Fans of the mighty Platipus Records will be only too aware of the extensive musical output of top act Art Of Trance (AOT). Since 1993, they’ve been unearthing gems of unparalleled purity. However, delve a little deeper and be astonished and amazed by just how linked to the label the act really is. For the AOT is none other than Platipus owner and Tai Pan – Simon Berry.
From humble beginnings in the English countryside, Simon’s attention was turned from agriculture and rolling around in haystacks by the progressive sounds coming from Detroit in the late 80s. His peers’ love of Rock and Indie meant the countryside could offer little in the way of musical stimulation so it was logical for him to get the next tractor out of town. He was London bound…
At the age of 19, Simon hit the big smoke with the sole intention of listening to 24 hour pirate radio stations like Energy & Friends FM. Blagging himself into a job selling advertising space for ‘Rave’ Magazine, Simon discovered that the nine to five lifestyle was not really conducive to clubbing and music making, so he quit…. after 2 days!
At night, he discovered the legendary clubs, ‘Troll’ and ‘Chemistry’ where he heard music that ignited his soul. Hardfloor’s seminal classic “Acperience” blew this country boy’s mind and gave rise to Simon’s first and foremost recording project. The “Deeper Than Deep EP” was the first record by Art of Trance and was released on the newly assembled Platipus Records label, set up as a vehicle for his and like-minded others’ music. The second release on the label was Poltergeist’s “Vicious Circles”- a secret Simon project. While at the Drum Club one night Simon met Darren Emerson, Charlie Hall and Carl Cox. All asked for new copies of the record having worn out their acetates. Simon was flabbergasted that these DJs he respected were all after his record. Carl Cox loved it so much that he offered to remix the track and it was re-released in early 1995 making number 34 in the UK National charts.
Art Of Trance debut album ‘Wildlife on One’ went on to sell over 30,000 copies worldwide. It typifies the real sound of AOT – earthy and organic with various sounds of nature intrinsically woven into the music. Emotion and humour are two of the ideals that Simon tries to infuse into his music and it’s this that sets his sound apart from the rest of the crowd. Art Of Trance is one of the most highly regarded dance acts around and over the years his music has been remixed by such luminaries as Ferry Corsten,Adam Dived, Cygnus X, Capricorn, Circulation, , Silvio Ecomo and Man With No Name, Terra Ferma, Telefon Tel Aviv, Fran Von Vie, Richard Durand, & LOUD.
1999 was a very big year for the label, as well as for Art Of Trance. ‘Madagascar’ was re-released with new remixes by Transa and scene golden boy, Ferry Corsten. It was one of the biggest club records of the year and paved the way nicely for the timely release of the album ‘Voice Of Earth’. A beautifully crafted album that conveys character, identity, freshness and stayed true to the vision that Simon founded the label on.
After a few years break, Simon returned with releases such as Praxia, Stratosphere and Vangelis cover Chung Kuo which accompanied a Retrospective album.
Art of Trance kick-started his live performances for the first time in 10 years in 2013 with gigs in Israel and Hungary.
2014 saw three new Art Of Trance releases: a collaboration with LOUD & Domestic with ‘Moroccan Roll’ and ‘Ricochet’ and ‘Humans’ Featuring a Perfect Stranger Remix.
2015 offered up two more belters: ‘Before The Storm’ featuring mixes from Gai Barone and Rick Oier O’Neil, followed by 2015 Remixes of the classic ‘Octopus’
2016 saw the harmonically rich ‘Ultrafoxx’ come into play, and most recently in November, the sublime ‘Firebird’ with