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  • THAT WAS 2008 – THE YEAR IN CHARTS

    20 dec 2008, 00:26 av Addicted2Melody

    THAT WAS 2008 – THE YEAR IN CHARTS

    Well, here we are again. Another busy year in the ever-thriving world of electronic music has just about whizzed us by. And returning once again is my whistle-stop tour of what has been hot in those dizzy 12 months, this time of course with more bells, whistles, awards and “probing” commentary than I provided last year. 2008 has been an excellent year. The overall standard of artist albums has been exceptionally high this year, and, despite the market becoming further saturated in some sub-genres, we have still been treated to some absolutely killer tunes from all corners of the dance music galaxy. Note: these charts are of the best stuff I've heard this year, not just a mindless list of absolutely everything I have even vaguely enjoyed. As I say, there’s been a lot of stuff worth checking out this year, so naturally there are some good albums and tunes missing.

    Ok, let's look back. Kicking us off, the best albums of the year...

    -----------------------------------------------------

    TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2008

    20. Above & Beyond presents Oceanlab - Sirens of the Sea
    (July / Anjunabeats)



    One of the summer's most anticipated “trance” albums turned out to be quite a smooth, downtempo affair, a mix of soft, "airy" progressive and stirring Ibizan chillout. Immaculate vocals and production as always from Justine and the boys.

    Favourite Track: Sirens Of The Sea

    19. Insomnia - Rollercoaster
    (March / Trancelucent Productions)



    Pumping no frills full on, courtesy of Tom Shoval and Orel Shapira. Pure energy filled, electro driven psy-trance.

    Favourite Track: Displacement

    18. Quivver - Dirty Nails & Vapour Trails
    (July / BozBoz)



    A refreshingly varied approach from progressive trance's old head, John Graham, who mixed the drum & bassey feel of Chasing A Feeling with the moody electro breaks of What's Not Going On and the pure haunting minimalism of Dancing in Dark Rooms.

    Favourite Track: Dancing in Dark Rooms

    17. Josh Gabriel - Eight
    (October / Different Pieces)



    Josh Gabriel, formally one half of Gabriel & Dresden, served up a top notch progressive tech fest ruined only by the fact that the unmixed tracks are faded out at the ends. Infectiously danceable stuff though.

    Favourite Track: Azora

    16. MorphonixOff the Grid
    (March / Vaporvent Records)



    This was my first real experience of the phenomena of psychedelic breaks. I got all excited, thinking this album was showcasing an entirely original genre of its own. Not the case, of course. But this was still a highly impressive effort from San Francisco's Lawrence Hoffman and definitely gets extra brownie points for completely blowing me away on first listen.

    Favourite Track: Island Sanctuary

    15. Trifonic - Emergence
    (February / Trifonic Music LLC)



    American newcomers, Trifonic, brothers Brian and Laurence Trifon, crash landed with this top quality downtempo/IDM debut. Brain apparently worked with fellow countryman BT on his incredible 2006 album, This Binary Universe. The influence of that is not hard to see at all.

    Favourite Track: Sooner Or Later

    14. Perfect Stranger - Free Cloud
    (October / Iboga Records)



    A stunningly hypnotic collection of progressive goodness from Israeli producer Yuli Fershtat. Part psychedelic progressive, part straight minimal progressive, this was another gem from the consistently amazing Iboga Records.

    Favourite Track: Easy

    13. OttSkylon
    (January / Twisted Records)



    Twisted Records' only new album release of the year was this "sunny" reggae flavoured psydub effort from Ott. Cool as a summer's breeze.

    Favourite Track: Roflcopter

    12. Simmonds & Jones - Interpretations
    (June / Armada Music)



    Better known to trance fans as Chakra, Lustral, Oxygen and Ascension, Simmonds & Jones set out to transform their discography of trance classics into a soothing collection of Balearic chillout tracks. Mission accomplished. This almost couldn't have been done better than it was.

    Favourite Track: Home

    11. Eat Static - Back to Earth...
    (June / Interchill Records)



    Merv Pepler, now working on his own, delivered the best psydub/psychill album of the year in Back To Earth, a mesmerizly diverse mixture of sounds which took us as far as the sands of Egypt and the carnival street of latin America. Magnificently glitchy and jazzy in places too.

    Favourite Track: Epoch Calypso

    10. Sander van Doorn - Supernaturalistic
    (February / Doorn Records)



    This could well be the "marmite" album of the year - most it seems either love it or hate it. It's also interesting to note that I've seen this album criticised as fervently by fans of minimal and tech house as I've seen it criticised by disappointed fans of melodic trance. I'll have to admit, I was once a bit of a Sander skeptic myself. Two or three years ago I had him down as quite a "hit and miss" producer and when it first emerged onto the scene I thought Grasshopper was a pretty, boring uninspiring track. But, having seen him DJ three times now, it seems I've come full circle. As simple as it is, I've fallen head over heels in love with Sander's style, a style that he is making his own within the trance scene with every release and every DJing gig. What I do specifically like about this album is that, despite always being fairly minimal in style, it does have a wonderful balance between chilled out moods and dancefloor energy. I'm no expert in minimal and tech house, that is for certain, but I thought a lot of the percussion on this album was absolutely perfect, particularly in Apple and Dozer. And, of course, this album has Riff on it, which is pure dancefloor gold. How could you possibly not want to dance your balls off to that tune? Watch out, Sander - if it were scientifically possible, I'd want your babies.

    Favourite Track: Riff

    9. Kino Oko - Alphabetically Divided Highway
    (August / Tribal Vision)



    If this chart was solely about innovation then this album would be sitting proudly at the top of the pile. This was nothing like anything I'd ever heard before - an unusual mesh of psydub and progressive with nuggets of IDM, electro, trance and even jazz sprinkled on for good measure, busting with delicate little basslines and sparklingly with bleeping synth-lines. To save the effort of trying to categorise it accurately, it might be tempting to just call it a progressive psychedelic trance album, but tracks like Made In Satisfaction or Body And Mind don't quite flow like trance; they swirl, they reverberate, they float. To me, this album almost sounds like Zombie Nation, Shpongle and Tegma making a wild head-on collision, sending funky psychedelic jazz debris flying all over the road. In terms of creating something new and different, this was definitely electronic music's main achievement of 2008.

    Favourite Track: Mother Mature

    8. Armin van Buuren - Imagine
    (April / Armada Music)



    Oh, no. Armin's gone pop? No, not quite. The trance purists will hate me for charting this so high, but fuck it. Now that Armin is sitting top of DJ Mag's DJ poll, like Tiesto was previously, he is there to be shot at. And after producing something here that isn't necessarily "pure" trance from start to finish and something that in many ways reflects the direction that his A State Of Trance radio shows have supposedly gone, the cries of "Armin's gone pop" were bound to follow. But I'm sorry, I have a fairly broad taste, I don't turn my nose up at the first sign of a vocal and therefore I really enjoyed this. It's hardly music to be totally ripping up dancefloors, but if you take it for what it is, a chilled out trance-house crossover for the Ibizan beaches and terraces, then you have to concede it's more than fit for purpose. I think most of the vocals are great on this album, particularly those on In And Out Of Love and Hold On To Me, and the "spirit" of Ibiza seems to sustain itself from the first to the very last minutes. Whether it's better than 76 or Shivers I'm not entirely sure yet, but at least it's something different. Armin may have remixed The Killers this year, but don't panic trance fans, those collaborations with Girls Aloud and Miss Spears are a little way off yet.

    Favourite Track: In And Out Of Love

    7. Ferry Corsten - Twice In A Blue Moon
    (November / Flashover Recordings)



    With Right Of Way and L.E.F., the mighty Ferry Corsten had already set the bar incredibly high. I think if you compare Ferry's artist albums to those of the rest of trance's "big 4" - Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk - Ferry generally seems to deliver that extra something else, at least in terms of delivering a holistic yet varied package of tracks that work as well at home as they do on the dancefloor. And, more so than any of the others, he has found his own sound and more or less stuck with it. But, at the same time, he's managed to cater for quite a broad range of tastes. With Twice In A Blue Moon we are treated to yet more of the same. Same old Ferry, slightly different mood. This album makes stylistic reference to almost all of Ferry's older material - the uplifting trance, the electro trance, the vocal trance, even the dark moody stuff - yet injects an extra element of funky progressiveness in places. Another thing that I thought was excellent about this album was its use of vocals. If there's one criticism you could level at Armin Van Buuren's Imagine it's that it maybe uses vocals to the point of overkill. Ferry uses them much more sparingly and to much greater effect. The vocals themselves in terms of quality are right up there with the best you'll hear on any trance album. In particular, the vocals in Made Of Love, Black Velvet and Feel You are awesome. I would be hard pushed to say that this is better than Right Of Way - Right Of Way is a special album - but it's honestly not a million miles away from it. I certainly think it generally has a more listenable "vibe" or atmosphere than L.E.F.

    Favourite Track: Made of Love

    6. Quadra - Voice of Reason
    (June / H2O Records)



    Having already released 3 albums under his Quadra alias, Ido Liran, one half of Save the Robot, was already a very well-established name in full-on psy-trance. His fantastic bootleg of Gorillaz's Feel Good Inc., LSD Came Falling Down, was one of my favourite psy-trancers of 2007. This album picks up from that in a very obvious way, bootlegging a number of familiar melodies and vocal samples such Wildchild's Renegade Master, Niels van Gogh's Pulverturm, Planet Funk's Chase The Sun and even Tiesto's In My Memory. And I think that sense of familiarity works really well. In terms of overall sound, Voice Of Reason is your typical up-to-the-minute full-on album, with its crisp, punchy basslines, melodic breakdowns and bouncing psychedelic effects. This was by far the best artist album from this specific brand of full-on psy-trance this year, albeit not quite as good as Time Lock’s amazing Prototype 0.1 from last year and not quite the best psy-trance album of the year overall... keep reading for that.

    Favourite Track: Pulvertrum 3.0

    5. Enigma - Seven Lives Many Faces
    (September / Virgin Music Germany)



    Now, this is a bit of a strange one. Not the album itself necessarily. The album itself is classic Engima and, as always, extremely relaxing stuff. It's where this album fits into Enigma's overall discography that slightly bemused me. Everything about this album, including its title, had a sort of "final chapter" feel to it. Rather than carry on from where the incredibly subtle and significantly less vocalised A Posteriori left off, Seven Lives Many Faces seemed to bring together Michael Cretu's entire discography, going in all sorts of different but familiar, old directions. You can even hear vocal samples cut from previous albums which are clearly not meant to be carefully hidden away. Now, if this was planned as Cretu's final album as Enigma then a sort of "stylistic review" would have been a fitting way to bring this landmark project to an end after 18 spectacular years. But apparently this isn't Enigma's last album and Cretu is already working on the next one. So... why take Enigma stylistically backwards? A lot of Enigma fans moan about A Posteriori, some say that it was by far Cretu's most disappointing work. I love it, personally, and would have appreciated seeing Enigma continue a little further down that ethereal path, seeing what more could have been made of A Posteriori's wonderfully emotional and delicate feel. But if you put questions of overall artistic direction to one side and judge this newest release on its own merits then there is still a lot to be positive about. Even this album's cheesiest moments are carried off will such aplomb that you have sit back and say to yourself, "fair play to you, Michael." Another high quality record from the king of mainstream meditation. The question is, what next?

    Favourite Track: The Same Parents

    4. Juno Reactor - Gods & Monsters
    (February / Metropolis)



    I noticed quite a few Juno fans were disappointed with this, one of the year's first big releases. The last two tracks, which are essentially ballads, did leave a lot of people scratching their heads. But considering how long it had been since Labyrinth was released and considering how much of a free-thinking innovator Ben Watkins is, this was never going to be anything other than surprising. Watkins has never been afraid of throwing together styles and sounds that you wouldn't expect could or even should work together. Labyrinth was proof of that; Gods & Monster is unequivocal proof of that. However, there is something distinctly "Juno Reactor" running through tracks like Inca Steppa, Tanta Pena and City Of The Sinful- that dark, pulsating bass, that epic "world fusion" tribal feel. Even in Las Vegas Future Past you can hear "left overs" from his work on the Matrix soundtracks. But obviously we get a distinctly new take on that familiar sound. In Inca Steppa, for example, "Mexican rasta" is exactly what you get as that familiar Juno Reactor tribal takes on a distinctly Central American feel and melts seamlessly into reggae flavour. Other parts of the album treat us to something entirely different however - Haunting dub, chillout, touches of jazz, metal and, of course, ending on those two ballads. Do the ballads spoil it? Well, the answer is yes and no. Perfect Crime is a well-written song that sometimes even has me passionately singing along, complete with "emo" facial expressions. Whereas, the less said about Pretty Girl the better really. But overall, a sublime effort from Juno which I think might even grow with time. Superbly innovative and, in Inca Steppa, Tanta Pena and City Of The Sinful, has 3 real gems in its hefty locker.

    Favourite Track: Inca Steppa

    3. Pendulum - In Silico
    (May / Warner Music UK Ltd)



    As I mused in one of my most recent journals, Pendulum's long-awaited 2nd album wasn't as good as their first. But I never expected it to be. Hold Your Colour was one of those magical albums, an album which contains levels of balance and quality that even the greatest artists around don't just repeat at the drop of a hat. What I hoped Pendulum would do is take some of the key ingredients of Hold Your Colour and build something new, fresh and exciting, to elaborate on the group's familiar formulas to create something different. And that is exactly what they did. For me, In Silico is the perfect balance between familiarity and freshness. Pendulum have evolved without ripping up root and branch. Certain people were always going to be slightly disappointed. By nailing their colours to the mast and deciding to take the project definitively down the root of half-drum & bass-electronic-rock crossover, this Slam plus rock approach, certain stylistic elements of Hold Your Colour were bound to be lost. Hold Your Colour was after all quite a varied affair, whereas In Silico is more single-minded and makes no conscious attempt to "cover all the bases" just in case old fans get disillusioned. I think Pendulum have to be commended for that, for sticking to their guns and doing what they want with their music. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed with In Silico. Hey, so the days of Another Planet and The Terminal are clearly gone, but large parts of this new offering still had all the energy and power I've come to expect from them, without just being an attempt to copy Hold Your Colour tune for tune. Fuck the snobs; whatever genre you care to call it, whatever its popularity, this is good shit.

