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One of the most anticipated albums has finally landed, from the ‘wizard’ of progressive, Mr. Gai Barone! His debut album ‘Towards’ has seen the light!

The Italian DJ/producer has made a name for himself in progressive house and trance circles across the globe without selling his soul or selling-out his artistic integrity. DJing since the ‘90s, he can be counted among those born into the scene as the scene itself was birthed — a confluence that fosters creative freedom. As such, Gai’s music is free of preconceived notions of what dance music is or what it should be. It is distinctly progressive in nature, but it moves far beyond any particular style and is ever-evolving.

And showing exactly that from first listen, we get that proved with the opening track ‘2 Sides Of Nowhere’, a track so smooth and soft, that it grabs you instantly and crawls right under your skin, captures you and your mind! Continuing that intense and mind blowing experience we move on to ‘Bianca’ and then ‘Mom’s Clown’, and again Gai really takes you down a tremendous and mind expanding music path here, creating and crafting a really touching and unique atmosphere with his productions. Then we’re pleased and welcomed into some, again, even more deeper, creative and expanding structures of Gai’s musical mindset with ‘Stripped’, ‘Flowers’ and ‘Mimosa’, were he’s showing us some delicate, haunting, bouncing and driving progressive/deep trance tracks, that also showcases elements of dark techno and experimental music within their orchestral arrangements. Every tiny detail in each track are just so cool, intense and spellbinding! Very beautiful.

Moving us in to the middle section of the album, you’ll find yourself floating around on the travelling sounds of ‘Fade 2 Black’, ‘Scarlet’ and Gai’s own interpretation of the classic ‘Love Stimulation’! A classic track, which Gai here gives an amazing and really overwhelming/brilliant ‘makeover’, adding and filtering in his unique sounds and notes/details, and then with his pure genius mind incorporating those well-known and recognizable sounds/strings and chords etc. from the original, making it a completely new track like you never heard it before! Pure trance/progressive at its best here, just wow!

The incredible ‘wow!’ and ‘oh!’ journey continues seamlessly on after some ‘Love Stimulation’ with ‘Six Months’, where we continue to be grooved and moved a long on some tripping, progressive and sliding bass lines and beats, and then on ‘Join The Geometry’ we’re treated with some laidback and chilling piano notes in the beginning, before the track pick up the pace and then rolls on into a superb and rocking progressive case.

Gai’s work is amorphous, with sonic elements shifting throughout the length of a song in moody journeys through spirit. It is euphoric, expansive, thick and textured. And they are very strikingly self-aware and above all, transformative. On another spectacular/gorgeous feature and detail you notice is, the way he cleverly changes the tracks key along the way is just so brilliant and enriching, and again makes every single track that extra special and endearing.

Taking us in on the final part of ‘Towards’, we move up and into some more melodic and ‘dreaming’ trance soundscapes with ‘Saurus’. After that we go emotional and moody on the incredible acoustic guitar strings in ‘Lilith (my sicca dawning mix)’, so touching and really a track that touches you deeply. Hard to find the words to describe it just listen to it and let it embrace you. ‘Nightingale’ flies in, and where taken on yet another solid and powerful progressive/deep trance journey, where Gai again joists his musical patterns and sounds over you, and slowly builds a incredible progressive/evolving feeling inside you, really amazing. Closing out ‘Towards’ in triumph, we get the Introspective Mix of ‘You Make It Hurt’ feat. Kathy Heath. A strong and warming break-beat track, where Gai also works in some progressive elements and on top the gorgeous vocal from Kathy. Superb!

Gai Barone sees himself as a storyteller, through both his tracks/productions and his mixes. And this is his story, go get it, and listen carefully. It won’t disappoint you!

1. 2 Sides Of Nowhere
2. Bianca
3. Mom’s Clown
4. Stripped
5. Flowers
6. Mimosa
7. Fade2Black
8. Scarlet
9. Love Stimulation
10. Six Months
11. Join The Geometry
12. Saurus
13. Lilith (my sicca dawning mix)
14. Nightingale
15. You Make It Hurt feat. Kathy Heath (Introspective Mix)

‘Towards’ is a perfect reflection of its title. It glitters with a wide range of acoustic samples and styles, from danceable trance to etheric, soaring melodies far-removed from drum machines. Listening to the album’s more lulling snippets, one can’t help but feel the thin gauze that separates us from the only certainty in life — that we will leave it — in the most delicate, uplifting way.

© Afterglow Records

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