Here is another catch up album that is worth sharing with you guys. Romanian DJ/producer Claudia Cazacu has been on my radar for a couple of years now, as her productions have been solid and her Haute Couture radio mixes are always fun to listen to. She released a lot of impressive tunes through Spinnin’s sublabels, including 2Play, Reset, and Liquid, so it’s not surprising that she was able to set up her own label with Spinnin’, titled Couture. Both mixes are equally good, with the second one being more trancey. This is not a collection of brand new tunes, but Claudia does a nice job incorporating several hot tracks from earlier this year. Productions by Marcus Schossow, Thomas Sagstad, Artento Divini, Greg Downey, and Sied van Riel highlight this album for me, but I am impressed with the overall package Claudia has put together. If her live sets are anything like her radio show, I will be eagerly awaiting her visit to California.
01 John OO Fleming – 0MMX1215 (21street remix)
02 Dhillon – Firefly Delta (original mix)
03 Marcus Schossow & Thomas Sagstad – Dome (original mix)
04 Marvicks & Dirty Dot – Riser (original mix)
05 Afrojack – Bangduck (Moguai remix)
06 Hard Rock Sofa & St Brothers – Blow Up (Thomas Gold vs Axwell remix)
07 Jenya Solid – Blackout (original mix)
08 Jon Kong & Chris Aidy & Ana – Apollo (original mix)
09 Save The Robot – Big Ben (original mix)
10 Greg Downey presents RICO – Game Face (original mix)
11 Artento Divini – Lift Off (original mix)
12 Umek – Robot Audience (Dataminions remix)
13 Atem Niblz – Mirror (original mix)
14 Kyoshi – Speed Thai Chi (original mix)
01 Sied van Riel & Claudia Cazacu – Lights Off (original mix)
02 Smart Apes & Amex – Silent Wave (Marc Simz remix)
03 Jochen Miller – Troucid (original mix)
04 Mark Sherry – Phantasmic (original mix)
05 dARe – Lost In Madagascar (BVibes remix)
06 Chris Schweizer – Euphoria (original mix)
07 Paul Ercossa – Ercogen (original mix)
08 Jace Williams – Relay (original mix)
09 Claudia Cazacu – Maison (original mix)
10 RAM vs Nash & Lake – Never Ever (original mix)
11 Vicky Devine & Marcos – Forgotten Lies (feat Hayley Parsons – original mix)
12 Ernesto vs Bastian – God Is A DJ (dub mix)
13 Q’Bass – Fatal Dirt (original mix)
14 Hemstock & Jennings – Mirage (Of Hope) (Sied van Riel dub mix)
Let’s begin the week with a great release from High Contrast Recordings. This album came out about a month ago, but I am slowly catching up on stuff I have not shared yet. The man behind the Tekelec label has put together this two disc mix to showcase some of the upcoming HCR releases. The end product is a great selection of techy tunes, including solid productions by Erick Strong, Fafaq, Jacob van Hage, Rafael Frost, and Orjan Nilsen. There are also three new songs by Ali Wilson, including a nice one featuring youngin Matt Smallwood. Two older tracks, Ernesto & Bastian’s Dark Side of the Moon and Lange’s Songless have been reworked by Marc Simz and Mark Sherry, respectively. Coming off the release of his Phenomenon album last year, Ali Wilson’s career is steadily gaining momentum. His style is a fusion of Marco V and Marcel Woods, which is enjoyably right down my alley. If you haven’t heard of Ali Wilson yet, check out his work on this compilation.
