated that he has only played in New York a handful of times and seems to be amused as he adds that “each time was with Tiesto.” Noel then tells of how he would like to have been able to play more times in New York in the past and added that he was in negotiations to play at the legendary superclub Twilo the weekend that the club was closed by New York City officials.

When you are putting together an original track, where do you start?

Noel pointed out that he normally will start with the kick drum and the track may take several directions from there.

“Trapped” is a great tune, what was the inspiration behind this track?

Noel explains how “Trapped”, his vocal debut, was somewhat of a happy accident. “ I had the track done, the instrumental part, before the Winter Music Conference”. Sanger adds that while in his home studio, he recorded what was to have served as a “dummy” vocal to try out some lyrics he had written over the track. When his wife came home and heard the vocal she asked who was the singer thinking that Noel was working on yet another remix. Noel then told her it was his voice and she immediately exclaimed, “You have to use that!” The rest as they say is history….

What do you think sets the track listing on the “breaks” disc apart from past Florida breakbeat discs?

Noel feels that when he plays his brand of breaks in a location where breakbeat is popular (such as Florida), it “disintegrates” his dancefloor. Sanger gives an example of where he noticed a definite change in the crowd in Tampa, a city where breakbeats are traditionally very popular, when he put on his brand of breaks. Sanger quickly realized that the people who were coming to hear him spin weren’t there for the breaks, they were there to hear Noel Sanger.

- written by Shawn Wallace




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