Featured Review 2008-07-07 19:06:03
Above & Beyond
Anjunabeats 100
Above & Beyond: Anjunabeats 100 + From Goa to Rioby: Arthur Galestian

Anjunabeats 100 celebrates the 100th release of British trance label Anjunabeats. DJs and producers Above & Beyond are consistently hailed as leaders in cutting edge, uplifting trance music. Ranked 6th in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for 2007, the group is the mastermind behind this extravagant label that has consistently pumped out quality releases from various dance music artists all around the globe. Above & Beyond are Jonathan Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki.

The first disc opens with the Coco & Green remix of Cara Dillon vs. 2 Devine’s “Black is the Colour” – a superb electro-trance track on the progressive tip, complete with angelic vocals. Super8 & Tab land their “Helsinki Scorchin'” track on this release, notable for its mysterious, indiscernible female vocals. You’ll also find Alt+F4’s self-titled track here, an uplifting, melodic trance bomb perfect for capturing the summer vibe. The disc not only represents the label’s diverse range of producers and remixers but also showcases Above & Beyond’s own key productions. Earlier this decade, vocalist Justine Suissa joined Above & Beyond to create OceanLab, who delivered some of the most recognized vocal trance anthems to the dance music community. The superb “Beautiful Together” features the joint talents of this remarkable collaboration between artists. One of the most amazing vocal trance tracks of all time, “Satellite” delivers a spine-tingling journey in sound with music from these rising stars and Justine as the guide. The group’s massive 2004 production, “No One on Earth” is featured with a progressive remix treatment from American remixers Gabriel & Dresden. If you were out in the club circuit in 2004, you will surely recognize it, as it received extended support from some of the most prominent DJs in the world. Above & Beyond remix Tranquility Base’s “Razorfish,” another progressive banger with a striking melody that is sure to capture any listener – on or off the dance floor. The CD ends with “Alone Tonight,” a driving trance track with male vocals and an excellent representation of the Anjunabeats sound.

The second disc continues to deliver more captivating music. Personal favorites are the massive “Air For Life” by Above & Beyond and British collaborator Andy Moor. You’ll find solace in the soothing trance track, “Amsterdam” by Luminary, which has enjoyed plenty of success since its original release in 2005. OceanLab sees further support as famed Dutch producer Armin van Buuren joins the club and gives us his remix of OceanLab’s “Sky Falls Down.” In addition, Ferry Corsten delivers his own stunning remix of “Clear Blue Water.” And how can we forget the Seraque mix of Nitromethane’s “Time to Die” – hugely supported on the show several years ago, with a build-up to “die” for!

The package includes a booklet, complete with details on the release, reminiscence of the label’s hard work, and personal comments about each track. But, that’s not all! Fans who own this fabulous gem will also enjoy the “From Goa to Rio” DVD, which highlights some of the group’s most enjoyable moments on the road, as they drop beats from stage to stage all over the world.

To get a taste of Anjunabeats’ finest, you can now grab this memoir of the label’s essential productions. Listeners to my weekly Thursday night radio show on KUCI 88.9FM will recognize many of the featured tracks, as they have seen consistent support in my live DJ sets over the years. You can find more on Above & Beyond at anjunabeats.com and at their MySpace site.

Available at all good music stores and online record shops!

– Arthur Galestian

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