01 Dyor feat. Matthew Hall – On The Road (Ricky T Remix)
02 Dennis Sheperd & Alan Morris feat. Sue McLaren – I Die (Alan Morris Club Mix)
03 Erick Strong – Muffin
04 Aerofoil vs E&G – Plank Effect (Original Mix)
05 Marco V & Damian William – Essence
06 Fafaq – Rocket Fuel
07 Nightstylers feat. Dan Brown – The More I See (Original Mix)
08 Orjan Nilsen – Atchoo! (Original Mix)
09 Shy Brothers – New Wave
10 Jacob van Hage – Convoi (Original Mix)
11 Lange – Songless ft. Jennifer Karr (Mark Sherry Outburst Remix)
12 Ali Wilson & Matt Smallwood – Kontrast
13 Lay & Browne – Ten City (Original)
14 W&W & Mark Sixma – Twist (Rick Mitchells & Bas van Essen Remix)
15 Manuel De La Mare & Luca Monticelli – Guerrilla (Original Mix)
16 Marcel Woods – Inside Me (Bassjackers Remix)
01 Protoculture – Liquid Logic (Original Mix)
02 Jochen Miller – Flashback
03 Ernesto vs Bastian – Dark Side Of The Moon (Marc Simz Remix)
04 Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Chriss Ortega – Ocean Drive (Protoculture Remix)
05 Ben Nicky – Lifeline (Original Mix)
06 Snatt & Vix – Loco Motion (Original Mix)
07 Ben Gold – Colossal (Rafaël Frost Remix)
08 Ali Wilson – Turbulence
09 Matias Faint – Casino Fire (Original Mix)
10 Niclas G – Finder
11 Ralphie B – Epic Battle (Original Mix)
12 JOOP & Raneem – PLUR
13 P.H.A.T.T. – Organised Chaos (Original Mix)
14 Orjan Nilsen – Viking (Original Mix)
15 Ali Wilson – Elpis’ Calling
I did not expect a release like this from Enhanced Recordings, but I’m glad they put this thing together. With Bryan Kearney and John 00 Fleming at the helm, we are treated to two pretty different perspectives on the way trance music should be heard. J00F’s disc is nice and dark as he mixes great productions by Moshic, Subtara, db, and a few of his own tunes. DuoTekk and Cosmithex are producers I am new to, but their new tracks are impressive as well. As expected, Disc 1 offers a wide selection of psytrance songs, and there’s no one better than J00F to mix them all together. Bryan’s mix tells a different story as he plays mostly faster tech-trance. He quickly mixes 23 songs into his CD, and they are all bumpin, high-energy tracks. If you like your trance at 140bpm, you will definitely enjoy Bryan’s work here. Towards the end of his mix there are several very good uplifting tracks, so make sure you check those out too. Underneath the music you will find an interview with Bryan, where he discusses his recent work and favorite artists.
CD1 – mixed by John 00 Fleming
01 Moshic – Peace Can Be Maintain (Original Mix)
02 Relaunch – Eternal Light (Original Mix)
03 Domased Electronica feat. Venes – Dark & Light (Original mix)
04 John ’00’ Fleming featuring Sascha Cooper – Fight The Darkness (Subtara Progressive Remix)
05 Airwave – Hello World (Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic Remix)
06 Ivan Nikusev – Aurora (Airwave Breaks Remix)
07 Spektre – Harpoon (Alex Di Stefano remix)
08 DuoTekk – Zlow (Original Mix)
09 Cosmithex – Alchemy (Original Mix)
10 The Digital Blonde – Rain Song (Original Mix)
11 John ’00’ Fleming – Finding Ganesha (Original Mix)
12 E-Clip – Existence (Original Mix)
13 Burn In Noise – Vuuv Festival Celebration (Original Mix)
CD2 – mixed by Bryan Kearney
01 Bryan Kearney – Our Deepest Fear (Intro)
02 Pe & Ban – Remake Yourself (Original Mix)
03 Lee Haslam – Crash, Bang, Wallop (Reaky Remix)
04 Gary Maguire – Puns (Original Mix)
05 David Moleon – Monotension (Original Mix)
06 David Moleon – Ovalo (Original Mix)
07 David Moleon – Tinitu (Original Mix)
08 Mark Leanings – Dropshot (Bryan Kearney Remix / JOC Playma Edit)
09 Andrew Candid & John Dopping – Savannah (Indecent Noise Remix)
10 Peter Plaznik – The Werewolf (Original Mix)
11 Jamie Walker – Mind Games (Original Mix)
12 Bryan Kearney presents KARNEY – Ridiculous (Mark Young & Damo Kay Remix)
13 John O’Callaghan – Raw Deal (Original Mix)
14 John Dopping – Cognition (Bryan Kearney’s Heads Down Remix)
15 Man With No Name – Teleport (Nick Sentience Remix)
16 Bryan Kearney & Jamie Walker – We’ll Never Die (Original Mix)