    Favourite Track: Midnight Runner

    2. Orkidea - Metaverse
    (March / AVA Recordings)



    Armin did very well, Ferry did even better - but unfortunately for them they were both royally owned this year by Finland's finest, Tapio Hakanen, better known to the world of trance as DJ Orkidea, albeit with the help of a few other big name producers such as Andy Moor, Solar Stone and David West. The opening few tracks of this album are so uplifting, particularly the last 2 minutes or so of Free Dreams. YearZero is just sheer quality and always has me turning up my stereo on the 4:26 mark. It combines that uplifting mood with a catchy, driving bassline to produce a near perfect example of what trance music is really all about at the moment. Other parts of the album have a slightly darker, moodier feel however, which provides an important element of balance and variety. Stretching Time, for example, even starts out sounding quite tough, almost psychedelic, while later developing into a lushly melodic affair. And the introductions of Masochrist and Requiem are totally epic, leading into yet more faintly psychedelic but melodic moodiness. And I'm sure many trance purists will delight in the fact this album contains almost no sung vocals, a la Ferry, Armin or DJ Shah. This album didn't require them at all, so you have to give Tapio credit for not being tempted to throw a few in arbitrarily. This is a distinctly different experience to Imagine or Twice In A Blue Moon and almost a million miles away from Sander's Supernaturalistic and, for my money, is the best of the lot.

    Favourite Track: YearZero

    1. Wizzy Noise - Renaissance
    (September / Harmonia Records)



    This came like a bolt out of the blue. Wizzy Noise are indeed a highly reputable psy-trance act with a solid and distinctive sound. But likely to produce an album that could comfortably clinch my top album spot for 2008? Certainly not. At least I didn't think so. I honestly never expected the Greek duo to come out sounding this good, especially considering how little they have altered their overall style to achieve it. Wizzy Noise just took that trademark sound that everyone in the psy-trance scene knows them for, gave it a bit more of a melodic edge and took it up a few notches. The interesting thing about this album is that almost every single track on the album starts out sounding like your run-of-the-mill psy-trancer, some of them even start out sounding quite dull. But then each one starts to move up the gears, gear by gear, kick back by kick back. Before you know it you're being bombarded by a wall of sound - a wall of soaring electro melodies and pumping psychedelic basslines. Trance is all about that progression towards a spine-tingling crescendo and this album has those crescendos in abundance. Sea Song turned out to be my psy-trance tune of the year. Anybody that has heard it will understand why. That kick back on the 6 min 30 second mark is a pure "hairs on your neck stand up" moment, every single time.

    Favourite Track: Sea Song

    -----------------------------------------------------

    ALBUMS - THE HONOURABLE MENTIONS

    10 albums that deserve a shout... in no particular order:

    Nicholas Bennison - Tension of Opposites
    (November / Propulsion) (Progressive Psychedelic / Progressive / Psychedelic Breaks)
    Mirco de Govia - Iconic Path
    (April / euphonic) (Chillout / Progressive Trance / Trance)
    Tegma - Lo-Fi Adventures
    (February / Tribal Vision) (Progressive Trance)
    Kularis - Technical Progress
    (February / Spintwist Records) (Progressive Psychedelic)
    Liquid Soul - Love In Stereo
    (August / Iboga Records) (Progressive Psychedelic)
    deadmau5 - Random Album Title
    (September / Ultra Records) (Progressive Trance / Progressive House)
    Aladdin - Void Last Line
    (November / Meira Records) (Full-on Psychedelic)
    Jaytech - Everything Is OK
    (June / Anjunabeats) (Progressive Trance / Chillout)
    Ernesto vs. Bastian - Authenticity
    (February / High Contrast Recordings) (Trance / Progressive Trance / Tech Trance)
    Psysex - Healing
    (May / HOM-Mega Productions) (Progressive Psychedelic / Full-on Psychedelic / Psychedelic Breaks)

    -----------------------------------------------------

    TOP 20 TRANCE, PROGRESSIVE AND TECH TRANCE TUNES OF 2008

    1. Sander van Doorn – Apple (Marcus Schossow Remix)
    (July / Doorn Records)
    2. Simon Patterson - Smack
    (April / Reset Recordings)
    3. GEoRGiA - Ode To '99
    (March / Levare Recordings)
    4. Mike Foyle - Pandora (The Blizzard Remix)
    (May / Armind)
    5. B.E.N. vs. Mr. Pit - Superstition
    (May / Coldharbour Recordings)
    6. Graeme Harrison – Xanthe
    (February / Flux Delux)
    7. Lee Haslam – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD)
    (May / Digital Remedy)
    8. Armin van Buuren - In And Out Of Love (Richard Durand Remix)
    (August / Armanda Music)
    9. Talla 2XLC vs. Sean Tyas - Heart To Heart (Sean Tyas Remix)
    (February / Tetsuo)
    10. The Doppler Effect - Beauty Hides in The Deep (John O'Callaghan Remix)
    (February / Armind)
    11. Orjan Nilsen – La Guitarra
    (May / Armind)
    12. Rank 1 vs. Jochen Miller - And Then...
    (February / High Contrast Recordings)
    13. Jochen Miller – Lost Connection
    (July / High Contrast Recordings)
    14. Onova – Niveus
    (April / Total Digital Recordings)
    15. Akesson - Sunchaser
    (April / Fraction Records)
    16. El Cortez - Desert Rose
    (April / Intuition Recordings)
    17. Oceania – Never Forget (Arctic Moon Remix)
    (August / Well Mixed Records)
    18. Tom Colontonio - Headless Horseman
    (November / Discover Digital)
    19.Alex M.O.R.P.H. - Walk The Edge (Alex M.O.R.P.H. B2B Woody Van Eyden Remix)
    (May / High Contrast Recordings)
    20. Ryan Blair - Tek Drum
    (July / Monster Tunes)

    Producer Of The Year 2008:

    3. Orkidea
    2. Simon Patterson
    1. Paul Miller

    Superstar DJ Award 2008:

    3. Paul van Dyk
    2. Eddie Halliwell
    1. Sander van Doorn

    Label Of The Year 2008: High Contrast Recordings
    "One To Watch" for 2009: Tom Colontonio

    -----------------------------------------------------

    TOP 20 UK HARD DANCE TUNES OF 2008

    1. NG Rezonance – Sinners
    (September / High Drive Recordings)
    2. Technikal presents Helen G – Don’t Stop (Rodi Style Remix)
    (August / Technikal Recordings)
    3. Kenemy - Sorry For Itself (Emilio Remix)
    (August / Presence Hard Trance)
    4. Technikal presents Kris McLachlan - Return To Innocence
    (November / Technikal Recordings)
    5. Jason Cortez – Set U Free
    (June / Tranzlation Whites)
    6. Iridium - Give It To Me
    (July / Carbon Recordings)
    7. Aftershok – Extraordinary
    (June / Outbreak Digital)
    8. Technikal - Ssst...(Listen)
    (October / Tidy)
    9. Technikal vs. The Lost Boys - Mass Effect (Iridium Remix)
    (May / Technikal Recordings)
    10. Paul Glazby – Alien Animal
    (August / Vicious Circle)
    11. Amber D - Rush On Me
    (October / Tidy)
    12. Bryn Whiting - 3rd Movement (Iridium Remix)
    (November / High Drive Recordings)
    13. Paul Maddox meets Technikal - Captive
    (September / Tidy)
    14. Velos - The Joker
    (November / Fireball Recordings)
    15. SQ presents Ben Collie - End Of Dayz
    (September / Outbreak Digital)
    16. Rob Tissera & Quake – Holdin’ On (Rob Tissera & Technikal Remix)
    (July / Tidy)
    17. Kym Ayres - Guitar Hero
    (December / Tidy)
    18. Pero - Obsession
    (September / Technikal Recordings)
    19. Emilio – Sabotage (Iridium Remix)
    (February / High Drive Recordings)
    20. Scott Genetik – Can’t Stop The Signal
    (April / Encoded)

    Producer Of The Year Award 2008:

    3. Paul Maddox
    2. Iridium
    1. Technikal

    Superstar DJ Award 2008:

    3. Paul Maddox
    2. The Tidy Boys
    1. Rodi Style

    Label Of The Year 2008: Technikal Recordings
    "One To Watch" for 2009: Emilio

    -----------------------------------------------------

    TOP 20 FULL-ON PSY TUNES OF 2008

    1. Wizzy Noise - Sea Song
    (September / Harmonia Records)
    2. System Nipel & Electra – Game On (Ananda Shake Remix)
    (June / Utopia Records)
    3. Dynamic – Make Me (Space Cat vs. Dynamic Remix)
    (July / H2O Records)
    4. Wizzy Noise - Eyes Wide Open
    (September / Harmonia Records)
    5. Vibe Tribe & Gataka & Electro Sun & Ziki- Tokyo Tel Aviv
    (September / Noga Records)
    6. Spade - Reaction
    (June / Utopia Records)
    7. Quadra – Pulverturm 3.0
    (June / H2O Records)
    8. Insomnia – Displacement
    (March / Trancelucent Productions)
    9. Aladdin - U Know This
    (November / Meira Records)
    10. Freedom Fighters – Robotic
    (June / Utopia Records)
    11. Electro Sun vs. Stereomatic - Bubble Crash
    (September / Noga Records)
    12. Aquatica feat. Sapir – Angels
    (July / Com.Pact Records)
    13. Ultravoice vs. Rizo – Keep It Real (Azax Syndrom Remix)
    (March / Com.Pact Records)
    14. Aladdin - Soul Of A Worm
    (November / Meira Records)
    15. Quadra – Back Again
    (June / H2O Records)
    16. Injection – In Su Lin
    (August / Phonokol Records)
    17. Ferbi Boys – Oggy Monster
    (April / Com.Pact Records)
    18. Ananda Shake & Phanatic - Phananda
    (May / Utopia Records)
    19. CPU – Wicked Plastic
    (June / Nutek Records)
    20. Tactic Mind vs. Unique - Problem
    (February / Tactic Records)

    Psy-Trance Compilation of 2008: Thank You For Flying Utopia



    Producer Of The Year 2008: Wizzy Noise
    "One To Watch" for 2009: Stereomatic

    -----------------------------------------------------

    TOP 20 ELECTRO-HOUSE TUNES OF 2008

    1. Melleefresh & Deadmau5 - Attention Whore
    (October / Play Record)
    2. Dave Darell - Children
    (June / DBX Records)
    3. Sebastien Benett - Extremly Madness
    (December / BITRATE RECORDS)
    4. Felguk - WashEm & GiveEm Food
    (November / plasma.digital)
    5. Zoe Badwi - Release Me (TV Rock Edit)
    (November / Time Records)
    6. Vaca - Move Me 2008
    (January / Ministry of Sound Germany)
    7. Felguk - Whatever Clever
    (September / plasma.digital)
    8. Three Drives - Greece 2000 (Chris Reece Remix)
    (July / S2 Records)
    9. d.kingz - Rescue Me
    (August / Clubtronics)
    10. JS16 - Lights Go Wild
    (Febuary / VIP Recordings)
    11. Michael Woods - Natural High (Out Of Office Full Vocal Mix)
    (November / Diffused Music)
    12. Romain Curtis feat. Awa - I'm A Soldier (Filthy Rich's 'Full Metal Jacket' Remix)
    (Febuary / Twist My DJ Records)
    13. Toby Emerson - Inappropriate Electro
    (November / Bugeyed Records)
    14. Steve Forest - Freed From Desire (Ortega 2008 Remix)
    (July / Jolly Roger (Sound Of Pirates)
    15. D'Argento - Come On Over (Chris Reece Remix)
    (September / Pinkstar Records)
    16. Lazy Rich - Don't Go Back
    (November / plasma.digital)
    17. Dave Darell - Freeloader (Spencer & Hill Remix)
    (December / Tiger Records)
    18. Feed Me - The Spell
    (November / Mau5trap)
    19. Jean Elan - Where's Your Head At? (Klaas Remix)
    (July / Cinnamon Flava)
    20. Guru Josh Project - Infinity 2008 (Klaas Remix)
    (November / Maelstrom Records)

    Producer Of The Year 2008: Felguk
    "One To Watch" for 2009: Bass Weazal

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Well, there you have it ladies and gents. That was 2008. With the new Prodigy album on its way in March and my trip to the White Isle booked for July, I'm already psyched for the musical year of 2009. Bring it on, I say!

