Miika Eloranta and Janne Mansnerus, better known as Super8 & Tab are arguably the most consistent artists in contemporary trance music. We had the opportunity of interviewing them last week right before their Friday show at Celebrities. The Helsinki natives have been an integral part of Above & Beyond’s “Anjunabeats” label for a long time and have continued to amaze fans over the years with their brilliant compositions. Miika and Janne who knew each other from the underground music scene in Helsinki began producing together after working in the same studio, releasing separately for Anjunabeats.
By 2004, they decided that teaming up was the right move, and started their brilliant collaboration. The track that propelled the duo to worldwide recognition was 2006’s “Helsinki Scorchin”, a song that continues to destroy dance floors after almost eight years. Super8 & Tab’s ingenuity stems from the innovative breed of music they are able to consistently deliver. The heavy, pulsating bass lines and enthralling melodies from Miika and Janne are intoxicating and never fail to amaze.
Their debut artist album “Empire” was released in 2010, with the remix version “Empire Remixed” being released the following year. 2013 was a massive year for Super8 & Tab with the release of four extremely popular singles: “Teardrops”, “LA”, “The Way You Want”, and the stunning vocal track with industry heavy weight Julie Thompson “Your Secret’s Safe”. Their production skills translate into pure bliss behind the decks as well. The Super8 & Tab live show is nothing short of perfection, with flawless mixing and exceptional song selection.
The duo were voted #60 on DJ MAG’s Top 100 poll in 2010 and are well known for being excellent performers. The future for Super8 & Tab looks extremely promising, and we were honoured to interview them as well as attend their November 29th show at Celebrities Nightclub hosted by Blueprint Events. Continue reading for more details!
What have you two been up to since we last interviewed you in April?
Right now we’re on phase two of our North American “Way You Want” Tour and we’ve been touring elsewhere as well. We’ve been in the studio and the album is closer than ever to being finished. Tonight we’ll be trying out four or five new tracks from the album. We were recently in the studio with BT. He came to our studio in Helsinki and he only had one day that he could come so we spent eighteen hours straight and pretty much finalized a track. There are still some small tweaks we’ll both be doing but it’s mostly done. It has both of our styles and they work really well together. It didn’t feel like eighteen hours and was probably the most fun studio session we’ve ever had. Also we are both dads now!
In the last few years you’ve had three incredible collaborations with Julie Thompson (“My Enemy”, “Your Secret’s Safe”, and the upcoming “No Frontiers”). How did you first connect with Julie and can you tell us about your chemistry with her?
She is a legend from Holland a so we were fans since back in 1998. We just called her up and sent her a track and she liked it so we worked together on “My Enemy.” Then we recently brought her to our studio and reserved four days to work on a track and ended up doing four tracks in three days. We work really well with her and our core melodies matched well with her vocals. Once this anew album is done we’re going to be bringing her on tour with us.
What have been some highlights from your current tour?
It’s all been really good. We started in Sacramento on a Thursday and it was a great way to start it off. Then we had the easiest day of travel ever when we went from Sacramento to San Francisco in under an hour. We’ve also had good shows in Seattle, Chicago, and Calgary last night.
What can you tell us about the new album that you’ve been alluding to?
We don’t know for sure yet because it’s a work in progress and it changes all the time as we test out different tracks. But it seems to be mostly club tracks without any slow ones.
What’s a golden oldie that you still love to play in your sets?
“Helsinki Scorchin” (2006) is definitely one of our favourites. People still want us to play it and we are happy to play it out because that’s the track that changed our careers and made us focus more. It still sounds relevant in clubs and fits in our sets well. Another is our remix of “Can’t Sleep” from 2010.
Are there any significant plans for the upcoming 50th episode of your podcast SuperTab Radio?
Yes sort of. We are playing in the Ministry of Sound in London and we’re considering doing it live but it’s still not for sure. That will be on January 24.
When did you realize that you wanted to be professional producers/DJs?
When I was fifteen my dad took me to Pacha in Spain, not in Ibiza but the same idea. They were playing deep house in the 90s and it was the first time I saw live DJs. Before that I was listening to hip hop and trying to learn to scratch but when I first saw DJs I was amazed and said “I want to do that.” Tab: I was in a youth club when I was fourteen and there were some guys playing techno and they were smashing it. I was blown away by the sound and the lights and everything. When you hear the music in the right environment you get the right picture. And pretty soon after that I was DJing there.
What is your opinion of the DJ Mag Top 100 poll?
It’s part of the culture. It’s been around forever and its always based on who is the most successful like Sasha, Digweed and Paul van Dyk. But recently it’s been changing and some people invest a lot of money in advertising to get a higher spot. We aren’t really concerned with it at all though because when we were #60 in 2010 we had much less gigs than we do now and things are going much better for us despite not being on the list this year. Also because of the huge growing popularity of dance music in North America and worldwide the results have changed because different people are voting, but what will the list look like in five years when dance music has become more popular in Asia?
Super8 & Tab’s two and a half hour set was filled with all the best trance and progressive an EDM lover could hope for. The entire set was full of energy from beginning to end and left everybody aching for more at 3am. The perfect combination of vocal and instrumental tracks brought a satisfying vibe to the crowd, not to mention had everybody singing along enthusiastically. The duo even played a few of their unreleased tracks just to tease the crowd a bit and in anticipation for their new upcoming album. The duo definitely brought their A-game to Celebrities, bringing a selection of records that showcased their talent and experience in the genre.
Highlights of the night included their tracks such as “Your Secret’s Safe”, “Teardrops”, and “The Way You Want”. A couple of their classic Super8 & Tab tracks were also played, “Helsinki Scorchin” and “Black Is The New Yellow” definitely brought a moment of nostalgia to some people in the crowd that night. Records by other artists include “Flashback” by Arty, the Ilan Bluestone remix of “Lucid Dreams” by Mat Zo, and “Black Room Boy” by Above & Beyond.
At the end of their set the crowd was still begging for more, and the duo delivered by dropping another classic – “Irufushi”, by none other than Super8 & Tab themselves. The crowd seemed very satisfied with the encore, as it was the perfect way to end a flawless performance. We had seen Super8 & Tab previously in April and were completely blown away back then as well. All in all, it was a great set and it would be nearly impossible to infer something negative from it. These guys have been in the scene for long enough to know whats works and what doesn’t, and in our eyes everything they played worked. You can definitely count us in the next time Super8 & Tab make a Vancouver detour!
Photo Credit: Blueprint