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G. Sexton (Ireland)
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In Trance We Trust 13
In Trance We Trust 13
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: £6.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Boom!!, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: In Trance We Trust 13 (Audio CD)
Take a vast collection of Trance tracks originating from all corners of production levels and then let Carl B. take you on a ride with one of the most challenging mixes you're likely to hear this year. From the very start, tempo is elevated as DJ and decks are fused together and the listener is invited to ride along as Carl B. slowly builds the set track by track. Very early, the sounds from the past are glued to the present in the form of Carl B. - On Short Notice and it doesn't take long before the listener will start to question just what is coming next. Beat after beat, track after track, layer upon layer, the mix continues to build and shift and at almost every corner the mix continues to surprise until eventually you just can't imagine that it can go anywhere else when suddenly... Boom. Vocals are rare and there really isn't a stand out track as the entire set is built on precision arrangement and the placing of Mr Sam featuring clAud9 - Cygnes is a fine example of the DJ's definitive style. The listener does get a break for a few moments when Carl B. vs. JPL - Orchid Blossom (This Mix) is dropped but very quickly the set pulls you back in as the atmosphere becomes deeper and almost Euphoric. Little twitchy base drops tinker their way around the set for the more experienced listener's enjoyment and whilst deep and hard progressive rhythms caress many of the seamless transitions, the sets style is mostly Melodic in nature. All I can say to you is that if you do buy this release be prepared for an absolute thumper of a ride because from the very offset this DJ doesn't take his senses off the mix and neither will you. To put it simply, Carl B has taken 14 tracks, put them all together and made them go... Boom!!!


In Search Of Sunrise 8: South Africa
In Search Of Sunrise 8: South Africa
Price: £12.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Make me smile!!, 13 April 2014
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Brief: Produce a mix that showcases where Trance, the Label and the DJ are today. Make it for both a young and older audience and produce it in such a way where it will appeal to the MP3 owner right through to the seasoned audiophile. And if that weren't enough, keep as much of it as possible in-house.
Result: An absolutely sensational piece of music that from the very off-set does just that. Instantly, the listener is treated to a frightening level of sound production skills as Richard Durand takes you on a beautifully paced journey through the softer side of modern Trance. Vocals are a plenty but are well spaced through-out the set and whilst the entire mix is built around these magical treats they do not dominate and the listener is kept entertained with a well constructed arrangement of contrasting tracks which are placed side by side but played in such a way where the direction of the set never once changes. Some classic sounds play peek-a-boo with the more experienced ear and whilst the mix is entirely soft and bright, it does have some hard edges and little tweaks of darkness which lurk behind the occasional corner and jump out at you every now and then. Disc 2 builds to a slightly heavier mix but continues to stay within the constraints of the brief and features a level of sound production skills that could be envied throughout the world. Again, contrasting tracks play their role as the efforts of all those involved shines through and the entire compilation is signed off with a massive production track, Richard Durand & JES - N.Y.C. and then firmly stamped with Beltek - Par. Oddly it isn't until Bartlett Bros. Vs Mazza - Satellite of Love is dropped that the entire compilation comes together and for me, the stand out track of the album is Ad Brown feat Renee Six - Something for the Pain. Whilst these four tracks feature on the second disk, it would be wrong to say that this is the better mix as both mixes are simply amazing. The entire compilation is beautifully constructed around the In Search of Sunrise signature sound and even though you might feel that there is something missing, it really doesn't take from the overall listening experience. If you are an MP3 listener beginning your life's musical journey, this is an album that you will enjoy now and want to keep until you invest in your dream music system. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned audiophile enthusiast or expert, all I can say to you is that this mix won't make your kit dance... it will make it smile.


