Hey Rich! How are you doing? Excited to have Pure Trance Volume 10 announced and ready to conquer Pure hearts?
Rich: “I am excited about the release, but ‘relieved’ is probably a better description of the emotion I feel! It was a very long lead-up to this moment with several false starts and a lot of stuff to deal with along the way.”

It’s been two long years since Pure Trance 9 was released and people have been asking for its follow-up ever since – what took so long?
Rich: “2022 was a challenging year for me personally, I was not in the right headspace for a big project. In fact, I did very little that year at all. I did start the compilation, searching for tracks and contacting artists – and even had a bunch of tracks signed, but it wasn’t working out. I decided around July 2022 not to force it and take a step back. A lot of the tracks that had been signed for the project were subsequently released as singles. I held on to some of them for well over 12 months before making this decision, which was very frustrating for the artists involved, and I felt bad about that but you can’t keep them waiting forever. Tracks like ‘Ascension’ by Selim Ozkaya, ‘Dear God’ by Effen and ‘Delta’ by Akkima were all supposed to be included on PTV10, but I’d been playing them out so much that they were in danger of becoming ‘old’, so they had to come out. Around March 2023 things started getting better for me psychologically, so  I started again from scratch.”

It was well worth the wait – Volume 10 is here! Was it a tough choice to handle this one all by yourself, rather than asking others to co-mix it? Or did it make it easier? More befitting for number 10?
Rich: “It was making the decision to handle it solo that kick started the process – and deciding to make it 3 discs. I threw myself into it and started reaching out to producers again for material.”

How did the exclusive launch & signing session go at ADE? Saw some familiar faces?
Rich: “It was really good actually, Black Hole set up the Magik Muzik shop really nicely, it looked great with various CDs and Vinyl for sale and the DJ booth by the entrance, people walking past would stop and wonder what was happening whilst myself or Jam El Mar or Siskin were playing music. I signed quite a few CDs that day and met some really cool fans, including a 6 or 7-year-old girl called Juliette who was with her Dad – I gave her a CD and I’m not sure she knew what a CD was!”

Three CDs, three mixes. What defines them? Is there a particular Pure Progressive, Pure Trance and NEON build-up in them?
Rich: “Across the three discs I wanted to echo the flow of a PT show, which moves across the span of the four Pure labels (Progressive, Breaks, Trance & NEON). So, we have the deeper sound on Disc 1 (Pure Progressive and Breaks), leading to the dreamy sound on Disc 2 (Pure Trance) and the harder sound…. well, you get the idea! There is a certain amount of overlap between the sound of each label, but it makes sense when you listen to it. I did toy with the idea of having the digital version of the album as one 3-and-a-half-hour journey but thought that might be a bit much in one go on the streaming platforms. One thing that I loved creating is the bookending of the album with two version of Robert Nickson’s Chillout mix of ‘Lose My Need’ by Stoneface & Terminal, as a listener you can neatly go from the end of Disc 3 back to the start of Disc 1 in a satisfying loop!”

How did the tracklist come along? Did you ask particular producers to send you music, make some exclusives for the album?
Rich: “That’s how each compilation begins; I reach out to my favourite producers and ask them for something new. I always have my eye out for interesting new producers so there’s always a good selection of quality demos in my inbox – those tracks often require more work though to bring them up to standard in terms of production, so I get involved there too. I made a few ‘Retouches’ for the album, but less than on previous albums – because I really wanted V10 to be mostly about the label and the Artists who appear on the label – rather than myself. I produced a lot of new music in 2023 so far but I am saving most of it for the next Solarstone album, which is coming out in 2024.”

Which of the tracks are your personal favourites? Any in particular that just HAD to be included?
Rich: “I think my current favourites are Alucard’s ‘Moontribe’ and ‘Sawubona’ by Lostly – both of those appear on the limited-edition Vinyl Sampler, by the way. I love all of the tracks and my favourites rotate regularly!”

One of the tracks we’re excited about is your collab with 17-year-old Aquarius, ‘Arpeggiator Shards’ – what was it like working with such young, fresh producer talent?
Rich: “It’s not exactly a collaboration, more of a highly polished ‘mashup’. I took Aquarius’ ‘Arpeggiator’ (which is in fact a loose cover version of a Jean-Michel Jarre track) and layered it with parts of the Lostlegend Remix of my track ‘Shards’ (from the Blue album) and also the Chillout Mix of ‘Shards’. It’s a studio recreation of a live mashup that I did during a few sets over the past 12 months. It works extraordinarily well!”

There’s a few Solarstone Retouches and PTX Versions on there as well – did you work your magic on them?
Rich: “A large proportion of the versions of the tracks on this album are unique to the album – for all of the tracks (with a few exceptions – the John Askew track, for one) I asked the Artists to send me the stems – meaning the constituent layers for the track (Drums as one stem, bass as another, pads, strings, vocals, synths etc. etc.) and I made changes that worked for me, just for the purpose of working them into the mix. The album is 95% stem-mixed – it’s a style of mixing music which I’ve used since the days of the first Electronic Architecture compilation in 2009, where I sort of weave the layers together, rather than simply mixing full tracks end-to-end. You end up with fabulously fluid transitions that are worth all the extra effort. It’s also possible to foreshadow elements from tracks that appear way later in the mix, using this technique. I love it, but it creates a huge amount of work. When working on one of these compilations each transition is at least half a day’s work, often more – so you can see why mixing PTV10 took me literally months – and that was after sourcing all the material in the first place. It’s truly a labour of love.”

What makes the release extra special this time, is the signed & limited 3 LP pack that’s available – what can you tell us about it?
Rich: “I’ve experimented with limited-edition vinyl releases a few times over the years, but it’s so much work for very little return for the artists with these low numbers – 300-500 is normal these days – and it is extremely frustrating – you end up with hundreds of unsold records in the basement because so many people SAY they will buy a copy but then they don’t –  and countless (sometimes horrible & aggressive) emails from annoyed customers asking where their order is (because the postal service is shit) or complaining about the price of the vinyl (it’s expensive to produce) or the price of the postage (not our fault) …  it is exhausting. I swore I would never do it again after the ‘Please / Thank You’ 12” experience where all of the above happened and it made me a little bitter. But vinyl sales seem to be on the up & Black Hole were up for giving it a try for PTV10 – they handle the production and mailing the orders out – so I decided to give it one more try. All I have to do this time is sign some of them, for which I’m making a special trip to the Netherlands once the records have been manufactured. If this goes well and we sell them all, then doing regular vinyl releases might become part of the labels again, but let’s see how it goes.”

Now the burning question that every Pure Trance fan seems to have: now that Volume 10 is here, will there be any Pure Trance club nights or events to celebrate it?
Rich: “Paula & I have really missed doing regular Pure Trance events, it was all crushed of course by Covid, but we have just joined forces with Total Vision Talent (the booking agency) who are helping us out with bookings and planning events & parties in 2024 – so the answer is YES!”

Bring in the excitement! Pure Trance Volume 10 lands on November 3rd. Pre-order your copy here.