This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2013)
|Quartech, State of the Art, Freeloaders|
|Origin||Oldham, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Electronica, breakbeat hardcore|
|Labels||PWL / 380 Records (1991-92)
All Around The World (1992-pres.)
|Members||Kevin O'Toole (1990-pres.)|
|Dale Longworth (1990-99)|
N-Trance are a British electronic music group who were formed by Kevin O'Toole and Dale Longworth in 1991. The group has sold over 5 million records worldwide and some of their hit singles include "Set You Free", "Forever", as well as covers of the popular 1970s disco songs "Stayin' Alive", "D.I.S.C.O." and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?".
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 recording and use of equipment, however they began producing music which they thought was comparable to other rave music in the charts at the time.
Their first demo tape was a dance remix of the theme tune to Roobarb, a children's television show. The next record the group produced was a more credible dance track, consisting mainly of sampled music, 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 had 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 band names such as Quartech, but settled on changing their name and 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, joined by vocalist Kelly Llorenna.
Set You Free was recorded at Revolution Studios in Cheadle Hulme in July 1992, and it was pressed to 500 12" vinyl copies on promotional release. However, due to troubles within their record label, this song was not released as a single. N-Trance then chose to buy themselves out of their recording contract with 380 Records, after only one year with the company, and they signed 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 it failed to enter the Top 40, reaching No. 83 in the charts.
In 1994, "Set You Free" was re-released achieving a higher chart position of No. 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. This song was a fairly big hit, getting to No. 23.
After a few years of performing live over 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, reaching No. 2 in the charts and being 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, Ricardo da Force, formerly rapper with The KLF.
Upon its release in the UK it debuted at no. 2, and internationally it became one of the biggest UK exports of 1995, reaching no. 1 in Australia and being top 5 in a number of European charts.
The release of further commercially successful singles, like "Electronic Pleasure", afforded N-Trance the possibility of building their own recording studio, Deep Blue, in 1996. They spent the following year and a half recording their second full-length album, Happy Hour, which was eventually released in 1999.
Hit singles from the album included cover versions of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and 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 number 4 in October of that year.
In February 2009, 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.