Philippe El Sisi And A & Z With Cari
Wings Of Love
Future Sound Of Egypt
Philippe El Sisi’s pulled this trick before and not just the once. Specifically, that’s pairing sweetly sung vocals with the most eviscerating, ‘Higher State’-esque acid. It’s his USP, and when — as here — he sticks the landing (with Cari playing the butter-wouldn’t-melt vocal role brilliantly), it’s complete dynamite. There’s even a late-running A&F-worthy mainline in there too. More simply could not be asked.
'Air (Dylhen Remix)'
If you’re in the market for underground Corsten bring-backs, this is your month. As with Pulp Victim (see elsewhere on page), Albion’s sensational ‘Air’ (criminally positioned B2 on its first vinyl release) has gone virtually un-remixed since ‘97. Captivating’s urge to have its core pads worked up into something more explicitly mainline may have been strong; Dylhen’s treatment, though, sails it in the other direction, onto slower, cooler and even more pacific waters.
'Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe'
EMO G Records
Pads, melody, snares, slow-churning acid, sat atop a hypnotic groove — we’re looking at something approaching prog trance here. It’s Musky on the singing, knob twiddling and (what there is of it) lyric writing. But then, of course it is — the man doesn’t outsource. The ‘stay in your own lane’ part of your brain is dying for this to be a steaming pile. The faintly motivational nature of ‘Don’t Doubt’s lyrics aside though, it isn’t. Not exactly rocket science either, mind.
Paul van Dyk
There’s a sense of urgency about ‘Duality’ that’s impossible to miss. In each significant layer of the track, from its rushing tempo to its floor-insistent sub riffs, stout percs, hallmark bass (obvs), master-crafted 303 and even its melodic arrangements, it‘s not hanging around. Primetime targeted, with ‘Duality’ comes the most striking, exciting PvD standalone (‘Touched By Heaven’ and ‘I Am Alive’ included) of the last eight years.
Armin van Buuren & Inner City
'It Could Be (Genix Remix)'
‘It Could Be’ sounded less like Armin meets Inner City, and more akin to Disclosure. No crime, but not necessarily what we were expecting. Paradoxically, Genix’s remix sounds almost exactly like you’d have pictured the original. Pitch-perfect tempo, instantly Inner City-relatable synths, a vocal reconfigured and edited to sound far more Paris Grey-like (ceaselessly hooky too), and even an almost meta-ish dose of old Detroit techno in for good measure. Floor-to-ceiling brilliant.
'Leave It All Behind EP 4'
You know Tate’s finer points are going to get you in the end. It’s only ever a question of how long they take. From the fourth EP in his absurdly good L.I.A.B. series, ‘The Dark’s your slower creeper. With note progressions that are almost supernatural in terms of their intuition, this goes exactly where your brain wants it to. ‘We Own The Night’s somewhat generic title, meanwhile, cloaks Clea Llewellyn’s quirkily effective intonations, stellar delivery and Darren’s more floor-ready production.
Liquid Soul & DJ Dream
'Liquid Dream (Sean Tyas 2019 Remix)'
Iboga Records (Denmark)
There are remixes, remixes of remixes, and the rarest: remix updates, one of which we have here. Sean Tyas has got under the hood of his three year old Neodyne ‘Liquid Dream’ rework for another tinker. It may only be the most dialled-in that’ll spot the differences; tweaked FX, a marginally extended drop and less hard/more psy slant to its climatic 303, among the most apparent. Either way, the tune’s a complete stream-roller, and more than worth the discovering (or rediscovering).
'Nexus Asia (Jak Aggas Remix)'
Who's Afraid Of 138?!
Nowadays labels (most importantly Armada) are crate-digging past the obvious, through the semi-classics and onto trance’s fondly-remembered/almost-rans. Effectively Vincent de Moor’s electronic music sayonara, ‘Nexus Asia’ was nothing less than a gem. The brilliantly christened Jak Aggas isn’t exactly deferential in his treatment of its nuances. If a barnstorming refashioning’s your yen though, consider yourselves served.
Neptune Project Feat. Polly Strange
'Pulse (The Remixes)'
There’s so much to cheer about ‘Pulse’, it’s tough to know where to begin. Polly Strange’s vocal channeling of Perfecto’s stylistic heyday is uncannily good, while remix-wise, N.P.’s source material makes it an open goal. After their rework slam dunk of ‘Temple Of Artemis’, Rated R effortlessly convert that again. So good is it, that it's tempting to stick there. Don’t, and check Adam Francis’ mix. It mightn’t have quite Rated R’s fidelity, but somehow the vocal’s carrying even more gotcha power.
Ferry Corsten Pres. Pulp Victim
'The World (Mark Sherry Remix)'
‘Saltwater’ wasn’t the first trancer to tap Clannad’s Marie Brennan for atmos thrills. Ferry was first to the punch there, working ‘Oro’s choral hail into ‘The World’. The last of his ‘Out Of The Blue’-themed oeuvre, it was all but eclipsed by what preceded it, which ironically makes it prime remix estate these days. At the outset, Mark Sherry shapes its profile into something techier, but if you think for a second you’re being robbed of the elevation, the drop will have you thinking again.