Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 31 July 2014
The eleventh instalment of Anjunabeats is sure to spark many mixed feelings amongst fans including that of anticipation, excitement, curiosity and intrigue. For those who have had the pleasure of experiencing most or all of this amazing musical journey, those feelings are sure to run much deeper, so it would be fair to say that with so many expectations from so many fans, Above & Beyond had quite a challenge when it came to producing such a release.
In keeping with the natural progression and evolution of the Anjunabeats series, it comes as no surprise that once again the label has taken a new approach. This time, Above and Beyond take the opportunity to present their softer deeper sounds and then combine them with the harder darker rhythms of where the Anjunabeats label and the dance market have evolved to today.
The journey begins on CD 1 with an indescribable collection of downbeat tracks which literally flow together without beginning or end, and an expression of complete calmness is perfectly presented though the complex series of varying layers and subtle changes of each individual track. Concentrated shadowy vocals fill narrowly exposed voids and gemstones like Parker & Hanson - Gravity and DJ Yellow & Flowers of Sea Creatures - No One Gets Left Behind ( Konstantin Remix ) slowly invert any exposed energy levels. A few minutes break is allowed with the introduction of the unmistakeable bass rhythms of Matt Langes - Staccato, where for a short few minutes, familiar progressive undertones are allowed to filter through the set. The mix however remains true to its purpose and when Twice is Nice - Overture ( Guy J Remix ) is presented, the limits of the surrounding landscape is pushed to the extreme as the set prepares to enter into an explosion of musical stratospheres.
The journey continues on CD 2 where electronic overdrives begin to dominate and deep soulful seductive layers are replaced with dramatic bolts of energetic pulses. Familiar tracks such as Above & Beyond - Anjunabeach ( Genix Vs Las Salinas Remix ) start to stir emotions and when the absolute smasher Super8 & Tab vs Jaytech - Code Red is dropped, all energy levels are once again reversed. Echoes from many of the past Anjunabeats releases continue to disrupt the flow of the more dominant electronic sounds and the set continues to push pitchy electronic beats in amongst the cosmic atmospheric layers that so many fans have grown to love. Tracks such as Sunny Lax -Karma and Above & Beyond pres. Oceanlab - Satellite ( Ilan Bluestone Remix ) hold the attention as the set continues its attempt to unify the entire spectrum of the Anjunbeats series. For many listeners the hard EDM transitions will become almost unbearable but there are some magical moments pin dropped throughout most of the remaining tracks that make the listen worthwhile.
Sound production on CD1 is crisp whereas on CD 2 it's a little understated, and I feel that many owners of even the finest tuned systems will be tempted to tweak their sound settings. There are a number of elements missing but this may signal that something very special lies ahead.