Funkagenda – One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time (TRCR049)This one almost slipped out from under us.

Funkagenda is a man who’s been in the scene for quite a while, producing tracks in various genres along the house spectrum across a variety of labels. With his latest release on Armada sublabel Trice, he’s crossed over into this grey area between progressive house and trance with subtle hints of psy sounds as well, and the result is fantastic.

“One Day at a Time”, named after one of the mottos of Alcoholics Anonymous, opens with a snippet of monologue from a recovering alcoholic, setting the tone for the rest of the track. Although the vocal sample is confined to the intro, the remainder of the track reflects the mood of the intro: smooth, mellow, and introspective. As mentioned above, it flawlessly blends different sounds from the entire progressive dance music spectrum. Parts of the track, especially the breakdown, are reminiscent of something deadmau5 might make.

For a mature piece of dance music that truly blurs genre lines, make sure not to miss this latest offering from Funkagenda. It’s available now on Beatport and iTunes.

Active Limbic System – Karahana

active-limbic-karahana-original-mix-600x600Greek production duo Active Limbic System are one of the hottest properties in psy-trance at the moment, so when “Karahana” landed in our inbox, we were very excited.

The original mix is brilliant. These two have nailed the Goa / Perfecto Fluoro sound better then anyone has in a long time. Very much a peak-time track, the melody is very reminiscent of something Angry Man would make, but the other elements of the track make it stand out on its own.  The Indian vocal sample is a very haunting nice tough and keeps everything interesting.  Really cannot say enough how impressed we am with this track!

Keeping it an all Greek affair, Chris Voro returns to Fluoro with a psy / breaks remix which doesn’t disappoint. If you are a fan of Blazer’s productions, then you know what to expect here.  The beefed up breaks bass line fits the track perfectly. It’s exactly what a remix should be: take an already great track and turn it into something different yet still really good.  The production values as well with the original are top notch.

Fantastic package as a whole, and a very nice surprise from some lesser known producers. Recommend both mixes equally. You can pick them up now on Beatport.

Steve Brian pres. Mr. Sander – Neno Itome

BORDM042With a huge back catalog of impressive releases, it’s the turn of German born Steve Brian to make his debut on Borderline. “Neno Itome” is a track he released as Marksun & Brian on Kyau & Albert’s (née Kyau vs. Albert) euphonic label in 2005, complete with a Stoneface & Terminal remix. We’re admittedly not very familiar with the original, so this review is written from that perspective.

The production is absolutely top notch, the main melody teases during the intro before coming full swing during the break.  What I like best about this track is the way Steve has complimented a classic tune with a newer sound that sounds fresh, and not just like an old track with some harder kick drum layered on top like most “remakes” these days. Top marks to Borderline for picking this one up. We really look forward to more from Steve Brian on Borderline, hopefully!

“Neno Itome” is out on Beatport now, and you can pick it up on other download portals on May 26th.

The Thrillseekers vs. Sam Mitcham – All the Little Things

All The Little Things (ADJ024)With the music scene changing ever so rapidly, it’s so refreshing to see the some of older names keep delivering fantastic tunes to this day. The Thrillseekers’ name has popped up a handful of times over the last few years, but with this track, a collaboration with Godskitchen resident Sam Mitcham, Steve Helstrip is completely back on point with his signature sound at its best.

“All the Little Things” isn’t made to be a club banger. It’s mellow, relaxing, and hypnotic – perfect for those late-night drives down the freeway. Of course, the highlight of this track is the classic-sounding lead melody, which is simply gorgeous. I’m not sure what language the vocals in the breakdown are in, but they give the track a filmic quality a la Chicane’s “Saltwater”. To hell with the big room festival sounds – this track is everything that The Thrillseekers does best, and we need more of this in the trance scene.

There are some remixes too, but the original steals the show. Grab it now on Beatport!

Cold Blue – Black Rock

Black Rock (MFORCE002)Cold Blue is a name that’s been around for a number of years now, popping up in various corners of the trance scene. He’s got a variety of styles: the edgy, rock-inspired sound like “Coconut” and his remix of “Southern Sun”; the catchy vocal productions with Dennis Sheperd, like the recent “Runaway” with JES; and the hard-hitting, true-to-trance style. “Black Rock” is in exactly that last style, and boy does it deliver. It’s the second offering on Monster Tunes’ newly launched Monster Force sub-label, and “force” really is the best way to describe this. What sets this track apart from the rest of the 140 BPM offerings out there is the perfect balance it strikes. It’s high-energy without getting aggressively techy, and it’s got fantastic melodic lines that steer far clear of being annoyingly uplifting. Monster Tunes in general does a great job of showcasing this sound on their label (think back to Onova’s “Platitude” in 2007), but Cold Blue’s especially nailed it with this one.

With three consecutive plays on Armin’s A State of Trance radio show, “Black Rock” is certainly turning heads, and for a very good reason: it’s easily one of the best trance tracks this year. If you haven’t already picked up your copy, don’t miss out on this one. It’s available now on Beatport and iTunes.

Activa – Antimatter

Antimatter (PRFLU049)We’ve been out of commission for a while (we get busy sometimes), but it’s get back to the music full-force. Kicking off our spring 2014 roundup is this hypnotic one from Activa on Perfecto Fluoro called “Antimatter”.

Rob Stevenson aka Activa needs no introduction for our readers. Having previously remixed Liquid Soul’s “Nirvana”, he is back for another spin of his new psy-influenced sound. The first thing you’ll notice in “Antimatter” is that the track is very reminiscent to older trance productions from the early 2000s. The record label’s marketing writeup describes the track as reminiscent of the old Tilt sound, and we agree. It’s all about the hauntingly beautiful melody in the breakdown and how well it works with the other aspects of the track. This track was one of the standouts of Activa’s recent Full On Fluoro: Vol. 3 compilation on Perfecto Fluoro… which, by the way, is a fantastic album and is worthy of a spot in your library for sure.

Activa is perfectly on form at the moment, so if you missed “Antimatter”, go grab it NOW! Available on Beatport, Juno, iTunes, etc.

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