MUSIC REVIEWS: TRANCE
Bird Feeder/The Walk
Tinlicker’s third since jumping Anjunadeep’s rails and landing on the ‘Beats’ side of the tracks. Wasting not a runtime second, ‘Bird Feeder’ putters, chugs, grooves and beguiles its way through six minutes of highly effective prog-trance engagement. Underpinned by bassy roll, well-written sub-melodies, mellow 303 and nifty beat dropouts/bring-backs, it retains its edge throughout. If that sounds good, check ‘The Walk’ while you’re at it. Leaner and more linear, but no lesser a track for it.
Gabriel & Dresden ft. Jan Burton
Keep On Holding (ilan Bluestone & Maor Levi Mix)
With producer, singer and remixer firepower that’s hard to argue with, this is a consummate appetite whetter for 2020’s ‘Remedy’ album. After the slower, cooler original, Bluestone & Levi naturally give ‘Keep On Holding’ a big push up the tempo and tone scale. In the transition, Jan Burton’s vocal loses little of its wrought angst, making this as good in the delivery as it was in its reckoning.
Space Howl EP
New three-pack from Lithuania’s Ankse. EP leader ‘Space Howl’ keeps its keel murky and authentically moody, while its mainline flies. No mean contrasting feat considering. ‘Back In Time’ has rhythmic drive, sprung bass and a lead note arrangement every bit as good as ‘Howl’s. ‘Mistika’ is a touch more mainline, but by the time you’re there, likely you’ll already be convinced of this EP’s merit.
Aly & Fila
Te Espero Aqui
Future Sound Of Egypt
Long have I waited for a single from ‘It’s All About The Melody’ that would challenge ‘Beyond The Light’s all-eclipsing title track. ‘Te Espero Aqui’ (or ‘I Wait For You Here’) isn’t it, but it’s the closest we’ve come by far. The track finds the sweet spot between A&F’s main set pace and the warmth and feel of a trancer that has early Chicane written all over it. You’ll be thinking ‘Ibeefa’ before you know it.
Each designed to showcase Estiva’s range, the EPs taken from his ‘Metamorphoses’ LP continue to play tactical as hell. ‘Kosmos’ is celestial trance done differently. Bags of atmosphere, but without any big statement-like drops, it still has ether to burn, while never losing sight of the dancefloor. ‘Two Tigers’ has even more club pulse about it, with quick two-note stabs elevating its myriad acid lines. The police sirens and poolball FX are an attention-grabber too!
Paul Van Dyk
Straight up for the club, the new Paul Van Dyk’s song rips open with a hard dance floor beat but as all good trance will do a stirring synth melody washes over bringing with it a river of emotion. As a part of his next studio album, “Guiding Light”, this one explores a sea of emotions, honoring van Dyk’s legacy.
Someone (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
Nicely played revision of a lesser-remixed classic here. Messing with Joanna Law’s vocals would’ve been foolhardy, and Giuseppe leaves them cut-glass clear, but adds a bleepy melancholic topline to emphasise ‘Someone’s lyrical lament.
Twenty-nineteen was the year Garuda wiggled its toes back into the trance pond. December’s ‘Out Of Sight’ from Solis & Sean Truby was impressive fare, and here, Eximinds (seemingly ditching the last of their trouse affectations) lend the label a persuasively energetic firestarter.
Stoneface & Terminal
Floorlicker/New Jack City
In their two-man crusade to give trance a subversive kick up the keister, SF&T will inevitably overclock it at some point. It won’t be on Kearnage’s ‘Floorlicker’ though, whose remorselessly driving techno-trance backing is further amped by a chanty, hooky, chopped-to-ribbons vocal. With its sensory-pummelling bass, acerbic mainline and out-there vocal, ‘New Jack City’ on Clandestine might be a precipice step closer though.
Solarstone & Robert Nickson
Pure Trance Recordings
As ‘Voyager II’ is to Solarstone’s ‘3’ LP, the sole purpose of an album’s intro track is to settle you in. No whitecaps or waves, ‘Voyager II’s piano-pondering proggy cruise is exactly as you’d anticipate it. Right up until the break, anyway. There, out go the conventions and it’s swept up into the most momentously carrying leadline Richard and Robert could get away with. A Money Shot in any other month.
Darren Tate & Neptune Project
The Cosmos In You
A pairing with much promise, borne out almost entirely by the release itself. For max effect, ‘Cosmos’s galactic elements are cannily held back. When delivered though, that ether gathers fast, and its top-of-the–drop moment is as strong as any this month.
March 31st, 2020