Introduction: They’re one of Europe’s most established, respected dance acts, having been catapulted to stardom by their debut release ‘Airwave’. In the 9 years that have followed they’ve continued to pack out the CD wallets of world’s A-list spinners with speaker-spankers that have included ‘Such is Life’, ‘Symfo’ and ‘Life Less Ordinary’… In 2009 they unleashed ‘L.E.D. There Be Light’ - a track that was quickly snapped up by ID&T as the anthem for that year’s Trance Energy event. Their Live and DJ sets induce floor-quakes before thousands of fans at clubs, arenas and festivals every single weekend. They are Piet Bervoets & Benno de Goeij… and they’re Rank 1.
Rank 1’s Year One - ‘Airwave’: After a chance introduction at a party in the spring of 1997, Benno & Piet recognised much common musical ground and decided to work together. As the Dutch trance dawn rose up over Europe, the pair found themselves faultlessly positioned at its epicentre to reign. Championed by fellow fast-risers Armin van Buuren, Tiësto and Ferry Corsten, in 1999 the stadium-sized sound of ‘Airwave’ sent out an audio shockwave across the continent. It proved to be such a hit that just 12 months later ‘Airwave’ had been released, incredibly, in over 40 countries – jumping into the Top 10 in the UK and becoming the first Dutch track to top the European Dance Chart.
The Rank 1 Singles: Working at the pace of roughly one floor-carnivore a year, Rank 1 followed-up with ‘Such is Life’ (2001), ‘Awakening’ (taken from their debut album ‘Symsonic’ - both 2002), ‘It’s up To You’ (2003), ‘Beats At Rank-1 Dotcom / After Me’ (2004) and ‘Opus 17 / Top Gear’ (2005). After a year’s production break they returned to the fray in '07 with two monster collaborations: ‘Life Less Ordinary’ (in tandem with Alex M.O.R.P.H.) and the ‘This World is Watching Me’, co-produced with Armin. The year after that the duo took the dancefloors by storm once again through their electro-boosted monster collaboration 'And Then' with the talented Jochen Miller. In 2009 Rank 1 became the ‘go-to’ men for event anthems, remarkably producing them for not one, but two world-class festivals. In February ‘L.E.D. There Be Light’ became the wildly-popular, Beatport-smash anthem for Trance Energy, while ‘Symfo’ was selected to define Poland’s colossal Sunrise festival. In 2010 they followed up with 'The Great Escape', the grand theme song to Poland's Entrance Festival and '100', a harmonious triple collaboration between them, Nic Chagall and Wippenberg to celebrate High Contrast Recordings' 100th milestone release. Another production break year followed with the guys returning to full force in early 2012 with the releases of the bigroom club smasher 'Wild And Perfect Day' (their third collaboration with Jochen Miller with vocals provided by Sarah Bettens) and the more tender 'Witness' (a vocal collaboration with Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren for their new album). Before the end of the year, the gents took a detour back to the roots of the trance genre by unleashing '7 Instead Of 8'; an innovative oldskool trance style track built on a seven times 4/4 measure rather than eight times. It received much support and praise for its nostalgic power by fans and colleagues alike. In fact, this very track led to a fan's request for them to collaborate with Belgian trance giant M.I.K.E. after the latter complimented them on 7 Instead Of 8. In 2013, this energetic clash-of-the-trance-titans collaboration 'Elements Of Nature' was unleashed, giving the fans an even stronger Millennial Trance feel than its predecessor! The Bigroom inspired speaker-spanker 'Floorlifter' was released only three months later and caused some expected damage on the international dancefloors throughout summer '13. Then, right before the end of the year, their Trance epic '13.11.11' saw the light of day, cleverly combining its +13 minute duration with its illusive title, specific tempo and winter release date. In 2014, the year of Rank 1's 15th anniversary saw them unleash an archetypical High Contrast styleblender called 'Freudenrausch' (with label mate Dennis Sheperd) as well as a modern electric interpretation of their '99 Mega Classic: 'Airwave (21st Century Mix)' was released on August 8th and sought to take dancefloors in modern fashion much like the original had done some one and a half decade before it.
The Rank 1 Remixes: Rank 1 also has an estimable remix-o-graphy to their name. Freddie Mercury, Ferry Corsten, Push, Cygnus X, Delirium, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Marcel Woods, Cosmic Gate, Mr Sam, Ronald van Gelderen, Angelic, Ayumi Hamasaki, Nu NRG, Conjure One and more have all been given Rank 1’s studio re-touch.
Piet the DJ, Benno the Producer: Rank 1 now has two distinct branches to its operation. Benno is in charge of all the Rank 1’s production elements. He co-produced many of the tracks on Armin van Buuren’s long-players ‘Imagine’ (2008) and Mirage (2010) and has been working on the third for a while now. Piet meanwhile takes the role of the globetrotting DJ, spinning at tent-pole events like Dance Valley in his native Holland and numerous international tours (including the US and asia) for the likes of Gatecrasher & Godskitchen. In 2009 Rank 1 found themselves re-entering the DJ Magazine Top 100 at No.77.
