Trance Tuesdays

Posted by on October 9, 2012

Greetings, Trance Family. I trust this post finds you well. While this particular family member is still reeling from a positively massive (to borrow Armin’s favorite word) few days — Jochen Miller and Armin van Buuren on Thursday; Above & Beyond on Saturday — it is now time to move past the weekend and pay homage to a sampling of the glorious releases that have dropped in the past week. And glorious they truly are.

First up is the remix package for the stunning “I’ll Listen,” a song that may seem languid and understated at first but which proves wickedly catchy upon subsequent listens. Never doubt the diabolical tendencies of Armin. Check out John O’Callaghan’s “dark” mix above and then join me in trance heaven after the jump.

John O’Callaghan is widely regarded in the trance community as a remix god. He consistently manages to produce remixes that highlight the most stirring components of the original, but which are sufficiently different and independently strong to stand on their own. This, of course, is no small feat — especially when you’re working with something as unassailable as “Concrete Angel.” His remix of “I’ll Listen” is just another example of this; it amplifies Ana Criado’s riveting vocals against a lush, complex, and moody backdrop, shifting the vibe from melancholy to seriously haunting. The chorus? Oh, man, the chorus. I don’t even have words for how otherworldly it gets at the chorus. “Dark” mix? You’re telling me, dude.

Anjunabeats mainstay Super8 & Tab bring a similarly eerie sensibility to their remix, adding some ethereal reverb to the almost dissonant chords in the chorus. The Finnish duo’s remix is more understated than the marvel of engineering that is John O’Callaghan’s treatment, but has a wonderfully slinky feel that will certainly be at home on any dance floor. Look for this one to make the rounds on ASOT and TATW this week.

Finally, the remix from Dutch duo Disfunktion, which is probably the biggest departure from the original of the three. Thanks to an utterly different chord progression in the verses, they’ve transformed the melody entirely — and folded in an unbelievably epic drop replete with enormous, jaw-dropping, hands-in-the-air synth bursts. Did somebody say ASOT 600? While I still love the original and have immense appreciation for the above remixes (which play off of Armin’s beautiful synthwork with far more subtlety), this progressive house reboot is the definition of a banger.

Beatport: Armin van Buuren feat. Ana Criado – I’ll Listen (The Remixes)

Up next, a track with one of those quietly but indelibly catchy themes, a track which you’ll take in blissfully during a liveset and think nothing about in the moment, but which will come roaring back with an evil vengeance three days later. Damn, you’ll think on Tuesday, minding your own business at work when you get blindsided by a random chord progression that you suddenly can’t get out of your head. What the hell was that goddamn song? You’ll start humming what little you remember to all of your friends in vain — “Yo, Matt, what was that song that Ferry played right after he dropped Live Forever? There was a part that was like…na NA na na…na NA naa…” “Spice, shut the hell up, no one knows.” Don’t be that guy, people. Get the song here now. If you’ve been following Armin’s journey, you should recognize it; this track was a centerpiece of Universal Religion Vol. 6. and has made the rounds on ASOT. The full mix dropped last week and is a definite must-have for any fan of the genre. South African producer Protoculture is becoming more and more high profile every day — “Perpetual Motion” is just another indication that he’s someone to watch.

Beatport: Protoculture – Perpetual Motion

Our final track doesn’t need much introduction. Dash Berlin’s anthem “Waiting” has been a centerpiece of probably hundreds of sets since its release in 2009. Dutch duo W&W give it a dramatic, synthy facelift that’s already gotten major play from some of the biggest names. If you like top quality vocal trance that gives you chills in all the right places, this one has your name on it.

Beatport: Dash Berlin feat. Emma Hewitt – Waiting (W&W Remix)

BONUS: “Alchemy” may very well be my favorite song on Group Therapy. While that entire album is a shining beacon of beauty and perfection in a dark and confused world, “Alchemy” just might take it for me. Now finally — finally! — Above & Beyond’s unreleased club mix has surfaced; they teased it on TATW a few weeks ago which says to me that they’re gearing up for a release. And hallelujah to that — as with many of their club mixes (see: “Love Is Not Enough,” “Good for Me,” “Thing Called Love”) they somehow manage to wring even more emotion out of something already thrilling on the deepest levels. Here, they’ve kicked it up a notch and have ever so slightly manipulated the frission-inducing lead into the chorus…and, of course, thrown in a drop laden with dramatic synths. No word yet on a release date but we’ll keep you updated.

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