Renaissance: The Masters Serie
Renaissance: The Masters Serie

4.0 out of 5 stars Something different!!, 22 Mar. 2014
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We are all aware that the world of dance music has gone through a dramatic change in recent years. House has been fused with sounds from every corner of the globe whilst mainstream dance music has undergone an almost unrecognisable change due to many prevailing factors including advancements in technology, an almost endless supply of producers which now spans from more than four generations and of course the steady demise of vinyl. Many will argue that it is for the better, many others will disagree. Lots of dance music veterans will grumble profusely at the very thought of the three devils letters, i.e. EDM whilst all the time younger producers continue to push their sound on the unchangeable immortal sounds of the past two decades. So, where does this release take us? A two disk compilation Disc 1 is a collection of laid back beats and breaks which have been beautifully combined and is simply a mix designed to relax the mind from the world's constant uncontrollable motion. It's a very slow paced mix filled with lots of dark twists and turns, some thumping drum and bass and plenty of dramatic changes in tempo elevation, all of which build to and revolve around a beautiful and moving track, Reason or Romanza - Radiance Trigger. The mix may not jump out at you immediately but there will be a times in your life when you will need it. Disc 2 is a very complex combination of house, beats, breaks & electro all thrown together with an experimental arrangement consisting of countless dangerous curves and bends. Designed for the younger listener and fans of electro this compilation will also appeal to experienced listeners looking for something that little bit different. Importantly, the mix never once loses sight of its routes but from a critical point of view it does have that one layer, that one drift or that one curve too many. The focus of the entire two sets is more inward orientated rather than outward and whilst it may be argued that the second mix lacks control, this possibly could have been done on purpose as a way of highlighting the almost microscopic signature production work. The mix has some hoping tunes but what I really love the most is the complete honesty of its presentation. Highlight for me is Siopes - Really Love Ya and can I just take the opportunity to say `Thank God for DJ's like James Zabiela'.


In Trance We Trust 017
In Trance We Trust 017
Price: £11.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Music for the Senses!!, 13 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: In Trance We Trust 017 (Audio CD)
It is very difficult for a DJ to bring together a collection of some his favourite tracks and artists and then play them for the listener at the risk of being criticised for sounding like the other artists themselves. From the very offset it is clear that this mix is going to be a magical journey through some of Trances finer uplifting sounds and features a well balanced collection of strong vocals, soaring atmospheric layers and transient euphoric moments which all revolve around the only deep progressive track on the mix, The Last Time - Abstract Vision & Elite Electronic, a track which is used effectively to highlight the uplifting melodic nature of the set. A classic mix of some new and some familiar tracks which is beautifully presented in an unpretentious style and is designed for the listener to basically just get lost in. A very interesting feature of this mix is that every so often Bobina pushes the rhythm to its limits and just as you start to become aware of this he immediately whisks you back into focus. A skilful way of signing a mix and a cracking way of re-emphasising that this CD is music designed to simply let the senses go. Well constructed, perfect sound production, amazing timing and a very enjoyable listen it is well worth adding to any collection. Absolutely brilliant... !!!


Pure Deep House - The Very Best Of Deep House & Garage
Pure Deep House - The Very Best Of Deep House & Garage
Price: £11.74

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Masters Release!!, 7 Feb. 2014
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A True Masters Release

Before I give any advice or comments on this release, it is worth noting that if your ears are still not completely tuned to the Electronic sounds that are dominant in the market place today, I would recommend Ministry of Sounds - Marbella Sessions which is probably a softer way of introducing a more discerning or stubborn listener and a CD that has had my 7 year old bopping away happily in the back of the car for quite some time now. Where to start on this one?? Well, firstly I feel that I need to point out that my favourite genre of dance music is Jazzy House so this will obviously have an impact on how I review this release. So, with that said lets start with Disc 3. A rare collection of deep, soulful, groovy baselines that spiral flawlessly from one track to another, this set will take the listener on a journey from West Coast to East Coast and across the Atlantic with a collection of sounds that is sure to put a smile on any deep House fans face. Designed to appeal to both the new and older listener, the set starts with a subtle rearrangement of Aly Us - Follow me and a very skillful and experienced set of hands rollercoasters through a mix of well established and brand new deep House grooves. The set is firmly stamped and original tweaks of Balearic and Garage make their debut amongst the deeper American influenced soulful tracks. The entire set takes a change when Shaun Escoffery - Days Like this is introduced and in a flash the entire mix jumps across the Atlantic where the UK rhythm is perfectly infused with the dreamful lyrics of Wookie - The Hype. Base and sound is round, vocals are simply masterful and the arrangement and style is nothing short of amazing.
On to Disc 2... An interesting set which starts with the more energetic modern Electronic sounds of today but presents them in a laid back relaxed style and then moves seamlessly into the deeper more progressive House sounds that so many fans have grown to love. Naughty tribal beats tease the listener in the form of Green Velvet - Bigger than Prince and a lot of restraint and control is used to keep the pace constant. Garage, Electro & House beats are all combined together as the set continues to build to an explosion of fusion in the shape of Dusky - Careless. Base is much sharper on this mix and the UK sound dominates from start to finish. It is fair to say that the experienced compiling of Disc 3 over shadows this set but it would be unfair to knock the mix for this reason.
On to Disc 1... Bursting with youthful energy this mix takes everything that is good in the modern dance world and blends together a collection of commercial tracks that is very pleasing to younger listeners ears. Once again, a skilled and experienced set of hands uses clever arranging to echo sounds from the previous two sets. The placement of Breach - Everything You Never Had is simply poetic and the entire mix revolves around Lana Del Rae - Blue Jeans which is arguably one of the best tracks on the entire compilation. Pace and tempo is masterfully controlled and the sound production is clean, crisp and a little more shallow which perfectly highlights the powerful collection of vocals. EDM beats, tweets, breaks and pitchy sounds are practically nonexistent and whilst the genre of the music is questionable one element remains constant throughout the set which is an absolute love of House music. Two questions prevail - Which track is better, Lana Del Rae -Blue Jeans or Wookie - The Hype and which order should one play the discs? Releases like this do not require criticism, they only deserve respect.


