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on 28 May 2009
Excellent quality of this classic (mine was a used copy). In fact I bought this after losing CD 1 and longing to hear it again. Still one of the best in the series with regards to music (some of the best progressive from that era). Mixing is good, but the overall set is nothing to scream about.
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on 1 March 2009
It's not often I say wow, but this album compels me to say so, and to write a review to let everyone know.

This is a two disc compilation of rolling chilled trance/house mixed by Above & Beyond. These guys have been doing trance compilations - the Anjunabeats series - for a while now but this is their first excursion into deeper stuff, and what a first excursion this is.

CD1 is good. Not amazing, just real good. The beats are chunky and rolling and the rhythms are mildly hypnotic, with choons that float between tech house, deep house and chilled out trance. There's a real persistent vibe throughout CD1, and this is a vibe of head-nod, silky-smooth choons. Aside from the pace-setting opener of "Nobody Seems To Care" by the 16 Bit Lolitas, the first CD is not about standout tracks, it's just a really pure and smooth vibe.

CD2 is a bit different though - in fact it's quite a lot different. As soon as the bassline kicks in on the first choon (Komytea - Afghanistan) you know that this second chapter is going to be a bit more purposeful, a bit more assertive. When I said "it's not often I say wow", I'm talking about this second CD. Once you hit track 3 and then track 4, you're deeply into "wow" territory. In fact track 4 elevates the mix into the sublime. The deeply hypnotic synth line in "Murder Weapon" by the 16 Bit Lolitas - and WHAT A CHOON this is - is a blueprint for the vibe this album embodies. This second CD is a ride through some of the most anthemic and brilliant deep and hypnotic house/trance, and is easily - in my opinion - one of the best mixed compilations in the past 5 years. From track 3 onwards the mix proper dominates its territory, stamps its authority and then pushes the boundaries of how good chilled/tech/deep trance can be.

If you have any interest in this genre or the adjacent genres such as tech-house and deep house then you really should invest in this CD. I've explained how good this is as best I can but the rest is up to you - if you're disappointed then I'll eat my hat. And my cat. And my cricket bat...
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on 27 February 2009
Well with it's surging popularity it was just a matter of time before Above & Beyond gave it's ever-growing sublabel of Anjunabeats a compilation in its own right. And so from the pioneers of uplifting trance we are presented with an album dedicated to progressive house, with hints of trance, electro and everything inbetween layered throughout.

If you own the recent Anjunabeats volumes, you will know what to expect, and the album does not disappoint; some mighty tunes from the heavyweights including Mat Zo, Michael Casette, Jaytech and Above & Beyond themselves, plus many interesting and colourful gems from lesser known names, wonderfully mixed by the masters themselves.

As far as the two discs go, the first sticks to progressive beats, though the second ventures more into trance while still maintaining the house sound. Listenable just about anywhere, the pace and depth varies throughout the album although never reaches 'dancefloor destroy' level to make it a pre-night out/after hours album that's also good for the car, gym, lounge or whatever else.

The entire album has a warm and bouncy feel, with each track working on a new sound to keep you listening and your head nodding along. A beautifully constructed, very refreshing compilation that shows how strong this label is. For me the album was a grower, being so used to the uplifting trance that Anjunabeats have pioneered for so long, but after a few listens it becomes addictive. Although Above & Beyond have been experimental with this release, the new sound is not completely alien and will warm to their fans of old as well as find new ones. It is also diverse enough to appeal to listeners of just about any dance music, very much recommended.
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on 4 March 2009
Anjunadeep Volume 1 had a hard act to follow. The latest installment of the Anjunabeats volumes was sensational, an album which Above & Beyond got absolutely spot on. So it was always going to be difficult to give this as much credit, even though 'Deep is a label in it's own right.
As expected, it is still a finely produced album, with some excellent mixing and more importantly some quality music. This is the 'housier' side of 'Beats if you like... 'Deep offers you as feast of house, electro-house (which is far from dead) and funky, 'deep' bass in the literal sense of the word. There is still a little bit of a trance and a more progressive style in there, but it doesn't appear on CD02 as it would on a 'Beats album.
For those who prefer uplifting trance and progressive vocal club songs, this isn't so much for you - granted, 'Beats albums don't have a massive amount of this either, but there you always get the traditional trance smashes. 'Deep is for those more used to, and obviously more infactuated with electronic music as a whole. However it swings both ways - you may need to understand electro-house to enjoy some of the tracks, whereas some offer a lighter and more receptive introduction into the world of this genre of music.
Those who have listened to 'Beats before will know that, on the later versions (5&6), housier tracks materialise on CD01. 'Deep is like an extended CD01, with a little more of an edge.
Not surprisingly, it's a good album, and very different to anything else on the market, unless I'm missing something fundamental. A&B are on fire at the moment, whether as themselves, Tranquility Base or OceanLab. Another trophy to add to the collection, that would have got 5 stars before 'Beats 6 came out.
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on 26 February 2010
I recently listened to this album again for the first time in about 8 years. In this time I have listened to every Anjunadeep release as the pioneering series exploded in popularity and is arguably responsible for the ever increasing presence of 'deep house' in popular music charts. It all started here folks and I have to say it has NEVER been bested. Sure, it feels like the label has now found a consistent voice for Anjunadeep as a whole and one that ties in with the growing number of productions you hear on the radio and that's fine - the catchiness of the melodies and chunkiness of the beats suit the pop format well - but this first mix has much more attitude and a timeless appeal that makes much more of a statement without taking itself too seriously. It just wants to have fun!

