Early years (1989-93)
Kevin O'Toole and Dale Longworth first met in 1989 at 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 trance 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, 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 and it was decided a female vocalist was needed for future records so sixteen year old Kelly Llorenna was drafted in to feature on lead vocals.
Set You Free was recorded at Revolution Studios in 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. After only one year with 380, their contract wasn't renewed, and after a brief spell uncontracted 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. It failed to enter the Top 75, reaching #83 in the charts.
Main article: Electronic Pleasure
In 1994, ' Set You Free ' was re-released achieving a higher chart position of #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 #23 in the UK & released in a number of European countries.
After a few years of performing live across the UK & Ireland, N-Trance's popularity and 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 #2 in the charts, selling over half a million copies & becoming the biggest selling dance record of that year. The single was also released worldwide.
The group recorded their first full-length album, Electronic Pleasure , in the summer of 1995 at Marcus Studios London & mixed at PWL Studios (The Bunker) London, which featured seven of the group's ever-expanding roster of vocalists, including David Grant ,Gillian Wisdom, Jerome Stokes, Viveen Wray, 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/writer 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 entered the charts at #2, and internationally it became one of the biggest UK exports of 1995, reaching #1 in Australia and being top 5 in a number of European charts.
Second album (1997-99)
The release of further commercially successful singles, like 'Electronic Pleasure', afforded N-Trance the possibility of building their own recording studio in Manchester called Deep Blue. 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 adaptations of Rod Stewart 's ' D'ya 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 . 1999 was also the year Dale Longworth retired from N-Trance leaving Kevin O'Toole to continue. O'Toole also decided to retire from performing live for the forseeable future.
Later years and Best of album (2000-03)
An album entitled The Best of N-Trance 1992–2002 was released in early 2001, backed by a Rob Searle trance remix of 'Set You Free' which reached #4 in October of that year. This was followed up almost exactly one year later with the hit song 'Forever' that reached #6
Whilst on a regular Friday night out Dale & Kevin had an idea of starting a new project called 'Freeloaders'. This produced the hit record 'So Much Love To Give' reaching #9, with the album 'Freshly Squeezed' following shortly afterwards. Jerome Stokes once again provided lead vocals & Vinny Burns played guitar/bass. N-Trance occasionally perform 'So Much Love To Give' on their live shows as part of a medley with 'Is This Love'.
The Mind Of The Machine (2009)
In February 2009, the group released 'The Mind Of The Machine' as their third studio 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. Dale Longworth helped out as writer & co-producer fi it's completion & the album was released as digital download only.
New line-up (2009 - Present)
After a huge search for a new lead singer Lynsey Jane Barrow auditioned & was given the job on the spot, & all auditions pending were cancelled. As Ricardo Da Force was unable to tour we asked MC B to be our official rapper. With DJ sets becoming increasingly more popular, Junior K also became our official DJ. We released the song 'Is This Love' on a Clubland compilation & have been working on a new album entitled 'Brainstorm' ever since.
In 2010 Glenn Jones designed our present logo & has worked with us for years designing our artwork & websites. He is an accomplished guitarist in his own right & his forward thinking regarding our interactive 1998 CD single 'The Mind Of The Machine' makes him an honorary member of N-Trance.
In March 2013 we received the devastating news that Ricardo Da Force had passed away. We had been due to work on some new tracks in 2013 with MC B & sadly never managed to record any demos. A track in his memory will be made for the next album, & we will digitally release music via our online label DaForce in the near future.
Exciting times ahead for N-Trance... we are in the studio writing & are embarking on a brand new live venture including established musicians joining us for a full Live Band experience. Full details can be seen in the 'Gig Guide' section of this website.
Cheers... Kevin O'Toole & Dale Longworth. :-)