Volume 7 is here. Ever imagined you’d be taking Pure Trance fans on a journey this long?
Rich: “Gosh… not really, I don’t know… when we kicked this whole thing off we were really just focusing on the immediate future, it was a very turbulent time in the scene back then, the future was uncertain. We did have a vision of sorts for the concept, what is amazing is that so many people around the world have taken the Pure Trance movement to their hearts and helped it grow and develop. I feel very lucky actually.”

In what way has the series evolved throughout the years?
Rich: “Well it has expanded from two mixed discs to three – that’s a quite a big thing, especially in terms of showcasing the sound in as wide a breadth as possible. I realized when we hit Vol. 5 that in order to show the full spectrum I’d need to enlist someone to mix a third, tougher Disc alongside the progressive sound of disc 1 and my uplifting but still progressive (in places) angle. Since then there hasn’t seemed to be any point in going back to two discs. Also when Vol. 5 hit I decided to bring some ‘newer’ names on board, emerging talent needs to be nurtured and promoted – hence bringing in The Forerunners at that point. We’ve continued that with Kristina on Vol. 7.”

The annual series brings along a time of reflection for the Pure Trance brand as well. How have the past 12 months been for Pure Trance? And what exciting things are ahead?
Rich: “Workload-wise it definitely gets more intense as we go forward, the club shows we do increase in terms of frequency and we do some bigger shows too now, take ADE for example – the first one was for 300 people, this year’s was for 1200. Also we hosted a stage at Luminosity this year – that was a first for both us, and Luminosity too. Not that size is important when it comes to our events, but when more people want to buy tickets; we need to make the venues bigger to accommodate that – without losing the intimate ‘family’ vibe, which is all-important. We’d like to host stages at a festival or two next year – if that is possible, but more important is pushing the Pure Progressive side of things – we have some exciting events planned for 2019 already, with some legendary names joining me on stage.”

So, Kristina Sky and Lostly. Care to share why you picked them to join you on Volume 7?
Rich: “Kristina has been a very important force in the USA trance scene for many years, she knows and has opened for pretty much every big trance name you can imagine. She is a DJs DJ in that she knows exactly how to read a crowd and set the tone and pace of an event – she is a consummate professional, enormously respected in the industry and also totally down-to-earth. My decision to bring her on board was a light-bulb moment – I thought ‘How could I have not thought of this before?’. So many Artists and promoters have said how pleased they are to see her involved since we did the announcement. Her mix is stunning. As for Lostly, I’ve loved his productions for years, but when he played on our Pure Trance stage at Unkonscious in Thailand earlier this year he blew both myself & Paula away with his music & presence on stage – what a performer! He brings a great uplifting & driving vibe to this year’s Disc 3.”

You might have plenty of experience creating a mix compilation, but what exactly were the challenges you faced this time?
Rich: “When I compile a mix album the challenges are pretty consistent – finding new music from relatively unknown and sometimes completely unknown Artists is a big task, especially when I have 3 discs to fill. Because I’ve been doing this kind of thing a long time I know how to get the best out of producers, but meeting that deadline is always a challenge. For example, getting the perfect premaster and Spotify (short) version from inexperienced producers takes a lot of back-and-forth contact, and managing the source the sheer volume of material for a 50 track album of NEW music is an A&R challenge.”

Was it hard to make a track selection? Did anything not make the cut?
Rich: “Remember that I have to sign a LOT of tracks so that all the DJs have plenty of music to choose from – not every track works in the mix, so some get shoved out at the mixing stage – I think I signed around 70 tracks this time. Of course the Artists whose tracks don’t make the album get disappointed, but those tracks still get Single releases on the labels, because they are still brilliant tracks – they just didn’t work with the other tracks in the mix. I only sign music that I genuinely love to my labels, nothing ever gets signed because ‘it will do’ or ‘it’s okay’.”

What do you hope listeners will experience once they’ve pressed play on your PT7 mix?
Rich: “It would be nice to think that the listener would become immersed into the journey, appreciate the way the mix builds and the way that the transitions sometimes become new pieces of music in their own right. I spend a lot of time layering elements (or stems) or different tracks over other tracks to kind of weave a tapestry, I think often that goes un-noticed and it’s a very important part of the mix compilation experience, at least for me it is. Ultimately I hope they enjoy the journey across the three discs, it really does embody what a Pure Trance event is like, from early doors to the closing 15 minutes before the lights come on, albeit compressed into around three and a half hours of disc time!”

Discover Pure Trance Volume 7 here.