17 Mark Leanings – Guiding Light (Original Mix)
18 Daniel Kandi pres. 147 – Insert Generic Title (Original Mix)
19 John O’Callaghan – Psychic Sensor (Original Mix)
20 Ronny K – Unstoppable (5YAMC Anthem)
21 TrancEye – Uriel (Original Mix)
22 Defcon Audio feat. Julie Harrington – Lost In You (Jamie Walker Remix)
23 Monada – Sunny Day (Original Mix)
With the release of Passion – The Album, Vol 2 mixed by John 00 Fleming and Bryan Kearney this week, we sat down with the Irishman to catch up on recent happenings and his mix!
1. Where does Enhanced Music find you at this moment in time?
I am currently just home after a recent tour of India where I had an absolutely fantastic experience. I was also at the Republic Of Ireland game last night and we qualified for the European Championships for the first time since 1988, the whole country is absolutely buzzing so it’s safe to say I’m in quite a good place right now.
2. Having just played the closing set in the sold out main room of Passion last Saturday, what did you make of the night? Did you enjoy your set?
I thought it was absolutely amazing and it honestly felt like the old days of clubbing. I was absolutely delighted to be a part of the night and I was even happier to see the event go so well for Genix and Jimmy as they are both top lads who do a great job at Passion. Passion is a club that I hold close to my heart as it’s the first ever club that I played in the UK and it’s one of my favourite places to play aswell. I always have an absolutely amazing time there. It was amazing to see people queuing outside the club from about 9 P.M as that’s not something that we really see much of in the economic times that we are experiencing at the moment. The atmosphere was incredible, the club looked unbelievable and from what I could see everybody had the time of their lives. I really did enjoy my set, I played a mixture of old and new tracks and it was brilliant to see so many people stay in the club right till the end. It was a top night.
3. You have been on tip of everyone’s tongue in recent times as one of the hottest DJ’s to watch and have become a valuable addition to most trance events, particularly in the UK. Can you describe what that’s like and tell us your secret?
I’m don’t think there’s any real secret to my success really, I just have a lot of passion for what I do and I work extremely hard. I play a highly energetic diverse sound so I think that appeals to a lot of different people. I’m extremely happy that I’ve become quite a regular fixture at the big nights in the UK, particularly closing their events. My type of music really does work well at that time of the night/morning so maybe that’s one of the reasons. I also record a lot of my sets as a way of seeing how well I performed on the night. This means that I can continuously analyze my performances, what worked well, how certain tracks worked together and indeed how I can improve in the future. I am always refining my sound, adding new sounds or tracks and also removing stuff that doesn’t seem to work on the dance floor. To be honest I am really on the energetic trance buzz at the moment and I can see myself really bringing more and more of this to my sets.
4. CD 2 of Passion The Album Vol 2, mixed by yourself, includes a massive 23 tracks! Can you explain the technical skills that have gone into this mix?
The mix itself took me about three days to complete. I made the actual mix itself in Ableton and performed the mastering process using Cubase and Soundforge. I spent a lot of time making sure the levels were spot on. Most of the tracks selected are edited down by myself and the vast majority of the mix is mixed harmonically. I requested about fifty tracks in total but some labels weren’t exactly forthcoming with making their tracks available which is something I can completely understand but it can also limit what you can choose as there are certain restrictions in place. I think I made three drafts of the mix before I decided I was happy with the final result.