    Merry Christmas one and all; Be excellent to each other.
  • REFLECTIONS (2008)

    2 nov 2008, 00:34 av Addicted2Melody

    REFLECTIONS

    It is now 21 months since I joined last.fm and 16 months since I wrote my first journal, Music According To Me , which was my attempt at introducing myself, musically speaking. Looking back on it and I’m pleased to say that it has “stood the test of time”, for want of a better phrase, albeit a relatively short period of time. In terms of my general view of music and the development of my taste up until 2007 it is still perfectly accurate and I still hold now most of the opinions I expressed in it. Some of the ideas I talked about were taken up in later journals and fleshed out, elaborated on – for example, what I wrote about “people not getting trance” eventually became a journal which attempted to explain the dynamic of trance in more detail and my criticisms of Scooter in various parts of the article became two quite lengthy journals which went through those criticisms in almost unnecessary detail. But, as you would expect, I’m not the same last.fm user I was 16 months ago. My tastes are gradually and subtly shifting and my listening habits are starting to mould themselves into patterns that clearly exhibit a more “situational” approach to music. With this in mind, I thought it might be time to reflect on some of the things I wrote about back in May 2007 and to add to those reflections some other thoughts that I have mulled over during the last year or so.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    1.ESCAPING SCOOTER SLAVERY
    2.REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN TRANCE
    3.THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT PENDULUM
    4.DJING – HOW HARD IS IT REALLY?
    5.LISTENING HABITS AND THE ACCURACY OF SCROBBLING
    6.I FEEL… SHPONGLED

    -----------------------------------------------------

    1. ESCAPING SCOOTER SLAVERY

    Well, another journal entry and yet more talk of Scooter – I promise you, this is the last time. I know, I know – The Scooter – Q&A was enough, they’re shit now, they’re dead in spirit, get over it. I’d like to think that I have now. But I won’t bore you once again with yet more explanations of “what went wrong for Scooter”. I don’t feel the need. All I wanted to say was that it has only recently fully hit home to me just how obsessed I was about Scooter as a teenager, especially before I got “fully” into hard dance music around 2003/4 and “fully” into the trance scene after Ibiza 2005. I’ve recently been redecorating my room, having a bit of clear out… and you wouldn’t believe the number of old CDs with Scooter burnt on them that I’ve had to chuck out. I also got chance to take down the 3 enormous Scooter posters I’ve had on my bedroom walls for the past 5 years and I couldn’t help thinking to myself as I took them down, “did I really need to buy 3 of these?” Surely, one would have been enough, right?

    Needless to say, those posters will not be going back up and taking them down felt almost therapeutic – symbolic of a musical “cleansing” or “healing”. And I really don’t mean that as a slight on Scooter’s music, old or new – but rather as a rejection of musical obsessions. My experiences of falling in and then out of love with Scooter, including my observations of the band and their fans during that time, have made me hate one thing in music above all others – fanaticism. The thing is, it does nobody any good. When large numbers of people become blindly fanatical about an artist, it stifles the artist’s creativity, gives the artist the incentive to concentrate on quantity rather than quality and gives that artist the opportunity to line his/her pockets. And when it comes to the fanatics themselves, more often than not a complete obsession with one artist inevitably leads to a narrowing of musical outlook. In most cases, it’s not that these people intrinsically only like the music produced by that artist, it’s just they seem to naturally restrict themselves. The artist in question becomes “all they need”. Whichever way I look at it, I can only see that as a real shame. These people miss out on so so much. Now, I was by no means the most obsessive Scooter fan the world has ever seen but having “left Scooter behind” and branched out over the last 2 years or so I can see how much other music I was missed out on. Realising that Scooter are a tiny fraction of the good music out there was one of the best things that ever happened to me. An obvious thing to realise, maybe, but not so obvious when you’re 16 years old and all you can think about is “the next Scooter album”.

    If you look at the profiles of some Scooter fans here on last.fm (without singling out specific individuals – and I stress, it is some and not all), this narrowness of musical outlook becomes relatively clear. Some have scrobbled 20-25% Scooter, some as much as 30%. For a few people Scooter make up over half of their scrobbles. I’m sorry, but no artist deserves 50% of a person’s scrobbles. If you take into account just how much music is out there, just how many genres and sub-genres, just how many creative minds there are in the world contributing to the constant stream of musical output, no artist could possibly be considered good enough to warrant that amount of listening time. To suggest otherwise, to me, is bordering on the ludicrous.

    I’m not saying people should stop listening to Scooter. I’m not even denying a person’s right to believe that Scooter are “the best” if that is what they genuinely believe… but liking a particular artist more than others shouldn’t restrict your enjoyment of the rest of music. If you’re not constantly discovering new things and enjoying a wide variety of artists from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, instead listening to the same 10 CDs over and over again and worshiping certain artists like gods, then I feel sorry for you, I really do. It is an odd sort of musical slavery.


    “…He’s losing the battle for wall space, isn’t he?”
    It may just be a scene in a comedy series but, exaggerating aside, obsessions, particularly ones over characters in popular culture, are clearly NOT healthy!

    2. REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN TRANCE

    In my original Music According To Me entry I made the prediction that trance would not only improve in quality as we approach the next decade but that it would also return to being more melodic, going back to the structures and stylings of the so-called “golden era” of 1998-2001. But the latter of those predictions doesn’t appear to be coming true. Progressive styles that venture into electro and house, including tech trance, are still going strong and if anything getting even more popular. Of course, progressive styles of trance music have been around for ages, but this new housier, techier, funkier progressive has a totally new flavour to it. There are fewer and fewer trance DJs playing only pure euphoric trance – the likes of Aly & Fila and John O'Callaghan are, without overemphasising the point, almost a dying breed.

    But, to be quite honest, I can feel myself being pulled in by this new “progressive wave”. My username is, of course, a reference to an affinity for melody in music. I was, and always will be, a sucker for a distinctive melodic sequence. Make it sweeping and uplifting and you practically have me by the dangly bits. But it’s not the be all and end all for me anymore. Take a track like Simon Patterson – Bulldozer, or his recent tune Smack, for example. Utterly amazing melodic breakdowns, but the kick backs are rough, techy and funky. In my eyes, there you have a winning combo. And that’s what I’m leaning more towards these days, at least in terms of what I want to hear on a dancefloor. The key word is ‘balance’ – too much of any style can be boring which is why all the big names, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten even Above & Beyond, are playing a mixture of styles. In particular, I recall Ferry Corsten playing a killer set at Creamfields this year which was a distinct mix of “electro-trance” and old melodic stuff like 1998 and Carte Blanche. Above & Beyond opened their set at Creamfields 2007 with what sounded more like electro-house, ending of course with their big melodic tunes like Good For Me and Home.

    Boundaries are breaking down and as a result different dancefloors are expected to, and do, embrace each other’s music in the interests of variety. Contrary to my original prediction, I don’t think this is likely to change anytime soon. Rather, I think psy-trance and tech trance will have a big say in how the genre develops. But, the pure melodic stuff has to remain. Melody is an important part of what makes trance what it is. Again, the key is variety. I welcome that variety with open ears.

    3. THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT PENDULUM

    You’d pretty much have had to be living under a rock for the last year or so not to have noticed the Pendulum juggernaut rolling into town. There’s no doubt their popularity has ballooned since the release of Blood Sugar in the summer of 2007. Everyone knows who they are, and everyone it seems has an opinion about what they are and aren’t. I think Pendulum have become another one of those artists that highlight a lot of issues within music. There’s so much about them that you can debate - hype, popularity, evolution, direction, the combination of different musical styles to name but a handful of those issues. And then of course there is THE big question, the question that people will continue to debate until they are blue in the face – Are Pendulum drum & bass?

    I was introduced to Hold Your Colour in the summer of 2005, so not long after the album was actually first released. Previously, I had not been into drum & bass. To be honest, I wasn’t keen on it at all. Hold Your Colour was a real eye-opener. It remains one of my favourite albums from any genre of electronic music. Hold Your Colour didn’t turn me into a full drum & bass head but it eased me into a genre I would have otherwise continued to ignore. I now quite like artists like Matrix and Futurebound, High Contrast, DJ Fresh, The Qemists, Phetsta and Logistics. And I know the difference between liquid funk and jump up, between jungle and dubstep. So I’m not one of those people that heard Blood Sugar in a mainstream club last summer and suddenly started declaring themselves “fans of drum & bass”.

    I think it’s fairly obvious to most people that Pendulum’s pre-Hold Your Colour material was definitely drum & bass. The likes of The Spiral, Masochist and Mind’s Eye were certainly less mainstream and generally a bit darker. And good tunes they are too. Hold Your Colour did have a slight mainstream edge, an extra accessibility factor, thanks in particular to the big synth lines in Fasten Your Seatbelts and Slam and some of the vocals. It was more accessible. But at the same time, because of tracks like Another Planet, Through the Loop and The Terminal, it wasn’t totally removed from what had gone before and, overall, the album itself was overwhelmingly drum & bass. The only tracks on that album that weren’t drum & bass were Fasten Your Seatbelts and Out Here, both of which were more breaks. And Slam was that sort of unusual half-drum & bass that Pendulum are now famed for. I say half-drum & bass because the beat in it is, as one last.fm user once wrote in the band’s shoutbox, a sort of “stripped down Amen Break”. Rather than being a complex and carefully programmed collection of kicks, snares and cymbals, Slam’s percussion does sound more like a guy furiously beating a drum kit. And it is that “stripped down Amen Break” that lies at the heart of both Pendulum’s success and at the heart of the drum & bass scene’s backlash against them. And it also explains why Pendulum have been able to become so successful as a live act. But, apart from those few exceptions, Hold Your Colour was all drum & bass, and in my opinion, not even that commercial-sounding, at least nowhere near as commercial as the drum & bass purists would have you believe. And what’s more, it was incredibly well produced.

    Now, what has happened to Pendulum since Hold Your Colour is that they have moved more towards that “half-drum & bass” sound, that “stripped Amen break”. That is hardly surprising, for a number of reasons, all of which feed into each other. Firstly, Slam, which was the first of these tracks, sounded different, it had “trademark” quality about it. Having found such a “trademark”, and such a successful one at that, it would have been slightly odd if they had decided not to experiment with that sound and try it again. Secondly, all 3 of Pendulum’s core members are big rock fans. They have repeatedly stated so in interviews. With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that a large amount of their material since Hold Your Colour has taken the Slam concept and tried to combine it with rock music. It’s not about selling out, or going pop, or “turning your back on drum & bass” – this is the organic evolution of a group of artists in accordance with their various musical influences. The main man behind Pendulum, Rob Swire, said it himself in an interview with Kmag:

    Q - Why have you moved towards more of a rock sound/ image?
    A- "It wasn't really a conscious decision - as we moved away from the "strictly drum and bass" aspect of it all, we just made whatever music we thought sounded good and the rest seemed to follow. To be honest, if anyone ever thought we were D&B to the core they were under the wrong impression... D&B was just one of many genres we were into and I think the new sound and image reflect that.”


    People can believe what they like and, ultimately, they will. Only the band themselves truly know whether they are motivated by their own musical whims or by pound notes and the adulation of the masses. I would be the first to criticise Pendulum if I believed they were selling out. But having watched Pendulum evolve since Hold Your Colour, having read what I’ve read about them, I honestly believe that they are just making the music they love, combining musical influences for the love of doing it. I certainly think that if they were going to sell out they wouldn’t have spent 3 years creating In Silico. Why would you spend so long making an album if your “musical heart” wasn’t in it and you didn’t “believe” in the music you were creating?

    The thing is with In Silico is that a lot of people interpreted it as a “revolution” rather than an “evolution”. In Silico is indeed in many ways different to Hold Your Colour. It is more rock influenced and it certainly pushes more towards that Slam model of half-drum & bass. It is, because of the rock element, even more accessible than Hold Your Colour was. But, to say that it has nothing to do with drum & bass is simply not true. To say that it is totally and utterly removed from Hold Your Colour is simply not true. Rather, whether you like In Silico or not is probably largely dependent on what it is you liked about Hold Your Colour in the first place. Personally, I loved all the stylistic elements of Hold Your Colour, both the drum & bass elements and the more mainstream elements, and therefore I have no beef whatsoever with Pendulum for going in the direction they have. The important thing for me about In Silico was not necessarily what specific direction it went in, or even whether it was as good as or better than Hold Your Colour, but about getting that balance between something familiar and something new - something that had some of the best ingredients of Hold Your Colour at its core, but wasn’t just the same thing all over again. As far as I’m concerned, In Silico wasn’t as good as Hold Your Colour, not by a long shot, but they got that balance between familiarity and freshness almost spot on – it was an evolution.

    As I hinted earlier, Pendulum “the producers” turning themselves into Pendulum “the band” for live performances has helped move Pendulum’s popularity into a new demographic. Pendulum stopped being “the drum & bass concept that introduces outsiders to drum & bass” and became ingratiated into the UK “indie circle”. As soon as they picked up their guitars, found a drummer and took to the stage, they seemed to become a wholly more attractive musical concept to the masses… because if you don’t play guitars and have a drummer you’re just not credible, right? I saw Pendulum live for the first time in the May of this year at Bristol’s Carling Academy. I enjoyed the music that night. Pendulum as a “live band” does work. But what struck me was just how many people under the age of 18 were there. This was a far cry from the gritty world of drum & bass nights and its grimy backstreet bunkers. Another thing that strangely unnerved me was that the biggest crowd reaction of the night was not really for Slam, or Voodoo People or for Propane Nightmares (as big as those crowd reactions were) but for the "Arctic Monkeys-esque" riff that turns up in the new track Mutiny. Don't get me wrong, I like Mutiny as a track - but at that point I couldn't help but think, “Am I the only non-indie fan here? How many of you would still be on the dancefloor if they started playing The Spiral or their remix of Submarines?” A part of me suddenly felt like one of those DnB snobs I've always hated... but now I can sort of see where they were coming from in a way. I don’t mind artists becoming more popular, as long as a desire to become popular doesn’t become that artist’s driving force – at the end of the day, some artists are popular simply because they are very fucking good. But I never really wanted Pendulum to become a staple of the “NME”, “BBC Radio One”, “indie” culture, where bands move in and out of the spotlight as quickly as their fans change their underwear. Let’s not be naïve here. There are some people out there who are only listening to Slam, Blood Sugar and In Silico because Zane Lowe wants Pendulum’s babies.

    Pendulum’s next album is going to be interesting to say the least. Having got to where they are, the temptation to “pander” to this new fan base will undoubtedly be there. And, whatever they produce, the drum & bass community will continue to sharpen their knives in anticipation. Personally, all I hope is that it is a little more “The Prodigy” and a little less “Arctic Monkeys”. There is clearly a danger of almost all the electronic elements, including the drum & bass, being totally sucked out of Pendulum. If that happens they will become just another rock band. But, I stress, it is an ‘if’ - it has not happened yet, in my opinion.

