This throwback is inspired by the recent release of Chapter 5 in Armin van Buuren’s Universal Religion series. Like all the others, this one is also a live recording of one of his sets in Ibiza. This is technically Chapter 2, and it was recorded from Armada at Amnesia in August 2004. My buddies Sean and Manny both agree that this is one of Armin’s best releases, and it’s extremely hard to argue against that. The mix is planned out perfectly with high quality tracks that compliment each other very well, creating an absolutely amazing flow from start to finish.
The event starts out with a great intro song by Synergy, which is comprised of Andreas Hermansson and David Westerlund, aka David West. Next up is The World Doesn’t Know, the hugely popular hit co-produced by Andy Moor. That blends smoothly into Why, an Xpander-esqe production written by a Lolo, one of the many aliases of the legendary Airwave. Just when you thought Andy Moor was out of the picture, Armin plays another one of his 2004 hits, the dreamlike remix of Ridgewalker’s Find, featuring the breezy vocals of Eleanor Kenny. Up next is the deep and driving External Key, produced by the Audioholics. This one-track collaboration is certainly a special one, as it involves the amazing work of Ozgur Can and David West. Perry O’Neil’s Waveforce was another smash hit in 04, and its guitar riffs fit wonderfully into the balearic theme of this album. After that comes another dreamy vocal track, produced by Deepsky and released on Deep Dish’s Yoshitoshi label, with Markus Schulz on the remix. This one transitions beautifully into Probspot’s Foreplay, which is definitely one of the highlights of this mix. After this things start to speed up, starting with Above & Beyond’s Surrender, featuring Carrie Skipper as a vocalist. Super8’s remix of Voller Sterne is just as impressive with its nice breakdown and smooth main melody. Armin then proceeds to keep things trancey with the euphoric character of CQ, produced by Randy Boyer and Eric Tadla, who recently passed away three years ago at the young age of 33. The last three songs are all high energy closers, with all of them coincidentally being two-person collaborations. Tracks 12 and 14 feature the talents of M.I.K.E., with Ron Hagen and Pascal M’s The Timelord mixed in between. The only track that Armin laid his hands on was the last one, which was co-produced with M.I.K.E.
Overall this album has a very progressive feel to it, and Armin does a superb job mixing all of it together flawlessly. With such a solid track list featuring many talented producers, this album is a must have for all trance lovers. It is undoubtedly the best in the Universal Religion series, and it could be quite possibly the best in Armin’s entire compilation catalog.
Universal Religion 2004 – Live from Armada at Ibiza
01 Synergy – Hello Strings
02 Tilt – The World Doesn’t Know
03 Lolo – Why?
04 Ridgewalkers – Find (Andy Moor Mix)
05 Audioholics – External Key
06 Perry O’Neil – Wave Force
07 Deepsky – Talk Like A Stranger (Markus Schulz Mix)
08 Probspot – Foreplay
09 Above & Beyond pres. Tranquility Base – Surrender
10 Mirco De Govia – Voller Sterne (Super 8 Remix)
11 EnMass – CQ (Seek You)
12 Active Sight – Out Of Our Lives
13 Signum – The Timelord
14 Armin vs. M.I.K.E. – Intruder
Check out the CD insert (click to enlarge):