Johan Ekman – Exhale (Original + John Askew Mixes)

Johan Ekman - ExhaleSwedish born Johan Ekman is always one of the most consistent producers release after release. With that said, I was really happy when “Exhale” appeared in the inbox.  His debut release on Fluoro is one of the best tech trance productions in recent times for me.

The original mix having been played in Askew and Patterson sets for around a year now still remains one of the freshest surprises on any label.  Ekman’s signature tech and bass sound is the main course on offer.  The arrangement keeps you on your toes as faint hints of a melody tease you through out the track. An absolute top notch production.

Label friend John Askew provides an alternative version which is just different enough to make a great package.  He adds a few melodic elements as well as pumping up the bass line even more. Post break is where most of the work is done as he beefs up the main melody adding an almost psy twist to the main riff.  A really good remix which will get plays from many of the top DJs in the coming months.

Overall a fantastic release and I’m very happy to see Johan get a shot on this legendary label. Highly recommend both mixes!

- Will

You can pick up both mixes of “Exhale” now on Beatport.

Sonic Element – Tracing Paths

Sonic Element - Tracing PathsHere’s a track that’s been out for a few months but that we missed in our hiatus. And since it didn’t get much hype when it actually released, it’s worthy of a delayed feature on this site.

Fight the Daylight favorite Sonic Element from Australia returned to the Borderline label with with “Tracing Paths”. Like his last track “Crossroads”, this one features a big peak-time melody on top of a tight trance kick, laden with plenty of acid. If you’ve been a fan of Sonic Element’s work in the past, you will probably like this one too.

The only downside is that it’s such a shame this guy’s productions are so spread out! Make sure not to overlook this one and grab it if it tickles your fancy. It’s out now on Borderline.

Transwave – Land of Freedom (Liquid Soul Remix)

transwave-land-of-freedom-liquid-soul-remix-600x600We’re back.

Transwave’s “Land of Freedom” originally released in 1996 as a tribute to Goa trance maestro Man with No Name. Swiss progressive trance legend Liquid Soul has brought this underrated Goa classic up to date with a delicious 2014 psy-trance twist.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect when this track landed in our inbox, but we were definitely in for a treat. The melodic elements of the track are very catchy and have a sense of familiarity to them. It will take you back to the 90s Oakenfold Goa era even if you, like us, weren’t familiar with the original. The best part about this track is that it’s simple yet works so well. As a huge fan of most Liquid Soul productions, we were not disappointed with this release.

Featured on the latest volume of Full On Fluoro mixed by Liquid Soul, it’ll be very hard for fans of the label to miss this. Don’t let the stigma of an updated classic deter you and add this track to your collection. Available now on Beatport.

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.

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