Taha Asadi produces for the trance purists. His upcoming album as TASADI, a Prince Of Persia-esque fantasy on the Greco-Roman world called The Ancient Realm, is the kind of true-to-trance work that would make Solarstone proud. He’s just dropped single Gates Of Persepolis, the second single off the album – it’s a stream of 130 BPM kicks, punchy sawtooths, and old-school sweeps. TASADI talks to X-Press about production, the genre, and opening for the likes of Tiesto and Paul Oakenfield.
TASADI’s trance love affair began 15 years ago, as a Dallas high schooler who’d just got his hands on a copy of Tranceformer.“At the time in Dallas it was very rare to find anymore who even knew what trance music was,” he says. “What little electronic music existed was all just labeled “Techno”, and very different to what I enjoyed. My solution was to lock myself in a studio for countless hours, and learn how to both DJ and produce on my own. It was a long process that took lots of trial and error, but all worth it in the end.”
That trial and error dedication certainly paid off. “It’s quite amazing actually. Tiesto, van Buuren and van Dyk were a few of the names I looked up to when I first started off. To have the privilege of playing alongside such great talents through the years is a blessing,” he says, with open-armed Taha humility. “One the best shows I’ve played was with Armin Van Buuren. The plan was to play outside on the main outdoor stage, but cold weather mixed with rain changed things up. We then were both shoved to play inside this small indoor venue, and now both scheduled at the same time. But since it was originally an outdoor event that sold many tickets, they now crammed everyone inside. There was probably 3 times the venue capacity of people inside. Probably the most packed room I’ve ever seen, but everyone really had a blast!”
Taha describes his work with a wide-eyed enthusiasm rare in someone who’s been in the game this long. Maybe it’s how he found himself in trance itself – a genre that shuns the dark grit of much contemporary EDM in favour of free feeling, club oneness. That openness to experience and free play is reinforced by his love of broad Boys’ Own themes: “Quite often many artists just produce a track or album and afterwards pick a random name for it,” he says (chucking in an sheepish “this of course is totally OK!”). “In The Ancient Realm, each track corresponds to either a wonder of the world or a major landmark of the ancient era. Every single track was written with this very themed mindset in order to capture the specific wonder or landmark at hand. I used ethnic instrumentation mixed with modern electronic elements to capture all the emotion, and to paint an aural picture of its title. I took this same approach for my first album The System, which has an astrological/space theme.”
TASADI works from the ground up, with hardware like the hearty Moog Voyager, the Access Virus TI, and Nord leads playing a big role. “The best trick I can give out is to keep your studio system and internet system separate,” he says. “Sadly, the most important thing I’ve learned making this album is to consistently have multiple backups of your work in the studio.”