During EDC Week, among the fireworks displays, massive stages, and the sparkling lights of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, one giant image was etched into the minds of the hundreds of thousands of revelers in attendance.
“My big face!” Dash Berlin frontman, Jeffrey Sutorius, jokes around about his larger-than-life jumbotron campaign on Las Vegas Blvd, “I was all over the place, it was an ode to Vegas!”
The advertisement was actually closer to an ode to Dash Berlin, with nods of a DJ Mag cover, a residency at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, and a closing, main stage set at Electric Daisy Carnival. Now, in the final stretch before the release of Dash Berlin’s album We Are (part 1)- out on Armada Music, August 29- the Dash Berlin crew was back in Sin City for a whirlwind of press interviews, photo shoots, radio appearances, and two performances at Marquee Nightclub in less than a week.
Hanging out with Dash Berlin during press day and at their Saturday night performance, I was able to witness Dash Berlin’s dynamic, dig deeper into their relationships with each other, and their fans, and of course, learn about the new upcoming album We Are (part 1).
As the second shoot of the day winds down and right before an on-air radio interview, Jeffrey Sutorius beginnings to reminisce about Dash Berlin’s humble beginnings, “I had lost my job at a record store and we started making music just for fun, then “Till the Sky Falls Down,’ was played on ASOT, from that point on people were asking, who or what is Dash Berlin?”
Who or what Dash Berlin is, is a trance group, business partnership, and most importantly a friendship, where each individual plays their role, while working in perfect harmony within the group. Jeffrey Sutorius, who is an incredibly positive and energetic man, has taken on the role of being the face of Dash Berlin. Although, he has the spotlight on him, he is considered only a small fraction of this dance music machine.
“Dash Berlin, so perfectly fits the album title, We Are. Not only am I part of Dash Berlin, the people around Dash Berlin is what makes us who we are today.The people at the airport, who are picking us up, are part of the team, the people in the crowd, and the bloggers- everyone is connected,” explains Sutorius, “We (Dash Berlin) are still friends, and that’s what makes this work.The guys in the studio, they’ve been doing this for over 20 years, they know what they are doing and they also know my true passion is DJing. We made a pact that we can work on the music together while I go out and travel the world. It takes team effort to accomplish things in life.”
The Dash Berlin team is an ever growing and expanding one but Dashers, the nickname given to Dash Berlin fans, are considered to be the most important member of the group
“No Dashers, no Dash Berlin, it’s that simple,” states Dash Berlin about their fans.
There is no surprise that comes from an artist speaking affectionately in regard to their fans, but not many of them will actually act on it, as in the case of Dash Berlin. Building a bond with fans whether through social media, or even staying after the shows to take pictures and sign autographs is a regular occurrence while on tour. For their show at Marquee Nightclub, Dash Berlin invited some special Dashers to join them for an evening out. At a private booth, these Dashers got to enjoy VIP bottle service, a night with their favorite DJ, and a unique camaraderie with, not only Dash Berlin, but with each other as well.
“Seeing Dash Berlin feels more like a family gathering. It’s where the Dashers meet. You can really feel the love we all have for his music here tonight,” says one Dasher, Rebecca Prentice, who had built a friendship with Dash Berlin after introducing Jeffrey Sutorius to yoga.
Dash Berlin dazzled the massive crowd and their special cheering section of Dashers at Marquee, with a set of tracks that included old classics, remixes created for the tour, and tracks from the new album.
“Our sound has definitely changed. Some of that has to do with collaborations; people have a different way of working, different set of ears, or a different set sounds they really want to use. It’s still Dash Berlin, with an upgrade. The tempo shifted and the sounds became more friendly, you could, maybe, hear one of the new tracks from on the radio,” Sutorius explains.
Radio airtime has meant crossover success for many in the electronic music industry and although the thought of airplay is appealing, tracks are never created with the intention of airplay success.
According to Dash Berlin, “Making music is a creative process, you don’t go in the studio planning to make a track for the radio. From day one, people were saying Dash Berlin is mainstream, even though we were trance. Now, people look back at it and think really trancey. But, our ingredients always go back to the dance floor, the people that listen to our music are on the dance floor and it’s about them in the end.”
The process of making music for Dash Berlin, includes sending files back and forth from different corners of the globe, heated studio debates and sometimes creating multiple version of a track before settling down on what they feel is the right energy for the track.
“We debate about the feelings and if it is working. The track has to land at a point, where we all feel comfortable, where it’s still Dash Berlin, and we all feel involved,” says Sutorius
The final product of their hard work both in and out of the studio is We Are (part 1). The first edition of a series, the album includes the latest dance floor anthem, “Here Tonight,” collaboration with artists such as John Dahlback and 3LAU, and vocals by Roxanne Emery, sister of fellow trance DJ/producer Gareth Emery.
Dash Berlin considers, “Here Tonight,” to be their favorite track on the album, "It’s just one of the pillars of the album. The hype around the track and feed back from the crowd and social media has been overwhelming. There’s also another really beautiful song you’ll discover which is, “Shelter,” with Roxanne Emery."
Music for We Are (part 2) is already in the works and set for release within a year. In the meantime, Dash Berlin continues to tour around the world including stops at the Hollywood Palladium and Marquee during the month of August.
“I’m the biggest party animal,” Jeffrey Sutorius beams, as he speaks about his lives show, “I’m one of the people on the dance floor, I just happen to be standing on the other side. I experience the music exactly as the fans do, so we are the same. There’s this bulb of emotions and energy and that’s what fuels a Dash Berlin show.”