W5 (Waiting For)
Scot Project is to trance what Sesame Street is to nippers. In the 22-years of his alphabet-titled tracks, ‘W’ has already been taught four times. ‘W5’ opens with a single orchestral hit and, in terms of instant-hook, it couldn’t be more so. From there, the news only gets better. A vociferous b-line, rimshot percussion, a gift of an old-school vocal, a white lightning lead riff and a Hitchcock-tense break-finale all have ‘W5’ cooking on napalm.
Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab
'Another Chance (Above & Beyond Club Mix)'
First showing of note on the OceanLab radar in seven years, which one would imagine is unlikely to be a hit-and-run affair. Frankly, you could go into ‘Another Chance’ credit-less and still know within a minute who you were listening to. As ever, Justine vocally frames her plaintive lyrics with infinite care. A&B’s Club Mix, meanwhile, delivers high-impact at the key points and harmonic support everywhere else. The old magic’s still there.
Paul van Dyk & Ronald van Gelderen feat. Gaelan & Eric Lumiere
'Everyone Needs Love'
Whether this represents new album material from PvD or not is still to be clarified. After supportive turns on tracks like ‘We Are’, ‘Berlinition’ and ‘Together Again’, though, it’s certainly Paul’s first lead production role since ‘Lights’. By turns, ‘Everyone Needs Love’ uses both a male and female singers to deliver its lyrics. It’s a less used but highly effective dynamic, which gives the lyrics a ‘sliding doors’ effect. It’s also the track’s masterstroke.
Sunny Lax & Aneym
'Everything's A Lie '
On ‘Everything’'s production side, Sunny executes a fine rollout, with air-hung piano notes existing amongst the nuance and quirk needed to satisfy Anjuna’s 2.0-ers. Over latter spins though it’s Aneym’s bittersweet lyrics and stirring delivery that shine brightest.
Pure Trance Recordings
In trance, strings ain't what they used to be. Organic use has been heavily diluted by producers in need of a quick (hopefully) emotion-stirring totem. If, however, you go as far as to title-infer your key instrument, better make damn sure of its quality. Happily, ‘Heartstrings’ draws its titular strings with authenticity and its verity benefits accordingly. The track’s bold supporting production is far from harming things either.
Coast 2 Coast feat. Discovery
'Home (Scott Bond & Charlie Walker GC23 Remix)'
‘Home’ was arguably the trance classic that never was. Following in the successful wake of Agnelli & Nelson’s ‘El Nino’, with plenty of steam of its own, it had all the makings. A few release miss-steps though and it slipped between the cracks. Thus, Scott Bond & Charlie Walker’s GC23 rebuild is a highly welcome bring-back and a more than fitting restoration to boot.
Stoneface & Terminal
With a darker/harder sound, Future Sound Of Egypt’s new imprint comes under the cloak of Clandestine. Somewhat surprisingly, all eyes are on Stoneface & Terminal to set 001’s tone. Do they ever, though. ‘Lunacy’ shifts production focus to the bottom and mid-range, pulsating with a depth of LFO purpose rarely heard on their tracks. In keeping, its synth stabs, loud percussion, Eastern-themed stylistic touches and tech-ish-trance undertone electrify, delivering a thrilling opener for Clandestine.
Fisherman & Hawkins feat. Sir Adrian
'Never The Same (Remixes)'
A filler-free remix assembly for the first vocal outing from Dutch duo Isaac Vissers & Rob Koopmans. Sir Adrian’s edged vocals and cryptic lyrics are a strong yin to Rex Mundi’s leaner darker studio yang. Likewise, stripped back is PROFF’s rebuild, with only occasionally flashes of tech and melody lessening its darker tone. In deference to the vocal, Radion6 reins in his usual tempestuousness a touch, noticeably leaving its third act song-free.
Airscape feat Betsie Larkin
High Contrast Recordings
Just as 2016 sounds Last Orders, Johan squeezes in his anticipated second Airscape-r of the year. It has been a while though since we’ve had a vocal number from him, making Betsie Larkin’s contribution that much more welcome. There’s a perceptible trace of Way Out West’s ‘The Gift’ to the production’s chime, harmonic sweeps, bass and melody progression. No bad thing, though, as ‘Right Here’ has the right stuff.
Simon Patterson Ft Dave Wright
The unexpected has long come fitted as standard on Patterson’s tracks. As his latest single joyfully underlines though, certainties don’t even feature on the options list. ‘Vapour Trails’ brooding, thundersome 4/4 intro is quickly ousted by all manner of subversive arrangements, FX wig-outs, curio vox tangents and bleaching distortion. Dave Wright’s song-a-proper is by far the most straightforward thing on here. Set amongst all the madness though, it appears as just one more wonderful eccentricity.