Arrived a decade after his last LP (2011’s’ To The Point ‘),’ Origins’ – is the third album by British artist Rob ‘Activa‘Stevenson.
At first glance, the origin story of “origins” is relatively straightforward. “Its main theme, says Activa is to re-represent the music I grew up with. Throughout the production of Origins, I always knew that I wanted the release to work for two reasons. Both as an artist’s album with a traditional presentation, one that someone could go in and out of depending on their mood, but also as something that could be experienced in a mixed way, from start to finish. The structure of this version on the release is very representative of the musical compilations that I listened to and from which I was inspired in my youth ”, Rob said.
This is only half of its history, however. It’s the motivation behind the motivation that makes ‘Origins’ even more intriguing (and arguably even unique). Basically, for Stevenson, the album is sort of a makeover – a go-around or maybe even a “second run”. Contextually, Rob’s production career began after the trance space race had already been won – his certified “moonshot”. To some extent, he was caught in his second substantial wave of producers – a time when enthusiasm and access was soaring.
Rob is the first to admit that he was not immune to this. As with many, production values did not always keep pace with quality. It’s something that stuck in the belly of a lot of artists on a regular basis – both inside the genre and outside. Unlike others though, it was something he couldn’t get over and felt compelled to tackle. Rather than remix / remastering his tracks from yesteryear, he decided to record an album that had the tonal head in the heyday game, but with production capabilities, 20 years more advanced and refined.
Throughout the production of “Origins,” Rob was ruthless in removing anything that was “2.0” from a distance in terms of sound, effect, technique or – God forbid – continuing trends. . “I think progress is only really progress if things really improve, he says, and I’m not sure this has always been the case with trance. As a genre, it often strays from what it used to be – sometimes becoming almost a caricature of itself.”. Therefore, Rob did not allow anything of this nature to dilute or pollute this singularly heritage-oriented album. Imagine perhaps a longtime gamer with all the PvD oomph, Sasha’s common sense, Ferry feel, and Armin’s keen sense, which has remained unheard of – almost like a time capsule – to this day. If you can, you’re not a million miles from Origins.
During the year, Activa paved the way for the album, which spanned spring, summer and fall. He has already delivered us instrumental brilliance like “Polestar” and “Into Pieces”, and haunting vocal numbers such as “Return To Life”, “Fall In” and his current single, ‘Stranger’ with Jennifer René.
While Rob shares the stage with many singers, “Origins” is also notable for being largely absent from the co-producers. Of his 15 tracks, only Orkidea, Rolo Green, and John Dopping make appearances, and that’s something Rob attributes to the nature of the release. “To have had many other co-productions on something so personal ”, he says, didn’t make much sense to me “So that side of things was kept tight. This opened the door for instrumental tracks like “Fade From View”, “Anamara” and “Journey Home” – ones which, had they been produced at the time, would have long since passed to classical status.
“Don’t call it “a bow of redemption”, joking Rob. It’s just the right place, the right time, but most of all a great skill opportunity to fix a few production issues early on!“he concludes.