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May 2, 2011


DJ Solitare – The Future Was Now

by goatranch

DJ Solitare bestows upon us a true gift of a guest mix here. In it we have nearly 3 1/2 hours of key-mixed magic from Mark Ainley, a man who’s been involved since the early days and has rubbed shoulders with many of the founding fathers of the genre. A label DJ for the fabulous DAT Records, Mark shares with us not only killer music presented in expert fashion, but a wonderful write-up as well.

“This mix is inspired by my experience at all-night events in Japan in the heyday of the psychedelic trance scene, primarily from 1994 to 1996.”

Download or stream:

DJ: DJ Solitare (Mark Ainley)
Title: The Future Was Now
Format: MP3 (320kbps CBR)
Duration: 3hr 27min

Full tracklist available here.

The title is from a T-shirt produced by the psychedelic clothing label Hikari, the co-founder of which, David Dobson, was my mentor of sorts in the scene at the time.

My idea of set construction in general was formed through a number of DJs who I heard in my early days in the scene: Jay Mullen, aka DJ Spoo, whose Odyssey parties in Tokyo were the friendliest, wildest, most engaging parties of the time, and a 1994 mix tape of whose continues to be for me a model of flow and balance; Olli Wisdom, who I heard play all night twice (one of them a full moon party overlooking Mount Fuji) and whose palpable drive helped fund incredible enthusiasm wherever he played; Kuni of Tokyo Techno Tribe and Equinox, whose all-night Autumn Equinox 1995 set remains vivid in my memory; and Tsuyoshi, who I heard play multiple times both in Japan and in London, and who I was privileged to know and observe in the DJ booth at Return to the Source on many occasions.

I started playing off of DATs when I moved to London in 1996, as there was lots of unreleased music and CD burners had not yet been invented. My model of DAT mixing and doing quick slices or smooth overlays that were beat-matched even if they weren’t kick-matched came from hearing Kuni, Olli, Dan-Dan, and Joti. Kuni wasn’t afraid to let a track breathe; Olli was able to do quick slices and smooth drops; Dan-Dan was a master of creative mixing; and Joti demonstrated his mastery of intro-outro overlays at an all-night outdoor set he played in England in ’97.

As this retro set is a tribute to the music and vibe of the past, I have made mixes in the style they were done then (although I did not actually create this set with DATs) – and a number of musicians of the time have told me that the music was composed with this kind of mixing in mind. In some cases, the mixes are quicker and more evidently kick-matched, and in other cases there are longer lead-ins which are beat-matched but without overlaying the kick. (I think it’s time kick-matching and beat-matching became two separate terms.) Because I came to trance from a classical music background, mixing tracks according to key has always been important to me, as there is a jarring effect when the laws of harmonic blending are not observed. The shape of the storyline and connection of voices is what takes priority for me, and I would invite you to listen to some of the more synthesized sounds as voices and notice how they connect through from one track to the next.

As for the set itself: my intention here was to have an entire night set in microcosm, the sense of flow that a full night back in the mid-90s would take, but over the course of a few hours. This flow is particularly inspired by the outdoor party vibe, which is radically different from indoor events and would take the shifting shades of light into account, as well as where people were in their journey. The ambient intro leads into progressively more upbeat celebratory music before turning into the darkest section of the night; there is then a progression through twilight into the lightening day and then a celebratory mood for the sunrise and the start of a new day. Some of the longer mixes occur at key times as part of this story, most notably a very long transition around twilight time (around 430am) to allow a sense of wonder and magic to take hold. This would be very difficult to pull off in a club – but this music was not written for clubs, even if it is played there.

The photograph here was taken of me at sunrise at Return To The Source’s party at Mount Fuji in May 1997, as the sun was rising above the clouds located below us. The photo was taken using the first commercially available Casio digital camera which I had just purchased. I had a sticker made of the photo, which I attached to my book of DJ mix notes, and it is from this copy of the photo that I have scanned this image.

I will be posting a track listing with details about each track and some stories about them…at a later date. All of these tracks are released, and yet not all will have been many DJs’ first choice.

It is my hope that this mix will help you experience some of the magic that I experienced at these cosmic events.


aka DJ Solitare

This thing is a shiver-trigger, folks. Listen, enjoy, then come back later for the track listing! 🙂 [You can now find the full track list here.]

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. rohit fernandis
    May 2 2011


  2. shivatronic
    May 2 2011

    thanx for the share
    nice to ear from you…once again.
    loved the previous mix you done for the contest.
    i’ve an old friend in your crew : blue planet corporation.
    a french old freak leaving in new caledonia
    Peace & Sound 🙂

  3. iSapien1956672
    May 2 2011

    That is the most informative and descriptive liner note I have ever read, it read like the dreams and scenes I would imagine while listening to the music at the time, back in 1996-97 looking at all the pics of albums/artists like Otherworld, RTTS, Ree-K, and OOOD. Can’t wait for the tracklist.

  4. Earwall
    May 5 2011

    One of the marks of a good DJ is if they can make you hear old music in a new way. I’m familiar with many of these tracks, but I’m hearing them again here as though for the first time, and that is fucking excellent.

    I’m reallllly curious about that track with the ‘music is a deception’ sample, though. Pretty sure I had the CD it came from in my collection and (foolishly) gave it away or sold it off years ago; I look forward to the tracklist so that I can kick myself in the ass repeatedly. 😉

  5. Solitare aka Mark
    May 5 2011

    Thanks for the comments, folks.

