When it comes to trance music, there is no denying the fact the huge impact that Armada Music has on the scene and the influence that it generates. From its beginning in 2003, the company that was founded by current top DJ Armin Van Buuren and individuals Maykel Piron and David Lewis has grown by leaps and bounds and now includes almost twenty different sub-labels that represent many different types of electronic music.
A State Of Trance Still Going Strong With Its 4th Volume
Like previous editions of this series, the fourth installment is a non-continuous mix of some of the hottest trance tracks around. While many collections only give you a sample of each song within a DJ set, this collection gives us the full version on a two-disc set. This is great because there have been many times where you have heard a track within a DJ set and wish you could have heard more of that particular song; this collection gives you that pleasure. With that being said though, the pause in between each track does take away from that more intimate feeling that you get from a DJ experience, so this will appeal more to individuals who want to savor every morsel of their favorite trance track in this collection.
Volume 4 Starts Off Smooth and Ambient
As far as this fourth installment goes, the first CD set begins with the pulsating and energetic “Capoeira” by Under Sun which generates a smooth and ambient intensity with a mixture of guitar chords which really sets the mood for the rest of the CD. "For You" by Envio also makes use of guitar chords with synths and pulsating beats to generate a mellow trance track that soothes the ears and energizes the body while fading at the end. Of course this is followed by another enchanting track called "No Need to Come Back" by Leon Bolier which features the lush vocals of Elsa Hill and which follows the mood set by earlier tracks. Leon Bolier, though, ups the ante a few tracks later with "Poseidon" which comes across like the Greek god that it’s named after with its majestic beats and urgent atmospheric sounds with swelling buildups. Other well-rounded tracks included on the first CD are "Contrast" by Senses featuring ATM and "3gether" by Ahead, while tracks like "Now & Ever" by Absolute and "Bounty Island" by Black Pearl are more content as fillers to guide us to the end. At the end though we find the anthem "World Gone Mad" by Mannih vs. Kaymak which vibrates with wild energy, and then we close with the seductive dub of "Secretly" by Tom Cloud which comes alive with the beautiful vocals of Tiff Lacey who elevates the track in the atmosphere with euphoric grace. It is definitely a great way to end the listening experience of the first CD.
The Second CD Brings the Energy
On the second CD, we find an even more energetic set of trance tunes which elevates the musical experience to the next level. The set is started off by Signum's "Harmonic" which is a bit deceptive in that during its buildup, it generates a certain frenetic chaos that is a joy to listen to. Sophie Sugar, though, mellows us out a bit with the next track "Fallen Too Far," still maintaining the energy of the first track while building a bridge to the deep pulsating baselines and sweet guitar riffs of "Aquasblancas" by Sunlounger. Unfortunately, in the middle of the second set we find some forgettable tracks such as "Blinding Truth" by Elevation and "Palmardsa" by DJ Shah, which is more or less filler when compared to some of the other tracks listed. Signum, though, elevates the set back up again with his second entry on the CD, "Syndicate," which radiates with energetic beats and a lush buildup midway through that definitely shines brightly along the way. "Cataract" by Hiroyuki Oda, however, stands more as a bridge between the previous track and the amazing "Motion Blur" by Robert Nickson which definitely goes into overdrive with its hyperactive beats and atmospheric synths. It is by far one of the better tracks on the whole set. Unfortunately, the CD fizzles at the end with the somewhat lackluster "Impossible," by C-Quence, which fails to deliver that final moment of ecstasy to any trance experience.
A Compilation Not Just For DJs
The compilation as a whole provides a great trance experience and contains many tracks that are definitely worth listening to and will highlight many summer DJ sets in clubs around the world. While A State of Trance: Collected Extended Versions Volume 4[/a] does offer a few missteps along the way, they are few and far between and the overall strength of the other tracks make up for any miscues and definitely provide for a great listening experience. If you are looking for some of the newest and freshest tracks for your summer club experience then definitely take a look at this newest release from Armada and get ready to enjoy the summer of 2009 with a bang.
CD Released June 2009 on Armada Recordings.