    4. DJING – HOW HARD IS IT REALLY?

    In August of 2007 I did something I said I’d never do. “I’ll never be able to afford it”, I said. But when a mate of mine at Uni offered to sell me his decks on the cheap when he upgraded the idea suddenly started to seem affordable. It wasn’t long before I had my heart set on getting them. My mate didn’t upgrade in the end, but I went ahead, found the money and bought decks, a mixer and an amp anyway. Nothing special – just a set of Pioneer 100s, a digital 2 channel Numark mixer and a Kam amp.

    My own progress in terms of learning has been what I would call steady. I’ve been mixing digitally with computer programs like Mixmesiter for many years now and, while digital mixing is nowhere near as difficult as doing it for real, I think that previous experience and the basic technical understanding it can give you, really helped me get to grips with the fundamentals like cueing, beatmatching and seeing the music in terms of bars. Things like tune selection, knowing those tunes inside out, timing and the blending of tracks using the mixing desk was always going to take a lot more practice. I’ve also found that different genres of electronic music require distinctly different styles of mixing, mainly because of the varying structures used. For example, because I was used to dropping in hard dance tracks with about 2 mins 30 seconds remaining on the out-going tune, it took me a while to appreciate that much more patience is required when mixing electro-house. Understanding the structures involved is absolutely vital.

    In terms of how hard it is, I would say learning to DJ is a lot like learning to drive. Almost anyone can do it given enough time and effort. It will take some people more hours to learn than others but the more you do it the more competent you become. But, by the same token, not everyone is Lewis Hamilton. Just because anyone potentially can learn doesn’t mean everyone has the drive and the talent to be a superstar.

    Of course, the main fundamental of DJing is the skill of beatmatching. To continue the analogy, I’d compare beatmatching in DJing to clutch control in driving. Just as you have almost no hope of controlling a car if you can’t use your clutch properly, you have no hope of getting two tracks to mix into each other if you can’t get them to sit neatly over the top of each other in the same tempo. You have to be in as much control as possible in both instances. But there is also an extent to which beatmatching can be quite mechanical and even a simple case of basic mathematics. For example, on my CD tracklists I have noted next to each track the BPM (beats per minute) and the key the track is in. This means I can carefully select which tracks are likely to go together. Now, it’s not simply a case of choosing two tunes and pitching one up or down to match the other. A track of 145 BPM pitched down by 1 to match a 144 BPM track will quite quickly fall out of time. But a DJ will also know that for every 1 BPM difference between the tracks he can slow down or speed up the incoming track by about 0.3 to make it stay in time for much longer. Without getting bogged down in all the complexities of it, if a DJ knows the BPMs of the two tracks he’s mixing he should have a very good idea of how much he’ll need to slow down or speed them up to keep them in time. So if you’ve mastered your jog wheel (which doesn’t take too long), you understand the basic mathematics and know the BPMs of your tunes, you’re well on your way. The difference is, DJs who are really skilled at beatmatching can keep beats in time without knowing what the BPMs are… just by careful listening. That in itself is much harder. Personally, I think it’s very difficult to tell if a DJ is purely using his ears, or relying much more on mathematics and the high quality of his top of the range equipment.

    With that in mind, I think it can be quite difficult to judge DJs. There is such a thing as “mixing safe”, “mixing within yourself” – in other words, you could plan your set very carefully beforehand, choose tracks only a few beats per minute from each other, stick to tunes with very strict, obvious structures, make sure you weren’t mixing tracks from opposite ends of the octave in terms of key, avoid elaborate tricks and therefore mix a technically flawless set without even being that good. You could make yourself look a lot better than you were and many people observing would be none the wiser. Whereas the real talents out there can mix pretty much anything into anything (within reason) and can mix flawlessly with very little planning. And then there are people like Eddie Halliwell who do tricks like they are going out of fashion. Only then does a DJ's talent become truly obvious.


    5. LISTENING HABITS AND THE ACCURACY OF SCROBBLING

    I am fully aware that taking up DJing has dramatically influenced my last.fm charts. To a lot of visitors to my page, a passion for trance and hard dance might not seem that obvious at all. And I seem to have quite limited compatibility with other users who mainly scrobble trance. In particular, hard dance artists have started to tumble down my charts. The reason for that is quite simply that I mix hard dance. If I spend 2 hours mixing some hard dance, by the time I put my headphones away and sit back at my computer it’s only natural that I want to listen to something else. Inevitably I turn to psy or, if it’s late, some ambient.

    To be honest, trance and hard dance music as types of music don’t lend themselves to scrobbling – at the least the full unmixed tracks from such genres don’t. The beats at the start and end of tracks are, of course, very important. It’s important to make them mixable and it’s important in terms of how the tracks slowly build. But often I’m not in the mood to be sitting around waiting for a bassline. I think the fact that DJing is so important in electronic music proves that I’m not the only one who feels that way. I know I’ve talked a lot in various journals about how trance fans are very patient music listeners and about how important that sense of progression is to the genre, but sitting through a minute of beats (or more) at the start and end of each track is pushing it a bit. And returning to your iTunes periodically to move a track forwards towards the bassline or skip to the next track isn’t always the most convenient way to listen. Sometimes I do listen like that, but often it is just easier to stick something on with a slightly more “radio friendly” structure, particularly if I’m doing something other than just surfing the net.

    Also, ambient music has the advantage of being the only type of music that is suitable for the hours before going to bed. If I’m at home and still awake at 1 in the morning I’m hardly going to be listening to hard dance. I’m one of those people that hates going to bed, mainly because I hate having to through that waking up “process” the next morning. Hence, why I’ll often prolong my day by listening to Enigma, Steve Roach or Biosphere late into the night.

    Those are just some of the reasons why my charts are slightly deceptive. That’s not to say that the artists in my top 30 aren’t amongst my favourite artists, but there are noticeable absentees and some genres are misleadingly underrepresented.

    6. I FEEL… SHPONGLED

    As I’m sure most people gathered from the opening part of this journal, I have distinctly moved away from the idea that people should be championing a specific artist ahead of all others – what you might call the “hero worship” approach to music. Certain people feel a need to commit themselves fully, not just to a scene or a genre, but to one or two artist, as if to show a greater degree of loyalty. Go to the official forum of any “popular” act and you’ll see evidence of it. What I’m basically trying to say is that if someone asked me who my favourite artist was, to single out one artist as “the best” not only would I struggle to do it but I would refuse to do it out of principle. There are too many genres, too many eras, too many so-called geniuses - not to mention too many different life situations that themselves shift what it is we require from our music. As the saying goes – there’s more than one way to skin a cat. If you had asked me who was the best artist “in the world” when I was 15 I would have said Scooter without hesitation – ask me now I’ll tell you I simply can’t chose.

    But allow me to move the goal posts slightly. What if we talk about “achievement” in music? Or, even more abstractly, “spirituality” in music? Both these approaches, as well as being linked in this particular case, are, to me, subtly different to singling out artists as being aesthetically most pleasing on a more subjective level. I recently declared Shpongle to be “the pinnacle of achievement in electronic music to date”. Not necessarily the act I would pick out ahead of all others as aesthetically “the best”, but on a number of levels the greatest achievement. On what levels I hear you ask?

    To begin with, the number of musical styles contained within Shpongle’s music is insanely broad. With chillout, dub and various elements of psychedelic music at its base, it combines that with jazz, classical, reggae, tribal, new age and God only knows what else to create an incredibly textured and deep brand of music. Distinctive yet highly versatile, the musical combinations are seamless and organic. The “copy-cat” projects that followed on from Shpongle’s debut record Are You Shpongled?, including Simon Posford’s own collaborations with various other talented producers, spawned what is now widely considered to be a new genre, referred to as psydub or psychill. The fact Shpongle have been able to combine musical elements from such a wide spectrum and so effortlessly is in itself fairly unique. However, I believe Shpongle’s achievements go deeper than that. Those musical combinations, the high standards of production and music writing, the extent to which music technology is pushed to its absolute limit and, most importantly, the vision of Simon and Raja, make Shpongle “feel” like the musical expression of something wholly more profound, something almost quite deliberately inexpressible.

    I think the story behind the name ‘Shpongle’ can tell you an awful lot about what their music represents as a concept. Raja Ram recalls how he was at a goa party early one morning and he was asked by someone “how are you feeling?” He responded by saying, completely spontaneously, “I feel… shpongled”.


    "…And this word just came out of the atmosphere and it was like shpongle was a new word and it just became part of our vocabulary…"

    It wasn’t just about being high on drugs or spaced out. We have countless words in the English language, slang or otherwise, that refer to those states without the need for arbitrarily creating new ones. Why shpongled? This was something subtly different. Raja was trying to describe the indescribable, that sort of sense of awe and "oneness" with the universe that there is no real word for. He was talking about higher plains of existence or subjectivity. And the key is the subjectivity. It is the “feeling” that is made even more subjective through the difficulty of describing it to other people – the defying of ordinary language, language that is so central to that link between your own mind, other minds and the world around those minds. That, to me, is what Shpongle is the musical expression of.

    As I’ve grown older, having studied philosophy and logic in various forms and contexts, I have become more and more the cold, hard empiricist; the rationalist, the humanist, the agnostic. But something in Shpongle sparks a spiritualism. Not a Christian one, or a Muslim one or anything of that kind, but a feeling that “we”, as a collective of creatures, are more than just atoms and chemicals and that, even if we are, we should not be afraid to inject a subjective wonder into everything we encounter through our senses, to be awestruck by experiences, whether they be inside or outside us, “real” or “unreal”. It’s not just about happiness, calmness or anger anymore, it becomes about your own place in the universe. That may seem like a load of old hippy bullshit to some people, but music is all about “feelings” and, as far as I’m concerned, moving people to look at the world in terms of “higher purposes” or “hidden mysteries” is as profound as it gets.

    While I feel the name ‘Shpongle’ refers to more than just the effects of drugs, it is not without its drugs philosophy or “angle”. Clearly the drugs and the spirituality flow out of each other. Both the use of drugs that alter mind states and engaging with some element of spirituality are, to me, ways in which human beings reject materialism and look for something more than what they ordinarily receive through their senses. Sometimes reality as experienced "normally", experienced impassionately and explained rationally, is mundane and sterile. Simon and Raja have clearly been influenced by the philosopher and scientist, Terrance McKenna a lot. McKenna’s voice crops up in Shpongle’s music quite often, and not just because McKenna’s voice is as hypnotic as the music itself. McKenna was an expert in “psychedelics” and experimented with a variety of highly hallucinogenic substances, such as salvia and DMT. He believed that certain hallucinogenic drugs, in particular the drug psilocybin, had played a significant role in our evolution. He further argued that for the period that such substances remained part of our diet, human beings were more communal, less concerned with possession and status and significantly less driven by their own egos. Such ideas are indeed just theories, but there is no doubt in my mind that McKenna was a talented philosopher, a visionary and a thinker totally unrestrained by popular prejudices. And his use of drugs wasn’t pure hedonism. They fed into a vision and a view of the world that was highly complex and unique. And I think a lot of people will have sympathy for this vision because he, like so many, felt that human beings have taken a wrong turning somewhere in their development – that the ego has taken over, our true place in nature lost. Again, I think Shpongle’s music somehow embodies McKenna’s vision, his philosophy. To me, Shpongle is the ultimate soundtrack to McKenna’s “psychedelic experience”. And when you appreciate just how deep and complex McKenna’s ideas are, how “interconnected” his world is, then the achievement of Shpongle becomes all the more apparent.


    This is half of a Terrence McKenna's lecture called Seeking The Stone. If you're interested in Shpongle, the place of drugs in human activity or philosophy of any kind, this is well worth a look. The other half is available on Google video.

    Phil Dickinson - November 2008

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  • THE VOICES BEHIND THE BREAKDOWN

    11 sep 2008, 16:38 av Addicted2Melody

    THE VOICES BEHIND THE BREAKDOWN

    One of the things that I always loved about hard dance music when I first discovered it was the way it would often use vocal samples in the breakdowns of tracks. These samples in many cases may seem quite innocuous. Often quite short. Somtimes quite obscure. But I've always felt that they can give a track an extra dimension, particularly of character and mood. And having only got into psy-trance more recently, I've noticed this sort of movie, TV and video game sampling is just as prevelent there as it is in UK hard dance.

    This is a little project I've been working on for a couple of years. Adding to it bit by bit, piece by piece, sometimes with the help of others. It's mainly been done through some quite careful google searching and cross-referencing with IMDB. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but as far as the hard dance tunes go, it's as comprehensive as exists, as far as I know. Posting this list here is largely for my own reference, but some hard dance and psy-trance fans out there on the net might find it, if not useful, at least interesting.

    If anyone wants to contribute their own finds to this, or point out any incorrect info, feel free to let me know. Also, note that the quotes posted are as they appear in the tracks themselves, not necessarily exactly as they are in the film, TV series, speech or video game they're taken from.

    Last update: 10/11/09

    HARD DANCE

    AfterShok - Extraordinary - TV Series: Heroes - Milo Ventimiglia

    "Do you ever get the feeling that you were meant to do something... extraordinary!?"

    AfterShok - Liberty - Apollo 13 - Ed Harris

    "With all due respect, Sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour."

    AfterShok - MVP - TV Series: 190 Bester Place (Shadow Dancing) - Richard Biggs

    "I wasn't a good soldier like my father, I wasn't .. the job.. Always what I wasn't, never what I was."

    Airspace vs. Brad Thatcher - The Truth - speech by Rev. Jerry Falwell

    "What is the truth about music? Music is the most powerful medium in the world. Satan has taken music and he has counterfeited it, convoluted it, twisted it, exploited it and now he's using it to hammer, hammer, hammer a message into the minds and the lifestyles of this generation."

