Above and Beyond are the DJ and production trio best known for their booming trance tracks and a loyal legion of festival-going fans the world over. But now they have decided to trade in their headphones and turntables for harps, violins and ukuleles.
The result is a new album, called ‘Acoustic’, featuring a selection of their best-loved hits, newly arranged in rich orchestral ensembles.
As DJ and guitarist Tony McGuinness explained, it was not necessarily an easy, or natural, transition: “I guess for us it was an even bigger leap because we weren’t just swapping electric guitars for acoustic guitars, we were swapping synths and sequences and drum machines for bits of wood with strings stuck on.
“So I guess there was that worry that people would miss the parts of the original that they knew and loved. Would the song on its own be transformed in a way that still persuaded people? I suppose that was the big unknown when we started.”
Of course, the real question now is whether the band will return to electronic music or whether its just strings and baroque flutes from here on in?
For McGuinness, it is a question of feasibility: “Being DJs and making electronic music is kind of our day job and while this is a wonderful and enjoyable sidetrack, in a way it’s also incredibly impractical to do because with 15 musicians you can’t really tour it as easily as we do when we’re DJing so we really need to get back to the day job.”
Their album ‘Acoustic’ is out now.