Music Review: ASOT
By: Benji Phillips
A State of Trance 800 – Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, NL
A State of Trance, Armin Van Buuren’s weekly radio show, turned 800 episodes old in January. For fans there is no better place to celebrate than the festival held in Utrecht which sees some of the biggest names in Trance, (Bryan Kearney, John o’ Callaghan, Aly & Fila, Orjan Nilsen to name but a few) gather at the Jaarbeurs, a huge arena with a special reputation among trance fans.
Having been last year and been slightly disappointed with the production, especially on the main stage, this year did not disappoint. The main stage featured a 3D light bar effect, which literally blew you mind, especially when coupled with all the more usual effects you would expect from an event this size (think confetti cannons, flames, lasers etc).
But ask any ASOT goer and they will tell you the ultimate reason they are there is for the music, and ASOT 800 did not disappoint here. All the sets I was able to see were brilliant, some were breathtaking. The first set I saw in full was from Estiva at the ‘road to 1000’ stage, who pulled out a progressive masterpiece, followed by Orjan Nilsen over on the main stage, with a very energetic and fun hour. Next up, Armin Van Buuren pulled no stops in delivering a truly fantastic set. After Armin finished it was back to ‘road to 1000’ for a monster load of hard trance from Chriz Schweizer. The final set was something truly special, Armin van Buuren again, this time playing on vinyl. This was something that truly touched the soul, playing classic tracks such as Cosmic Gate’s Exploration of Space and Tiesto’s in search of sunrise remix of Silence, which go straight from the ear to the heart and it’s in the heart that you find yourself in a state of trance.
Anjanabeats Vol.13: Above & Beyond
Above & Beyond are back with the latest installment in the Anjunabeats collection. This funky compilation takes you on a journey through some of the best released, and some as yet unreleased, tracks from the Anjunabeats label, label lovingly mixed by the dance music trio.
Fun, full of energy and not to hard hitting, this album is perfect for just listening, or for getting a party going. Look out for Above & Beyonds No One On Earth Respray, and Ilan Bluestones remix of On A Good Day, two tracks that really help make this album as special as it is.
£9.99 Download - iTunes £12.99 CD - Amazon
Saving Light: Gareth Emery & Standerwick Feat. Haliene
Gareth Emery and Standerwick team up with songstress Haliene here to create an emotional sledgehammer of a track. Deep and thought provoking lyrics coupled to gorgeous vocals and a beautiful melody provide a huge depth of feeling for the listener.
Oh, and all profits from the track go to anti-bulling charity ditch the label.
£1.30 Download - Beatport
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