    Alex Mac & Zeebra Kid – Life – Rocky Balboa - Sylvester Stallone

    “The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.”

    Alex Mac & Zeebra Kid – Primal Fear – Jacob’s Ladder - Matt Craven (?)

    "...a fast trip straight down the ladder, right to the primal fear, right to the base anger. I’m telling you, man. It was powerful."

    Andy Whitby & Lee Pasch - R We Alone? - TV Series: The Outer Limits (Music Of The Spheres) - opening narration

    "For years we have searched for the answer to an eternal question... are we alone? As yet, there has been no answer. Or perhaps the answer is only for those with the facility to hear it."

    Andy Whitby, Serge & Green - Anything Like This - Big Fish - Danny De Vito

    "Ladies and gentlemen, you may think you've seen the unusual. You may think you've seen the bizzare. But I've traveled to the five corners of the world, and let me tell ya, I've never seen anything like this!"

    Ashley James - Nothing Seems Real - Videodrome - Jack Creley

    "After all, there is nothing real outside our perception - reality is there."

    Ben Kaye vs. RIP DJs - No Fkin Ice Cream - Alien 3 - Danny Webb

    "No climate control, no video system, no freezers, no fucking ice cream, no rubbers, no women, no guns... all we got here... is SHIT!"

    Bryn Whitting - The Message - V For Vendetta - John Hurt

    "What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television... I want everyone to remember, why they need us!"

    Bulletproof - Mistakes - The Witches Of Eastwick - Jack Nicholson

    We ALL make mistakes... Do you think God knew what he was doing when he created a woman? A mistake? Or did He do it to us on PURPOSE!!!? BECAUSE I REALLY WANNA KNOW!!! BECAUSE IF IT'S A MISTAKE MAYBE WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! FIND A CURE! Build up our immune systems. 20 push ups a day and you NEVER have to be afflicted with women EVER AGAIN!!!... When WE make mistakes they call it evil. When GOD makes mistakes, they call it... nature."

    Carl Nicholson - AK-47 - Jackie Brown - Samuel L. Jackson

    "AK-47! Very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room. Accept no substitute!"

    Carl Nicholson - All Aboard - The Business - Danny Dyer

    "My old man wrote me a letter from prison once. It said if you don't want to end up like me, stay away from crime, women and drugs. Trouble is, that don't leave you much else to do, does it?"

    Carl Nicholson - Blueprint (Tara's Theme) - The Omega Code - Casper Van Dien

    "Crisscrossing the Tora is a code of hidden words and phrases. It not only reveals our past and present, it can tell our future... Some even believe it contains the actual blueprints of the universe."

    Carl Nicholson - Devil's Door - Four Brothers - Tyrese Gibson

    "...if you've got something, you give it to me. And if it's something vital we will run with this, brother. Keep knocking on the devil's door long enough, sooner or later someone gonna answer you."

    Carl Nicholson - I Like It - Hulk - Eric Bana

    "Do you know what scares me the most? Is that when it happens, when it comes over me, when I totally lose control... I like it!"

    Carl Nicholson - Musicmakers - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Gene Wilder

    "We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of dreams."

    Carl Nicholson - Paradise - Cape Fear - Robert De Niro

    "Every man carries a circle of hell around his head like a halo. Every man, every man has to go through hell to reach his paradise."

    Carl Nicholson - The Shining - The Shining - Scatman Crothers

    "I remember when I was a little boy, my grandmother and I could hold entire conversations without ever opening our mouths. She called it shining."

    Carl Nicholson & Ben Kaye – Corporation Nation – School Of Rock – Jack Black

    “You guys, you know what? You’re nuts. You’re all nuts. You've been focused so hard on making it, you forgot about one little thing. It's called the music! And I don't even care. You know what? So what? I don’t wanna hang out with a bunch of wannabe corporate sell-outs. You’re all nuts. I'm gonna form my own band and we're gonna start a revolution. OK?”

    Carl Nicholson & James Lawson – Times Like These - New Jack City - Wesley Snipes

    "Times like these people wanna get high. Real high, real fast... And this is gonna do it."

    Caroline Banx - Currupt - Nineteen Eighty-Four - John Hurt

    "I hate goodness. I hate purity. I want everyone corrupt."

    Christiaan - Driving You Mad - The Matrix - Laurence Fishburne

    "In your mind... driving you mad!"

    Chrysus & Kym Ayres - Self-Destruct - I,Robot - Fiona Hogan

    "...Charge us with your safekeeping. Yet despite our best efforts your countries wage wars. You toxify your earth, and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival."

    Colin Barratt & Phil York - Master Your Fears - Batman Begins - Liam Neeson

    "To manipulate the fears of others, you must first master your own."

    Daley, Adz & Calver - More Drugz - Quote from comedian Denis Leary's stand up

    "I have the solution to the drug problem in this country. Nobody wants to hear it, but I have it. Not less drugs, more drugs. Get more drugs, and give 'em to the right fucking people."

    Dark By Design - The Beginning Of The End - The Matrix - Keanu Reeves

    "I didn't come here to tell you how this was going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin."

    Dark By Design - Mechanical Fate - The Matrix - Laurence Fishburne

    "Throughout human history we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate it seems is not without a sense of irony."

    Dave Holmes - Freedom - Speech by Pres. George W. Bush

    "Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war. And we know that God is not neutral between them."

    Dave Lochrie - No Turning Back - The Matrix - Laurence Fishburne

    "After this there’s no turning back! ... This is your last chance."

    Dave Mac - The Devil's Trick - The Usual Suspects - Kevin Spacey

    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

    Ed Real & The Coalition - 20,000 Hardcore Members - The Warriors - Roger Hill

    "20,000 hardcore members... I say the future is ours!"

    Fearnie - Rockers Against Drugs - Quote from comedian Bill Hicks' stand up

    "You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favour, go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and BURN 'UM... Because you know what, the musicians who made all that great music that has enhanced your lives throughout the years... real fuckin' high on drugs!

    Flashheadz - Promised Land - Famous speech by Martin L. King Jr. - Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968

    "Like anybody I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just wanna do God's will. And He has allowed me to go up to the mountain. I've looked over and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with ya! But I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the promised land!"

    Flashheadz - Who Wins - The Quick & The Dead - Gene Hackman

    "All I hear from you, you spineless cowards, is how poor you are. How you can't afford my taxes. Yet somehow you've all managed to find the money to hire a professional gunfighter to kill me. Where's all this money coming from? What am I to think? If you've got some much to spare I'm just gonna have to take some more off you. 'Cause you clearly have not got the message! This is my town! You live to see the dawn it's beacause I allow it! I'm in charge of everything. I decide who lives and who dies!"

    Gaz West - Free Your Mind - The Matrix - Laurence Fishburne

    "Freeee your mind!"

    Gaz West - Meaning Of Life - The Matrix Reloaded - Laurence Fishburne

    "I believe it is our fate to be here. It is our destiny. I believe this night holds for each and every one of us, the very meaning of our lives."

    Gaz West & Phil York - The Day Comes - TV Series: Battlestar Galactica (Miniseries) - Edward James Olmos

    "You cannot play God, then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore."

    Gaz West & Phil York - Hell's Pass - The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring - Ian McKellen

    "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!"

    Gaz West & Phil York - The Truth - A Few Good Men - Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson

    - "You want answers?"
    - "I think I'm entitled."
    - "You want answers?"
    - "I want the truth!"
    - "You can't handle the truth!"


    Gen XT - Avin You - Delia Smith's drunken outburst at half-time in a Norwich City match

    "Let's be havin' you!"

    Greg Brookman, Kevin Energy & K-Complex - Stimulants - Voice of Spiro Agnew, American politician of the Nixon administration

    "Sometimes it appears that we are reaching a period when a senses and our minds will no longer respond to moderate stimulation. We appear to be approaching an age of the gross...The young, at the zenith of physical power and sensitivity, overwhelm themselves with drugs and artificial stimulants."

    Guyver - Differences - Independence Day - Bill Pullman

    "In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." Words should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore."

    Guyver - How Far - The Anarchist Cookbook - Dylan Bruno

    "Nihilism is a total rejection of established laws and institutions ... You say you want total freedom, you say you want a new type of world, so I'm just asking, how far are you willing to go?"

    Guyver - Just One More Time - The Basketball Daries - Leonardo Di Caprio

    "Your nose is running, your stomach cramps, your legs feel like they've played six straight games on top of each other. And the voice is always there, in the back of your head, "just one more time, then we'll stop." And you wanna stop. You really do, but it's like a dream. You can't stop dreams. They move in crazy pieces, anyway they want to and suddenly they're capable of anything.... You're growing up. And rain sort of remains on the branches of a tree that will someday rule the Earth. And it's good that there is rain. It clears the month of your sorry rainbow expressions, and it clears the streets of the silent armies... so we can dance.... It was a dream, not a nightmare. A beautiful dream I could never imagined in a thousand nods. I saw this girl next to me, she wasn't beautiful until she smiled. And I felt that smile come at me in heat waves following. Soaking through my body and out my finger tips in shafts of color. And I knew somewhere in the world, somewhere, that there was love for me."

    Guyver - Man On The Moon - Speech by Pres. John F. Kennedy

    "I believe this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, of landing a man on the moon, and returning him safely to the earth."

    Guyver - Persistence - Galaxy Quest - Tim Allen

    "Never give up! Never surrender!"

    Guyver - Possibly - Armageddon - Liv Tyler

    "Do you think it's possible that anyone else in the world is doing this very same thing at this very same moment?"

    Guyver - Succeed At All Costs - The Anarchist Cookbook - Devon Gummersall

    "Work hard; study hard; grow up fast; die young; sacrifice your youth; succeed at all costs"

    Guyver - Trapped - Face/Off - John Travolta

    "And now after all this time I've finally figured out a way to trap him... I will become him."

    Ian M - Crazy Pills - Zoolander - Will Ferrell

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    Ingo presents Caroline Banx – A Paradox - Ferris Bueller's Day Off – Matthew Broderick

    “I've said it before and I'll say it again. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

    Ingo presents Guffy - Cruize - Vanilla Sky - Penelope Cruz

    "Open your eyes!"

    Interphaze - Grade A - Blow - Johnny Depp

    "This is Grade A 100% pure Colombian cocaine....Disco shit."

    Interphaze & Xinetd_D - Future Independence - Speech by Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "That the future shall belong to the free."

    James Jaye - Real High - Quote from comedian Bill Hicks' stand up

    "They were real high. They wrote great music - drugs having positive affects... Real fuckin' high on drugs!"

    James Lawson & Phil Reynolds - Filthy Criminals – TV Series: Batman – Adam West

    “You filthy criminals."

    Jason Cortez - Finally - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - William Redfield

    "This is the point, it's not bullshit...I'm talking about my LIFE, I can't seem to get that through to you. I'm not just talking about one person, I'm talking about everybody. I'm talking about form. I'm talking about content. I'm talking about interrelationships. I'm talking about God, the devil, Hell, Heaven. Do you understand... FINALLY!!?"


    Jason Cortez - No Other Way - Casino - Robert De Niro

    "When you love someone, you've got to trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what's the point?"

    Jason Cortez – Tranzition – From an old techno track called Transitions by Underground Resistence.

    "There will be people who say you can’t – but you will.
    There will be people who say you don’t mix this with that and you will say “watch me”.
    There will be people who will say play it safe, that’s too risky – you will take that chance and have no fear.
    You won’t let these questions restrain or trouble you.
    You will find the strength in the sound ...make your transition."


    Jason Cortez & Phil York - 88mph - Back To The Future - Christopher Lloyd

    "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88mph, we're gonna see some serious shit!"

    Jason Cortez & Phil York - Reality - Human Traffic - John Simm

    "The children of ecstasy aren't safe anymore. We're no longer all together as one. Reality's on her way."

    Jupe - Fight Club - Fight Club - Brad Pitt

    "The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. Third rule of Fight Club, someone yells Stop!, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule, only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule, no shirt, no shoes. Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight!"

    K90 - Ghost In The Machine - I,Robot - James Cromwell

    "Ghosts in the machine... Random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols...One day they'll have secrets, one day they'll have dreams."

    Kenemy - Sorry For Itself - G.I. Jane - Viggo Mortensen (quoting "Self-Pity" by D.H. Lawrence)

    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."

    Lee Haslam - El Diablo Adrento (The Devil Inside) - Gothika - Penelope Cruz

    "He came back again last night and tore me like paper. He opened me like a flower of pain, and it felt good. He sank into me and set me on fire, like he always does. Made me burn from the inside out... He said your next! Are you scared?"

    Lee Haslam - Free - The Wild Angels - Peter Fonda and Frank Maxwell

    "...Just what is it that you want to do?
    - We wanna be free! To do what we wanna do! And we wanna get loaded... and we wanna have a good time! And that's what we're gonna do!"


    Lee Haslam - Here Comes The Pain - Carlito's Way - Al Pacino

    "I'm reloaded! Okay? Come on in here, motherfuckers! What, you ain't comin' in? Okay, I'm comin' out! I'm gonna blow your fuckin' brains out! You think you're big time? You gonna fuckin' die big time! You ready? HERE COMES THE PAIN!"

    Lee Haslam - Music Is The Drug - The 51st State - Samuel L. Jackson

    "My product is 51 times stronger than cocaine, 51 times more hallucinogenic than acid and 51 times more explosive than ecstasy. It's like getting a personal visit ... from God!"

    Lisa Lashes - Can't Sleep - xXx - Vin Diesel

    "What's the matter? I can't sleep ... I don't know who you think you're playing with. I don't play this game!"

