Kevin O'Toole and Dale Longworth formed N-Trance in 1990 after meeting at the Oldham College.
Kevin O’Toole and Dale Longworth formed N-Trance in 1990 after meeting at the Oldham College, where they were both studying sound engineering. Initially O’Toole and Longworth, along with four or five other students, used their college’s recording studio for free recordings and use of equipment. Their first demo tape was a remix of the theme tune to Roobarb, a children’s television show. The next record was a more credible trance track, consisting mainly of sampled music and called Back To The Bass.
Within days of being recorded, the song had caught the attention of Dead Dead Good Records (owned by the manager of The Charlatans) who wanted to sign the record, but shortly before signing they were outbid by Pete Waterman’s 380 Records (a sub-label of PWL). Following the interest from record labels, the band and their manager decided a new band name was needed. Previously, they had been using a variety of monikers such as Quartech, but eventually settled on signing their record contract as N-Trance.
However, problems with the sample clearance prevented Back To The Bass from ever being released as a single. The band continued to write and record music and it was decided a female vocalist was needed for future records, so sixteen year old Kelly Llorenna was drafted in. Set You Free was recorded in PWL Studios in 1992, however due to troubles within their record label, this song was not released as a single either. N-Trance then chose to buy themselves out of their recording contract with 380 Records after only one year with the company, signing to a new label, All Around the World.
By now, N-Trance had developed their live shows and were gaining some popularity, and on their new label Set You Free was finally released in 1993, but failed to enter the Top 40, reaching #83 in the charts. A year later Set You Free was re-released achieving a higher chart position of #39. N-Trance’s next single was a Eurodance song called Turn Up The Power which featured vocals from Rachel McFarlane of Loveland, and a rap by T-1K, reaching #23 on the charts.
After a few years of performing live in the UK, N-Trance’s popularity and the reception towards Set You Free had increased significantly. The record was in popular demand, and after a third release of the song in 1995, the single became a huge hit, being played by television and radio stations. It reached #2 in the charts and was certified Platinum in the UK after selling over 600 000 copies. The single was also released in other European countries and Australia.
The group recorded their first full-length album, Electronic Pleasure, in November 1995, which featured seven of the group’s ever-expanding roster of vocalists (including David Grant), and musicians such as Vinny Burns and Snake Davis. Similarly, N-Trance’s musical range expanded, embracing rap, disco and other styles in its scope. The group’s next single, a surprising cover of the Bee Gees hit Stayin’ Alive, was not only a massive international hit but also featured a vocalist who would help define N-Trance’s sound in the future, the remarkable Ricardo Da Force, former rapper of the KLF. Upon its release in the UK, it debuted at # 2 and internationally became one of the biggest UK exports of 1995, reaching #1 in Australia and being top 5 in a number of European charts.
The release of further commercially successful singles afforded N-Trance the possibility of building their own recording studio and in 1996 Deep Blue was born. They spent the following year and a half recording their second full-length album, Happy Hour, which was released in 1999.
Hit singles from the album included cover versions of Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Ottawan’s D.I.S.C.O and the hardcore techno clatter of The Mind of the Machine, which featured the actor Steven Berkoff. A Best of album entitled The Best of N-Trance 1992–2002 was released in early 2001, backed by a trance remix of Set You Free which reached #4.
A couple of year ago the group released The Mind Of The Machine as their third album. Two new tracks, Free Running and The Earth Is Dying, were recorded for the album to go with the recordings previously made in 1997. The album was released as digital download only. That same year, the group announced they were re-inventing themselves with the new singer Lynsey-Jane Barrow and with the return of Dale Longworth.
With rumours in the air about a fourth album, N-Trance keep pushing the boundaries with their epic sounds, spectacular vocalists and overall brilliant performances.