Armin Van Buuren: 24 Hour DJ : The Record The world's most popular DJ gives himself a new challenge: a 24 hour radio show.
NPR logo Armin Van Buuren: 24 Hour DJ

Armin Van Buuren: 24 Hour DJ

In case he gets sleepy. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Armin Van Buuren has been ranked #1 in DJ Magazine's top 100 most popular DJs for the past three years. Today, he releases his fourth album, Mirage, and with this release, has announced a new 24 hour program on Sirius satellite radio. Since 2001 the Dutch DJ has hosted a weekly two-hour segment, called "A State Of Trance," that has a reported 10 million weekly listeners in over 30 countries worldwide, making it one of the most listened to music shows on radio, and Van Buuren one of the most listened to artists in the world.

"A State of Trance" is a two hour, uninterrupted block of the latest in trance and progressive house. The new program, "A State of Sundays," is the same thing, just 12 times longer. Van Buuren made the announcement about an hour before his headlining set at last week's Electric Zoo Festival in New York City, where over 20,000 people gathered around the main stage to see his performance. The first installment of "A State of Sundays" was broadcast on September 12, and featured a six-hour set by Van Buuren recorded in Ibiza and guest sets by other DJs.

Trance has a fast paced tempo that ranges from 130 to 140 beats per minute, (compared with an average of 80-100 for Hip Hop), and tends to be layered with domineering synthesizers. It is a genre typically associated with dancing, often in large crowds, but as Van Buuren pointed out when I spoke with him just before his set at Electric Zoo, his radio show offers this music outside of a club or festival setting.

"The thing about radio is that it still leaves a lot to the imagination, where TV doesn't. You can listen to radio when you're in the car; when you go running; when you're doing other stuff in your house ... you don't need to watch it, you can do other things," he says. "In all honesty, music — and radio — is just trembling air, nothing more nothing less. But its what that trembling air does to you and me as human beings is what's interesting to me. Music is essential for our lives, and when you listen to radio the focus is purely on that medium. Radio really gets to your soul, and that's what I like about it."

Considering the voracity of Van Buuren's supporters, its safe to assume some of his listeners will tune in for all 24 hours of the show. What will a full day with a soundtrack of trance feel like? A few predictions:

1. Sunday will no longer be a day of rest, but a day of cathartic movement, where the number of people dancing at sunrise will reach a new all time high.

2. Countrywide endorphin levels will fluctuate in two-minute time cycles, rising and falling with the mix's buildups and breakdowns.

3. Manufacturers of LED lights will see a spike in their share values.

Got any plans this Sunday? Could you listen to 24 consecutive hours of any kind of music?