5. Can you take us through you’re mix and track selection. Any particular tracks that you can’t stop playing, and which of these rock the dance floors?
The mix starts off with some tracks from Pe & Ban, Reaky’s Remix of Lee Haslam and Gary Maguire. Nothing too intense but retaining a nice amount of energy. The mix then takes a step up with three tracks in a row from one of my favourite artists David Moleon. Definitely not for the faint hearted. I then begin to take the mix on a more tech trance route with tracks from myself, Mark Leanings, Peter Plaznik and Jamie Walker. I also made a special edit of my own track Ridiculous and John O’Callaghan’s Raw Deal especially for the CD, this track has being huge in my sets. After this the mix descends into out and out proper trance, uplifting with bags of energy. There is a brand new track from myself and Jamie Walker, Mark Leanings, Daniel Kandi, John O’Callaghan, Ronny K, TrancEye, Defcon Audio and I finish up with a track from Monada that is sure to put a smile on your face entitled Sunny Day. A nice way to finish up the CD.
6. Which DJ’s and producers are you currently backing and why?
Sebastian Brandt, Jamie Walker, John O’Callaghan, TrancEye, Will Atkinson, James Dymond, David Moleon, Indecent Noise, Tom Colontonio, and Arctic Moon. To be honest I am really on a trance buzz at the moment and I can almost feel myself taking a step back from the techy stuff to focus on some brand new material that will be based on the trance of older days.
7. As well as performing solo, you are also half the duo Indecent Kearnage, can you tell us more and how you would describe your sound?
The Indecent KEARNAGE sound is all about the amalgamation of a huge amount of sounds and the combination of trance and techno. There are a lot of mash-up’s, SMASH-UP’s, edits, reworks and remixes. It’s music for the dancefloor with minimal breaks.
8. From within the studio, what can we expect in the near future from Bryan Kearney? Any forthcoming remixes or collaborations we should watch out for?
I have recently just purchased a brand new studio PC that I have yet to get up and running so you can expect a significant increase in the amount of tracks from myself and indeed a huge improvement in terms of overall sound. I have being extremely limited with my production PC until now as it is six years old and struggles to cope with my demands but I’ve always been able to get the most out of it. I am going to focus on more brand new trance originals, proper high energy trance. I have started a number of new projects that will be unleashed when I get my new PC. I will be working on a remix of Centurion for John O’Callaghan, a new track with Jamie Walker is in the works and I will also be working on the follow up to Ong Namo. To be honest I don’t think I’ve made anything near what I’m capable of producing yet so it’s an exciting and challenging time for myself. I think I can step things up a level or two.
9. So you’re just back from India, how was it?
It was an incredible experience for myself. I was treated so well by the guys from TFI and they were unbelievably hospitable to me and made me feel right at home. I was also impressed by how passionate they were about music, they were really clued up and knew their stuff. They run events purely out of passion for music so I really love playing for promoters like that, it makes it extra special. I played in two cities, Mumbai on the Friday night and then in Hyderabad on the Saturday night. Both gigs were fantastic and it was great for me to play an extended set. I played in total for almost five hours over the course of the two nights and I recorded both sets. You can download them via my Facebook artist page. I’d also like to apologize for vomiting all over the VIP room in Hyderabad as I had far too much spicy food and far too much beer and whiskey so apologies to the cleaners for that one.
10. Your DJ diary & schedule has blossomed in recent years, looking back what would you say has been your favourite performance and going forward what are you excited for?
I don’t think I could pick a particular event as there have been so many amazing nights in recent times. I suppose the most important one so far was my performance at Sunrise Festival in Poland in 2008. I was playing alongside the likes of Armin, Tiesto and so many other huge names. I was completely unknown over there at that time and I ended up winning Best Set at the entire festival. This achievement was made all the better because it was voted for by the attendees of the event. The live recording of the event began to spread on the internet and to be honest I still consider it to be one of my best performances. Other notable events include Eurofest 2010, playing all the major nights in the UK and playing the final set ever at Inside Out. I’ve been extremely lucky to play at so many nights and I’m looking forward to expanding and progressing in the future.
