Alex Wright hails from Nottingham, UK. Previous releases on Extrema, Always Alive and Levitated have built a buzz around Alex’s name which is suitably convenient as Planetaria is leaps and bounds ahead of his formative releases in terms of production sheen and melodic infectiveness – and lays it’s claim to this year’s Arena Trance Crown courtesy of a HUGE lead synth riff! Slamming.
Tapio Hakanen aka Orkidea, Finland’s No. 1 DJ and purported National Treasure returns to Pure Progressive with Xciter. Bearing all the dear and familiar progressively Orkidean hallmarks; crisp and clean production, hypnotic chugging groove, warm layers with minimal fuss or frills and the all-important hook which this time is in the form of a percussive, African-tinged arpeggio and gorgeous flanged synth stabs.
This EP is the 2nd taster of Simon Templar (a.k.a. Winkee founder Jussi Paasonen’s) debut album Balance. First up is The Fog, with moody and dark undertones. This is late night music for those long, sweaty dancefloor sessions and is most definitely a serious helping of Pure Trance music! On the flip is a brighter piece entitled The Mist; soaring strings, pulsating synth plucks and a running-bass power this beauty along, and a juicy (geddit?) JP-esque riff provides the all-important uplift – which is cunningly fully unveiled post-break. Pure.
We all remember Greece 2000 of course, but who would have thought that 20 years from it’s original release on Massive Drive, founder member Erik de Koning would still be producing beautiful, uplifting melodic trance music like Sirens Of The Sea? Powered by a #138 kick, offbeat bass and crisp percussion, Sirens lands its first punch with a growling arpeggiator sequence laid out in the first third. The true beauty of a Three Drives record though reveals itself at the break, and what a heart-warming melody it is. A truly Dutch pure trance record.
Future Disciple a.k.al. Daniel James is one strange fish. Based in the Aussie wilderness but hailing from the UK, Dan’s musical genius is well known in the scene, but his musical output is sporadic – and that’s being generous. But every so often a little gem of brilliance emerges from his studio and for that we need be thankful – and what a gem Adventure To The South is. Melodically it’s cinematic and ambitious, production-wise it’s chunky and perfectly executed in the trademark FD style. Ramping up the BPM the Robert Nickson Remix has been a stalwart of Solarstone’s sets and long sought ID for well over 6 months at the time of writing, and is an example of a perfect remix; one that remains faithful to the Original’s musical statement whilst firmly planting the production stamp of the remix on its personality.