Toronto-based artist Arnej has always produced by his own rules, whether it be under his 8 Wonders or Arney S. alias. He has consistently played with a good range of sound, and now we get the first compilation album released on his Arnej Music record label.  With this mix, it seems like Arnej has settled comfortably into the dark world of the progressive tech trance sub-genre. What I love most about the tracklist is the long list of brand new songs, many of which are exclusive to CD.

The album opens up with a great overture designed especially to introduce the rest of the mix. No time is wasted as an impressive remix by Celluloid enters the picture, and this is followed by another great track made by Tim Penner.  Taras Bezev and Maxim Yurin’s Play With Me is one of my favorite from this album, which leads into a melodic change in pace with one of Arnej’s new productions, No Turning Back. Up next is another amazing track by KhomHa, and that is followed by 3 electro-inspired songs, all made by talented producers who are all new to me. Things get techy again with the hard hitting Alex Di Stefano remix of Puerto Rico, and the very creative use of Sam Jackson’s voice adds more anger into the already fieryVengeance Vengeance by Leon Bolier. Towards the end of the mix we hear three more Arnej songs, including one collaboration with Orjan Nilsen on The Music Makers. I’m not a big fan of Dark Side of the Moon, but X is an Arnej classic. Morvan’s Sahara and Epical by Deehec add some melodic character before the album concludes with Painting Heaven Together.

Compared to the Tranceposition album he released in 2008, this one exceeds it on all counts. The mixing is great, the tracklist is excellent, and the flow is much imroved. I was pretty impressed with this album and it has already been through a few cycles on my music player. Arnej is currently traveling on his Musical Evolution tour, so try to catch him if you can.

Arnej – Musical Evolution : The First Chapter
01 Arnej – Musical Evolution (Overture)
02 Grube & Hovsepian and Klauss Goulart – Territory (Christopher Vassilakis & Basil O’Glue Pres. Celluloid Remix)
03 Tim Penner – Misuto
04 Bobina – Pune
05 Taras Bezev and Maxim Yurin – Play With Me
06 Arnej – No Turning Back
07 KhomHa – It Akts (Sunrise Mix)
08 Dave Emmanuel Presents DEH – Drop It
09 1Touch – Jealous
10 Emin K. and Ansarov – Adrenaline
11 Balthazar and Jackrock – Puerto Rico (Alex Di Stefano Remix)
12 Dyor featuring Matthew Hill – On The Road (Ricky T Mix)
13 Leon Bolier – Vengeance Vengeance
14 Arnej vs Orjan – The Music Makers
15 8 Wonders – X (Original Mix)
16 Ernesto & Bastian – Dark Side Of The Moon (Arnej Club Edit)
17 Morvan – Sahara
18 Deehec – Epical
19 Behind The Sunset – Painting Heaven Together