One of the world's most popular disc jockeys returns to Hawaii this weekend after a three-year absence.
Love Festival Hawaii
The 9th Annual Summer Island Massive
When: 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday
Place: Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, 400 Farrington Highway
Tickets: $40 presale; $60 VIP; $75 at door. Available at park, Jelly's in Aiea, University of Hawaii-Manoa Campus Center, Hungry Ear in Kailua, Hawaii's Natural High in Waikiki, The Beat and Butigroove. By phone, (800) 71-GROOVE and online at www.groovetickets.com
American trance master Christopher Lawrence was a regular visitor from 2001-04. A product of the acid house and rave phenomenon of the 1990s, the superstar is still, after all these years, in the forefront of spinning exciting house music and underground trance for the dance-happy masses.
Proof positive -- his recent release of "Live in Moscow" from the Gatecrashers mix series on the UK Ministry of Sound label. It's a confident and well-paced mix of smooth groove and high energy, including his top pick of '06, "Landmark" by Vibrasphere, and a couple of collaborative tracks from his good friend in the United Kingdom, John "OO" Fleming.
In fact, Lawrence was calling from Fleming's home last week, as he enjoyed some downtime before resuming his busy road schedule, which includes a welcome return as headliner at this year's Love Festival at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.
"I still have the adrenaline flow, the passion to do this, although it does take its toll. I took a month off due to spinal surgery, which I attribute to years of traveling, carrying record crates. Now just a CD case, thankfully. But since I've been on the road for three weeks now, I plan to bring my wife and kids with me when I get to Hawaii."
Since he was last here, Lawrence has released two albums on his Pharmacy Electronic Music label, a collection of remixes from his debut, "All or Nothing," and "Unhooked: The Hook Sessions," using earlier recordings he did for Scotsman Chris Cowie. Both came out in 2004. But how about new material?
"The next release will be a single that me and 'OO' did called 'Beyond the Limit,' and another single called 'Fluid Motion' from a guy named Magnus who's in Seattle. One of the reasons I tour different cities is that I get to meet people that I want to work with. Oftentimes they approach me to show me tracks that they're working on and Magnus was one who approached me at a party and asked me to listen to his CD, and I was blown away by that particular track. ... What I found with Magnus is that his sound is very clean, very well-produced that has a groovy bass line with interesting trance elements over the top.
"I know that liking groovy bass lines is strange for trance because, like with psychedelic trance, a lot of tracks have these offbeat bass lines. But you can hear why I like these bass lines on 'Live in Moscow' because they're very -- groovy!" He blurts out the word with a laugh. "And I've been hammering 'Fluid Motion' in my sets for the last month."
So this weekend's Love Festival attendees should be hearing it when Lawrence steps up for his late-night set.
"I'd like to say that my sound has matured since I was last in Hawaii. When I was there, the sound I was playing more progressive. Now it's more a funky trance vibe."