In Trance We Trust 007
In Trance We Trust 007
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £24.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful and Stimulating Mix, 5 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: In Trance We Trust 007 (Audio CD)
Whilst the label has been in existence for some time now, I only encountered `In Trance we Trust' in the past few months. Having chomped my way through most of Anjunabeats & Anjunadeep releases during the past year I have since managed to sample 5 of this labels releases with more on the way. So, what to say about this one?? Easy... This is the Trance that most of us love in its truest form. A very well thought out set it only contains a handful of vocal tracks but it still manages to keep the listener interested with plenty of contrasting progressive sounds, lots of deep base and some bouncy direction changes which are both skilful and energetic. Slow to start it patters it way through sounds from all corners of Europe and when all progressive channels are opened up with the introduction of Shadow feat Mel - Eternity the DJ pushes hard to put his own signature on the remainder of the mix. Transitions between each track are simply glorious and flow smoothly like driving on a motorway at 6am in the morning. Some beautiful distant sounds are pin dropped randomly as Misja Helsoot attempts to echo his own listening experience for the enjoyment of the more experienced ear and are effectively used to emphasise and highlight the newer and more modern sounds. The DJ sings off at the end of the set with Tiesto's - In My Memory at which point you'll just want to listen to it again. Original and thoughtful it probably won't make it to the top of all time releases but this is a much better set than one would think and can be listened to in the car, on headphones or at any time of the day. Four stars I think is a fair score and the only reason that I haven't given five is because I just feel that there are better benchmarks for five star ratings. A banging mix....


Euphoria - Total Euphoria
Euphoria - Total Euphoria
Offered by ukdiscs
Price: £14.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great classic Trance mix., 27 Jan. 2014
There have been a lot of reviews already for this album so why bother writing another one more than 10 years later? With EDM dominating the market place today, so many experienced trance listeners are having to dig into their achieves in order to quench their trance fix needs. Most fans will know that Trance has evolved through the years and rich deep base lines have always been top of the list when putting compilations together. This particular mix along with Ibiza Euphoria have been part of my collection for many years and they both represent an era of Trance music which didn't last very long where the emphasis was not for deep baselines but more for high pitched melodies and synths. CD 1 features some great classics tunes but the tracks are a little noisy towards the end of the mix and may not tickle everyone's ears. It does however give the listener a great insight as to what it is ( was ) like to be in an Ibiza nightclub at sunrise during this era ( or any era ). CD 2 is much more focused and features some cracking tunes including some of my favourites, James Holden - One for You, Tukan - Light a Rainbow & Lange - Drifting Away. So, what's so special....? Firstly, every track has been treated with the same amount of love and care and the entire compilation is carefully put together where no track really stands out. There are a couple of rough edges but not many and whilst this may sound like a bit of a contradiction to what I just said, the placement of Bartezz - On the Move is nothing short of absolutely 'Perfect'. High pitched notes which echo the many electronic sounds of today flow smoothly with rhythm through the entire mix and I would recommend CD 2 as being playable along side any of todays modern releases. I think that it is worth mentioning that this is the first of my older CDs that threw an absolute tantrum when played on MP3. Conversion was done using iTunes at 192kbps and playback was on an iPhone with Sennheiser CX300 headphones. Playback was very enjoyable but I would argue that this mix sounds 10 times better when played on a stereo in full CD uncompressed format. An essential listen.... and possibly a fine example that compressed music is definitely not the future.


