Aside from the questionable cover, Armin has done it again! I have come to expect nothing short of greatness from the number 1 trance DJ in the world (in my eyes, not stupid DJ mag). This latest addition to the annual ASOT compilation contains the newest and hottest trance tunes from around the world. I’m actually not surprised that the double-CD contains mostly unreleased songs; Armin’s radio show ALWAYS plays tracks weeks, and sometimes months, before they are even released. I can safely say that he has the best access to all the new shit as he constantly reminds us that we should all be jealous of him. Who wouldn’t pay to have access to his email??? He probably gets hundreds of new tracks weekly, which makes me wonder where he gets the time to listen to all of them amongst all the traveling, touring, and producing. With all those tracks at his hands, it’s no wonder he can put out mixes with such great expertise. Ok let’s get down to the review.
The first CD is entitled “On the Beach”. This CD has an overall summer theme to it with bouncy, laid back beach tunes. When I first listened to it, I felt like I should be chillin on the sand, sippin on a Singapore sling. The beats are groovy, the melodies are chill, and the build-ups are smooth. Check out the guitar synths in “Riddles in the Sand” and you will know exactly what I am talking about. New tracks from The Blizzard, Andy Moor, Rex Mundi, and newcomer TyDi persist in locking you into that beach flow. If you are looking for a CD to chill out to or lounge with, this is definitely the one to bump in the background.
The second CD is called “In the Club”, and Armin definitely turns up the heat with this one. If the first CD compels you to cruise with the windows down in the warm summer air, this CD will definitely invoke feelings of speeding down the fast lane with your hands tightly gripping the wheel. When I was finally able to stop listening to the first CD, I was rewarded with these 15 beautiful tracks on the second CD. Which CD is better? I would say number 2, but that’s only because I prefer a faster bpm. If you love driving melodies and moving crescendos like I do, this is the CD for you. Armin has put together what I consider to be a collection of the best progressive trance on this CD. With great new tracks from Aly & Fila (always awesome) and Nitrous Oxide (3rd Moon), this second CD keeps you on that journey that only progressive trance listeners are familiar with. I’m not sure why Armin decided to start off with two Cosmic Gate tracks back to back, but they set the tone right with their prominent basslines. The first 5 tracks are pretty good, but Armin really opens it up with the great vocal track featuring Audrey Gallagher “Freefalling” from the ridiculously hot, very talented Claudia Cazacu. Armin also adds one of his own productions under his revived alias Gaia, while Alex M.O.R.P.H and Andy Blueman show why the are two of the best in the game with their ability to paint pictures using beautiful euphonics.
There aren’t any hard-hitters on this album with crazy beats, but I’m glad Armin didn’t include any tracks like that. He had a theme and he stuck with it, which leaves us with the most melodic ASOT up to this point. Last year’s album was alright, but this year’s CD brings ASOT back to the level that it hit in 2007. Great work, Armin!
CD 1 – On The Beach
1. John O’Callaghan feat. Lo-Fi Sugar – Never Fade Away (Andy Duguid Mix – On the Beach Intro Edit)
2. Sunlounger feat. Kyler England – Change Your Mind (Myon and Shane 54 Remix)
3. M6 – Paradise Lost
4. Ron Hagen & Pascal M – Riddles In The Sand
5. Mat Zo – The Fractal Universe
6. The Blizzard with Gåte – Iselilja (Sunn Jellie & The Blizzard Dub Remix)
7. Monogato – Miami Vibe (Omnia Remix)
8. Josh Gabriel presents Winter Kills – Deep Down
9. Myon and Shane 54 feat. Aruna – Helpless (Monster Mix)
10. tyDi feat. Audrey Gallagher – You Walk Away
11. Andy Moor & Ashley Wallbridge feat. Meighan Nealon – Faces
12. Rex Mundi feat. Susana – Nothing At All
13. Jerome Isma-Ae – Shaguar
14. Dash Berlin with Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren – Man On The Run (Nic Chagall Remix)

CD 2 – In The Club
1. John O’Callaghan feat. Sarah Howells – Find Yourself (Cosmic Gate Remix)
2. Fabio XB & Ronnie Play feat. Gabriel Cage – Inside Of You (Cosmic Gate Remix)
3. Gaia – Tuvan
4. Michael Tsukerman – Sivan
5. Cressida – Onyric (Stoneface & Terminal Remix)
6. Claudia Cazacu feat. Audrey Gallagher – Freefalling
7. Aly & Fila – Rosaires
8. Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Ana Criado – Sunset Boulevard
9. Signum – Addicted
10. Robert Nickson – Circles (Andy Blueman Remix)
11. Neptune Project – Aztec
12. Thomas Bronzwaer – Look Ahead
13. Phuture Sound feat. Angie – Come To Me (ASOT 2009 Reconstruction)
14. Dreastic – Blade Runner
15. 3rd Moon – Monsun