Mood of Mind
Formerly a progressive protégé under the mentorship of Eric Prydz, Norway’s Fehrplay has since gone solo and launched his own Mood Of Mind label. 'Feelin' is a powerful effort that reflects the darker path he has taken, not to mention his growing maturity as a producer. Huge electro-progressive vibes for the mainroom, it’s also imbued with plenty of deeper, techno-infused rhythms and even a dash of industrial EBM. Weaving the melodic elements into a swirl during the breakdown, he strips it right back again at the drop for maximum power. There’s definitely a contrast with the more straightforward Pryda thrills reviewed this month. A tougher, more underground approach certainly suits Fehrplay, and B-side ‘Matisse’ is equally as good.
Confession boss Tchami lines up a killer three-track release from fellow Frenchman KOOS that’s reflective of the sort of turbo-powered big room excellence we’ve come to expect from the Parisian label. 'Ahem' is a killer concoction of driving house grooves and noisy, subversive mayhem. Warming things up with a more traditional soulful house sample, it’s a bait-and-switch from KOOS, who throws out a mercilessly noisy riff after the first big drop. Wild, yet refined.
Ruben de Ronde X Rodg X Estiva
'Intergalactic (Extended Mix)'
The stupendous trio of progressive trance producers assembled here predictably adds up to something big. The club mix of a track taken from de Ronde and Rodg’s collaborative album from earlier this year, adding studio stalwart Estiva into the mix really gives ‘Intergalactic’ its edge. The trio unleash a savage tech-trance pulse, embellished with a properly grimy dash of deep progressive, which they then refine with a few more restrained melodic touches.
IN / ROTATION
LA-native Convex is a producer and live performer who can already boast an impressively polished sound, perfectly matched to the energy of his country’s hyper-coloured festival scene. His 'Remembrance EP' features a seductively sugary mix of mainstage melodic energy alongside tougher broken beats and trap grooves, assembled with the kind of sophisticated take on songwriting and arrangements that reflects his extensive prior history in live instrumentation.
Nick Warren & Tripswitch
Nick Warren and Nick Brennan, aka Tripswitch, join forces for one of those luxurious deep progressive records that’s just about as extravagant as the majestic hairstyle sported by Sudbeat boss Hernan Cattaneo himself. All the elements are there. Powerful, emotive melodies, smatterings of Latin percussion plus the sort of powerful, deep bassline that’s always been Warren’s speciality. An example of the Sudbeat sound that’s executed to perfection.
'Stay With Me'
Prydz powers up a proper peak-time explosion here, a tech-infused journey into acid trance that’s suitably decadent, with a few extra lashings of darkness to add an edge of menace. When its big riff is eventually introduced, Prydz takes things into proper late ‘90s Gatecrasher trance territory. ‘Stay With Me’ is deep, dark and powerful, though also decidedly retro.
Gabriel Ananda vs John Digweed & Nick Muir
Digweed, Ananda and Muir team for a powerful representation of the Bedrock sound. Smooth, intelligent house with strong grooves and a dash of melodic appeal. Ethereal synths rise and fall sharply in the mix, before it kicks into overdrive with a burst of bubbly energy later on.
Grum & Josep
'The Love You Feel'
All the elements align for a progressive trance record that’s beautifully shaped with simplicity. Ascending Anjuna star Grum teams with trance stalwart Will Atkinson (moonlighting under his Josef alias), plucking a powerful vocal grab and using it to ground a record that otherwise perfectly balances hands-in-the-air trance with a deeper, growling energy. The pair invest a lot of effort into one of the breakdowns several minutes in, and it’s an investment that pays off.