The last few years have seen a significant flurry of activity from the Activa camp, made all the more notable as it followed a period of pause for Rob Stevenson. Says the UK based DJ/producer, “there were a number of years where I no longer felt the same connection to what was happening musically within the scene. However, if the time I’ve spent in the industry taught me anything, it’s that music is cyclical. Everything comes back around. It was just a question of waiting till the time was right again.”
For Rob and his music, that second coming’s been in full flow for several years now and reaches a new zenith with the July 2023 release of:
Paradoxically, lockdown, proved to be the jailbreak moment for Rob’s more classic form of trance. “People needed to feel connected and historically, I don’t think there’s many forms of electronic music that’s done more of that than trance.” It was around that time that Rob recommenced his operations, quickly becoming one of the foremost proponents in this fresh wave of truest-form trance. Having rebooted his Borderline label, Activa recorded ‘Origins’, his first artist album in a decade, before releasing the Tri-Series – a run of made-for-12” productions. For Rob though, simply getting the music back into vogue was never going to be enough. It didn’t just need to reacquire its classic sound, but also – in order to be authentic – it had to feel the same, look the same and release the same.
All of which leads up Rob’s next restorative action: ‘Movement (V. 01)’ – a set of discs and mixes constructed in trance & progressive’s original ‘building’ manner. In order to fully achieve that classic sound, he knocked on the doors of some producers who’d been as unswerving in their sonic beliefs as he had. Over its two discs, ‘Movement’ features music from the likes of Luke Terry, Jaron Inc., Pulser, DJ Dazzle, Maria Healy, The Noble Six, Factoria, Lostly and numerous others. Naturally enough, there’s also a wealth of new production and remix exclusivity onboard from Rob himself!
In order to get the generationally authentic look he wanted for the release, Rob turned to The Designers Republic, the visual powerhouse behind electronic institutions like Gatecrasher, Warp and Satoshi Tomiie. They’ve channelled that creativity into ‘Movement’s cover art, which provides an aesthetic, as well as sonic touchstone to releases past. An album experience for anyone who was there … or simply wishes they were, Movement (V. 01) is available digitally and physically now.