Two Anjunabeats favorites have recently branched out and tried to capitalize on the burgeoning pop-EDM scene. One has succeeded with significant radio time and fame while the other has not had such “success”.
The two artists I am talking about are Audien and Arty. Check out my previous post on Arty’s new album. I think he has done a great job balancing his trance roots while integrating that mass appeal pop sound. Before I launch into this discussion let me give you an example of what each artist produced during their early trance days.
Now lets take a listen to their recent attempts to break into the mainstream.
Arty ft. Angel Taylor in “Up All Night”
Arty ft. Ray Dalton in “Stronger”
Audien ft. Lady Antebellum in “Something Better”
Which do you prefer? For me it is no contest. Arty is the winner hands down, and I think even the “filler” tracks on his recent album are better than Audien’s track. Unfortunately, Audien has had the commercial success because he pandered and found a feature with name recognition in Lady Antebellum. Contrast this with Arty who sought out vocal talent that fit well with what he was trying to achieve musically. Its a shame that Arty’s album won’t get the airtime it deserves while Audien’s average track will achieve notoriety because it invokes the name of a former country star.
It is time. Those of you that have continued to follow this blog do so because you are a fan of trance. Well let us break out Above & Beyond’s seminal album. The trance classic known as “Tri-State”. In a word, this album is sublime.
Let me draw your attention to some of my favorites.
5. “Can’t Sleep”- We’ve all been there for one reason or another. This song speaks to the power that emotions and a wandering mind have. Its that power that keeps you up hours on end rehashing things you did and didn’t do.
8. “In the Past”- That reverberating piano harkens back to Robert Miles and the classic album “Dreamland“.
9. “Alone Tonight”- At 1:30 Richard Bedford’s vocals perfectly convey the loneliness and frustration that this song embodies.
10. “Good for Me”- This is one of my favorite Above & Beyond tracks. This track is so powerful yet so simple. Why do we love? Those we love make us whole and we make them whole in turn. This song speaks to the necessity of love. Love, romantic or not, is integral to a happy and healthy existence. This song is a fan favorite for weddings and first dances.
13. “Home”- Its a rare occasion, but I don’t have words for what this song means to me or makes me feel. Please listen to it.
Here is what I am unwinding with this Friday night.
When I first clicked play on this track I settled in for a more deep and ambient experience. I relaxed and put my head on the back of my chair and closed my eyes. I was in for a surprise because this track has an abrupt change of tone, but it wasn’t jarring. It didn’t cause me to sit up. Rather, I opened my eyes and said, “Interesting… lets see where this goes…”, and I closed them again.
These next tracks are definitely best experienced with the eyes closed and mind at ease. Imagine a beach or a Mediterranean town at sunset.
I think you can tell where this night is going. Let’s take things deeper with Yotto.
I love this second Yotto track. We start out with the distant sounds of children playing. This innocence and frivolity gives way to heavy and ponderous elements. Familiar isn’t it?
This dark and downtempo remix of “Sweet Disposition” (one of my favorite songs) is a great track to close out a mellow night.
Based on what I am hearing from these teasers, Volume 12 promises to be one of the strongest compilations to date. It is a testament to the strength and consistency of the label.
Here is a full track that will be on the compilation.
“We’re All We Need” has been nominated for a Grammy (Best Dance Recording). I absolutely think it should win, but don’t take my word for it. Below is some support.
Here is the video of its debut in Madison Square Garder over a year ago. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to experience this track live and feel all the feels like that girl at 0:40. Its a cathartic track especially in a group environment.
Here is the official music video. A&B based all of their music videos from this album on famous movies that they love. Can you guess what this one is?
Here is an inspired piano cover. He includes the buildup in the version of the track that A&B uses to open a set so skip to 1:43 for the meat of track. There are a few off notes and slip-ups here and there, but overall a great piano interpretation.
The sparse Spada remix is a sharp contrast to the aggressive Ilan Bluestone Remix. Compare the two below.
This track is so great that even AvB got in on the action during ASOT with a nasty mashup. Even AvB can’t resist the power of Zoe Johnston’s vocals. At 1:04 he just takes of his headphones and soaks up the experience of this track along with the crowd.
A year after its debut, during ABGT 150 in Sydney, A&B closed with a special arrangement of the track at 1:56:04. At this point it is such a crowd favorite that the collectively singing is as loud as the music.
TRANCE AND PROGRESSIVE
Nikolauss – Uprising
I’m glad to know that people are still out there making classic sounding trance. Keep it up! I live for stretches like 2:34.
Flunk – Six Seven Times (Pablo Artigas Remix)
This song is incredible. If the above track is what trance used to sound like then this track embodies where the genre is heading.
LTN & Vintage & Morelli – Us
Sound Quelle & Max Meyer – Toscana (Aleksey Sladkov Remix)
This one and the next are hard to categorize. They blur the line between trance and progressive, but that is fine by me. Both genres bring something positive to the table.
Massai One – In Your Arms (Original Mix) [MRIZE160]
Thomas Sagstad feat. Wildo “Burned” (Kaskade Remix)
I put this in here so these summer vibes could chase away your winter blues. I really love 1:30 because the drums sounds like something from “Stomp”. The rawness is appealing.
Beat The Sunrise feat. Andrew Watt
Ahh…SNBRN. Let these tropical house vibes wash over you.
Vaja & Specialist Sound – A Part Of Me | OUT NOW
I don’t often post drum and bass, but when I do it is a quality track like this one.
Arty’s debut artist album has been out for awhile now, and a post on it is well overdue. Honestly, I love the entire thing from start to finish and would recommend buying it. I think he has masterfully balanced pop and EDM here. Each song has pop sounding vocal buildups, but the drops are undeniably the old-school Arty we know and love from Anjunabeats.
I don’t usually point out only the drops in EDM tracks because there is so much more to appreciate in an EDM track and the context before the drop is also crucial. Im going to break that rule here. This is because the drops in this album happen to coincide with the actual EDM flavored segments of each track. I’ve bolded my personal favorites.
- Shadow- 2:05
- Glorious- 1:38
- Braver Lover- 1:06
- Up All Night- 1:24
- Stronger- 1:22
- Inertia- The entire song
- Closer to You- The entire song
- Last Kiss- The entire song
- Young Again- 1:59
- Feel Your Love- 1:16
- Pink Roads- 2:36
- Waste Your Time- 0:47
- Wicked- 0:39
- Poison for Lovers- 1:33