11. Finally, can you tell us where we can go to tune in, and catch more Bryan Kearney?
You can catch me every single month on Afterhours.FM with my KEARNAGE show. The show takes place at 17.00 GMT on the 4th Saturday of each month. The show is also available as a monthly Podcast on iTunes. My LIVE sets are always available via my Facebook artist page – HERE and you can keep up to date with where I am playing by keeping an eye on my website – HERE “
Are you sick of Anjunabeats yet? Me neither, so the Anjuna-week continues with Above & Beyond’s latest compilation in the Anjunabeats series. This two disc collection continues to showcase the best of their label, including current favorites and upcoming releases. Going through the tracklist you will find all the usual Anjuna artists and their new productions. I think of these albums as the all-star versions of the Trance Around the World radio show, as most of these songs always get previewed on the show. Disc 2 does appeal to me more, mainly because there’s a bit more energy to it. Songs like Catch the Eye, Dyno, and the Maor Levi remix of Slow to Learn keep things moving along nicely. Disc 1 is pretty chill, and it is highlighted by new productions from Breakfast, Genix, and Oliver Smith. Of course it wouldn’t be an Anjunabeats compilation album without some tunes by Above & Beyond, and we are treated to four of them in this album. With a fresh tracklist and steadfast mixing, Above & Beyond have added another great album to this dependable series.
01 Above & Beyond – Tokyo
02 Parker & Hanson – Afterthought
03 Breakfast pres. Keyworth – Median
04 Cramp – RU116
05 Andrew Bayer & Matt Lange [feat. Kerry Leva] – In And Out Of Phase
06 Oliver Smith – New Dawn
07 Norin & Rad – Bloom
08 Above & Beyond – Formula Rossa
09 Maor Levi & Bluestone – On Our Own
10 Genix – Higher State
11 Oliver Smith – Symmetry
12 Above & Beyond [feat. Zoë Johnston] – You Got To Go (Kyau & Albert Remix)
13 Ost & Meyer – Britanica
14 Oliver Smith – Progress
01 Tate & Diamond [feat. Nicolai] – Electrified (Mat Zo Electrofied Dub)
02 Mat Zo – Bipolar
03 Above & Beyond [feat. Richard Bedford] – Every Little Beat (Myon & Shane 54 Summer Of Love Mix)
04 Jaytech – New Vibe
05 Andrew Bayer [feat. Molly Bancroft] – Keep Your Secrets
06 Arty – Kate
07 Jaytech – Overdrive
08 Super8 & Tab [feat. Jan Burton] – Slow To Learn (Maor Levi Club Mix)
09 Nitrous Oxide – iPeople
10 Mat Zo – Frequency Flyer
11 Mat Zo & Arty – Mozart
12 Cramp – Catch The Eye
13 Sunny Lax – Contrast
14 Mike Koglin vs. Genix – Dyno
Another year has passed and we are once again treated to another Subculture compilation put together by John O’Callaghan. This album follows the same formula as last year’s release and it definitely still works well. The first disc is a little bit more chill (by JOC standards), and there’s a lot more melodic and vocal trance. The second mix plays more along the lines of John’s live sets, with harder hitting tunes mixed in one after another. This release is packed with new tunes, including several by John himself. In disc 2, The Bailout and Centurion are among the best in the album, and Bogota in the first disc is also pretty good. In here you will find many tracks from all of John’s usual friends, including Neal Scarborough, Aly & Fila, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Nick Sentience, and Bryan Kearney. I do like the tracklist in the second disc a little bit more (you were right, Sean), but both are equally enjoyable. John’s Subculture tour is well underway, so you should definitely try to catch him if he stops by your town.