You can sense this is a unique landmark release the moment 16 Bit Lolitas kicks in with the melancholic synths and snaking hi-hats of Nobody Seems To Care. Peel back the layers and there's a techy-breakbeat to admire that just oozes cool and it's unlike anything released before. In fact the individual track selection across both CDs is absolutely spot on and it all feels like the work of one singular artist with enough variety to avoid outstaying its welcome. Each track is constructed with an intelligent simplicity where every element is distinguishable and has the specific purpose of adding depth to the main beat instead of insignificant filler effects. The punchy and melodic bass is a key feature of the overall sound and serves to aid the seamless flow from one song to the next, creating a strong narrative structure complimented with the myriad of clapping drums and delicious melodies. The bass lines have a loud punk-like attitude sounding something like what Peter Hook might play if he started mixing and this all combines to create a playfully aggressive vibe that it just irresistible.

Overall I think this album just owns the 'deep house' sound a lot more convincingly at a time when Anjunadeep was essentially dictating the direction it was heading. Now, for better or worse, it feels like the sound is dictated more by what people are listening to as the genre becomes more and more popular. Personally, I feel like in doing this it loses its identity. The sense of joy and energy in this album is missing from recent releases where they favour a more brooding 'deep' theme but I wish they realised that in doing this it sacrifices a lot of the fun factor. However, this mix remains as the cornerstone where that identity was born, untainted and pure. It sounds and feels like a genuine labour of love and I wonder if A&B take a little longer over future releases (this first album makes a strong case against the annual release structure since it probably took longer to construct) they might just capture a little of the magic they created here.

*Just a side note, my favourite releases since this one are Anjunadeep 6 and 7 for the more pop oriented emotional sound - I simply like them for what they are. This review was meant to convey how I personally prefer the direction they took with the first release and how maybe they lost their way a little as the sound evolved. I simply hope to hear something similar to this release in the future.
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on 10 September 2013
A great fusion of Electro, House, Techno & Trance. All tracks are excellent, but particular highlights are "Nobody Seems To Care", "Sundance", "Synapse Dynamics" & Shadows movement. A little more of an acquired taste compared to the main Anjunabeats series, but once you get into the slower style, you'll love it.
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on 30 September 2009
I have to agree with previous reviewers, particularly Andre Mountain, that the second disc of this collection is where things go up a few notches - with Murder Weapon (16-bit Lolitas) and then Professional Killers (Komytea) ratcheting up the energy and supplying the subtle yet powerful changes of gear which, if you heard them in a club, would have you and your friends looking and smiling at each other as if to say, "OK, NOW things are getting serious..." But there are moments like that througout both CDs and I reckon that, having hammered both to death since purchase, the first disc, in its stealthier way, is just as rewarding.

And if the clips the A&B boys are releasing on to their YouTube channels are anything to go by, then Ajunadeep 02 promises to exceed the lofty expectations set my this indispensible compilation - not least possible contributions from Jaytech and Jay Lumen.
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on 21 March 2009
I like this CD because each CD in the set has its own distinct vibe. CD 1 is a bit more mellow and touches on some house elements -- but only touches. The first track on Side 1 is pure class (I only just looked up who it was by) -- very nice indeed. CD2 is my favourite, though, because it has such a fresh sound: lots of producers on this one coming up with some great sounds. Nice, long mixes also -- none of this chop, chop, four-minute, "I was just getting into this" bosh. The album lets the tracks reveal themselves and do their thing before moving on. Patience boys and girls! The mixing is not that inspired, however, and seems somewhat stitched together without that much passion. Small gripe. But, on the whole, a great album of tidy tunes. Should sound fantastic on a top-notch sound system due to the high-quality production contained within the tracks.
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on 25 February 2010
I will go against the general consensus here by declaring my favour for CD1 of the album. Perhaps my regard for CD1 is biased by my general musical tastes which tend toward progressive house rather than Trance. The opening track by 16bit Lolitas is fantastic (as are most of their tracks it seems) and sets up the rest of the mix perfectly. The composition of CD1 is brilliant and shows either a concerted effort or pure luck in putting together such a cohesive collection of tunes - either way, it hits the mark big time.

As others have said CD2 gets a bit more moody and in my opinion slightly less accessible, although it has to be said there are still some stonking tracks to be heard in there.

Can't wait for Vol 2.
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on 27 February 2009
So many times I look to reviews to give me advice on how good an album is, but the bottom line is this. There's nothing that compares with actually listening to the album itself. This is no exception, and I could prattle on about how much I think 16 Bit Lolitas play a major part in contributing to the album, how Proff is back with his familiar sound, (One that impresses), and the sublime remix by the boys themselves of Radioheads 'Reckoner' - Tunes that are in amongst some other gems that would take too long to list. This has a more progressive trance pulse running through it I feel, which perhaps the anjunabeats albums lacked a little in my opinion, and thats a good thing. (Thats not to say I dont thoroughly enjoy the anjunabeats albums too.) I think the best thing to do is just listen to it. I was impressed, and it's likely you will be too. I think Above and Beyond have got it close to spot on with this album. It's a bit of a tighter album overall, with a lot of quality, perhaps impressing more than some of the anjunabeats albums. I hope they continue to make albums for a long time yet, as they are indeed a talent.
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