Relaxing on the Sunset strip in San Antonio waiting for that glorious moment when the Mediterranean swallows up that white hot ball of fire in the Ibiza sky, all the while eclectic beats emanate from Café’s Del Mar and Mambos and all that appears wrong in life seems to now be going in the right direction. This of course is the calm before the storm, the precursor for a nights clubbing for thousands of Reveller’s who travel the globe each season to crave that euphoric feeling of when the big bass is dropped by a Superstar DJ and sends the masses into their meteoric clubbing high.
The man many perceive as one of the Godfather’s of this Musical phenomenon is none other that Paul Oakenfold, who through the years has helped carve some of Ibiza’s biggest clubs into global Trance Mecca’s, and he is back again this summer with an album following his highly successful Trance Mission Tour containing 63 minutes of timeless Trance classics reinvented to integrate the new age of Trance music with the timeless classics’s that sent so many of us in our youthfulness into that higher state of consciousness.
“Oakey” hasn’t taken the quick fix towards this project by throwing together a few mixes of his fave tracks, he and the Perfecto team carefully considered 12 tracks taken from a list compiled of no less than 50 to rework from their original old skool arrangements into an album that will fit seamlessly into any one of today’s club sets.
The former Pacha resident sets off with the old Simple Minds track “Theme for Great Cities” which is instantly recognisable by the lead melody which would already be a familiar clubbing favourite from yesteryear sampled through 2001’s track “The Real Life” by Raven Maize from which this slowly builds through subtle pads and a motorized synth bass line into a finely tuned Trance Dynamo. This elegantly mixes through into the Anthemic Cafe del Mar which moves through the electronic gears and propels the track to heights that many clubbers will immediately reminisce to when the notorious lead line features, and then just as the track feels like your long lost best friend has returned to visit it gets the 2014 Oakenfold treatment and forces itself into the modern day New School environment.
“Quench’s” “Dreams” and “Barbers Adagio for Strings” are next in line with the former carrying the almost identical chimes from the 1993 club classic, but only after a grooving house beat sets the track rolling, building in momentum with techno layers and then ‘Booom’ it explodes into the behemoth of a track that it was so well loved, but with a pitch bent twist in the sawtooth ‘esque’ synth line that rockets it into this century.
Adagio starts as beautifully and subtly as the original with added vocal “I fall into a daydream, i’m falling” layered on top, which seems to work quite well ,until that is the track turns from its melancholic sadness to a Thumping Techno giant that stomps its way through the Hi Fi speakers, letting the listener know that it really means business.
Next up is ‘Toca me’, again far removed from Fragma’s bouncy original with a harder punchier bass line but suitably fitting with the dynamic of the previous tracks and following on from this as a slight change from the concept Oakenfold turns to one of his own tracks to redo, none other than , ‘Ready Steady Go’, that is recognisable to millions worldwide as featuring in “The Bourne Identity” only this time with a break beat style drum pattern. “Grace’s” Not Over Yet” was given the “Planet Perfecto ” treatment in 1999 and has now been rejuvenated into modern styled dance artistry,
with its pulsing bass line and alluring vocals it keeps the spirit of the original superbly. The album drops tempo with “Awakening” but then climbs back up again with a version of “Art of Trance’s” “Madagascar” that would fill any floor when the echoing lead line crashes in. Oakenfold seems to have penchant these days for a driving electro bass line that carries its momentum through the tracks while unfolding layer upon layer of sonic genius on top and “Open your mind” is no different. This track doesn’t carry that heart stopping riff that most of these tracks are renowned but the synthetic layering makes it a worthwhile inclusion. One of my personal favourites through the 90s was “OT Quartets” “Hold that Sucker down” for primarily being one of the original floor fillers and it features next ,but disappointingly without the gusto that the original carried.
Production cannot be faulted on the track but it is sorely lacking the power that made the “Ots” version so fantastic. “Touch me” is the finale of this album and features vocals by Cassandra Fox from “Rui Da Silva” the original artist. It starts with brooding pads and soft vocals and introduces some nifty little electronic sounds throughout but never develops into the dance classic that the original could boast, in fact it doesn’t even threaten to.
Trance mission is a triumphant battleship of a Modern day Electro album with the genius that is Paul Oakenfold at the Helm. Apart from the less energetic last two tracks, he has created something that clubber’s will reminisce upon from the glow stick days of yore and will embrace as the contemporary colossus of this day and age that it purely is. Expect to find most of these creations descending upon you over the summer and sending the majority of the worldwide dance fraternity into sheer ecstasy at clubs throughout Ibiza and the world over.
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