01 John O’Callaghan – Bogota (Intro Mix)
02 Neal Scarborough – Sequoia
03 John O’Callaghan & Betsie Larkin – Save This Moment (Gareth Emery Remix)
04 Aly & Fila – Rosaires (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
05 Sly One vs Jurrane – Tayrona (Activa Remix)
06 Tom Colontonio feat. CiBon – The Sun
07 Gary Proud – As One
08 Castaneda – Floor Control (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
09 A.R.D.I. feat. Irena Love – Memories
10 Chris Metcalfe – Cala Bassa
11 Paul Miller – Red Label
12 Aly & Fila feat. Jwaydan – We Control The Sunlight
13 John O’Callaghan & Giuseppe Ottaviani – Ride The Wave
14 Mark Leanings – Guiding Light
15 Full Tilt feat. Deirdre McLaughlin – Surrender (Sneijder vs John O’Callaghan Remix)
01 John O’Callaghan – The Bailout
02 Paul Oakenfold – Full Moon Party
03 Giuseppe Ottaviani – Go On Air
04 John O’Callaghan – Centurion
05 Wippenberg – U R (John O’Callaghan Urrr Edit)
06 David Forbes – S5000 (Dark Mix)
07 Sebastian Brandt – Ashes
08 Will Atkinson – Side by Side
09 Man With No Name – Teleport (Nick Sentience Remix)
10 Andrew Candid & John Dopping – Savannah (Indecent Noise Remix)
11 John O’Callaghan – Raw Deal
12 Jamie Walker – Mind Games
13 Stevie Cripps – Soul Fire (John O’Callaghan Remix)
14 William Daniel – Type R (Will Atkinson Remix)
15 Mark Leanings – Dropshot (Bryan Kearney Remix / JOC Playma Edit)
16 Jonathan Carvajal – Switched Off (JOC Edit)
17 Bryan Kearney presents Karney – Ridiculous (Mark Young & Damo Kay Remix)
18 Sneijder – Facelift
19 Indecent Noise – Warsaw (Tech Edit)
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
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
Across all genres of the music industry, the best way to become commercially successful is by putting out a product that is widely accepted by the general public. Armin has always been ahead of the game in terms of his marketing approach, but there is one other strength which I believe has helped him reach the top of the charts. Armin’s work has always been able to appeal towards a large population of listeners all around the world. The key to his success is by playing easy listening trance, stuff that can be enjoyed readily by everyone, no matter where they are located, how much money they make, or whatever faith they believe in. It is because of this concept that Armin has received global recognition as one of the best DJs in the dance music scene. This latest release in his Universal Religion series plays right along with this theme, as Armin continues to provide new music for his loyal audience.
Once again we get a live recording from one of Armin’s summer shows in Ibiza. This year’s edition has been stretched to a two-disc release, which can be good or bad, depending on how much you enjoy Armin’s latest mixes. My only concern is now there isn’t much difference between this release and the annual A State of Trance album, except that one is recorded live and the other is mixed in a studio. How will Armin distinguish these two series in the future? My favorites from the first disc include Shogun’s Space Odyssey, Liquid Logic by Protoculture, and the collaboration between Mike Koglin and Genix on Helion. The second half of Disc 2 is the best part of this release, which includes some nice work by Giuseppe Ottaviani, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Re:Locate, and Robert Nickson. The intro track by Andrew Bayer and the Deep Universe remix of The Atmosphere are dope as well. My interest in most of these songs has become somewhat limited, but I still appreciate what Armin is doing for the trance community. This album by no means reaches the excellency of the 2004 edition, however it still introduces some nice new tunes in a live environment, so it’s worth checking out.
