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,
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 wasnt 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, Id 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.
Its 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
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
Have you had a chance to hear Tiestos In Search
Of Sunrise 3 and Andy Hunters upcoming Exodus
releases? What are your thoughts?
Noel relays that he hasnt had an opportunity to hear
either of their new releases in full, but adds that he has
heard Andy Hunters 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
Noel mentioned that, ironically, he hasnt 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 werent there for the breaks, they were
there to hear Noel Sanger.
- written by Shawn Wallace