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.
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.
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.
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.
Andrew Bayer’s newest track is another stunning addition to his musical portfolio. This high quality track is the powerful yang to the delicate yin of his previous release “Celestial”. This track builds for about two minutes then hits its full-bodied stride from 2:00 until 3:30. If the song had on;y much maintained that theme I would have been happy, but I have good new. That stretch isn’t even close to the main course. 3:45 ushers in a soaring stretch that culminates at 5:00 where Bayer provides definitive proof of his genius. Savor this one.
Another Anjunabeats regular who has a distinctive style and consistently produces high quality tracks is Sunny Lax. A Sunny Lax track was one of the first that I featured on this blog, and I said his work epitomized where my current musical tastes were at that moment. That track can be found here. He still continues to produce tracks that tickle my trance nerve.
Everyone by now knows I love a hint of haunting female vocals, and this track, like most Sunny Lax tracks, deliver in that category. However, my absolute favorite part of this track starts at 2:15. The powerful bass lines are highly accentuated. The punctate nature of the bass creates a distinct separation between each note, and I love that. This track also has a surprisingly fresh and spunky outro. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last long enough.
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.
It has been awhile since we’ve seen Maor Levi on an Anjunabeats release. It was long overdue, and this track is exceptional. The energy at 1:00 is off the charts and 2:45 is breathtaking.
Maor Levi is also a member of the surging Bad Royale trap super group. I don’t like trap, but I do appreciate the diversity of Levi’s skill set. In the future, I hope he uses his powers for good and not evil.