Frozen Ground

Ilan Bluestone found success with last year’s vocal track in large part due to the talents of Giuseppe de Luca. Bluestone smartly stuck with de Luca for his second vocal effort, and I think he has another hit. This track is radio friendly, and I am just waiting for that day that an artist like Bluestone breaks through to the mainstream. Quality is not the issue at all. The production value is impeccable, the beat is strong and catchy, and de Luca is a talented singer with a unique vocal flavor. If you agree then share this track with all of your friends!

Below is the Bluestone and de Luca’s track from last year called “Bigger than Love”.

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”.

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.

Massive Anjunabeats Update

Ajunabeats has been busy signing new talent lately. That talent has certaintly delivered. On the heels of massive releases such as “Elements“, “Atlas“, and “Cairo”, Jason Ross vs. Jenaux gives us “Solaris”. Honestly, this track doesn’t catch my attention right away, but I become extremely interested around 2:00. This is a beautiful and atmospheric stretch filled with primal vocals. From this point on the track really matures and becomes quite rich and full. 2:59 is the drop, and it is worth the wait. I don’t think that this track is on the same level as his previous releases, but it is still very enjoyable and worth adding to your collection.

Lets follow that fresh Anjunabeats talent with something new from the old guard. Ilan Bluestone released a few new tracks of his own on the Anjunabeats Worldwide compilation that he mixed. I particularly liked “Cloudchaser”. 2:29 is the first drop in this rather lengthy track.

As a bonus, here is a track that Maor Levi and Ilan Bluestone remixed together. I have often referenced what I simply call that “Bluestone bassline”, and I wanted to give you a good example of what that sounds like. Listen to 1:00 for Bluestone and then 3:13 for Maor Levi’s flavor.

The newest member of Anjunabeats skews very progressive. I discussed my thoughts on the subgenre in a previous post, so read up to fully appreciate how well Grum produces the style.

We’re All We Need (Ilan Bluestone remix)

This is one of the best remixes of an Above & Beyond track. Ever. The original track is one of my top 3 favorite A&B tracks ever, so I was ecstatic to hear it get the Ilan Bluestone treatment. He has a knack for remixing A&B’s work. See below for his remix of “Satellite”.

Let’s not waste anymore time! Turn your speakers or headphones up and let me guide you through the high points of this epic track. This version is taken from a compilation album, so there is an unnecessary intro for the first minute.

1:00- That characteristic Bluestone bassline. It is so massive and powerful, but it is just a taste of what is to come.

2:15- This stretch isolates Zoe’s amazing vocals.

3:45- I told you there was bigger and better bass to come. Oh and lets fold in those beautiful vocals at 4:15.

Here is Bluestone’s previous remix of “Satellite”. No intro here so be prepared to be have your mind blown from the outset. It is all excellent, but 2:46 onward might be some of the best trance that could ever tickle your tympanic membrane.

Ilan Bluestone delivers and Soundprank takes us to the movies

I wrote an earlier blog post about how Soundprank is classically trained and describes himself as a “musical storyteller”. That is on full display in his new track called “Legion”. Take a listen starting at 2:15. It is amazing how powerful a few sparse and echoing piano notes can be. Let’s not forget those haunting female vocals. I really like this very specific sound (akin to wailing), and it has been put to good use in dramatic film soundtracks. The soundtracks to “Munich“, “Gladiator” and “Troy” come to mind. It elicits a primal and emotional response, and I think it works well in an EDM track. Sometimes the synths and bass can sound emotionally sterile and void of a human element. Soundprank brilliantly solved that problem in this track.

That Ilan Bluestone is so hot right now. He recently guest-mixed on ABGT, and his set featured some new material as well as a mind-blowing remix of “We’re All We Need”. Below are some of the highlights from ABGT and his new single, “43”.

1:35:50- This is an amazing remix of Big Ben (Ilan Bluestone) and Black Room Boy (Above & Beyond).

1:50:13- I didn’t think that “We’re All We Need” could get any better. I love its original simplicity, and I haven’t really liked many of the official remixes until now. I think some of Ilan’s best work is when he is remixing Above & Beyond. Take a listen to OceanLab’s (an Above & Beyond alias) “Satellite” remixed by Ilan to see what I am talking about.

Now to his newly released single, “43”. Why is the track called 43? It is because this track was debuted in Ilan’s ABGT100 set at the 43 minute mark. The opening is a bit long, so let’s skip to 1:00. There are no words for the glorious richness and fullness of this track, but I will settle with an unsatisfactory adjective. Massive. 2:15 is pretty incredible as well. By now, you know that I love the middle of tracks where the song is deconstructed and rebuilt layer by layer.

What else can I say? Ilan has yet another hit. His tracks are always solid (at a minimum), but “43” separates itself from recent releases such as “Snapdragon” and joins likes of “Sinai” and “Big Ben” as an Ilan classic.

Bayer 2.0 and Bluestone 2.0

Now that I’ve gotten my fill of quirky saxophone EDM, lets switch gears. Here are two new Anjunabeats releases, and they hit the spot.

First is a new track by Jason Ross. Later in this post I compare the new release from Fatum to Andrew Bayer productions. If Fatum is Bayer 2.0 then Ross is Bluestone 2.0. Anyway, his new track “Cairo” is amazing. I’d break it down for you, but I love every second so there is really no point. Just give the whole thing a thorough listen.

The second is a track with a slightly industrial and grungy sound that is reminiscent of Andrew Bayer productions. I have included “The District” and “Bullet Catch” below for comparison. In fact, it shares musical characteristics with some new A&B tracks such as “All Over the World”, which makes sense since Bayer contributed his talents to much of their new album.

0:45- That big in you face “WHOOOMP” sets the tone.

1:15- This is what I was talking about earlier when I referenced an “Andrew Bayer” sound that is a bit industrial sounding. I imagine this would be the soundtrack to a robot factory in the future. Where robots make more robots.

3:00- What a wonderful breakdown.

4:21- This stretch integrates the previous theme from 3:00 but imbues it with a bit more energy courtesy of a driving bass line.

Andrew Bayer comparisons.

Above & Beyond Comparison