September in ‘The Scene’

I go through piles upon piles of music each month as it builds up over time after not being able to do it each week. This ranges from so many different artists, labels and genres that you’d forget for a moment that there even are such things as the later two. So far, 2013 has been quite stagnant though when it comes to the trance scene and even moreso for the “EDM” scene as a whole. While I don’t like that term, it’s what best describes what I have for you as some of the top tracks to look out for as we move into October that came across my path this September. Let’s take a look shall we?

10. Tritonal featuring Underdown “Follow Me Home” [Enhanced Recordings]

Most people who know me, including the “Tritonians” know that I have been less than thrilled with the new sound of Tritonal. In fact, I’ve been quite vocal that their latest “gimmick” of metamorphosis is a reversion into utter garbage. That at least partially went away with their latest release on Enhanced.

At first, I groaned at the name – after being a devout Tritonal fan for years they had finally adopted a sound that was so bland I couldn’t stand it. “Follow Me Home” clears all of that away with a complete super-saga, mashing together their atmospheric “Air Up There” sound with their latest sound and giving it that edge to keep it current. The vocals are just energetic enough to get you to bob your head a bit and the climaxes are enough to make you put your hands up. This is definitely one you can jam to in the car, at home or kill the floor with.

9. Giuseppe Ottaviani featuring Seri “Gave Me” [Black Hole Recordings]

I’m not one for cheese, and nine times out of ten when I see a vocal release on Black Hole that’s what I expect. That didn’t happen this time. In fact I was pleasantly surprised – despite the fact it was Ottaviani in the producers chair. Most of the time I can depend on tracks Giuseppe releases, and this time was no different as he crafted a beautiful and atmospheric sound that fits perfectly with the vocals.

Seri’s voice really puts the chill in this chilling track. Both in omnipotence and in the front, the track really sells itself and makes it worth turning the volume up.

8. Craig Connelly featuring Christina Novelli “Black Hole” (The Remixes) [Garuda] – Jorn van Deynhoven Remix

Speaking of cheese and black hole, Craig Connelly produced an absolutely stellar track earlier this year with the beautiful vocals of Christina Novelli. This last month saw the release of the remixes of that track from both Blake Jarrell and Jorn van Deynhoven. Despite my cringing at his name, Jorn absolutely sold the track and gave us something to bang our heads to.

The amount of energy that’s been focused into the track is absolutely astounding and just makes you want more. If you were a fan of John O’Callaghan’s remix of “Concrete Angel”, you need to get your hands on the JvD remix of “Black Hole” to go along with it.

7. Luke Bond “Reflections” [Future Sound of Egypt]

It’s been a rollercoaster the last two years for Aly & Fila with hit and miss releases and the recent poor performing qualities of Bjorn Akesson. However, they’ve successfully found someone who can bring them back to the light side – and that someone is Luke Bond.

Merging some absolutely breath-taking ambient vocals along with elegant and beautiful melodies, Luke takes us on a journey through another world altogether. Both mixes of the track have their place, but my personal favorite still rests with the original.

I have high hopes of Luke over the next 18 months, as I can see his sound falling in line with that of Fast Distance during the era of Oliver P. For those of you who need a lesson in that, see “Elyson” and “Heavens Melody”.

6. Ben Nicky & James Dymond “Refresh” [Mental Asylum]

When I think of something that really puts the grind to the rail, I think of Mental Asylum Records for sure. Since their release of Eddie Bitar’s “Rollercoaster” earlier this year, the fast-paced label started by Indecent Noise is on its way to making a name for itself in the scene. “Refresh” keeps on keeping on with that feeling all the way.

The track hits hard and fast with an absolutely gorgeous break. I don’t know about you guys but I absolutely love piano, and if you can figure out a way to make oboe work in any electronic music you’ve got more talent than I. The climax sticks with that motion and closes out heavy. It’s definitely a track that you’re going to be throwing your hands up to.

5. Max Graham featuring Jeza “Still There’s You – Juventa Remix” (The Remixes Part 2) [Re*Brand]

I wish I had more good things to say about Max Graham in the past. Putting Juventa on remix duties though, that’s going to make the first good thing I will say. Lately however, even Juventa has been falling short of making it to the bar he set himself on. Typically I would overlook a Juventa Remix after his performance the last 12 months – but this turned my head and with good reason.

Juventa’s remix of the track gives us a feeling that we haven’t heard since “When You Loved Me” earlier this year. For those of you who haven’t paid attention – that’s about the only decent track Anjunabeats has released so far this year. However, if you enjoyed this cup of tea that was brewed for you during his collaborative remix with Toby Hedges, you’ll love this one.

4. Afternova “Into the Sky” [Abora Recordings]

It isn’t that often that I come across a track where I sit back in my chair and close my eyes to listen to it. It’s also not very often where a track I hear can actually make me just simply smile. Afternova has certainly done that here in his release “Into the Sky.”

An absolutely mind-blowing experience awaits you with this tune as it literally gives you that floating feeling. Mad feels. I can safely say that it has not been since Andy Blueman left trance (he’s coming back I hear) that I have heard anything that I have enjoyed quite like this. Hey man, whatever this is you’re trying with this song…please keep doing it!!!

3. A.M.R. featuring Ai Takekawa “Whisper” [Alter Ego Progressive]

It’s been a long time since the anime series Inuyasha ended on American television – and by that – I mean it’s been a while since we’ve seen new episodes. However it appears that vocalist Ai Takekawa found no problems finding her new calling in music than with her second release on Alter Ego Records. And let me add that it’s one of two to date, and three to come.

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Ai’s music since 2005, and recently I have been addicted to her appearances on Alter Ego with the likes of Pierre in the Air and A.M.R. as we have here. Remixes on the release also include appearances by LTN and Talamanca – both of which sell the track just as well. Ai’s voice and a mellow track together make for an absolutely breath-taking track that I insist you check out.

2. Andrelli & Blue featuring Hila “Imagine” (Solis & Sean Truby’s Warehouse Remix) [Infrasonic Gold]

Andrelli & Blue are one of the few duo’s where I will snatch every track that I see by these days. The driving force of Infrasonic Recordings also led me to give this track a chance and Soli & Sean Truby sold it for sure. The track gives an almost dirty appearance of a gorgeous track and completely transforms the tune altogether. If anyone knows me, they know a soft spot I have is the ability to transform a song from one thing to another effectively, and that is exactly what happened here.

“Prog-“warning for sure.

1. Zage featuring Ekatherina April “Away” [Alter Ego Progressive]

It is my belief that greatness is truly in store for Alter Ego Records in the next year or so. They’ve been coming up with amazing release after amazing release, just recently passing their 100th release on their Progressive label and are still hot at it (that 100th release was “Whisper” by the way). Well, not to be outdone is release number 109.

I have never heard of either Zage or April before, but this is absolutely beautiful. April’s voice sounds absolutely divine and the delicate sounds of Zage’s production just makes me shiver every time I hear this track. I can’t really describe it effectively, but if you listen to only a handful of these tracks, make this one of them for sure.

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