Ordinary World EP
Dusky make a stylistic pivot with ‘Ordinary World’ that sees them competing with Eric Prydz in the unbridled euphoria stakes. They teased these tracks for months prior to release, and for good reason. ‘Ordinary World’ is by far the raviest collection of anthems that Dusky have put their name to, recalling the explosive progressive bombs that characterised their earlier output under the Solarity alias. Even the deep house conventions that garnish ‘Skin Deep’ are a mask for its true nature as a peak-time destroyer, while ‘Parakeet Feet’ is pure Pryda-style thrills. One of the finest collections of bangers you’ll hear all year.
The Tessier-Ashpool stable again show their knack for futuristic sounds that make for some wild, unhinged fun on the dancefloor. Cassini builds ‘Fermi’ around a mutant R&B stomp that delivers a hefty bottom-end punch, otherwise conjuring all sorts of electro mayhem to embellish the groove. Deranged in the best possible way.
Another of the gems that regularly surface on the Enhanced Progressive stable, ‘Lost’ is a delightful progressive trance record featuring a particularly intense build, which simmers seductively around its piano hook in the breakdown. There’s energy and emotion to spare, though Thomas Hayes pleasingly holds it back from entering peak-time trance territory.
'Over The Stars'
So soon after his excellent artist album last year ‘A Sense of Wonder’, Dan Sieg again returns with another lush, melodic masterpiece that deserves to be heard. ‘Over The Stars’ is a rollercoaster ride of emotions that swells from its mellow beginnings into a dizzying breakdown, before pulling back into melancholy again after the drop.
Matt Lange’s debut ‘Ephemera’ LP captures his talent for imbuing his progressive bombs with stunning musicianship and sound design prowess, and its opener ‘Removes Me’ is the perfect statement on the delights contained within. On the surface it’s dark, brooding techno, though as it builds towards its apex, the melodic elements are gradually woven into the framework with some stunningly dense, layered studio work.
'Some Things Rise EP'
Life and Death
Life and Death’s place in the clubbing zeitgeist is captured succinctly here, with a four-track EP that embodies the sound that’s connected so much with crowds: deep, dark, dirty progressive in all but name (or Beatport genre classification). The four artists showcased cover an impressive amount of ground, with Sei A in particular fashioning a sludgy bassline that’s begging to be unleashed on a dancefloor at 3am. Dark, deep and grandiose in all the right measures.
'Time Go By'
You’ll need to look to the final track on his new ‘Takin Over EP' for Bedrock for where he properly unleashes his euphoric, emotional side. ‘Time Go By’ is the kind of record that is so overflowing in progressive thrills that it’s a candidate for one of the epic stormers that John Digweed tends to close his sets with. Don’t let its opening tempered grooves fool you, as we’re given a dizzy blast of euphoria little more than a minute in.
Stoneface & Terminal
'Venus (2015 rework)'
Remixed to mark Stoneface & Terminal’s 10th anniversary of working together in the studio, the updates that are made to ‘Venus’ are largely of the “under the hood” variety, imbuing it with a tech house groove that preps it nicely for modern dancefloors. The end result is a driving progressive trance record that sounds every bit as exciting as when it was released a decade ago, and is a testament to the ongoing pursuit of innovation we’ve enjoyed from the duo.