A.I. and Bigger than Love

I have posted before about these two tracks either in the context of a teaser snippet or a mixed version from a compilation. Well, they have both been officially released in their full glory, so I felt that I needed to share them again. These two tracks are from my favorite EDM act and arguably my second favorite, so these releases get their own post.

First up is A.I. by A&B. Haters gonna hate, but I love this song. For all of you A&B fans out there who pine for the days when A&B made real “trance”, let me tell you something. You wouldn’t have a productive and relevant group to love if it weren’t for A&B’s ability to adapt, evolve, and pick up on what the people want. A&B hasn’t produced trance since Tri-State, so if you came in after that then you can’t complain because you were never a fan of a “trance” group in the first place. This, my friends, is what the people want and it is glorious.

For you drop loving folks check out 2:02. My usual disclaimer applies, and that is that you won’t appreciate the drop without the buildup. My favorite part is actually 3:01 onward. I think this is the melodic soaring sound that many A&B fans want to hear (minus that dirty drop in the middle).

Next up is Ilan Bluestone’s “Bigger than Love”. This debuted in his ABGT150 set, and it felt like it took an eternity to be released. Fear not. It has arrived, and it is magnificent. I won’t lie. I felt like Bluestone tracks were becoming formulaic (e.g. Aurora, Atlantis), but the addition of these stunning vocals and lyrics has catapulted him out of his creative rut. I look forward to hearing more vocal production from him in the future.

Here are two bonus tracks (also newly released) from the label.

Like the prior two tracks, I have posted about this one before. However, it is so superb that it deserves a dedicated post now that it has been been fully released. Grum’s “Under Your Skin” is a progressive slow burn that strikes the perfect balance between hypnotizing the listeners and compelling them to dance.

The Blackwater/Seven EP is also excellent. I have talked about the more popular of the two in previous posts, but here is the less appreciated “Seven”.

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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.

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)

Lets catch up…

Its been over two weeks since I last posted, and I have accumulated quite the backlog of tracks to share with you. These track will be a great sampling from all over the EDM spectrum. Lets get to it!

First up is a great track from Dubai based Zack Shaar. Like the city this producer works from, this track embodies the future. Such a great forward thinking tune. I’ve followed this track with two others that I think have similar musical DNA.

Fatum is really great at producing these aggressive and mechanical sounding tracks.

This next track is really fun and super high energy.

Next is a classic trance track. Above & Beyond recently played this on their pre-ABGT150 (aka ABGT 149) podcast that was entirely composed of classic fan favorites from the past years. This track is so crisp. It doesn’t have busy synths, and it keeps it simple with a strong bass line punctuating the airy vocals of Leah.

Here are two solid progressive tunes. These are the types of tracks that would fill the gaps between high points on an album without a significant drop off.

Here is a dancy house tune from the Oxygen label. 0:59 is great. This song is a crowd pleaser and still manages to be pretty unique.