How I rate releases:

For albums, I look at how each song flows from one track to the next, or how all the tracks sound overall.

For EPs and LPs, I give primary weight to the original version of a song, and secondary to remixes. Generally, if there is a poor remix on the same release as the original, I do not penalize the release if the original is otherwise good. But if an original is poor and the remix(es) are good, I give the release the benefit of the doubt, but may accustom a slight penalty for the poor original (1 point deduction.)

5: Superb, there is nothing to improve upon. Classic material.
4: Great, with minor flaws or maybe just somewhat lacking a "special" feel to it.
3: Solid/decent and enjoyable release, but lacking in a few areas.
2: Generic/nothing special or several of the elements in the track/album are unappealing. More "boring" songs fall into this category.
1: Unbearable/intolerable to listen to. Severely lacking in many areas or the production quality sounds unprofessional.
Recent Activity
posted a comment on Silent Season. over 3 years ago
So far, so great. Silent Season is a consistent quality label. If the by-now notable releases off of similar labels such as Dakini or Ultimae are any comparison, I'd offer that the beautiful works contained within Silent Season's anthology of music are ... See full review
posted a review of Purl - Stillpoint. over 3 years ago
With some albums of intense promise, it takes a listen and then another listen, and then you walk away from it for a bit, and then revisit it again to see how the thoughts come together. Since last July, I've given this album some heavy rotation, ... See full review
posted a comment on Aes Dana - Memory Shell. over 3 years ago
For me, Memory Shell by Aes Dana is sui generis. A strong alliance of melancholia and driving (at times lascivious) beats, one track after the next, its dark undertones ripple like an intense undercurrent, while the revolving melodies contribute to an ... See full review
submitted T-Polar - Crossroads. over 4 years ago
posted a review of Elliott Thomas (2) - Sirius. over 4 years ago
What a strong release. This appears to be the debut EP for Elliott Thomas, and it manifests two songs that are deeply emotive in unique ways. Thomas has crafted a style here that transcends the more minimal angle of house, to brilliant effect.

On the A ... See full review
posted a comment on Baaz - What About Talk About_2. over 5 years ago
"Those Things" on the A Side has really made the rounds this year. No wonder—it's a resplendent piece of music, after all—as the airy melodies are carefully pitched to a just-dissonant enough tone to blanket you in warmth without harming the delicate, ... See full review
posted a review of Sivesgaard - Half Dreaming EP. over 6 years ago
The Inxec Remix is quite a wistful beauty for certain. The unresolved melody waits in the wings--always waiting--for about the entire first half of the song (while sharp clips of glitchy percussion pulse beneath) before opening up with a warm, yet ... See full review
posted a comment on P.Laoss - Bamboo Mat EP. over 7 years ago
Somehow, many orthodoxies of deep house were turned on their heads with this fine release. And even veteran listeners, staled by familiar sounds, should be grinning widely as the hissing and crackling during the open seconds of the sultry, fittingly ... See full review
posted a review of Darren Tate - Prayer For A God (Gracelands Episode 2). over 8 years ago
After firstly hearing Prayer For A God in 2004, it became somewhat an obsession of mine for months. As I was still in high school at the time, it was a truly lifting experience to come home each afternoon and flip on the song, while letting the sun’s ... See full review
posted a review that has since been deleted. over 8 years ago
posted a review of Holden* & Thompson* - Nothing. over 8 years ago
With so many weak attempts at tweaking vocals filling the airwaves these days, it's nice to know that we have one of vocal chopping's original prints clearly standing the test of time. Every syllable causes my body to twitch as the voices crawl beneath ... See full review
posted a review of Hodel & JP Bates - Mirrors. over 8 years ago
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 ... See full review
posted a review that has since been deleted. over 9 years ago
posted a review of Deepwide - Take Me In / River. over 9 years ago
Let's talk about River, a tune which I believe exemplifies the utmost standards of uplifting trance using today's technology. With this technology, does it throw in huge, glamorous effects that leave you agape? The chances are high that, no, it will ... See full review
posted a comment on Nitrous Oxide (2) - Morning Light / Orient Express. over 9 years ago
They're not out of key, but they definitely have a slight dissonant flavor to them, especially Morning Light. I personally think it gives the release some security from being accused of sounding too "happy" or "sad." In my opinion, it's the most ... See full review
posted a review of B&W - Mistaken. over 9 years ago
Mistaken was always a track that left a nice impression on me, but it was only until more recently that I have come to really appreciate its offerings. The Fictivision Mix is a delightful experience through pure, deep trance. This was also, to my ... See full review
posted a comment that has since been deleted. over 9 years ago
posted a review of Mark Sixma - Visionary. over 9 years ago
