Above and Beyond: Now and Then
Written by Miriam Gonzalez on February 7, 2019
Beginning in Europe, EDM was introduced to the United States in the 1980’s, emerging through pirate radios, club culture and Raving. It gained attention through electro and Chicago house music. With a target on it’s back, the government and record label industry refused to have any ties with EDM because of its association with drugs. It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that EDM began to gain traction and popularity globally, which began their integration in places apart from the club scene like festivals. The new millennium shifted the culture of electronic music. EDM is a genre within its own lane, blending universally with other genres. It is a cluster of subgenres like Deep House, Dubstep, Disco, Ambient, Electro, Trance and so much more.
Within the emergence of EDM in the United States, DJs from all across Europe like Tiesto, Pete Tong, Kaskade, Carl Cox, and Above and Beyond, gained recognition for their music and sound. Starting out in their dorm room Jono Grant, Paavo Sliljamak formed Anjunabeats as a project for their major. Reaching out to Jono for a remix to their song Time to Die, they met Tony McGuinness though his brother. Hitting it off, shortly after they officially set up Anjunabeats release their first song, “Volume One” under their alias Dirt Devils and Free State.
After their first release, their music started gaining recognition from other DJs (like Pete Tong for example). Soon after their music began to be featured in clubs around Europe. In April of 2000, they beginning working on the Chakra remix “home.” That same year, they worked on their remix of Madonna’s song “What It Feels Like For A Girl.” Doing it for the love of music, they finally realized that they were becoming something bigger than themselves. In the beginning they struggled on how to create music that wouldvgain the the attention of those around them, which compelled them to incorporate realism within their sound.
Becoming DJs wasn’t the first option for a few members in the group, but it was a culture that they couldn’t turn away from. It was a form of letting their hair down and showcasing the music they worked so hard creating in the studio. With their original desire of becoming musicians, they integrated their talents and continued writing their own music. The group transcended EDM forever. At that time EDM began to take shape and was redefined no longer by drugs but for the sound, its realism, the culture, and undiscovered territory. Electronic music takes many forms with the acceptance of evolution, change, and experimentation.
In 2002, the group jumpstarted their career with their club debut in Tokyo along side Ferry Corsten and Tiësto. Increasing their fan base, Above and Beyond released hits remixes like Britney Spears’s “Everytime” and “Sand in my Shoes” by Dido. That year they built their foundation for their release “No One On Earth” featuring the vocals of Zoë Johnston.
In 2006, they released their first album Tri-state, with hit singles like “Air for Life,”,“Alone Tonight,” and “Can’t Sleep” they gained attention from DJ magazine, Armin Van Buuren, International Dance Music Awards, and UK Dance Chart. Their album release paved the way for their performance in Barra Beach, Rio de Janerio where they DJ’d in front of more than a million people.
A few years later they released their second album, which was completely written and produced by Above and Beyond that named them the biggest trio ever produced from the UK. Along with their hit single, “Thing Called Love” they released Group Therapy. An album that was a part of changing the algorithm of electronic dance music. The album is filled with up and down tempo beats, with the most mesmerizing lyrics that are sure to make you feel alive again.
Above and Beyond continues to express their love for music, by releasing their weekly mixes under the name “Group Therapy.” Whether it’s at a festival or a show, you are bound to hear the tunes of Above and Beyond throughout the sets of other DJs. They are the OG’s of dance music, and without them there wouldn’t be a way to describe the power of music. Healing the minds of some and filling the souls of many, Above and Beyond continue to be profound in their sound. With their recent release and my personal favorite “Flying by Candlelight,” they are guaranteed to stimulate and rebalance your chakra in a way that can’t be put into words. Whether you’re happy, sad, or need a little pick me up, Above and Beyond is truly the trio to give you all the feels.