Hodel & JP Bates - Mirrors as reviewed by RoverTheOctopus

March 15, 2010

This is certainly going to be a difficult point to sell, especially for many of the trance listeners who have grown weary, or even cynical, about the direction of so-called “uplifting trance.” As a die-hard trance fan since the early 2000s, who spends countless days seeking out the best trance has to offer, I have so many times tried to distance myself from the cliched, cluttered, and sometimes artificial universe that has become of “uplifting trance” in search of another entrancing form of music. Then, once in a while there are these kinds of artists who rekindle the spirit.

Still, Mirrors to me is like a reincarnation of the melancholic sound of melodic trance that has come about through the works of trance musical wizards such as Airwave, Darren Tate, Mesh, or Fictivision. One of the most similar tracks I can think of coming in this same vein as Mirrors would have to be Robert Nickson - Spiral from 2004. The relationship is similar in that the feeling is profound despite its simplicity, and the progression assumes the listener is patient though engaged. Still, when the all the melodies reach their steep climb to the peak, the wait is worth it. So, here we have a deep and floaty piece, and the flow of the song is derived from the graceful changes in each of the melodies’ notes. There are lush ambient sounds during much of the breakdown, but what really sends me into orbit is at 4:43 when a soulful pad coasts in and lifts the atmosphere. The melodies sound so bliss when they’re stacked on top of each other.

In my sincerest opinion, Mirrors is one of the most humble, yet rewarding, pieces of trance that I’ve stumbled across in the last several years. There is nothing grandiose about it; nothing that tries to demand all the attention and glamour with ultra epic sounds. Instead, whenever I listen to these 7 minutes of melodic fluid, I feel as though I’m hearing something that was done for the sake of purely good music. Just damn good music, like any genre, without the stale perks or gimmicks. Back to basics, and not even in the production sense, just in the sense of what music is all about.