Off the bat, I am a huge Paul Moelands fan. You probably know him better as Re:Locate or Octagen. I have nearly every one of his originals and remixes now, and I'm coming to a point where I feel that I can begin sorting out the ones I've been in love ... See full review
posted a review of Mr Sam* - Lyteo. over 9 years ago
The much praised Rank 1 remix is really nothing special for me. To start, the looping vocal chops at the intro can be kind of numbing. When I'm at home, I personally love to put my playlists on shuffle, so hearing those chops upfront can get easily ... See full review
posted a review of Girl Nobody - Cages. over 9 years ago
Night music of the highest caliber. The Lemon8 remix epitomizes the very nature of dark, driving progressive trance from the 2003-2004 era, starting with a deep bass that is haunting in how it fades in and out beneath a depressive guitar instrumental. ... See full review
posted a comment on Midtone - Pearl. over 9 years ago
It actually really surprises me that more people apparently haven't heard of this beautiful progressive trancer. The breakdown of the original is sincerely one of the most beautiful, and I would probably award it a top 25 spot for all-time, I have ever ... See full review
posted a comment on Daniel Kandi & Robert Nickson - Liberate. over 9 years ago
Liberate seems to fill in a lot of the check boxes for what one could pass off as typical weak, generic uplifting trance circa 2008: a very minimal presentation of percussion instruments (seriously reduced to just a kick drum, hi-hats, and white noise ... See full review
posted a comment on Matt Darey Presents Urban Astronauts feat. Kate Louise Smith* - See The Sun (Remixes). over 9 years ago
The Aurosonic Remix of See The Sun was thoroughly hammered during the autumn of 2009, and I think there is solid justification for its vast exposure. To start, this release proves that there is nothing inherently wrong with vocals mixed with trance ... See full review
posted a review of Above & Beyond - One Hundred (Bonus Mixes). over 9 years ago
A wonderful, wonderful remix by 7 Skies & Static Blue! It's one of my favorites from 2008, to be sure. Turning the 2000 trance anthem "Volume One" into a deeper, melancholic (and some may say more spiritual) adventure, we see a more hypnotic, yet floaty, ... See full review
posted a review of DJ Ernesto - Stop9.5 (The Remixes). over 9 years ago
At first listen, some of the arrangements of Phynn's remix should sound starkly familiar to his earlier remix of Ernesto vs. Bastian - Who's The Starter, only everything sounds multiple times more professional and pronounced here. Clearly, his talent was ... See full review
posted a review of Kaste - Desert Eagle. over 9 years ago
The original mix of Desert Eagle is in all seriousness perhaps the most relentlessly euphoric of them all on the Anjunabeats label up to this point. And let me further say that Anjunabeats has quite a reputation for its euphoric uplifting trance ... See full review
posted a review of Solar Stone* - Solarcoaster. over 9 years ago
The Midway Mix of Solarcoaster is proof enough for me that trance music reached stellar heights at one point, and has the potential to play with your emotions in deeply profound ways. This song is one of my sharpest memories relating to my discovery of ... See full review
posted a review of Kyau vs. Albert* Feat. Damae - Velvet Morning. over 9 years ago
Ultimately, it's the Mirco De Govia remix that will likely be remembered years down the line. Not much introduction is needed on Mirco De Govia, but I suppose it never hurts to say once more how incredible his use of ambient techniques and trance riffs ... See full review
posted a review of Re:Locate - Typhoon / Fortitude. over 9 years ago
I am probably going out of convention for saying that I prefer the B Side, "Fortitude", but it is rather true that this one, and not the much more popular "Typhoon", grips me the most. Fortitude, I would say, is one of the rarer types of trance music ... See full review
posted a review of Fictivision Vs. C-Quence - Symbols. over 9 years ago
Wow, what could one say about this one without understating its true magic? In 2003, the original of Symbols, composed by Dutch musical prodigies Bart van Wissen (Fictivision) and Joris van der Straten (C-Quence), obliterated clubs all over the world ... See full review
posted a review of Liquid Soul (3) - Liquid Soul EP. over 9 years ago
Martin Roth turns in an astonishing progressive trancer with this release, the likes of which I don't think I've heard in a new release in several years. It reminds me of some of the deeper, darker, and more atmospheric tracks that were ubiquitous in the ... See full review
posted a review of Octagen & M.I.D.O.R. - Flyback / Rush Hour. over 9 years ago
I'm obsessed with Flyback! The first time I heard it, I was taken a bit aback by its stark energy. Flyback is certainly one of the most dark and intense productions we've heard from these two brilliant producers. It is truly one of the bluntest and ... See full review
posted a review of Maarten van Bergen - Pulse. over 9 years ago
It's all about the Re:Locate Flatline Remix. Paul Moelands delivers a great tech-progressive twist to the original, which was more standard uplifting fare (but a good listen.) Especially beginning at 4:49 in the remix, the song just punches you hard with ... See full review
posted a review of Ron Hagen & Pascal M* - Riddles In The Sand. over 9 years ago
The legendary talents from the trance project Signum turned in this charming tune after reverting to their dormant alias "Ron Hagen & Pascal M." Riddles In The Sand is in my opinion one of the most perfect instances of modern electronic music techniques ... See full review