Universal Religion Chapter 5
01 Ashley Wallbridge – Vision (Intro Edit)
02 BT & Adam K – Tomahawk
03 Gofman & Tsukerman – Darko
04 Shogun – Space Odyssey
05 Hannah – Falling Away (Armin van Buuren Remix)
06 Andy Moor feat. Sue McLaren – Fight The Fire (Stoneface & Terminal Remix)
07 Protoculture – Liquid Logic
08 Dennis Sheperd & Cold Blue feat. Ana Criado – Fallen Angel (Dennis Sheperd Club Mix)
09 Markus Schulz presents Dakota – Terrace 5 a.m.
10 Gaia – Stellar
11 Susana – Home (Daniel Kandi Retrofit Remix)
12 Mike Koglin vs Genix – Helion
13 Jorn van Deynhoven – Spotlight
14 Ferry Corsten feat. Armin van Buuren – Brute
01 Andrew Bayer – Counting The Points
02 Kid Alien – The Atmosphere (Klauss Goulart’s & Mark Sixma Deep Universe Remix)
03 Space RockerZ & Tania Zygar – Puzzle Piece (Daniel Heatcliff’s Farewell Remix)
04 Alexander Popov – Elegia
05 Emma Hewitt – Colours (Armin van Buuren Remix)
06 Ashley Wallbridge & Gareth Emery – Mansion
07 DNS Project – Exclusive (Bigroom Edit)
08 John O’Callaghan & Giuseppe Ottaviani – Ride The Wave (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
09 James Dymond – Gundam
10 Daniel Kandi – Saggitarius
11 Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Sylvia Tosun – An Angels Love (Vocal Mix)
12 Paul Oakenfold – Full Moon Party
13 Re:Locate vs Robert Nickson – Resource
14 Orjan Nilsen – Viking
Solo albums constitute the major pillars of every artist’s career. Three years after the release of his debut album Supernaturalistic, Sander van Doorn continues to build his legacy with this second album from the studio. While the first CD was edgy and full of surprises, this new one showcases a mature, more refined style that Sander has not really demonstrated before. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed upon the first listen, but only because I was expecting all the tracks to be as mind blowing as Daisy or Reach Out. However, after putting on my headphones and giving it a few more shots, I came to discover that the old-school style which I love is still here, it’s just more deeply rooted amongst some of the newer stuff. Let me explain what I mean by going through the tracks.
The biggest difference with this album is the unexpected yet welcomed use of vocals in 5 of the 12 songs, including the super catchy Believe featuring Belgian singer Tom Helsen. The vocals are all used very tastefully, but I’m still highly anticipating the dub versions of Timezone and Love is Darkness to be released. No offense to the vocalists and songwriters, but there’s just something about a Purple Haze track where you just want to experience it by itself. Another major distinction with this album is the appearance of several other producers who have helped craft a few of these tunes. The three songs with Sidney Samson, Laidback Luke, and Adrian Lux are all pretty solid with the diverse flavors each producer contributes, however I still believe Sander is the most creative when he works by himself. Out of all the new previously unreleased tracks, my favorite ones are Drink to Get Drunk, Kitten, Track 12, and the very clever Slap My Pitch Up with it’s beautiful humming bassline. Not surprisingly, these are the ones that most closely resemble the techy style that we have all come to love from Sander. The simple yet highly addictive Koko has been out for a while now, but I’m still not sick of it even though it plays every time my cell phone rings. Nano and Beyond Sound are perfect examples that show off the fresh, softer side of Sander as he serves up some nice melodies in those tracks.
Overall I am pretty pleased with this release. Sander has definitely surprised me with his newer style on some of the songs, but it’s nice to hear him broaden his range and add to his skill-set. I’m sure all of the vocal productions and collaborations will bring in new listeners, and there is still enough of that old school, high-energy, attacking style to be found in this album. In terms of evolving his sound and experimenting with new approaches, Sander has taken 13 steps in the right direction with Eleve11.
