Specializing in trance with an organic twist, York has proved to be one of the standout acts on the burgeoning German dance scene. The project is a collaboration between two brothers, Jörg and Torsten Stenzel, who are accomplished artists in their own right. Torsten was initially taken by classical music, but moved into dance during the early '90s and became one of the most prolific trance producers in Europe. Apart from York, his other main gig was working alongside Ralph Armand Beck on the Taucher and Diver & Ace projects, and he has also remixed and/or produced for such names as Moby, DJ Sakin, Faithless, Ayla, Kai Tracid, and Vanessa-Mae. Jörg, on the other hand, grew up with an interest in string instruments before shifting his attention to trance and house. He has also stacked up an impressive list of credits, working alongside Beck as well as DJ Sakin & Friends and DJ Tandu. His guitar work for York has received much praise over the years and is often cited as one of the main factors behind the duo's considerable success. York's aural assault on the club scene began in 1998 with the melodic trance single "Awakening." The track became a massive chart success the world over, including in the U.K. and on the famous party island of Ibiza, where German DJ/producers had become all the rage. That year, Torsten moved to Ibiza. In 1999, the brothers Stenzel chose to put out a cover of the old Chris Rea tune "On the Beach." The move proved a shrewd one, with the track making it into the Top Five on the U.K. singles chart. That same year, York were featured on Andre Tanneberger's (also known as ATB) popular trance number "Fields of Love." Their next foray into dreamy trance was the single "Farewell to the Moon." A hit throughout Europe, it featured the vocals of Pat Appleton.
York's hit singles were collected on their successful 2001 debut album, Experience. A second album, Peace, followed in 2005 and had more of a downtempo sound. By 2007, Torsten, disillusioned with the increasingly crowded and commercialized island of Ibiza, decided to move his family to Antigua. Naturally this led to York becoming more of a solo project, though the brothers continued to collaborate on some tracks. The next York album, 2012's Islanders, was heavily influenced by the sounds of the Caribbean and featured a plethora of guest artists, including Mike Oldfield. This one-off collaboration led to a full album the following year, Tubular Beats, which saw York reworking iconic tracks from Oldfield's back catalog. York's fourth album, Traveller, followed in 2016 and once again saw Jörg working with a multitude of artists. Heavily featuring live instrumentation, it was an album of two halves — one chillout disc with a thoughtful, melancholy vibe, and a more pumping disc with his typical euphoric trance sound. ~ David Peter Wesolowski & John D. Buchanan