posted a review of DJ Shog - Feel Me (Through The Radio). over 9 years ago
The Inpetto Vocal Remix totally blows the other remixes out of the water, in my eyes. It made such perfect sense with the vocals, as heartfelt as they are, to be backdropped by a melancholy, dreamy, and truly one of the more deeply moving instrumentals ... See full review
posted a review of Phynn. over 9 years ago
Finne Jager (Phynn) has clearly been one of the most consistent and versatile trance musicians in my mind. His debut into trance came with his remix of Ernesto vs. Bastian's "Who's The Starter?" in 2003. That remix employed a style of uplifting ... See full review
posted a review of Pulser - My Religion. over 9 years ago
The more I listen, the more I'm strongly convinced that it is the Lange remix that should be getting the vast amount of the praise. It takes everything the original tries to communicate, and then elevates it to a whole new level of energy and mystery. In ... See full review
posted a review of Cold Blue - Mount Everest. over 9 years ago
In another standout Anjunabeats release in recent memory, German trance musician Tobias Schuh, with his Cold Blue moniker, breathes new life into a trance scene that seems to have put the breaks on deep, uplifting trance. Cold Blue uses his classic ... See full review
posted a review of Arizona (2) Vs Passiva - Halo. over 9 years ago
Of the bat, it should be noted that the original Arizona vs. Passiva is the more melodic version. The bassline is more lukewarm and the main lead melody is spelled out in a majestic, larger-than-life fashion and it is sure to be loved infectiously. This ... See full review
posted a review of Oliver Smith - Horizons / Restless. over 9 years ago
About the only thing that saves this release for me is the stunning Signalrunners remix of Restless. The original of Restless, I found, seemed typical of melodic trance and, while certainly listenable and enjoyable, was nothing memorable. This was a ... See full review
posted a review of A Force - Atomic Outbreak / Gravitational Waves. over 9 years ago
Astute listeners would link the vibe of Atomic Outbreak to that of Solid Globe's 2003 anthem North Pole. Some of the rhythms at the intro harken back to the sound. With the exception being that Atomic Outbreak is one for the record books when it comes to ... See full review
posted a review of Mark Sherry Presents Outburst (3) - A Star Within A Star. over 9 years ago
It's definitely the A-Side that captures so much of the allure for me. The Intro Mix begins with a dystopian speech about a dying star against an almost space-age backdrop of distorted words and melodic sweeps. Drawn out, but great for opening sets with ... See full review
posted a review of Thomas Bronzwaer - Look Ahead. over 9 years ago
By now, it is clear that Thomas Bronzwaer has established himself as one of the most respected names in uplifting trance. After debuting in 2003 with the ethereal "Starburst", in a collaboration with Paul Moelands (Octagen), under his currently dormant ... See full review
posted a review of Andy Moor & Ashley Wallbridge Feat. Meighan Nealon - Faces. over 9 years ago
While the original version is better known for constantly interrupting itself by oscillating between hard melodic breaks and electro drops, Ben Gold's remix compliments the EP well by providing for a more melodic and uplifting version. The buildup is ... See full review
posted a review of Fictivision Vs. Phynn - Escape. over 9 years ago
Since this is one of the most exciting songs for me, I talk in detail about both mixes. First, a little background. The central melody in Escape was an obvious inspiration for the melody of Lucid, a later production by Phynn. If Phynn’s later work Lucid ... See full review
posted a review of Phynn - Lucid. over 9 years ago
Up to 2005, this was commonly thought to be the hallmark of Phynn's achievements. Though, my perspective remains that Escape was (and still is) the better track, from whose melody was almost identically drawn into Lucid. However, the difference between ... See full review
posted a review of Super8 + DJ Tab* - Helsinki Scorchin'. over 9 years ago
Helsinki Scorchin' the club song is technically the same as Helsinki Scorchin' the stay-at-home-and-chill song, with one difference I guess being how one interprets this song based on their settings. I figure many who rave about this track would ... See full review
posted a review of Andy Moor And Adam White Present Whiteroom - The Whiteroom. over 9 years ago
When people look back on the decade that was the 2000s, they will see that 2004 was the greatest of those years in trance. Among dozens of other reasons for this, The Whiteroom is one phenomenal track and has already established itself as a classic born ... See full review
posted a review of Jan Oostdyk - The Beginning / Out Of The Box. over 9 years ago
Good gravy, this is one of the most massive releases in a long while. Let me jump ahead and heap endless bouts of praise on Out Of The Box, one very fine and innovative piece of uplifting tech-trance and something that incited much excitement in me with ... See full review
posted a review of Lemon & Einar K - Anticipation / Hold Me Now. over 9 years ago
To preface this, I know essentially nothing about Hold Me Now, although I think it's fair to say that much attention has been understandably devoted to Anticipation. Anticipation is one of 2008's greatest releases for me, and it wouldn't bother me in the ... See full review