Sander van Doorn – Eleve11
01 Love Is Darkness feat. Carol Lee (Interlude)
03 Believe feat. Tom Helsen (Album Version)
05 Rolling The Dice with Sidney Samson feat. Nadia Ali (Album Version)
06 Beyond Sound (Godskitchen Urban Wave Mix)
07 Timezone feat. Frederick
08 Drink To Get Drunk
09 Who’s Wearing the Cap with Laidback Luke (Album Version)
10 Slap My Pitch Up
11 Eagles. Sander van Doorn & Adrian Lux
Let’s bring it down to a whole different level with this throwback from 2003. I haven’t shared much of James Holden’s work, so I figured I would start with my favorite compilation of his. I enjoy this one the most because it lies exactly halfway between his experimental side and his commercially popular material. James’ creativity shines at both ends, however this compilation is the most complete because it blends tracks from across the entire spectrum.
The first mix is definitely more melodic and danceable, while the second one verges on eccentric. Favorites from Disc 1 include the beautiful intro The Difference It Makes, Oshawa, All Together, and the amazing Real. I have never been able to enjoy the vocals from Do What You Want, but the two versions of Nathan Fake’s Outhouse certainly make up for that. PQM’s You Are Sleeping is a mesmerizing classic release from Yoshitoshi Recordings. The last two songs from the disc set up the second disc perfectly, as they dial up the sonal intensity. Disc 2 is a little darker in mood and the uniqueness of each individual track really stands out. Tracks like Colours, Hayling, Lifeformation, and Forme are all exceptional. Others such as The Wheel, Black Acid, and Ghetto Server are perfect examples showcasing the complex medley of sound that Holden brings with this album.
If you are looking for a journey through an electronic dreamland, James Holden is the captain for you. This album encompasses so many different aspects of electronic dance music in one balanced package. Disc 1 has more structure and consistency to it, so that is my preferred mix out of the two. I have listened to it repeatedly, and I am still hearing new sounds which were previously unheard. I also find it amazing how James is able to build so much tension without using big breakdowns. The mixing (primarily done using Pro Tools) is seamless. Oftentimes I would start listening to the album and before I knew it, I would be halfway through it without noticing any track changes. The Balance series has seen 19 releases so far, and I believe this is the best one. Take your time and give this a few listens, there are enough colors on this pallet for you to explore over and over again. If you enjoy this album and are looking for something even more intricate, check out At the Controls, which came out in 2006. Balance 005 was released on EQ Recordings from Australia, begin your journey here:
01 The MFA – The Difference It Makes (Original Mix)
02 Meta.83 – Metalgroove
03 Jake Fairley – Oshawa
04 Zeta Reticula – Tool 1
05 Petter – All Together
06 Baby Ford & The Ifach Collective – Bad Friday
07 Zeta Reticula – Tool 3
08 Avus – Real
09 DJ ESP – No Future (Soundburnt mix)
10 Jase From Outta Space featuring Claire – Do What You Want (Infusion’s Sky mix)
11 Nathan Fake – Outhouse (Fluffy mix)
12 Nathan Fake – Outhouse (Original Mix)
13 FortDax – Fortune Telling Fish, Curled to Suggest ‘Home’
14 PQM – You Are Sleeping (PQM meets Luke Chable Vocal pass)
15 Petter – These Days (Instrumental)
16 Herrmann & Klein – Leaving You Behind (Without Knowing Where To Go)
01 Meek – Happy
02 Meerkat – Colours (JH re-edit)
03 Avus – Your Body (Original Mix)
04 Scape One – PFX Tokyo
05 FC Kahuna – Hayling (Kosmas Epilson mix)
06 Holden – The Wheel (Pass 1)
07 Kotai + Mo – Black Acid pt 1
08 Epsilon 9 – Lifeformation (Infimal Machine mix)
09 Carl A Finlow – Ghetto Server
10 Gill Norris – Forme
11 Ficta – Eli
12 Petter – Tonediary
13 Form & Function – Wonderland (Original Mix)
14 Meta.83 – Metalgroove ep:End Titles