A State Of Trance 2012
A State Of Trance 2012
Price: £16.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A Mix with Purpose!!, 12 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: A State Of Trance 2012 (Audio CD)
There was a time when all DJ's had to do was play the tunes. This progressed very quickly into lots of areas such as production, sound engineering, marketing, branding, re-inventing and of course perspective. I personally have never been able to keep up with Armin van Buuren's hungry appetite for producing such a vast array of music productions, but the one thing that I have always liked is his simple approach of just playing the tunes. It is only in recent years that the question of CD v's Vinyl has started to be questioned. Lots of defining factors prevail and it may be a few years before the preference for CD starts to dwindle but one thing is for sure... there are a lot of Trance fans out there who prefer the 'older' sound and there are probably just as many who prefer the 'newer' sound. My personal opinion is that the time that was spent cueing vinyl needs to be questioned. Anyways, what does Armin van Burren have to say about all this?? CD 1 spins up a slightly more laid back pace of quality signature sounds and the entire mix revolves around two very contrasting tracks - Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Protoculture - Waking Up The Stars & Susana & Max Graham - Down To Nothing. Modern electronic beats gently tip-toe their way around the set and some fine examples of time spent producing rather than turning dials include Nash & Pepper - Ushuaia Memories and Mike Foyle & ReFeel - Universal Language. A good modern mix that will appeal to a broad range of listeners. CD 2 is more full on and instead of reflecting the underground club scene that so many of us can relate to, AVB paints a much more modern large arena atmosphere where sound acoustics play such an important role. Electronic sounds are far more dominant and this explodes with Armin van Buuren presents Gaia - J'ai Envie De Toi, a controversial track which I am sure will cause a few debates amongst seasoned trance listeners. Things progress to a much deeper sound towards the end of the set as AVB paves the way for the next act. All in all, this isn't one of his better productions but I feel that the way the entire set is compiled signals that this is one definitely worth listening to.


Sirens of the Sea
Sirens of the Sea

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great essential!!, 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Sirens of the Sea (Audio CD)
Hard work, meticulous attention to detail, passion, talent, a wealth of experience, a dedicated production team and a determination to produce something special all combined with the beautiful and stunning voice of Justine Suissa. Not many releases can be classed as absolute essentials, even fewer can be categorised as being the top of those. No point in me trying to describe the tracks, apart from pointing out that this is proper grown up dance music at it's absolute best, a refreshing listen and I think that Above and Beyond have produced something way beyond their expectations. As much as I trust this label / artist, I have no intention of buying the remixed version of this album. A must have for anyone who enjoys to listen to vocal trance.


Oakenfold Cream 21
Oakenfold Cream 21
Price: £9.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lessons in Trance..., 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Oakenfold Cream 21 (Audio CD)
One thing is for certain... anyone who is familiar with Oakenfolds style and portfolio of releases will know that when he has something to say, the whole world gets to know about it. This latest release echo's some of Oakenfolds past experiences and moments and combines them together with a blast of modern tracks. The compilation is split in two - Disc 1 focuses on the newer sounds of the dance scene while disc 2 focuses on sounds from a little further back in a bang up to date but harder and deeper mix. Straight off, on disc 1 the first 5 tracks are effortlessly mixed. After track 6, Oakenfolds sheer determination and skills are tested to the max as he pushes and shoves his way though a stomper of electronic sounds which I am sure a lot of younger listeners will enjoy on their MP3 players. Some classic tunes are dropped through the entire set as the direction and mode continuously shifts. Disc 2 combines a few of these contemporary elements with some subtle sounds from the past and again, tracks 1 - 9 are effortlessly combined in a manner that has now become part of this DJ's signature sound and contains some cracking remixes. The rest of the mix is a combination of deep and dark trance like sounds with some spooky memorable twists for the more discerning listener. It may be argued that the 2 discs reflect each other in matters of opinions but I get a feeling that the more times you listen to disc 2, the more you will get to fall in love with it...


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