Rank 1 LIVE: Over recent years, Rank 1 has increasingly come together on stage for their Live performances. They became the first live act to perform at Sensation and famously forced the closure of doors of Trance Energy’s main arena (when 25,000 clubbers packed it out to hear them play). Their kinship with the biggest event in trance music is widely-known and they are the only live act to have rocked Trance Energy 4 times! Outside of that Rank 1 has continued to thrill crowds live at some Europe’s best-known festivals including Mystery Land, Sunrise & Nature One. In 2012 they blew up the stages at the EDC festival in Las Vegas, the Sunrise Festival in Poland and Nature One in Germany respectively.
Rank 1 - The Mindset: When it comes to interviews, Benno & Piet are, in essence the ‘Daft Punk’ of trance! Now famously reclusive, they don’t like the term ‘success’ as it implies they have already arrived. Instead, on the few occasions they do speak, they prefer to speak in terms of ‘progression’ & ‘perfection’. Ultimately though they are far happier to let their music do all the talking.
• Rank 1 - 13.11.11 > https://twitter.com/rank1official/status/389662015742279680
• Rank 1 - Airwave (21st Century Mix)
• Rank 1 & Dennis Sheperd - Freudenrausch
• Rank 1 - 13.11.11
• Rank 1 - Floorlifter
• Rank 1 vs. M.I.K.E. - Elements Of Nature
• Rank 1 - 7 Instead Of 8
• Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren with Rank 1 - Witness
• Rank 1 & Jochen Miller feat. Sarah Bettens - Wild And Perfect Day
• Nic Chagall, Rank 1 & Wippenberg - 100
• Rank 1 vs. Jochen Miller - The Great Escape
• Rank 1 - Symfo
• Rank 1 - L.E.D. There Be Light
• Rank 1 vs. Jochen Miller - And Then…
• Alex M.O.R.P.H. vs. Rank 1 - Life Less Ordinary
• Armin van Buuren vs. Rank 1 feat. Kush - This World Is Watching Me
• Rank 1 - Opus 17 / Top Gear
• Rank 1 - Beats At Rank-1 Dotcom / After Me
• Rank 1 - Conspiracy / Cosmomatic / Down From The Deep
• Rank 1 - It’s Up To You (Symsonic)
• Sensation - The Anthem 2003
• Rank 1 - Breathing (Airwave 2003)
• Rank 1 - Awakening
• Rank 1 feat. Shanokee - Such is Life
• Rank 1 - Airwave
• Rank 1 - Black Snow / The Citrus Juicer
• Giuseppe Ottaviani feat. Eric Lumiere - Love Will Bring It All Around
• Conjure One feat. Leigh Nash - Under The Gun (2 versions)
• Super8 & Tab feat. Julie Thompson - My Enemy
• Cosmic Gate - Fire Wire
• Mat Zo - 24 Hours
• Velvetine - Safe (Wherever You Are)
• Leon Bolier vs. Jonas Steur - Lost Luggage
• Ronald van Gelderen - Embrace Me
• Marcel Woods feat. MC Da Silva - On Fire
• Anton Sonin & AMX feat. Sari - Undone
• Alex Bartlett & Guess feat. Anthya - Touch The Sun
• JOOP - The Future
• Cosmic Gate - Analog Feel
• Freddy Mercury - Love Kills (3 versions)
• Ronald van Gelderen - This Way
• ATB - Humanity
• Mr Sam - Lyteo
• Angel City - Touch Me
• Push - Journey Of Life
• Jam X & De Leon - Mind Made Up
• Marc Aurel - Sound Of Love (3 versions)
• Ayumi Hamasaki - Dearest
• NU NRG - Dreamland
• Delerium - Underwater (2 versions)
• Ayumi Hamasaki - Far Away
• Angelic - It’s My Turn
• Baby D - Let Me Be Your Fantasy
• Cygnus X - Superstring (3 versions)
• System F - Cry
• Mary Griffin - Perfect Moment
• York - Reachers Of Civilization
• Tunnel Allstars - Blue Lagoon (3 versions)
• Rank 1 vs. Lucid - I Can't Help There Be Light (Rank 1 Mash-up)
• Rank 1 - Brairwave (Rank 1 Mash-up)
• Rank 1 - Untitled Track
• Gouryella - Ligaya (Rank 1 Remix)
• Chakra - Home (Rank 1 Remix)
• Rank 1 vs. Marco V & Benjamin Bates - Untitled Track
• Symsonic (+ DVD -Live At Trance Energy 2002)
• Trance Nation: Rank 1
• enTrance presents High Contrast (Mixed by Rank 1 & Jochen Miller)
• Trance Energy 2009 (Mixed by John O’Callaghan & Rank 1)
• Techno Club Vol. 28 (Mixed by Talla 2XLC and Rank 1)
• High Contrast Presents Rank 1
• A Trip In Trance 4
• ID&T Presents Rank 1
For a complete discography and sound samples of all their songs take a look at either http://www.bervoetsdegoeij.nl/ (much respect and credit to Gert Egscholten for having kept record of all Rank 1 releases throughout the years), http://ur1ft.blogspot.nl/ or http://www.discogs.com/artist/Rank+1.
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