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.

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Earworm of the Month: Pink is Punk & Benny Benassi – Ghost (ft. Bright Lights) [Dyro Remix]

The song is hauntingly good if not a bit abusive when it comes to its treatment of subwoofers. First discovered on DJ Tiesto’s Club Life (don’t judge), this sweet remix from a youngling that goes by the name of Dyro, the track cannot be ignored. Dyro was recently featured on a list of up-and-coming DJs that are way too fucking young to be dropping beats this fucking phat. I can’t speak to Pink is Punk but if they’re working with Benny Benassi, the crowds must be satisfied. Yes, I’m going to walk away from that terrible pun and move back to the track at hand.

The video isn’t the official one for the remix/track, but the time-lapse photography works well enough, especially when lightning is involved. The tune starts off with some crushingly good vocal work and matches it with some ascendant synthy-bass. The build is quite nice and blasts into a big room house track that’s a bit less melodic than I’d like it to be, but I was too busy being blown around the room by my subwoofer to register my complaints. In case you’re interested in checking out any of the 3 peeps that had something to do with this sweet collab, hit up the links below. Also, turn the sub down a teensy bit before you crank it up 😀

Pink Is Punk…

Benny Benassi


Music I’ve Forgotten About – Gouryella’s Walhalla (Hybrid’s Echoplex Remix)

Every once and a while, I remember a track, an artist or an album that I’d totally forgotten about. While it’s probably an indication of my advanced age/geezer quality, it always makes my day. Some amazing track that completely exited my head and then pops back up years later. A particularly compelling new friend of mine reminded me that a progressive trance group named Hybrid existed and I couldn’t figure out why that name sounded familiar. I brooded on it until it hit me, I’d had a track of theirs on my mp3 player when I backpacked across Europe in 2005. Racing to my computer, I punched Hybrid into my media library. Lo and behold, only one track came up, and it was absolutely critical to my roaming dozens of cities across a healthy portion of the continent.

The track clocks in at 8 minutes, which more than twice as long as your standard dubstep or poplectro tune, something the younglings haven’t really ever seen. This is old school trance. As in, it came out in Nineteen Ninety Fucking Nine. That’s right, 1999, before Y2K and all the other crazy bullshit the oughts wrought. The original track was done by a collaboration between Ferry Corsten & DJ Tiesto, which lasted for a grand total of 6 tracks. Walhalla was the first single of the group and it came with a remix by Armin van Buuren and an “Echoplex” remix by Hybrid.

This Echoplex remix is exceptional, both by trance & general EDM standards. The echo’ing of the original beat, spread over minutes, slowly builds the track to a hushed but fevered pitch. The track maintains the build for easily 3 minutes without getting stilted, boring or annoying. Par for the course when it comes to old school trance I know, but these days, guidos start shouting if there isn’t a breakdown every 120 seconds. Six minutes in, the track peals into the 4/4 beat without thunder or applause, but just gallops along. Keeping pace with your expectations and (hopeful) dancing pace. There’s not a sound out of place, and Hybrid made sure that everything they wanted from the original was there, with them enough to give it their own distinctive feel. Check it out, you might like it.

This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.