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.

Celestial- Andrew Bayer

This is in the running for my favorite track of the year. “Celestial” is a track that only Bayer could pull off. It starts off with light and airy piano notes. The reverberations make the track feel distant and like a memory. This effect was especially potent for me because I also associated these piano notes with gently falling snow in the winter.

Again, at 3:05 this track reminds me of winter. It is like Bayer opens a door to a freshly coated and sparkling snowy landscape. The chill hits me, but I don’t mind because I am well insulated under many layers The piano notes come back as I mentally begin to walk through the fresh snow. The flakes fall silently around me and accumulate on my coat as I walk.

I didn’t realize how much I loved winter until I no longer had it. Yes, it is an inconvenient, expensive, and uncomfortable, but we forget the little things that excite us in winter. There is nothing more exciting than seeing an enormous snowstorm heading your way in the weather forecast. Watching the snow begin to fall from a warm house is strangely satisfying, and it is like a surprise party when you wake up to a world remade by the blanketing whiteness of a heavy snow.

Those of you living in cold climates… appreciate your winters. Those of you living in warm climates… don’t rule out a future relocation because of “the weather”. You never know whether there is a winterphile within you just waiting to come out.

While I may have associated Bayer’s track with winter, he clearly feels that it has a celestial vibe. I can definitely see where that is coming from. Fitting in well with that celestial theme is the second new release from Maor Levi called “Neptune”. I previously posted about “Mercury“, which is a great track so make sure to check that out.

Secrets

Never has there been a more beautiful and fitting remix than Andrew Bayer’s rework of OceanLab’s “Secret”. It seems that Andrew Bayer has some experience with the topic of secrets. The track below combines Bayer’s musical genius with the wonderful Evanescence-like vocals of Molly Bancroft.

“Please keep your secrets to yourself…”

Anyway, listen to this work of art. “Secret” is a moving track about how awful it is to carry the burden of a secret when you have nobody to confide in. At 4:30, Bayer beautifully reworks the original to highlight the vocals and play up the desperate plea for relief.

As a bonus here is an old and a new Bayer track that I haven’t posted before.

My trip to Andrew Bayer’s “Do Androids Dream” tour

Andrew Bayer was in town last night for his “Do Androids Dream” tour, and he played at The Observatory in Santa Ana. First of all, if you live in Orange County, I would highly recommend The Observatory as a venue. It is the perfect size for an EDM show and drinks/tickets are reasonable.

I really enjoyed the performance, and Bayer seems to really enjoy performing as well. He is a pretty reserved and introverted guy, so it was interesting to see him smiling and getting caught up in his own music and the crowd. Below are some videos that I took from the show.

Here is a video of Bayer dropping Fatum’s “Mandala”. Above & Beyond also played this when I recently went to their show.

Here are two random clips from close up.

I took this clip while he played one of this new tracks, “Do Androids Dream Pt. 2”. It gets blurry at the end because I think the autofocus got confused when I switched to the crowd then back to Bayer.

I also wanted to throw in the continuous mix of “Do Androids Dream”. I really believe this album was intended to be enjoyed as a unit.

Wall Street Journal analysis of “Tomorrow Boys” by Andrew Bayer

Andrew Bayer received an excellent Wall Street Journal write-up in which the following track was debuted. The article contains a great analysis and some insight from Bayer himself. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I will just link the article for you at the end of this post.

I’ll add that my favorite part of the track is actually the outro from 5:07 on. Haunting and beautiful.

Wall Street Journal Review of “Tomorrow Boys” by Andrew Bayer.  

My Trip to Above & Beyond’s Show

I flew up to Tacoma for Above & Beyond’s final show of their North American tour. As usual, I was not disappointed, and their status as my favorite artist of all time has been solidified. It was a special treat as 16 Bit Lolitas, Myon & Shane 54, and even Mat Zo were there as warm-up acts. Above & Beyond, rewarding the fans on the last night of their tour, played a really long set and gave a generous encore. All told, the show was 7 hours, and I savored every second of it.

They have come a long way from when I first saw them about 3 years ago in a small bar in Bloomington, IN. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow and adapt their style to larger venues. They still communicate with the crowd via messages on the main screen that they type out on the fly. I made sure to take a few videos and photos that I wanted to share with you all. It was an amazing night that I’ll never forget.

They opened with “We’re All We Need”, which has risen to be one of my favorite A&B tracks of all time. It rivals the likes of Sun & Moon and Alchemy. When I heard this come on I was overcome with joy. I’m a pretty serious guy, but even I got giddy and felt warm butterflies in my stomach as the purple aura surrounded me.

Next up are a few Andrew Bayer tracks.

Below are some photos I took throughout the night.

From the stands during Mat Zo’s set. It was quite a crowd.

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During Above & Beyond. They released some confetti at the end in celebration of the tour’s conclusion.

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Do Androids Dream

I posted the vocal track from this EP last week, but now the rest has been released on Soundcloud. These tracks are cinematic works of art that tell a story between Parts 1 and 2. They are certainly not meant for a drunken Vegas night. No, these are tracks that require your attention and are best enjoyed with a sober and sharp mind.

I have also included the live version from ABGT100 (First 10 minutes or so). Happy listening!