The very latest edition of Above & Beyond's label showcase 'Anjunabeats' is out featuring the very best from one of electronic dance music's most respected labels...
Anjunabeats are well over ten years old now and still at the forefront of the label are the three amigos from Above & Beyond. The three in question are of course Jono Grant, Paavo Siljamäki andTony McGuinness. As a collective they have had immense success since first getting together to do a remix for Chakra’s ‘Home’ in early 2000. Jono Grant may well be the most well know out of the three for his solo and collaborative work over the years but I’m sure any electronic dance music fan worth their salt will instantly recognise the three faces. Their Anjunabeats label has grown over the years and still remains independent, a very good accomplishment in these days with Armada buying up every big label they can. The success keeps on coming for Anjunabeats and will continue further with the ninth edition of their flagship compilation. It’s an annual collection featuring the very best from the label and mainly focusing on the more melodic and progressively uplifting trance sound. For everything deep and moody they have their spin off Anjunadeep to tick those boxes. What’s hot in volume number nine then? Let’s have a look and see.
1. Above & Beyond "Tokyo"
2. Parker & Hanson "Afterthought"
3. Breakfast pres. Keyworth "Median"
4. Cramp "RU116"
5. Andrew Bayer & Matt Lange feat. Kerry Leva "In And Out Of Phase"
6. Oliver Smith "New Dawn"
7. Norin & Rad "Bloom"
8. Above & Beyond "Formula Rossa"
9. Maor Levi & Bluestone "On Our Own"
10. Genix "Higher State"
11. Oliver Smith "Symmetry"
12. Above & Beyond feat. Zoë Johnston "You Got To Go" (Kyau & Albert Remix)
13. Ost & Meyer "Britanica"
14. Oliver Smith "Progress"
1. Tate & Diamond feat. Nicolai "Electrified" (Mat Zo Electrofied Dub)
2. Mat Zo "Bipolar"
3. Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford "Every Little Beat" (Myon & Shane 54 Summer Of Love Mix)
4. Jaytech "New Vibe"
5. Andrew Bayer feat. Molly Bancroft "Keep Your Secrets"
6. Arty "Kate"
7. Jaytech "Overdrive"
8. Super8 & Tab feat. Jan Burton "Slow To Learn" (Maor Levi Club Mix)
9. Nitrous Oxide "iPeople"
10. Mat Zo "Frequency Flyer"
11. Mat Zo & Arty "Mozart"
12. Cramp "Catch The Eye"
13. Sunny Lax "Contrast"
14. Mike Koglin vs. Genix "Dyno"
When it comes down to Anjunabeats compilations they really bare the crème de la crème of what the label has to offer. Over the course of this two disc exploration into the sound of Anjuna I think you will find the sound still feeling very fresh and inventive. On the artist roll call for number nine are Mat Zo, Jaytech, Sunny Lax, Oliver Smith, Cramp, Arty, Nitrous Oxide, Ost & Mayer, Genix, Maor Levi, Andrew Bayer and Mike Koglin. Not to mention a few select tunes from Above & Beyond themselves with their brand new single ‘Tokyo’ kicking off the first disc. Out of the twenty eight tracks rammed in over the two mixes there are twenty exclusives and unreleased tracks in there. There will be a few you should be familiar with already to, with a juicy remix of ‘You Go To Go’ from Kyau & Albert being one highlight I’d point out. The very talented Oliver Smith is one Anjunabeats artist who has impressed over the years and he does so yet again with three new tracks on number nine ‘New Dawn’, ‘Symmetry’ and ‘Progress’. ‘New Dawn’ in particular is one which stands out for me. A record that’s light, soft and dangerously uplifting. When you hear the melody and subtle tone to the track I think you will agree. That’s the story with the first disc on the whole, a very melodic sound with a slight progressive feel to things.
There is a slight shift in sound on the second mix with the likes of Mat Zo, Jaytech and Arty on show. The melodic touch is there on full show and uplifting melodies are never that far away. Jaytech hits one of my favourite tracks on the second disc with ‘New Vibe’ which just oozes energetic spark with a perky melody and uplifting piano keys. It’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard from him for a while, not to say that any of his productions fall below par these days. Add to that a superb track from Arty in ‘Kate’ and a double helping of Mat Zo later in the mix, I find it hard to pick a fault with the tracks here. That just goes to show you the strength in production talent Anjunabeats on their books. When it comes down to melodic trance they have it down to an art form. The vocal numbers in here, of which there are not that many, do add a little bit of emotional drive to things. Anjunabeats let their artists melodies do the talking and for number nine that is certainly the case. You don’t have to worry about the arrangement or mixing skills of the Above & Beyond guys either, as it’s perfectly blended and structure over both mixes.
With any two disc compilation you’ve got to have a favourite disc out of the double helping of beats that’s on offer. With number nine it’s a very close call as neither mix stand out as being superior to the other. They are unique, fresh and melodic. That’s thanks to the superb pool of talent that’s thrown their inflatables into the pool here. Whip out the speedo’s and join them I say!
What we have here is a compilation of very fine melodic trance in typical Anjunbeats style. Number nine will just push the label’s reputation even further and it’s a fitting release to what to expect from the label next year. I’m sure there will be a few single releases from the tracks dropping before the clock strikes midnight on 2011. Which ones? I’m not sure, but until they do, enjoy them within these two beautifully mixes.