In the summer of 2013, Above & Beyond performed some of their best-loved songs acoustically as part of a 15-piece band, across four sold out shows at London’s famous Porchester Hall which formed the basis of the Above & Beyond “Acoustic” studio album. The album was recorded in the spring and summer of 2013 and features a 24-piece orchestra.
“The acoustic project is a reconnection with the musicians that we were before we met”, said Above & Beyond’s Tony McGuinness. “The songs have been on an interesting journey to get here because we tend to write in a fairly acoustic way anyway. We don’t just stick a bit of vocal over a dance track – that’s not how we work. We try to start with a song and it’s usually only later down the line that we take certain elements from that song and progress them into a more dancefloor-friendly version”.
With Above & Beyond “Acoustic”, the group are putting aside their CDJs and lighting rigs to showcase their deeply-rooted musicianship and classical training. A band first and foremost, Above & Beyond are songwriters as much as they are DJs. Working with three singers, a string quartet, harpist, drummer and bassist, Above & Beyond are pushing the boundaries of dance music. Tony McGuinness sings and plays guitar, mandolin and ukulele, Paavo Siljamäki plays the grand piano and cello, and Jono Grant plays the Rhodes piano, guitar and vibraphone.