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on 29 April 2012
Just had to get something off my chest so bare with my review:

I rarely write a review of a product, especially not for an Anjunabeats or Anjunadeep release as I feel the quality speaks for itself. I always pre-order any release under these two labels without waiting for reviews as I have every confidence in them. However I feel this is the first time I have felt a little let down so I'd like to share my thoughts.

I have been an avid trance/house fan since the first ever Euphoria album and have since witnessed the genres transform. Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep are ALL I listen to. I stopped buying ASOT (Armin Van Buuren) as it was beginning to sound a little too similar to pop and too close to commercial sounds for my liking. EDM seems to be a key ingredient in many pop songs these days and so I understand the need for it to change and maintain it's independent sound and Anjunabeats has always succeeded at this. Until now. For me this albums overall sound screams the sort of sound similar to Swedish House Mafia or any other DJs popular in the commercial side of EDM (i'm talking about the sort of stuff you hear in the charts in most clubs). Don't get me wrong, not all the tracks are like this, in fact I will list the specific tracks that I HAD to skip after 2 or 3 listens as it saddened me to hear this unpleasant transformation:

CD1: Track 5 and 8 CD2: Track 2

Now that may not seem a lot but my god (in my opinion) THEY WERE AWFUL! Just noise. And this feeling ruins the whole album for me (not to mention a few bad mixing efforts). On the other hand, the highlights (and there are a fair few):

CD1: Track 4,7,9,10,14,15 (the last 2 are only there because they are remixes of amazing tracks) CD2: Tracks 1,5,7,8,10,12,13,15,16

All the rest of the tracks not listed help the flow of the album but are just ok in my opinion. And this is the thing, this is just my opinion. For me this album signals that EDM has changed a lot and there are loads of discussions floating around forums all over the internet arguing whether this is in fact a good thing or not (ever since Anjunabeats 9 which was actually similar sounding to this). Personally I do not like the change, the music has lost a bit of its sophistication and emotion, instead opting for energy but doing so with a barrage of electro effects that overall do more harm than good, making the once unique music sound like pop music or trashy dance anthems from a Ministry of Sound Clubbers Guide album (and yes it's been a long time since i listened to one of those). It's almost like Anjunabeats have targeted a younger less appreciative audience with this release.

I may be overreacting here as there are evidently lots more quality productions out there but for me they all belong under the Anjunadeep label and progressive house genre. Anjunadeep releases maintain what makes them so enjoyable because the numerous electro effects work well for a chilled out progressive sound just not with more upbeat tracks.

So in a nutshell this release has worried me a little, about the future of Anjunabeats (a little dramatic maybe). I loved A&B's Essential Mix 2011 and for the sake of a few tracks on Anjunabeats 9 I enjoyed that too (and of course Anjunadeep 4), but this...well this just makes me a little uncertain. Lets just hope none of Anjunabeats releases find their way onto a mainstream radio station anytime soon.
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on 9 May 2012
It is clear after listening to recent albums, such as A State of Trance 2012, PvD's Vonyc Sessions 2011, Anjunabeats 9 and now the latest Anjunabeats Worldwide that the definition of 'trance' is changing. Or at least, the popularity of 'electro' type music is becoming so strong that it is seen to need to encroach into the 'trance' genre. The vast majority of Anj9 was not trance, and although slightly more of Worldwide 4 is what I would class as conventional trance, a majority is still more electro than anything else. I'm not certain of the definition of electro, but the contributing artists of Maor Levi and Nitrous Oxide mention it in their commentary a couple of times, so I'm assuming it is.
The positives - there are some great tracks on both albums, especially cd2; the ones that I would define as 'proper trance,' that is, trance that uplifts and contains smooth, long pads, chunky yet simple basslines and consistent beats. Take Nautica, by Nitrous Oxide himself, as the best example. Nitrous Oxide's own artist album, 'Dreamcatcher,' is also pure trance. Which is why it surprised me that N.O, in particular, has mixed many of these 'new trance' or electro songs into his own compilation. CD2 is better than CD1; there was one track on CD1, the Maor Levi remix of Alba I believe it was, that I had to skip halfway through for the sake of my poor ears and general health. There were others too that were pretty poor.
What sums it up for me, is that the vast majority of tracks (all but 4 in total, I think) contain that horrible pitch bend sound that acts as the new 'snare,' designed to build up one section to the next. That is prominent in the 'new trance' sound and personally I hate it. I also hate how you get some songs that sound really promising, only to suddenly stop and for a harsh electro-style bassline to come in out of nowhere (e.g. Tiburon, also coincidentally, by N.O).
I'm not sure whether trance is changing, or whether most 'trance' artists are simply getting paid more by morphing trance into electro. Perhaps it is more popular, but it appears to me that traditional trance songs are still being made, so why can't Anjunabeats stick to using these?
It's obviously a matter of personal taste, but I don't like where Anjunabeats, and other so-called 'trance' albums are going. If trance is changing, then I'm no longer a trance fan, but in reality, I believe that, for some reason, there's more in it for the artists by switching to this electro-style trance, which in my opinion is simply not trance at all.
Put it this way - if N.O (and M.L, for that matter) had mixed an Anjunabeats compilation album even as recently as 18-24 months ago, it would have been real, passionate, uplifting, quality, thumping, brilliant, pure TRANCE. This, to all intents and purposes, isn't.
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on 8 June 2012
A quality trance album is a hard thing to find these days but anjunabets have raised the bar yet again! CD one is the mellow sound of Maori Levi with soft synths, melodic breakdowns and uplifting vocals. The big sound of Matt Zo is the highlight of this mix to really get the senses going. CD two is mixed by the Polish sensation Nitrous Oxide who has produced a real 'banging' mix to put you in a euphoric mood. Both his collaboration track with Dan Stone for 'Nautica' and 'Gr8!' are just a couple to highlight with the superb breakdowns and spine tingling melodies experienced all the way through. This album has lived in my car stereo, gym iPod and laptop since I've had it. An absolute must for trance fans, particularly for followers of the anjunabeats label.
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on 30 May 2012
I have been a fan of the anjunabeat label for a while and have enjoyed the yearly editions, but i was bitterly disappointed with AB9, to be fair CD1 is not to bad, but CD2 is awful, the tunes were poor and i'm not a fan of the electro style sound that was so dominant on that cd, i also have to say that the first 2 tracks on CD2 were some of the worst 'dance' music tracks i'd heard in quite a while, when i heard about worldwide 04 and nitrous oxide being involved i have to say i was excited, i'm a fan of nitrous oxide finding his artist album one of the best releases from the anjuna label, well i have heard worldwide 04 now and can say nitrous oxide did not disappoint, his mix is a lot closer to the trance sound i enjoy, there are some great tracks on there nice and uplifting, the major levi mix is kind of like the inbetween mix, it's not as disjointed soundwise as AB9, but not as tracey as nitrous oxide's, all in all a much improved release, let's hope then that AB10 will see anjuna back to it's best.
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on 25 May 2012
The Anjunabeats Worldwide 04 is excellent listening for me, great dance-tracks with grooovy basslines and funky beats, and as always some very nice "dream-synth's"
I always enjoy a ride in my car, with the stereo on, here I can play loud music, without disturbing my neighbour's ! ha ha and I have always a collection of Anjunabeats cd's in the car, to choose from ! Great stuff, love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!! have a nice summer Everybody :-)
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on 13 December 2014
Quick delivery, very pleased
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on 1 May 2015
sounds wicked
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