Above & Beyond ‎– Anjunabeats Volume 8

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ANJCD018D Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(28xFile, MP3, Comp, Mixed, 320 + 2xFile, MP3, Mixe) Anjunabeats ANJCD018D UK 2010
DNA0071 Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(2xCD, Comp, Mixed) Central Station DNA0071 Australia 2010 Sell This Version
ПРЗ CD00412 Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(2xCD, Comp, Mixed) TME, Open Gate Records ПРЗ CD00412 Russia 2010 Sell This Version
HN769CD Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(2xCD, Comp, Mixed) High Note Records HN769CD Taiwan 2010 Sell This Version
ANJCD018 Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(2xCD, Comp, Mixed, Dig) Anjunabeats ANJCD018 UK 2010 Sell This Version
UL 2483-2 Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(2xCD, Comp, Mixed, Dig) Ultra Records UL 2483-2 US 2010 Sell This Version
ANJCDCO052D Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Volume 8(25xFile, MP3, Comp, 320) Anjunabeats ANJCDCO052D UK 2011

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BassDrivenEmotion

BassDrivenEmotion

August 30, 2010
referencing Anjunabeats Volume 8, 2xCD, Comp, Mixed, Dig, ANJCD018
With the amount of sterile and uninspiring uplifting trance music around these days, it’s sometimes hard to get excited by a release that nearly entirely consists of this trance sub genre. However, one to still get excited about is Above & Beyond's Anjunabeats compilation pulling together the best of the labels releases of recent months. As with the last 3 releases, it’s a double disc release presented in a classy matt style digi-pack with a space theme to celebrate A&B sound tracking the launch of “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo”.

Disc 1 takes a more trancey and up-tempo approach than in volumes 5-7, presumably leaving the houseier and proggy tracks to the recently started Anjunadeep series. The disc starts with a couple of light progressive trance tracks easing you into the CD. Let Go (track 3) is pretty cheesy stuff, with that bouncy thumping commercial progressive house beat with off-beat stabs the likes of which have been used over by Deadmau5, Adam K etc. However the track is passable and is followed by Oliver Smith who never fails to deliver and Chordplay has a lovely organic sound and feel along with Smith’s usual style and sound. Some bassy electro(y) tracks drive the mix forward before Arty’s Rush delivers the first big breakdown and the mix follows with a selection of similarly paced uplifting moments. Bart Claessen delivers a mellower and chilled “90 Nights of Summer” compared with his usual tougher, techy Anjunabeats offerings from previous CD’s. Following is the mash-up of Gareth Emery’s Metropolis and Oceanlab’s On a Good Day which blends the uplifting vocals of On a Good Day with the more intelligent and progressive Metropolis. Personally I feel here would have been a good place to end the mix, but two more tracks follow which aren’t necessarily bad tracks, but rather wallpaper trance that I could give or take.

Disc 2 starts with a progressive trance edge, but as soon as Taxi Driver kicks in you can straight away that this is a more up tempo affair that Disc1. The first few tracks nicely follow on from the end of the first disc and build you up for what’s to come later on. Live Forever is the first real peak in the mix and Matt Zo delivers a fine remix chopping the vocals in and out and putting his big rolling bass and glitchy sounds in that makes the track a bit different from your usual vocal trance affair. From here on in, the energy rarely drops and its big breakdowns and climaxes till the end. Thing Called Love feels like a sister track to Alone Tonight featuring Richard Bedford on the vocals again and sure to turn into a classic for A&B fans. The Juventa remix of Larry Mountains 54 is one of the most fresh sounding uplifting trance tracks I have heard in a while, and that’s not the only classic to have been revived for 2010. Dan Stone gives a strong remix of Alt+F4’s self titled track and Oceanlab / Passive Progressive collaboration using Oceanlab’s Sky Falls Down is, as written in the credits, a great set ender. Of course, no Anjunabeats CD would be complete with the labels biggest artists and Super8 & Tab, Daniel Kandi, Nitrous Oxide and Adam Nicky all make an appearance.

All in all, this is another fantastic release from the Anjunabeats stable and goes to show that quality trance does still exist. Disc 1 shows A&B skills as DJ’s, working the mix, while Disc 2 shows they can deliver an almighty punch on the dance floor.

However, I can help but feel that this style of uplifting, “hands in the air” trance has really been exhausted over the 12 years from its initial explosion in 1998. A few sound similar to other tracks around. 7 Skies “Sushi” sounds very similar to Firewall’s Sincere and Chasing Love has similarities to the Martin Roth Remix of Starchaser's “So High”. Furthermore, some of the stronger tracks on the album are the remixes of the Anjunabeats back catalogue. But that would be my only slight negativity to this, and Adam Beyer, Oliver Smith, Super8 & Tab more than make up for it.