Album of the Month: Trance Essentials 2013, Volume 1

Armada Music has been an institution for a decade now, bringing the best in trance, tech trance & progressive to the people. While keeping up with the 20+ hours of podcasts your favorite DJs put out each week can be exhausting, there are a number of tracks in these sets that always stand out. Armada took 50 of the best trance tracks from late last year, early this year and fired them off, ready to land in your lap and explode in an orgy of sparkle, vocals, chromatic chords, uplifting, massive & progressive bass. The first CD launches with huge tracks, with Nehalennia, The Spiritual Gateway, Kudawudashuda &  the MaRLo edit of “Perfectly” hitting your ears one after another. The Love Comes again remix, the Pure Mix edit of Seven Cities by Solarstone & the radio edit of Andrew Rayel’s Musa are gorgeous mixes of recent crowd favorites that have blown up dance floors from Dublin to Dubai & Sao Paulo to Shanghai. They keep the energy going along with a half a dozen tracks in between that you’ve probably not heard but probably should. Superfly by Jorn van Deynhoven is a spectacular hard trance track that pushes the party to a higher level, buy anyone that’s a fan of my writing can tell you that Jorn van Deynhoven can do no wrong in my eyes. The tune is one of 2 dozen that are exactly what trance needs to be right now. Anthemic, big room and explosive with the energy to push back against the forces of trouse and top 40 infused commercial chomp-back that true trance fanatics shake their heads at. New York City by Alex M.O.R.P.H. is of course a favorite and the mix that’s offered at the end of the CD is a great choice for just putting on and leaving on while you dance around in your underwear in your bedroom before hitting the town.

The second CD is front loaded with tunes & cuts that you’ve probably already gotten down to one or more times if you’re a fan of the A State of Trance podcast by Armin van Buuren, but if you’re thinking of picking up this compilation and you’ve not listened to ASOT, I’ve gotta wonder where your mind has gone and what you are doing with your time. The beats come hard and fast with D# Fat, Bash! & The Expedition all showing up immediately.  The plurality of ASOT 600 anthem remixes never disappoint and the Orjan Nilsen edit definitely keeps you grooving. The second cd is harder than the first and the tracks push into some previously undiscovered territory in trance sets. There is some synergy between the trance and some electro here, as the Hardwell, Dash Berlin & Gareth Emery tunes are almost crunchy in their hard-hitting bass. As We Collide is an astonishing collaboration, of which the mix has many. The Orjan Nilsen remix of the amazing track by Paul Oakenfold, Christian Burns & JES keeps the big room at a festival feel going along the second CD. I could rave about every track on the compliation but that would get boring quickly. Highlights of the second half of the second CD include the incomparable Skylarking by BT, the radio edit of Breathe by John O’Callaghan & Drop by Shogun. If you didn’t know these tracks existed before reading this, you owe it to yourself to put them in your face as soon as possible.

Fantastic drop by Armada music and with summer right around the corner, this is a great way to get you in the mood to dance your face off while wearing little to no clothing somewhere the sun is shining. 9/10


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