The Green Martian
'A Last One For the Road'
Laurent Christian Georges Véronnez’s first crack of the Green Martian whip in the better part of a decade. The tone and vibe of the 'Original', Splattered Implant & Alan Riddick versions are very Goa, with plenty of chunky percussion and acidic squall. It’s Gary Delaney’s excitingly arranged, polished, assiduously FX’d trance-progger that has the pulse-rate running quickest, though.
'Adagio For Strings'
Trance’s goggle-eyed fixation with ‘Adagio’ takes another turn. One of two new versions that dropped literally side by side into the inbox the other week, Sixma’s comes underpinned by industrial levels of side chain compression and tremulous wobble-bass. Like Tiësto’s treatment, Mark’s lead is of the caustically bleached-out variety. Unlike Tiësto’s, it does away, almost entirely with the (titular) strings.
Fred Baker pres Iguana
'Beautiful Sunshine (Remixes)'
Back before Fred Baker started making big room not particularly well, he made trance, usually brilliantly. A case in point is ‘Beautiful Sunshine’, from which James Dymond impressively manages to achieve even higher levels of euphoric altitude. Also included for good measure, lest you overlooked its finery first time round, is Stoneface & Terminal's almost as tasty 2007 treatment.
Inside 'Cubic' (or ‘Cubik’ depending on whether you believe mp3, press release or artwork) is an excellent trancer fighting to get out. In the engine room, the beats, bass, percs, sub riffs et al piston superbly. With the riff though, comes the caveat. Note-wise it's effective, but the thin, reedy synth playing it is simply not cutting la moutarde.
Tangle’s second for VANDIT this year (in and around a mass of other productions for his own Tangled Audio imprint, Lange Recordings and others)… ‘I Believe’ is less snarly 303-driven tech (ala February’s ‘Aquarius EP’) and far more of a get-down-the-front, shirt-pulling euphoric number. Its angelically sung hook will mark it well for the crowd and as the synths go vertical, so, very likely, will the hands.
'Remember When/Till We Meet Again'
After 2012’s fine ‘Nothing Is Forever’ and last year’s ‘Te Echos De Menos’, wistful title enthusiast Majera fields his 2014 offering. ‘Remember When’ should bring nods of appreciation for good structure, fine sounds and tight production. Midway through ‘Till We Meet Again’ though emerges a riff so chest swelling, so goddamn lump-in-the-throat big ‘n’ gorgeous, that ‘Remember’ may become just a memory.
Robert Nickson pres RNX
Originality is the highest accolade in trance, but consistency probably ranks a close second. If so, then props most sizeable to Colorize, and even more so to Robert Nickson. After ‘So Called Loyalty’, ‘Stars’ is his second RNX killer for the label in as many months and another study in low-end tempo, wind-swept synths, pad-pathos and spellbound atmospherics.
GO On Air Recordings
Somna’s GO On Air debut is as good an example as any of the label’s excellent first innings stretch. Thunderously produced and cool without being laidback, it’s stacked with un-rote sounds. Add to that riffs that deliver their thrill without strolling too high up the keyboard, and FX that’ll tickle a neuron from a thousand yards out, well bottom line, ‘The Discovery’ just works.
The proverbial hat trick, Andrew puts his third solo of the year square into the back of the dance floor net. Loads of chime-y piano juxtapose effectively with angular FX (and the odd whip-crack or three) and big squelches of distortion, Stupendously uplifting - and only more so over repeated spins, while it maybe doesn’t quite ace ‘Once Lydian’, it lands inch close.
Future Sound Of Egypt
Daisy-cutting beats, zipline-ing synths, belching distortion and at least two monster moments more than your average — one of the current shining hopes for UK trance drops science here.