    Lisa Pin-Up – Tie Me Up – Alien Nation - Leslie Bevis

    "Are you going to strike me? You could tie me up and then do whatever you want with me. I have no ropes...You have me all wrong. I never charge money for something I myself find pleasurable...Ooooh, I find that very arousing.” (?)

    LOX & Dark By Design - Strapped In - Spiderman 2 - Alfred Molina

    "Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts!"

    Marc Johnson & George E - Great Responsibility - Spider-Man - Cliff Robertson

    "These are the years when a man changes into the man he's going to become the rest of his life....Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility."

    Matt Gardner – Broaden – Batman – Jack Nicholson

    “Let's broaden our minds!”

    Matt Gardner - Making A Change - Wayne's World - Rob Lowe

    "How do you feel about making a change?"

    Matt Williams & A Star - Mind Games - Ghost - Vincent Schiavelli

    "You wanna move something, you gotta move it with your mind!"

    Mindbender - Subconscious Power - Vanilla Sky - Kurt Russell (?)

    "Sometimes, the mind behaves as if it were in a dream. Faces change, people become other people. The subconscious is a powerful thing."

    Mindbender vs. Kikkoman - One Hit Per Headbanger - Go - Timothy Olyphant

    "This is the real thing pharmaceutical grade, not that crunchy herbal rave shit. ? double dose and you'll be frying eggs off them in the emergency room...One hit per headbanger."

    Modulate & Gyrus - Inside Information - The Devil's Advocate - Al Pacino

    "Let me give you a little inside information about God. Think about it! He's a prankster... I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man!"

    Nathan McClymont - Persevere - Speech by Pres. John F. Kennedy - American University Commencement Address, 1963

    "In the relations between nations and neighbours, war need not be inevitable. So let us persevere. By defining our goal more clearly, peace need not be impracticable. By making it seem more manageable and less remote we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from, and more irresistibly towards it."

    NG Rezonance - Sinners - Road To Perdition - Paul Newman

    "We're all murderers in this room. Open your eyes! This is the life we chose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee ... none of us will see heaven."

    Nick Rowland - Faith - Assault On Precinct 13 - Laurence Fishburn

    "I've stood in front of dozens of men who were all staring death in the face. Every single one them begged for god's help. After seeing all those pleas go unanswered, I lost my faith."

    Phil York - Sick Mind - Pump Up The Volume - Christian Slater

    "OK, I'm disturbed. Of course I'm disturbed. We're all disturbed and if we're not, why not? Doesn't this blend of blindness and blandness want to make you do something crazy? Then why not do something crazy? It makes a hell of a lot more sense than blowing your fucking brains out."

    Phil York – Together In This Dream – 21 Grams - Sean Penn (reading from a poem)

    “The earth turned to bring us closer. It turned on itself and in us, until it finally brought us together in this dream.”

    Phil York & Colin Barratt - Knowledge Is Power - Reign Of Fire - Christian Bale

    "I want you to understand - knowledge is the only weapon we've got left."

    Phil York vs. Dark By Design - Bad Idea – Dead Poets Society – Robin Williams

    “...Words and ideas can change the world.”

    Project Mayhem – Search & Destroy – The Matrix - Anthony Ray Parker

    “Search and destroy.”

    Riot Brothers - Flashback – X-men – Ian McKellen

    “...they control our fate and the fate of every other mutant...Stay sharp, we’re not alone.”

    Riot Brothers - Ripped Out - Armageddon - Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton

    "The US government's just asked us to save the world.
    - It's what they call a "global killer", the end of mankind"


    RIP DJs – Perfect Fking Dining Table – Human Traffic – Danny Dyer

    “Yeah, we’re just some happy fucking sitcom, ain’t we? Perfect life, perfect family, perfect fucking dining table. Well, give yourself a round of applause. Please! I swear, sometimes we’re living on different planets, because there is no fucking way of communicating with you with all. Who the fuck are you people anyway? Hey? Who the fuck are ya?!”

    RIP DJs – Ready To Die? – Blade Trinity - Dominic Purcell

    “There is no heaven. No God, no angels. The only thing in your future is nothingness.”

    Sambo - Imagination - Tommy Lee Jones - Men In Black

    “...Just a figment of your imagination.”

    Sol Ray & Dark By Design - Nexus - TV Series: Babylon 5 (In the Beginning) - Mira Furlan

    "It is said, that in every age, there is one singular event, that forever changes the world around us... the nexus."

    SQ - Deja Vu - Deja Vu - James Caviezel

    "You think you know what's coming? You don't have a clue."

    SQ presents Ben Collie - End Of Dayz - The Omega Code - Casper Van Dien

    "And most amazingly, in the book of Daniel, an angel tells him to seal up the book until the end of days, but Rostenberg may have found the key to unlock it! See, he believed that the Bible was actually a holographic computer program! And that instead of two dimensions, it should be studied in three! If this could be achieved, the code could actually feed us prophecies of our coming future!"

    SQ - The Message - Famous speech by Winston Churchill, June 1940

    "If we fail... then the whole world...will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that men will still say, “This was their finest hour!”

    System Shock – Success Of Liberty – Inauguration speech by Pres. John F. Kennedy

    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to ensure the survival and success of liberty.”

    Technikal - Survival - Independence Day - Bill Pullman

    "The world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish... We're going to live on! We're going to survive!"

    Technikal presents Carl Nicholson – System Shock – Video Game: Doom 3 - Grey DeLisle

    “Warning! Reactor core hostile! (?) Systems down.”

    Technikal & Kiotic – Emotion Is Chaos – Equilibrium - William Fichtner

    “...without restraint, without control, emotion is chaos.”

    Technikal & Simon Qudos - Gear Shift - The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger

    "We are tonight's entertainment. I only have one question.... Why so serious?"

    Todd Tobias - Nothing - American Psycho - Christian Bale

    "There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."

    Todd Tobias - We Cool - Pulp Fiction - Samuel L. Jackson

    "We gonna be cool."

    The Edison Factor - Dance With The Devil - 8MM - Joaquin Phoenix

    "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you."

    Trevor McLachlan – Destiny – TV Series: Carnivàle (Hot & Bothered) - Amy Madigan

    “You have a destiny, and now is your time to fulfill it.”

    Velos – The Joker - The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger

    "Let's put a smile on that face!"

    Wid & Ben - Absolution - The Way Of The Gun - Ryan Phillippe

    "We don't want your forgiveness. We won't make excuses. We're not gonna blame you, even if you are an accessory... But we will not accept your natural order. We didn't come for absolution."

    Wid & Ben - Crucify - TV Series: Spooks (The Suffering Of Strangers) - David Oyelowo

    "If I’d been born somewhere else, it might be me holding the gun now. If you'd been born somewhere else it might have been you sitting where I am. For all your talk about choices, we don't get to choose those things... If I weren't chained to this chair, I would be right up in your face. And you what I'd be saying to you?... Fuck you, you devil (death?) worshipping fascist."
    - "And you know what my answer would be"... *gun shot*


    Wid & Ben - Fight Yourself - Buffalo Soldiers - Joaquin Phoenix

    "...the warlike man attacks himself" - that's Nietzsche, and his point is that there really is no peace. There's always some war, somewhere, with someone. And there are no winners or losers either... just those who are still around to fight another day."

    Wid & Ben - Hate Theory - Matchstick Men - Alison Lohman

    "She said you were a bad guy. You don't seem like a bad guy. Well, I don't think you're a bad guy."

    Wid & Ben - Point Blank - The Watcher - James Spader

    "It's never quite that easy. You go through the door, and they're never just sitting there waiting for you with a welcoming smile on their face. Best you can do is hope they fuck up and do what you can to be there when they do... Time is up." * gun fire*

    Xinetd_D & Bruce H - Fear Factor - Airforce One - Harrison Ford

    "We will never negotiate. We will longer tolerate and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid."

    Xinetd_D - Human Rights - Network - Peter Finch

    "I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad...We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat...as if that's the way it's supposed to be...You've got to say, "I'm a human being!...My life has value...I'm a human being. God Dammit"

    Xinetd_D - Perfect Storm - Dune - Kyle MacLachlan

    "A storm is coming. Our storm. And when it arrives, it will shake the universe."

    Xinetd_D - One Percent - 12 Monkeys - Bruce Willis

    "Five billion people died in 1996 and 1997. Almost the entire population of the world. About one percent of us survived."

    Yoda Inc. - Definitely - The Matrix - Ada Nicodemou (The White Rabbit Girl)

    ..Definitely!


    PSY-TRANCE


    Alien Project - Who Has The Marijuana - South Park - Mr. Mackey

    “Who has the marijuana now? Whoever has the marijuana just pass it up to the front row, OK.”

    Ananda Shake - Chicks For Free - The Sixth Sense - Haley Joel Osment

    "You talked funny when you went to school here. You talked funny all the way to high school!... You shouldn't look at people, it makes them feel bad. Stop looking at me."

    Astral Projection - People Can Fly - Kalifornia - David Duchovny

    "When you dream there are no rules, people can fly, anything can happen. Sometimes there is a moment as you are awakening when you become aware of the real world around you, but you are still dreaming. You may think you can fly but you do better not try. People can fly."

    Audiotec & Indra – Transformers - Transformers - Peter Cullen

    “The decepticons have assumed control of several devices to interfere with the signal. Your optical sensitors will display these objects in red. They must be destroyed.”

    Aum Project vs. Digital Tribe - On Time - Fight Club - Brad Pitt

    “God damn it, an entire generation…slaves in white collars”

    Azax Syndrom - Cutting Edge Science - TV Series: Lost (Not In Portland) - Zeljko Ivanek and Elizabeth Mitchell

    - "I want in."
    -"In on what?"
    ... -"I'm not really sure what you—"
    -"I read your notes. I know what you took from the lab. The only thing I don't know is whose your guinea pig.... all this is viewed as cutting edge science”


    Azax Syndrom vs. Abomination – Real Magic – The Prestige - Edward Hibbert

    “Pardon me. It's very rare to see real magic."

    Azax Syndrom vs. Abomination - The Exploding Man - TV Series: Heroes (How To Stop An Exploding Man) - Zachary Quinto

    "That man! The glowing hands! He’s the exploding man! I’m gonna take his power and I’m gonna explode!”

    Battle Of The Future Buddhas – Domestic Bliss – Batman – Jack Nicholson

    “Let's broaden our minds!”

    Broken Toy – Heavy Structured – Quotes from Bernie Mac’s famous Def Comedy Jam routine

    “I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers. I’m gonna tell ya something straight off the motherfucking press. I ain’t coming from no foolishness. And I’m blessed. I’m big bone’d, I’m heavy structured, I’m hug low. If I pull my shit out this whole room get dark... You don’t understand... (?) the way you wanna talk to somebody. It don’t make no motherfucking sense...KICK IT!

    Dual Core - Sharp Shooters - The Departed - Jack Nicholson

    "I don't wanna be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me."

    Delysid - Spartan Law - 300 - Gerard Butler (and Peter Mensah)

    “No retreat! No surrender! That... is Spartan law... And by Spartan law we will stand and fight... and die! Spartans! Prepare for glory! A new age has begun... an age of freedom! And all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!... The battle is over, when I say it is over! Spartans never retreat, Spartans never surrender!"
    -"Choose you next words carefully. They may be your last as king."


    GMS - Ghost - Ghostbusters 2 - Bill Murray

    "Some things in this world go way beyond human understanding."

    GMS - Gladiator - Gladiator - Russel Crowe

    “Are you not entertained!? Are you not entertained!? Is that not why you were here!?”

    GMS - Life After - Human Traffic - Danny Dyer

    "I swear on my mother's life - I'm having the best time being off my pickle... and feeling the music"

    GMS – Overdose – Senseless - Brad Dourif (?)

    “A flood of serotonin, has de-syntisized your receptors and to normalize this the brain is compensating by allowing you the using of four of your given senses, at any given time, the missing one constantly switching. So if you can see, smell, taste, and hear you can't feel anything...You did exceed the dosage...A drug just has to pass through your system. Trust me, you'll know when it's gone.”

    Krunch - Rennesiance - The Condemned - Robert Mammone and Vinnie Jones

    “Free one of them...you see tomorrow I’m gonna bring them here to this island where I will give them a fighting chance at a new life. It’s a fight to the death."
    -"One lives, 9 die?" (?)
    -"These contestants were already dead. Condemned! I’m allowing one to live. Is that so wrong?"
    -"Hey! Don’t take the piss... Where’s my fuckin’ money!?"
    -"You should be happy with what I’m giving you. You’re a free man."
    -"Me and you had an arrangement. I give you one show, I win it!”


    Injection - In Su Lin - TV Series: Aeon Flux - Voice of computer (Anime cartoon aired ages ago on MTV)

    “Programming for itinerary complete. Anticipated duration of voyage is 523 years, 2 months, 5 days, 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 32 seconds.”

    Intelabeam vs. Slider - Sirius Problem - Underworld - Kate Beckinsale

    “We have a serious problem!”

    Insomnia - Island - Fear And Loathing In Last Vegas - Johnny Depp

    “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine...”

    Iron Madness - Optimus Prime - Transformers - Peter Cullen

    “My name is Optimus Prime. We are autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron. But you can call us Autobots for short.”

    Lamat – Ghost In The Machine – I,Robot - James Cromwell, Will Smith and Alan Tudyk

    "There will always be ghosts in the machine... Random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols... these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity and even the nature of what we might call the soul... Everything that follows is a result of what you see here.”
    -"Is there something you want to say?"
    -"I’m sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions."
    -"Robots don’t feel fear. They don’t feel anything. They don't eat. They don't sleep."
    -"I do. I have even had dreams."
    -"Human beings have dreams... but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a... canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?"
    - "Can you?"


