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Darude rides in to trance up the place

Finnish DJ performs two shows at Moe Joe's



Darude is up north in Finland and that means "Arctic Circle north," ie. Lapland.

The trance DJ, perhaps best known for his international hit "Sandstorm," is at the ski resort of Levi.

Asked over the phone how it's going up there, he gets straight to the point.

"I'm bloody awesome, like they'd say in the U.K.," Darude, a.k.a. Ville Virtanen says.

"This is my fourth day of ski-cation with the family and friends. Today we were out with our kids. Actually, the kids went to snowboard school for a couple of hours, so us dads got to go out on our own for a good bit. It was awesome."

Darude may be like the rest of us, hoping for a day on the mountain without little tearaways baby-shredding under our feet, but there is one difference.

"I'm playing tomorrow," he says.

So they clearly like their Sandstorm in Lapland, too.

"It's a huge resort so they have a decent nightlife here," Darude says.

He adds that the northern lights are pretty gorgeous, too.

Darude's show at Moe Joe's is his first-ever gig in Whistler, but not his first visit.

"I proposed to my wife in Whistler on Jan. 4, 2007. And we haven't been there since; this will be my first trip. She's pretty annoyed about not being able to come with me," he says.

He performs two shows, on Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9 at 9 p.m.

Darude's most recent album is Moments, which came out in 2016.

"Last year, the single 'Beautiful Alien' came out first. There's a great track by Andain called 'Beautiful Things' and I did the remix of that last year," he says.

"I love to talk about the album, it is my latest big work, but what we're doing is normal, upkeep touring. We're calling it the winter tour.

"Various versions of tracks from Moments are played. It was my first album in eight years; it was a big thing for me to finally get stuff out. I'm 42 this year and things have happened, family happened. My son is eight. It was family first and music second for a while.

"So I was very excited to get back to the studio for days, weeks and months."

Did eight years away from recording a full album lead to creativity overload dying to get out?

"Absolutely. I never stopped my career or my creative process, but when there's more important things happening, the creativity is on a backburner but also in the back of your head all the time," Darude says.

"I never stopped hearing sounds that I wanted to incorporate into my music. Or I'd hear a song and think I would do it a certain way. I would make notes and I kept the notes, especially record them on my phone."

He would also write notes on Post-Its or elsewhere.

"When I had the time I would systematically work through them. Sometimes you are taken immediately back into the situation where you wrote it down, and sometime you think, 'What the hell was I thinking?'"

Once you're in a creative field it is impossible to get rid of that impulse, he adds, plus he likes to experiment.

"Sometimes it is irritating or frustrating not to be able to fully act on that. In my case that means not sitting in a studio and get something fully started from scratch," Darude says.

"But at the same time it is rewarding when you do get there. I think that is why Moments is so important to me.

"I wasn't looking for hit records. I was looking for an outlet for the ideas. Because there was a long break between albums, I took it as a chance to do things differently as well."

That said, fans going to his shows can also expect tracks from throughout his 20-year career.

Many, you'd guess, would want to hear "Sandstorm," an iconic track that pops up in ads and elsewhere 18 years after its first release.

"Some of them do!" Darude laughs.

For more information, visit www.darude.com.


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