Trance DJ and producer Ilan Bluestone does not own a pair of decks.
After four years in Los Angeles, Bluestone recently moved back to London, and there were no Technics or Pioneer tables in the freight. So how was he able to come up with 15 tracks for his album, Scars, set for release this fall? The honest answer is the same way he was able to play the guitar and keys with no formal training or practice: He just does it.
“When I was a kid, I was up in my room and I picked up my cousin’s guitar. I just started playing it," Bluestone says. "My parents were downstairs. They heard me playing but did not believe it was me. It was the same when I got my first keyboard a few years later: I looked at the keys, and it just made sense to me."
Bluestone put his innate talent to good use, and now he is living out his dreams and rubbing elbows with his heroes. These days, he refers to Above & Beyond heads Jono Grant, Paavo Siljamäki, and Tony McGuinness as mentors and friends. His fellow Englishmen founded Anjunabeats, the label Bluestone calls home.
An '80s baby, Bluestone is a Depeche Mode, New Order, and Duran Duran fan. His affinity for Duran Duran is easily heard in his popular trance single “Bigger Than Love.” And while he strays from the trance mold on “Cosmic Feeling,” off his upcoming album Scars, the track would make Dave Gahan and Simon Le Bon proud.
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“[Vocalist] Giuseppe de Luca and I were in the studio in L.A. working on this one. He grabbed a beer and told me he was going for a walk. He came back 30 minutes later and said he had the vocals and was ready to record it. An hour later, it was done," Bluestone says.
The new multigenre album is an eclectic mix of sounds, and somewhere in there are memories from Bluestone’s youth. He’s the youngest of three and credits his older brothers for introducing him to electronic music. He opened for Above & Beyond at Madison Square Garden in 2014, but tonight comes a real test and a true shrine: Club Space. One might think he is somewhere deep in thought preparing for this show, but he is not. Just as he did with the guitar and his first keyboard, he will take the helm on the Terrace and just go.