Solarstone pres. Pure Trance Vol. 2 Review
Now you don’t need me to tell you that dance music has evolved beyond recognition over the past 10 years or so. DJs and producers can no longer be pigeon-holed into one genre.
Clubs and record label music policies have broadened widely and digital downloads have made any track in any style as easily obtainable as a sexually transmitted infection at a university house party.
All of the above (except the infections) has led us to a point where DJs are now in the space of a few hours playing a combination of Trance, Progressive House, Electro and even Dubstep in the same set.
Personally I think this whole progression has been healthy and positive on the most part. The point I’d like to make, however, is that despite this progression and the acceptance of it by the majority of dance music fans, people’s passions for the individual genres haven’t just disappeared. There is still a strong calling for the undiluted Trance sound that did so much to bring us to where we are today.
Isaac Newton famously taught us (that’s right we are getting deep now) that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this instance the action is the aforementioned merging of genres, production techniques and current trends in dance music. The reaction is Pure Trance Volume 2 mixed by Solarstone and Giuseppe Ottaviani.
So, with the science lesson out the way let’s dive into the album. When Volume 1 hit the shelves almost exactly a year ago I have to admit I was a little concerned about the name. Most CDs with such obvious titles like Trance Anthems / 100% Trance / This is Trance etc are normally found in the bargain bin after a month for three quid and likely feature commercial crimes such as Boys of Summer by DJ Sammy. But after further consideration, I’ve decided it’s the perfect title for an equal and opposite reaction of this kind. It runs the Trance colours up the mast and unapologetically announces a stand against trends such as that hideous umbrella title “EDM” that so many hide behind these days. Just as the term “Art” can be used to cover anything from Monet’s Water Lilies to a wet turd placed on a bent spoon by some stuck up conceptual artist, the term EDM also straddles all manor of eargasm and ear rape in equal measure.
Anyway I’m digressing.
Now I could waste your time explaining why our mate Solarstone is so important to the Pure Trance movement, but I assume I’d be preaching to the converted. Just incase though let me put it this way: if Pure Trance was boobs, Solarstone be Hugh Hefner.
Hugh opens CD 1 for us at the harmonic end of Pure’s spectrum. Adam Nickey’s ‘Perfect Destiny’, Aerium’s ‘Horizon’ and Elfsong’s ‘Seldarine’ all ease us in lovingly with the reassurance that this mix is about to do exactly what it says on the tin.
Don’t get too comfortable though because as we reach CD 1’s halfway point, Solarstone offers a mid paced bitch-slap in the form of his most recent Pure Mix of ‘Love Theme From Blade Runner’. I have to say bringing a score that is almost exactly as old as I am up to date is no mean feat but Richard pulls it off beautifully.
The theme of classic meets new continues into the last third of CD 1 as Solarstone enters mash-up-mode. Highlights for me include brilliantly splicing Ferry Corsten & Betsie Larkin’s ‘Made Of Love’ and John O’Callaghan’s ‘I’ll Follow’, as well as successfully mating Franz’s ‘Emerge’ with one of my all time favorites ‘Jump The Next Train’ by Ben Lost.
CD 2 is unmistakably Giuseppe. Armed with that tough, punchy euphoric sound he’s so famous for our man from the big boot brings us nobodies such as John Mash, Colonial One and Andrea Mazza, as well as some of the forefathers of Trance like Darren Tate and Sied van Riel.
This is a wonderfully crafted mix aimed at the dance floor and is clearly compiled with the type of knowledge you only get from decades behind the decks around the world.
In its entirety this album quite simply is the perfect blend of where Trance has been, where it is now and most importantly where it’s going. An absolute must for Trance fans new and old.
If you still need some time to make your mind up why not head over to our Podcast section where I was kind enough to let Solarstone and Giuseppe raise their profiles by appearing with me on Episode 6 (November). There you’ll find a Pure Trance guest mix exclusively for Trance Podium. You’re welcome.
Listen to a preview of Pure Trance Vol. 2 on The TrancePodium Podcast 006:
About the author
Richard Ronchetti is a DJ, producer and reviewer from the UK with an unhealthy obsession for grated cheese.
He plays and produces essentially Trance with lots of House and Progressive influence and will be posting a bi-monthly promo mix on Mixcloud, Facebook and Twitter. Each mix will (if his levels of creativity and grated cheese allow) contain his own tracks, mashups and remixes.
Follow Rich for all of the above including his latest reviews for Trance Podium: