TRANCE producer Will Atkinson continues to make waves on a global scale with a double whammy of releases over the next few weeks.

Throbbing new cut Fresh Meat has already been unleashed online and he is also set to release “his favourite track yet” in the form of Through Spirit.

One of the most impressive producers in Scotland’s electronic dance music (EDM) scene over the past few years, Atkinson’s euphoric sound is reminiscent of legendary names such as Armin Van Buuren and Paul Oakenfold.

It would be unfair to pigeon-hole him, however, as Atkinson’s renowned live sets touch on a variety of styles, from progressive house to funky techno.

Though an average year for the 23-year-old can include touring countries as far-flung as Argentina, Australia and South Korea, Atkinson first began DJing as an eight-year-old in Orkney. Remarkably, the biggest influence on his career was his mother.

“When people ask how I first got myself into this chaotic but thrilling mess, I’ll always mention my mum first,” says Atkinson. “She’s an incredible woman who sometimes, I feel, wants it more than I do. It was her who first hooked me on to Judge Jules’ Radio 1 show in the late 90s.”

The famous Radio 1 disc jockey is another figure who has provided Atkinson with a huge amount of support since he was a teenager.

“I was waiting outside the only club in Orkney in the pouring rain with my mum and our family dog just so he could sign a white label copy of a DJ Elite remix,” recalls Atkinson.

“After sending him a few really dodgy demos, he gave me my first Radio 1 exposure in 2008. He’s given me a lot of airplay since then.”

In that time, Atkinson’s style has evolved dramatically. Having meddled with the atmospheric trance genre since such a young age, he now seeks to infuse different elements of electronic music into his sets. “Only in these past 12 to 18 months have I started to find my sound,” he says.

“I have a standard set now and unless each track has the ‘Whoa, what is that?’ factor, I don’t see the point in releasing them.

‘‘Therefore, I’m looking to bring in my three different aliases – one focusing on darker, industrial grooves, one more progressive house-orientated, and my main approach of more up-tempo, driving trance sounds – and bring them together in a set.

“That would make for an exclusively interactive, emotional, face-melting journey. If it sounds terrifying, that’s because it is.”

This multifarious approach to producing music is perhaps distinct in a world where different electronic factions have become increasingly tribal. For example, after its 90s boom, trance dominated the European mainstream for many years, before falling out of favour thanks to the rise of breakdown-heavy house and dubstep. Atkinson, however, thinks that’s changing.

“I think trance is making a comeback. There are a lot of nights popping up around Scotland right now, which is great to see. Will the impact be as big as in, say, 2000? Who knows, because there are just so many sub-genres compared to over a decade ago. I’ve personally tried to take a step back and not tag myself with anything.”

Despite all the divisions and sub-genres, Scottish EDM seems to be in particularly rude health at the moment.

“It’s as healthy as it’s been for a long time,” says Atkinson. “Thanks to legends like Harri & Domenic, Slam, Silicon Soul and Soma Records, the scene is now thriving. I’d say the best place to experience trance to the fullest is in Glasgow itself. It’s an intense melting pot of utter mayhem and pounding trance. There’s no need to venture outside Scotland to experience the full package.”

So who is essential in Scottish EDM right now?


“Real classy house music” as Atkinson calls it, Synthwave producer Graeme Shepherd regularly pops up in Glasgow for shows. Combining Daft Punk-esque electro-house with 80s sheen and vocal hooks, his releases will appeal to fans of the Drive soundtrack.

Stephen Kirkwood

Glasgow-based progressive trance and techno producer. Kirkwood’s incredibly melodic style seems to be inkeeping with a current EDM trend. Atkinson reckons “it’s only a matter of time before he blows up”.

Nick Callaghan

Atkinson’s frequent production partner, Callaghan’s tracks have managed to hit No1 on the coveted Beatport charts (a big deal in electronic music). “Nick and I came up together around the same time,” says Atkinson. “He’s really on the button. He keeps me updated with a lot of the new music I’m playing in clubs and on the radio at the moment.”


Along with Calvin Harris and more recently Hudson Mohawke, Rustie is one of the biggest successes in Scottish EDM. Having released projects on the renowned Warp Records and Hyperdub, the producer from Pollokshields is about to embark on a massive tour of the United States.