Anjunabeats Volume 12: The Best Yet

Hello all. Its been awhile. I was on a holiday hiatus but I am back and have lots of new music to share with you all. Stay tuned because a few posts will come after this. Lets start out with a sampling from my favorite record label. I recently posted about how I suspected Anjunabeats Volume 12 would be the best compilation yet. I was not wrong. It is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, and I suggest adding it to your collection. Below are some tracks from the compilation.

Here is the full tracklist in the form of samplers. I will guide you through some of my favorites tracks.

9. Smoke & Mirrors- I absolutely love the vocals by London Thor, and the high energy drop at 0:54 is hard to resist. They have release the full version of this track so I have included it below.

13. Memories- I posted about this track and the following track (Enceladus) awhile back. Check it out here.

15. Enceladus

19. Under Your Skin- Grum is proving to be a progressive genius. Watch out Eric Prydz!

20. Mezzo Forte

24. Kate (2015)- Arty may not have put out anything new on Anjunabeats lately, but his modern refresh of his classic track “Kate” is one of the best on this album.

27. Bigger Than Love- I can’t say enough about this song. I believe this is Bluestone’s first venture into vocal EDM, and he absolutely nailed it. This is possibly my favorite Bluestone track.

28. About the Sun

29. Mirage- THOSE VOCAL CHOPS!

30. A.I.- Many A&B fans do not like this song, but I think they are crazy. This is such a dirty and raw track that oozes character. If you like drops then check out 0:36. I’d say its the best A&B drop of all time.

31. Celestial– This is another brilliant Andrew Bayer track. Check out my previous post on this track if you haven’t already. I described in detail the feelings and images that this song stirs up.

32. Shake the Air

35. Alone Tonight– What a classic. A&B’s genius original is reworked by rising label star Jason Ross. All the raw emotion of the original vocals is left intact yet freshened up a bit. They have released the full track for this as well.

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Tri-State

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.

 

Grammy Nominated: We’re All We Need

“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.

 

ABGT150 and the return of OceanLab

This was an incredible set with some excellent new music on display. Definitely watch the entire thing if you have time, but I want to draw your attention to a very important stretch within the set.

16:25. Jono makes a huge announcement. OceanLab is returning! Many fans have been desperate for Above & Beyond to bring back their dreamy trance incarnation. In the past they had said that the project was dead, but fans kept hope alive. This may be premature, but I think the new track, “Another Chance”, will rank up there with “We Are All We Need” as one of my favorite Above and Beyond tunes. 18:20 is magical. Just read those comments in the lower lefthand corner of the screen! There is such an outpouring of excitement and relief from the fanbase for the return of OceanLab. Following this track is a great Sunny Lax track (25:20) and new Andrew Bayer (31:10). I think its the strongest part of the set.

Below is a tracklist courtesy of the collective knowledge of the internet.

01. (0:40) Above & Beyond – Hello (Album Mix Intro Edit)

02. (4:05) Oliver Smith – Mirage

03. (7:54) Faithless vs. Above & Beyond ft. Alex Vargas – Sticky Mea (Above & Beyond Mashup)

04. (13:30) Arty – Kate (2015 Rework)

05. (16:21) Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab – Another Chance (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

06. (22:10) Sunny Lax – Enceladus

07. (26:35) Andrew Bayer – Nobody Told Me (Anamnesis pt.1)

08. (30:10) Jean-Michel Jarre & Tangerine Dream – Zero Gravity (Above & Beyond Remix)

09. (37:39) Above & Beyond ft. Zoë Johnston – Peace of Mind (Extended Mix)

10. (42:38) Nick Sember – Mezzo Forte

11. (46:27) Ilan Bluestone vs. Above & Beyond ft. Richard Bedford – Sun & Lighthouse (Above & Beyond Mashup)

12. (50:22) Above & Beyond ft. Gemma Hayes – Counting Down The Days (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

13. (56:27) Above & Beyond – ID

14. (1:00:25) Genix & Sunny Lax – Black Water

15. (1:05:05) Above & Beyond ft. Zoë Johnston – Fly To New York (Above & Beyond vs. Jason Ross Club Mix)

16. (1:08:40) Jason Ross – Fuse

17. (1:13:30) Kyau & Albert – About the Sun

18. (1:18:17) Ilan Bluestone vs. OceanLab – 43 Sky Falls Down (ilan Bluestone Bootleg)

19. (1:22:05) Andrew Bayer – ID (Anamnesis pt.2)

20. (1:26:45) Above & Beyond ft. Zoë Johnston – Treasure (Kyau & Albert Remix)

21. (1:31:42) Above & Beyond ft. Alex Vargas – Blue Sky Action (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

22. (1:37:34) Maor Levi vs. Above & Beyond – Mercury Can’t Sleep (ID Mashup)

23. (1:42:20) Wrechiski & Jason Ross – Frontier

24. (1:47:15) Above & Beyond ft. Richard Bedford – Alone Tonight (Jason Ross Remix)

25. (1:51:00) Tom Staar vs. Delerium ft. Sarah McLachlan – Rocket Silence (Above & Beyond’s It’s Not Rocket Silence Mashup)

26. (1:54:36) Mat Zo – Synapse Dynamics (Arty Remix)

27. (1:56:41) Above & Beyond ft. Zoë Johnston – We Are All We Need (Outro Mix)

Is there really any point in making plans?

Alex Vargas is the talented vocalist featured on Above & Beyond’s recent album. He is featured on “Blue Sky Action”, “All Over the World”, “Sink the Lighthouse”, “Sticky Fingers”, and “Making Plans”. I don’t know why it has taken me this long, but I finally listened to some of his original work. It is incredible. Released from the constraints of EDM, he unleashes a forceful soulful tone. It reminds me a bit of Sam Smith.

My favorite Above & Beyond track that Alex Vargas is featured on is “Making Plans”. This isn’t trance. This isn’t dance. It isn’t even EDM, but I respect the hell out of Above & Beyond for taking the risk on this track. Originally conceived for their acoustic show, “Making Plans” is infused with a little more energy on the new album. This song will rip your heart out. I don’t often listen to lyrics, but this one merits your attention.

What could be more moving than that track? Well, the original. Tony sang the original during their acoustic performance, and while he may not be the best vocalist, you get the feeling that this song has a special meaning to him.

Ask yourself, is there really any point in making plans?

Counting Down the Days (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

I’m a huge Above & Beyond fanboy, but I’ll admit that my response to “Counting Down the Days” was lukewarm. It was an appropriate response to a borderline boring track. I think Gemma Hayes is a fantastic vocalist and the song had a good foundation, but it left me wanting a little bit more musical texture, variation, or at least a stronger drop. “Counting Down the Days” lacked an identity. It wasn’t committed to being a club anthem like “Blue Sky Action”, but it wasn’t quite a low key track either. That problem is solved with the following own club mix. Check out 1:45.

Speaking of remixes. Arty returns to the Anjunabeats fold with this incredible remix of “Peace of Mind”.