    Lamat - Super Chimpanzee Level – Waking Life

    “And the answer to that can be found in another question, and that’s this...
    -"These are manifestations of a new evolution and that is what we would hope to see. That would be nice...that’s only the beginning of the evolutionary cycle."
    -"Why don’t you pull the trigger and find out?"
    -"When you come to think of it almost all behaviour and activity is not essentially any different from animal behaviour...Advanced technologies and craftsmanship bring us, at best, up to the super chimpanzee level.”


    Painkiller vs. CPU – Special Performance – V For Vendetta – Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman

    “You see, I’m a musician, on my way to give a very special performance."
    -"What kind of musician?"
    -"Percussion instruments are my speciality, but tonight I intend to call upon the entire orchestra...”


    Phobia - Hot Leads - Troy - Sean Bean

    "Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?"

    Protoculture - Out Of Reality - The Animatrix: Matriculated - ?

    -All right. Yes, machines are tools. They're made to be used. It's their nature.
    -To be slaves.
    -That's why we show them a better world, why they convert.
    -But that world we show them isn't real.
    -It doesn't matter.
    -I'm afraid they'll figure out that we've made up the thing in our heads
    -How do they know that the real world isn't just another simulation? How do you?
    -I know I' m not dreaming now because I know what it’s like being in a dream.
    -So dreaming lets you know that reality exists?


    Slider vs. 2minds - Fuck Around - Gigli - Al Pacino

    "I KNOW MY FUCKIN' NAME. You piece of shit. You don't try to extort a Federal-fuckin'-Prosecutor. And if you do, YOU DON'T FUCK AROUND."

    Tactic Mind vs. Unique – Problem – Star Wars Game: Knights Of The Old Republic II - Kristoffer Tabori

    “I see that your recent reassembly has not affected your behaviour core - nor your attitude."

    Time Lock – Time Theory – X-men: The Last Stand – Patrick Stewart

    "When an individual acquires great power, the use or misuse of that power is everything."

    Unique - Foreplay - Devil's Advocate - Al Pacino

    "I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man!"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Artist links.... Lee Haslam, Guyver, The Tidy Boys, Tecknikal, Phil York, Jason Cortez, Dark By Design, Matt Williams, Ben Stevens, Aftershok, Carl Nicholson, Lisa Lashes, Lisa Pin-Up, Time Lock, Tactic Mind, Phobia, GMS, Broken Toy, Azax Syndrom, Indra

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • GOD'S RECORD BOX - AN INTRODUTION TO UK HARD DANCE

    15 jul 2008, 17:05 av Addicted2Melody

    GOD'S RECORD BOX - AN INTRODUTION TO UK HARD DANCE

    Without doubt the best thing about Last.fm is its capacity to open you up to new artists and genres. I personally feel that if you're not regularly uncovering new musical avenues through it you're probably not using it properly. As I've said in some of my other journals, my tastes have broadened to a huge degree over the last 3 to 4 years and particularly since joining Last.fm.

    But I'm still fully aware that, despite the "genius" of Last.fm, some genres still remain relatively well hidden. That's not Last.fm's fault of course - it's largely a reflection of lack of user input which in turn reflects, in a very general way, the "scale" of a given genre's scene outside Last.fm. In particular, the genre of UK hard dance (in this case referring to UK hard trance and UK hard house) seems to remain pretty well hidden, both on this site and in electronic music circles in general - something which has always baffled me considering the amount of talent within the scene. Furthermore, the scene itself has gone into something of a decline in recent years. I've noticed a good number of people that used to listen to it, or producing it, moving away towards emerging trance genres like tech and psy or back to straight melodic trance. The regularity of releases has rapidly declined, even massive labels like Tidy now struggling in some departments.

    I love all varieties of trance, but if I was pushed to pick a favourite genre myself, I'd almost certainly still plump for UK hard trance. In terms of genres, it was probably my first real music love, beginning in the early 2000s. Tough kicks, driving basslines and, most importantly, scintillating melodic riffs - delivered at a pace that's more energetic than ordinary trance but not bordering on the unnecessary like UK hardcore. And, despite the declining number of releases, the best releases continue to impress in a big way, particularly in terms of production values and standards of engineering. The scene has within it a handful of very influential talents, the likes of Alf Bamford (Technikal), Dave Leigh (Aftershok), Kirk Whetton (Iridium), Matt Gardner, Nick Squires (SQ), Jason Cortez and Carl Nicholson really driving the scene on in the "adversity". While the likes of Nick Sentience, Matt Williams and new boys Adrenaline Dept. have gone from hard dance roots to experimenting with psy trance sounds, giving the scene a dimension it never had before.

    I've been producing mixes digitally using programs like Mixmeister under the rather cheesey, generic pseudonym, Philie D, for quite a while now - mainly just for fun and for a few friends. The newest series of these mixes is "God's Record Box", which started out in the summer of 2006 and had an extended break after episode 6 between summer 2007 and March this year. These mixes basically showcase the very best of the genre over the last 2 years or so, mainly sticking to the uplifting melodic hard trance but with a few psy-influenced numbers and hard housers thrown in for variety. While, for episode 10 I have chosen my favourite tracks from each of the previous 9 mixes and added some different versions of some other favourites that featured, as well as MDA & Spherical's Prodigy megamix to finish things off.

    Because they are mixed digitally, the mixing is quite generic and hasn't taken a lot of talent to produce, but the transitions are perfectly smooth and as good as anything you would hear on your average trance compilation in the shops. But, the purpose of posting these is not to wow you with my DJing skill, but to showcase the genre and introduce newcomers to this incredible brand of electronic music. All episodes have been split into parts using WinRar and uploaded to rapidshare (at only 4.50 Euros for 3 days, a rapidshare premium account would come in handy here) and all links should last till mid-August at least. If you need any further guidance feel free to drop me a quick message. If these mixes generate any kind of positive reaction I will continue the series, but only at a rate of about one every 6 months as I want to concentrate on mixing for real on my decks, which I need to devote a lot more time to.

    Anyway, here they are. Enjoy.

    VOLUME 1

    1. Kym Ayres & Chrysus - Self Destruct
    [Digital Assualt]

    2. Trevor Mclachlan - Destiny
    [Tranzlation White]

    3. MDA & Spherical - Infiltrate Your Mind
    [Nu Religion]

    4. Brad Thatcher - The Island
    [Impact Recordings]

    5. Adrenaline Dept. - Music In My Mind
    [Addiction Digital]

    6. Nick Rowland - Communicate (MDA & Spherical Remix)
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    7. Dougal & Gammer - Heaven On Earth (Technikal Vocal Remix)
    [Nukleuz]

    8. Kym Ayers & Technikal - Bad Girl
    [Tidy]

    9. Guyver - Trapped (Iridium Remix)
    [Tidy Digital]

    10. Phil York - Angels In Heaven (Technikal Remix)
    [Tranzlation]

    11. Ashley James - Nothing Seems Real
    [Addiction Digital]

    12. Wid & Ben vs. Shaun M - Man's Machine
    [Experience Digital]


    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 2

    1. Jason Cortez - Damn That DJ
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    2. Adrenaline Dept. - Initiate
    [Hard Drive Recordings]

    3. Trevor Mclachlan - Feels So Good
    [World Of Trance]

    4. Tranzition - Up In Flames
    [Hardphaze]

    5. Darren Styles - Getting Better (Technikal Remix)
    [AATW]

    6. Trevor Mclachlan & Ashley James - What Ya Doin'
    [Impact Recordings]

    7. MDA & Spherical - Dutch Courage
    [Elevate Album Sampler]

    8. Caroline Banx - Currupt (Phil York & Dark By Design's Electrotech Remix)
    [Hard Timez]

    9. Wid & Ben - Crucify
    [Experience Digital]

    10. Jason Cortez - Tranzition
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    11. Adrenaline Dept. - Something More (Olly Perris Remix)
    [Addiction Digital]

    12. BK - P.O.S. 51 (P.H.A.T.T. Remix)
    [Nukleuz]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 3

    1. NfX - No Go, Go For Launch (Alex Kidd vs. Dark By Design Remix)
    [Hard Kandy Recordings]

    2. Adrenaline Dept. - Movin On
    [Addiction Digital]

    3. Flashheadz - Who Wins
    [Tidy]

    4. Paul Maddox - Reach Out (Technikal's Tidy Weekender 10 Remix)
    [Tidy Digital]

    5. Sam Townsend & Jon BW - Scream For Daddy
    [Tidy]

    6. Colin Barratt - Take You Back
    [Tidy]

    7. Carl Nicholson & Chrysus - 2Dance2 (Ilogik Remix)
    [Elasticman]

    8. Steve Hill vs. Technikal - Weekend (Party Time)
    [Masif]

    9. Adrenaline Dept. - U Got To Be There
    [Unreleased]

    10. Jason Cortez - No Other Way
    [Tranzlation]

    11. Masif DJs - Wasted (Steve Hill vs. Guyver Remix)
    [Masif]

    12. Kevin Energy vs. Phil Reynolds - Pounding Senses (Technikal Remix)
    [Elevate Album Sampler]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 4

    1. Andy T & Jennie Rix - Time To Shine
    [Addiction Digital]

    2. Adrenaline Dept. - Get A Rush
    [DJ GRH Recordings]

    3. Sully - Hereos (Aftershok Is A Man Of Steel Remix)
    [Species]

    4. Chris Shaw & Jennie Rix - Perceive
    [Infuse Recordings]

    5. Jason Cortez - Shining In The Ecstacy
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    6. Chrysus & Jonny Harris - Don't Pigeonhole Me
    [Tidy]

    7. Phil York & Nick Rowland - Revolver
    [Tranzlation]

    8. Iridium - Makrocosm
    [High Drive Recordings]

    9. Masif DJs - Everyday (Steve vs. Technikal Remix)
    [VW Recordings]

    10. SQ - Hypnotising
    [Oblivion Recordings]

    11. Jason Cortez - Finally
    [Tranzlation]

    12. Adrenaline Dept. - Saturday
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 5

    1. Andrew Dring - United (Stuart Heasty & Keith Hyndes Remix)
    [Digital Assault]

    2. Guyver - Disintergrate
    [Unreleased]

    3. Airspace vs. Brad Thatcher - The Truth
    [Riot! Recordings]

    4. SQ - No Idea
    [Addiction Digital]

    5. Lisa Lashes - Can't Sleep (Technikal Remix)
    [Lashed Music]

    6. Carl Nicholson - Musicmakers (Matt Gardner Remix)
    [Oblivion Digital]

    7. Gen XT - Avin You (Audio Hedz & JR Remix)
    [CN Recordings]

    8. Technikal vs. Ben Bennett - Neutralize
    [Impact Recordings]

    9. BK - It's Just A Feeling (BK's Back To 99 Remix)
    [Riot! Recordings]

    10. Lox - Believe (Adz & Fearnie's Boshed Hard 2007 Remix)
    [Housewives Choice Recordings]

    11. Nick Sentience feat. MC Hyper A - Beat Like This
    [Extreme Music]

    12. Fearnie - Drugs, Drink N Women
    [Boshed Hard]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 6

    1. Mario Piu - The Vision (P.H.A.T.T. Remix)
    [Nukleuz]

    2. Nish - Listen To Me
    [Tranzlation]

    3. Breeze vs. Lost Witness - Rise Again (Technikal Remix)
    [AATW]

    4. Matt Gardner - Endeavour
    [Oblivion Digital]

    5. K90 - Ghost In The Machine (SQ Remix)
    [Dataless Recordings]

    6. Matt Gardner - Making A Change
    [Impact Recordings]

    7. Simon Qudos - Velocity
    [Extreme Sounds]

    8. Identikal - Solaris (Olly Perris Remix)
    [Addiction Digital]

    9. Batch - Stay Where You Are
    [Impact Recordings]

    10. Jody 6 - Test Pilot
    [Jody 6]

    11. K-Series - Lost In Love
    [VW Recordings]

    12. Technikal - Back 2 The Old School
    [Global Panic Recordings]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 7

    1. Carl Nicholson - Outta Your Mind
    [Riot! Recordings]

    2. Matt Gardner & Sambo - New Reality (Technikal Remix)
    [Technikal Recordings]

    3. MDA & Spherical - Futurism
    [Oblivion Digital]

    4. James Jaye - Real High (SQ Remix)
    [Impact Recordings]

    5. Iridium - The Ascent
    [Oblivion Digital]

    6. JX - Restless (Technikal Remix)
    [Tidy]

    7. Nathan Mcclymont - Persevere (SQ Remix)
    [Impact Recordings]

    8. Sambo - Mezmerize
    [Technikal Recordings]

    9. Emilio - Sabotage (Iridium Remix)
    [High Drive Recordings]

    10. Knuckleheadz - What We Gonna Do?
    [Tidy]

    11. Base Graffiti - Kikka
    [Tidy]

    12. Ben Stevens & Sam Townend - Lose Your Head
    [Fireball Recordings]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 8