    @Earwall – that track is ‘Argonaut’ by Oliloqui on Spirit Zone…a bit obscure…full power stuff, eh!

    @iSapien1956672 – If you liked the liner notes so far, I think you’ll enjoy the details in the upcoming track list. The vibe was pretty amazing back at that time, and it still has potential today.

    @shivatronic – this is my first mix for this site… hope you enjoy!

    Track list within a week…in the meantime, enjoy the music!



  6. EliasAKAma05683
    May 10 2011

    the kind of mixing i like
    monster tunes from Juno reactor,
    X dream,Kox Box,Crop Circles,Hallucinogen,
    Byte 1,Joti,groupie syndrome,etnica,saafi bros,killing joke rmx,etc etc
    and many others ,known ,but i cant figure out specific group

    the great track( or the completely unknown) for me its the last one
    so im waiting 🙂
    aaaa and another thing
    i cant figure out that from 19:15 to 26:50
    very known(a mix of 3 tracks??first one comes, a known one
    after the melody of let there be a light,Prana’s-Indigo aaarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh im pissed off lol)
    its a Prana’s live mixture???

    waiting for your next mix

  7. Mark aka Solitare
    May 10 2011

    Glad you like – some monster tracks, eh?

    The track list is coming very soon… but that one you mention from 19:15 which you correctly recognize as Prana is called ‘Moretsu’ – also on the ‘Cyclone’ album… killer one, eh?

    More coming soon 😀



  8. EliasAKAma05683
    May 10 2011


    after long long time i must listen this cd again

  9. Mark aka Solitare
    May 11 2011

    I know, amazing, right? I always tended towards Scarab and Indigo, and I know that Kiba and Starchild were really popular, but this one for me has a more cosmic sound…

    Notes with lots of other details coming soon…in the meantime, enjoy!


  10. Mark aka Solitare
    May 16 2011

    Track list is posted… Enjoy!

  11. May 17 2011

    Great story! my background dates back to 95-96 when we had trance nights in the trance buddha amsterdam.

    Carzy times.

  12. May 17 2011

    Just wanted to give a quick, yet warm thanks for this wonderful mix and your very generous storytelling. I discovered trance around the same time as you started DJing, but being very young in 1995 I didn’t make it to London until 1999 when the heyday sadly had passed (for the most part). I did however catch a legendary Koxbox-gig in 1997 in an abandoned warehouse in Aalborg, Denmark. An event which shaped my musical tastes for the rest of my life. With the birth of the internet my musical horizons expanded even further (I was one of the original moderators @ when it started in 2000) and up thru the 00s I partied and collected music like a mad man. My life has taken a different direction now, but I still like to reminisce about the old days every once in a while and listening to your mix and reading your interesting stories totally made my day.


  13. Mark aka Solitare
    May 17 2011

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    @Tameesh – those parties were legendary! I remember hearing about them at the time…how great that you could be there.

    @DeathPosture – thanks heaps! How great that you heard Kox Box back in that glorious era. I heard them in 1997 too, at a Blue Room party in London… My life has also taken different directions but I am not out of the trance world yet and am hoping that things continue to go through the Renaissance required to bring back a more authentic vibe. So glad to have ‘made your day’ 🙂



  14. May 30 2011

    wow still waiting for the mix to download! still no bandwidth??? How about posting this one on soundcloud? is free and allways online.

  15. Solitare aka Mark
    May 30 2011

    Really?? I clicked now it and player opens up; a friend of mine just downloaded it a day or two ago… not sure what to say – will ask Marsh.

    Yes, eventually might end up on Soundcloud – haven’t heard of problems here yet…will get back to you. And it could be because it’s the end of the month so the allotted bandwidth might have been used. June 1st is less than 48 hours away…



  16. May 30 2011

    Hi Tameesh, sorry you’re having trouble downloading. The data transfer limit has plenty left, so that’s not the problem, and I’ve not heard from any one else having trouble with this one – perhaps it was just some congestion when you tried the download?

    Regarding Soundcloud – yes, it’s quite nice, but this mix is most definitely longer than the 120 minutes that they allow for free. However, feel free to contact me directly via email if you’d like to donate funds to the Ranch…I’d be happy to convert my account to a premium one. 😉

  17. Floaty
    Aug 26 2011

    Thank u very much!!! u bring back all the amazing memories from the mid 90´s, that was the time i have my first psy experience at voov 1995 it was magic and changed my life forever!!!
    i miss the magical nowadays!!!!
    since that day psytrance become my personal soundtrack of my life!!


  18. Mark aka DJ Solitare
    Aug 26 2011

    Glad you like it – it was a wonderful time… and the magic remains and hopefully will grow stronger…


  19. Jeremy
    Sep 16 2011

    Mark I came to psytrance in the early 2000s. Thank you for sharing this journey. I can only imagine what it must have been like to ride the wave as it was breaking.

    Enjoying the afterglow.


  20. Mark aka DJ Solitare
    Sep 16 2011

    Thanks, Jeremy – glad you like it and are enjoying the afterglow…it was quite the wave!


  21. Mar 20 2012

    An excellent mix, as usual, from Mark. Thanks for this one, just magical.

  22. Solitare aka Mark
    Apr 5 2012

    Thanks, Maestro Draeke!

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  1. DJ Solitare – The Future Was Now: The Tracks | Tales from the Goat Ranch

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