    1. Phil York - Don't Panic
    [Tranzlation Whites]

    2. Scott Genetik - Can't Stop The Signal
    [Encoded]

    3. Nathan D & Velos - Discover
    [Digital Assault]

    4. Carl Nicholson - Feelgood (London Sound)
    [Presence Recordings]

    5. SQ - Abort:Retry
    [Addiction Digital]

    6. Phil Reynolds, Trevor Mclachlan vs. Technikal - Third Strike
    [Digital Creation]

    7. Dave Lochrie - No Turning Back (Carl Nicholson Remix)
    [Impact Recordings]

    8. Andy McCall & DMF feat. Stace - Believe (Tornado DJs vs. Technikal Remix)
    [Tornado Trax]

    9. Iridium - Rebirth
    [Impact Recordings]

    10. Bryn Whiting - Infectious
    [Presence Recordings]

    11. Technikal meets Ainso - Music Of Tomorrow
    [Technikal Recordings]

    12. K-Series vs. Technikal - Closer
    [Tidy]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 9

    1. The Mizniss & Louis Fernio - Bitch Invader
    [Toolbox Recordings]

    2. Scott Fo-shaw & Chris Carden - Rock It, Don't Drop It
    [Presence Recordings]

    3. Mindbender - Wicked Game (Technikal vs. MDA & Spherical Remix)
    [Tranzlation Whites]

    4. Jason Cortez - Set You Free
    [Tranzlation]

    5. Benjamin Leung & Tazix - Raindrops (Guyver Remix)
    [Tidy]

    6. Technikal vs. The Lost Boys - Mass Effect (Iridium Remix)
    [Technikal Recordings]

    7. Bryn Whiting - The Message
    [Digital Assault]

    8. Technikal - Summassault (Technikal's 2008 Masif Tool Remix)
    [Tranzlation]

    9. Iridium - Data Stream
    [Outbreak Digital]

    10. Greg Brookman, Kevin Energy & K-Complex - Stimulants
    [Elevate Whites]

    11. Simon Qudos feat. Stace - Right Where We Are
    [Presence Recordings]

    12. Technikal presents JK - Take Control
    [Tornado Trax]

    PART 1
    PART 2


    VOLUME 10 - The Very Best Of Volumes 1-9

    1. Matt Gardner - Endeavour
    [Oblivion Digital]

    2. Adrenaline Dept. - Initiate (Trevor McLachlan Remix)
    [Hard Drive Recordings]

    3. Adrenaline Dept. - U Got To Be There (2007 Original Rework)
    [Oblivion Digital]

    4. Nathan Mcclymont - Persevere (SQ Remix)
    [Impact Recordings]

    5. Nick Rowland - Communicate (MDA & Spherical Remix)
    [Nuklearpuppy]

    6. Lisa Lashes - Can't Sleep (Technikal Remix)
    [Lashed Music]

    7. Flashheadz - Who Wins
    [Tidy]

    8. Andy McCall & DMF feat. Stace - Believe (Tornado DJs vs. Technikal Remix)
    [Tornado Trax]

    9. Jason Cortez - Set You Free
    [Tranzlation]

    10. Trevor Mclachlan - Feels So Good
    [World Of Trance]

    11. Steve Hill vs. Technikal - Weekend (Party Time) (MDA & Spherical Remix)
    [Masif]

    12. Jason Cortez - Finally
    [Tranzlation]

    13. MDA & Spherical - The Ultimate Prodigy Megamix
    [Unsigned Bootleg]

    PART 1
    PART 2
    PART 3


    Episodes 4, 6 and 7 are introduced by the voices of Dean Learner (of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace), Alan Partridge and Karl 'I could eat a knob at night' Pilkington (of the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts) respectively.

    DISCLAIMER: As far as I know, what is shared here does not constitute illegal file sharing. All the tracks featured are mixed together and therefore not shared in their entirety. Almost all the tracks featured are available in full from legal download shops and I would encourage people to go out and support the artists if they like what they hear. I also gain nothing financially or commercially from posting these mixes.

    And, finally, I'd just like to take the time to say that I think it's fitting that this journal has been posted 10 years to the month that the late great Tony De Vit sadly passed away, aged only 40. Unfortunately, I was out of the country when the actual anniversary fell (the 2nd of July) so I was unable to pay tribute to him on the day, but this is as good an opportunity as any to remember the great man. I was only 11 when he died but even I can see the lasting mark that he left on the hard dance scene. I'm sure all hard dance fans share the same admiration I have for him and his memory. The word "legend" is so often overused, especially within electronic music, but De Vit truly deserves that title. R.I.P.

    Connections
    These mixes are highly recommended to fans of the following: Tidy Boys, Lisa Lashes, Lisa Pin-Up, Cally & Juice, K90, BK, Judge Jules, Eddie Halliwell, Sander van Doorn, Matt Hardwick, Marcel Woods, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Nu Nrg, Above & Beyond, Nic Chagall, Cosmic Gate, Cosmic Tone, Bizzare Contact, Eskimo, Time Lock, Quadra, Sesto Sento, Raz, Psycraft, X-NoiZe, Space Cat, Dynamic, Darren Styles, Breeze & Styles ... and all those in a similar vain.
  • THE TRANCE JOURNAL - PART 1 - HOW TRANCE WORKS

    28 apr 2008, 19:58 av Addicted2Melody

    THE TRANCE JOURNAL (PART 1)
    HOW TRANCE WORKS


    Few genres are more misunderstood by so-called "outsiders" than the genre of trance. For those that listen to it religiously, it's warming, uplifting and energizing, as beautifully crafted as a picturesque painting or piece of fine furniture, and, in some cases, as moving as a classical symphony – a wonderful mesh of rolling, flowing basslines, smooth melodies and, in some instances, poignant vocal hooks. Furthermore, it has carefully evolved to produce diverse and interesting musical hybrids. Yet, for outsiders, trance is a repetitive, noisy series of thuds and bleeps – music that doesn't get to the point. For them, it's music that is created in a few hours by a chimp-like figure pressing buttons on a computer and can only be enjoyed while high on drugs.

    Of course, the simple response is to say: "well, one man's meat is another's poison". To an extent, that's absolutely true. When it comes to the absolute crunch, we are talking about different brains responding differently to exactly the same musical input. What gets the synapses firing, the endorphins flowing, for one person may never do the same for another person. However, what I think some people fail to appreciate, aside from all the mindless generalisations about "chimps on computers" and drugs, is just how trance is intended to work. Now, I'm not saying that explaining how trance really works to someone will suddenly, in some kind of "road to Damascus" moment, make them love the genre. But it might make some people a little less hostile and maybe more appreciative of why so many people out there just can't get enough of the stuff.

    I think the best place to begin is the actual name: TRANCE. This name isn't arbitrary. Or at least, it does not seem so to me. The main underlying purpose of trance music is to induce some kind of trance. This may seem like an obvious point, but it requires a bit more explanation. Hypnosis and mental "states of trance" are, whatever the perceptions of them produced by popular culture, careful and important sciences. And the most fundamental point arising from such sciences is that:

    ...People get pleasure when they are in a trance. - Dennis R. Wier, The Trance Institute, Bruetten

    Many claim that trance is repetitive, and, to an extent, it is, but with very good reason. It is the repetition of subtle and underlying rhythms (or loops), with slight modulations and variations, that produces a "trance". The notion of "trance-inducing repetitions" is not, it is important to say, exclusive to trance music; nor was it born out of trance music. The rhythmic drumming in African tribal music is well documented, for example. Such repetitions are also a feature in nature:

    There are many nature sounds, such as birds, frogs, crickets which fundamentally repeat, but which contain slight variations within each repetition. The fundamental repetition is the trance generating loop (TGL) and the variations in each repetition results in the modulation of the dissociated trance plane. -Dennis R. Wier, The Trance Institute, Bruetten

    And a loud or heavy beat is by no means necessary to produce such trances. So to say that people only listen to trance because its "loud" or "noisy" is well wide of the mark.

    Having got to this point, it might be tempting for some "outsiders" to misinterpret what is being said here and go on to see trance music as the musical equivalent of Paul McKenna - as people being totally duped or transfixed by a mere method of sinister hypnosis. This, of course, would be taking it too far. There are various levels, or states, of "trance", affected by all sorts of circumstances and conditions. Furthermore, the loops and repetitions almost never continue for long enough to induce the deepest states of trance. That's why radio edits of trance songs don't work as well as the full tracks and why mixing songs into continious sets does work so well. Radio edits of trance songs in particular start to sound much more like pop songs when they are shortened and forced to "build up" much more quickly. They start to lose those genre defining elements of progression and anticipation.

    Most instances of trance music do not allow sufficient time for deeper trances to develop, as complexities are introduced too quickly. Remember, in shamanistic trances, drumming would go on for days. Subtle changes in the rhythm and melodic structures over time will produce deep trances because it is the 'subtly' which is engaging. Commercial trance music should continue for a minimum of 20 minutes to induce deep trance. Perhaps we are all fortunate that such long trance music riffs almost never happen. -Dennis R. Wier, The Trance Institute, Bruetten

    The loops in most trance tracks are eventually cut short by what is called the "break down" and, usually, a much more obviously melodic sequence is introduced. And these sequences are made more effective by the "engaged state" of the listener and the anticipated return of the rhythmic loops, or the "kick back" as it is often called. In much of melodic trance, this melodic sequence is highly comparable to the melodic style of classical music, something that is rarely noticed by the so-called "outsider". At the "kick back", the return of the TGL, and its combination with the melodic sequence, brings the track to a crescendo, a crescendo that many people just don't have the patience to wait for.

    So, what is trance, put simply then? I would argue it is a modern, electronically produced hybrid of hypnotic tribal and melodic classical music. The fact that it is electronic tends to mask this quite sophisticated hybridization to "outsiders", but this hybridization isn’t necessarily a mimicking of instrumental sound or even style, but a mimicking of purpose; the intention to produce a degree of hypnosis through rhythmic repetition and emotional warmth or euphoria through highly distinctive melodic elements. Some trance leans more obviously to the former, some to latter, but it’s that combination of purpose that truly defines trance music. Thus, trance fans, often without consciously acknowledging so, are patient, understand the value of anticipation, expectation and repetition and are as appreciative of the subtleties of the music as much as they are of its most glaringly obvious traits. Certain people may disagree with my definition of trance. I'm not saying it's a 100%, set in stone, objective definition. But if you do accept my definiton, or one similar to it, trance becomes so much more than mere "brain dead music for brain dead people", as one last.fm user once so eloquently put it. On the contrary, in its own way, it's actually highly sophisticated music, especially in terms of how it sets about achieving what it does.

    The fact that trance is electronically produced tends to be a major bugbear for some people. It is commonly assumed that producing electronic music requires very little musical skill. To be quite honest, there is very little I can say to people who cling longingly to their guitars and drum kits that could persuade them that it does require as much skill as playing a "traditional" musical instrument. The fact is, very few people who actually write music for bands using "traditional" musical instruments also produce music using a computer, a copy of the relevant software and some midi sequencers and, in truth, only they can say which genuinely requires more talent. What I wish people would appreciate though is that it does require some level of skill, expertise and, moreover, practice to truly master. But the key point is that the making of electronic music is DIFFERENT, not necessarily easy. Tracks are not what you would call "written and recorded", rather they are carefully "built and engineered". And even then, it still takes talent to come up with a new musical concept, a new idea, regardless of how that idea is turned into a reality. You can be the most talented player of instruments in the world, but no new idea, no new music. Makers of electronic music don't have the music made for them by the computers. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, as with any genre of music there are artists with less talent and skill than others, but there are still a highly significant number of producers within electronic music who are very talented engineers, understand their music down to the last details and, in many cases, can play keyboards, synthesizers and even classic instruments like guitars and pianos.

    But people also have to appreciate, that many trance fans love the fact that it is electronically produced. The programming of trance through computers gives many tracks in the genre a "cleanness", "clarity", "sharpness" and "flow", or even a better sense of order or obscure "rationality of placement", that music on "traditional" instruments cannot really replicate.

    Another thing that I think maybe confuses, and puts off, people from outside trance from paying it more attention is the seemingly never-ending lists of sub-genres, labels and names that get banded about by trance fans. You only have to look at Ishkur's Guide To Electronic Music to see how pointlessly complex some people's boxing off of genres can be. (And even then people fail to realise that this guide itself reminds us in its disclaimer that it is specifically a "non technical guide" with the "purpose to entertain before it informs".) If you break it down, there only really needs to be 5 sub-genres:

    Uplifting (epic or melodic, if you prefer those terms), Progressive (the old style and the newer style influenced by house), Tech Trance (influenced by techno and partly by electro), Psychedelic (growing out of goa) and Ambient (downtempo, belearic influenced material). For the newcomer as much as the seasoned listener, it need not be anymore complicated than that. All these elaborate separations of "uplifting" from "epic", or "symphonic" from "classic", or "Ibizan" from "dream dance" just aren't helpful in the slightest, however certain any particular trance fan is that he has them clearly defined in his head.

    But, having said all that, what point do we come back to? Where are we left? Well, while I will always accept that trance is never going to take over the world (like many trance fans wish it would) and that it simply isn't everyone's bag by any stretch of the imagination, it doesn't stop me being infuriated by some of the crap that is continuously written about it as a genre. Even the most supposedly "academic" and "intelligent" attempts at getting to grips with it amount to nothing more than a combination of gross generalisation and dogmatised scorn. (One example being the hilariously titled article, 'The intelligent person's guide to trance'.) But that's the point – these commentaries just don't really engage with what trance is for the people who actually love it, at least not on a level playing field or without culturally reinforced prejudices based on drugs, the cold hearted use of technology and the absence of intelligence. Most people only look at what the music means in relation to themselves, rather than the actual mechanics of it in terms of aim, purpose and methods, leaving them as far away from understanding trance as ever. What I want people to realise is that you don't have to like the music to appreciate why other people do like it. In terms of approach this isn't really a massive leap of faith, just a case of being open-minded or being willing to put your prejudices aside, if only for a brief moment.

    Some trance links: Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Oceanlab, Nitrous Oxide, Jonas Steur, Vibrasphere, John O'Callaghan, Chicane, Signum, Paul van Dyk, Sean Tyas, Marco V, Ferry Corsten, Marcel Woods, Nu Nrg, Aly & Fila, Super8, Icone, Ronski Speed, Stoneface & Terminal, David West, Matt Darey, Filo & Peri, DJ Shah, Tilt, Michael Dow, Lange, Solarstone, Orjan, M.I.K.E.
  • Neighbours?

    29 aug 2006, 16:22 av AntGlynn

    Hey - just a qiuck one to see if anyones in the same boat as me. How come when i view other peoples profiles i find that they have an endless list of neighbours, whe i only have 19 (yeah i did count them) i like dot thin that i listen to a varied music which would allow me to have more neighbours that i currently have. Anyone help me on this one! later