Relentless Beats

Relentless Review: Anjunabeats Volume 14 Mixed by Above & Beyond

Trying to encapsulate just how intrinsically magical the trademark sound of the Anjunabeats label has been a difficult task in the best kind of way.  There’s a lost-in-translation feeling trying to convey those emotions into words, which makes the latest outing by Above & Beyond and family a MUST listen.  There’s a richness and depth to every production that is clearly reflective of Above and Beyond and the musical story that they are trying to convey. Now, their ever-growing roster of Anjunabeats artists are taking that same emotional prodding that their songs are known for, and adapting that style in their own fantastic direction, a Trance melody, with a dance rhythm. This gets put on full display in their latest outing, Anjunabeats Volume 14:  A 34-track, 2-disc, 5-star, 3-course meal which, when taken one bite at a time, gives you an opportunity to savor every auditor flavor combination, all while spinning up that trademark dance floor energy. And just like a proper 3-course meal, lets dive into this album one course at a time.

Anjunabeats Volume 14 CD 1 (Mixed by Above & Beyond – Continuous Mix)

Each disc, takes you on an ethereal journey through the melodic musings of a typical Anjunabeats project, with an expert blend of the familiar, the remixed, and the entirely new. Matt Lange opens the album and sets the tone with “Isn’t It Lovely,” along with a remix of “Is It Love” by Above & Beyond, boasting beautiful chord structures with dark strings and melancholy piano. The album maintains its thematic tone through the first 5 tracks, allowing Spencer Brown and Qrion to move things in a particularly funky direction with “Foggy August.”  Another notable takeaway is two back-to-back remixes of beloved Anjunabeats tracks, by one of our newest cooks, Tinlicker. He makes his Anjunabeats showcase debut with a dark, posh remix of “Always” and “Need To Feel Loved.”  This quick 2 song reprieve really enables the back half of the album to open up with more experimental styles and intrinsically funky grooves.

GRUM has particularly stood out over his multiple Anjunabeats releases as the artist that demands your attention. His songs always feel like the standout track in an album full of standout artists. This latest tune has us clamoring for more, as his sound is quickly becoming a signature in this ever-expanding musical world.  Above & Beyond & Justine Suissa collaborate for a “Cold Feet” remix that serves as this album’s climax.  Bringing their legendary melodic structures, captivating vocals, and airy synths to a critical mass. Anjunabeats familiars Sunny Lax, Genix, Andrew Bayer, and Maor Levi close this first volume out with big, breathy Trance sounds, capitalizing on the build-up throughout the album.

Anjunabeats Volume 14 CD 2 (Mixed by Above & Beyond – Continuous Mix)

The 2nd volume brings us the grizzled veterans themselves in all their glory, as Above and Beyond take the forefront of the project along with a smaller, more intimate pool of artists. If disc one served more as a showcase of new talent, the second entry gives us a headlining feel. Many of the songs featured made live debuts at the beloved Above & Beyond Group Therapy events. Making it’s stateside debut in 2017 at the Gorge Amphitheater with ABGT250, they are already planning to bring the festival back to the infamous venue later this year after a wildly successful first showing. In the remote central Washington countryside, 25,000 Anjuna fam gather to spend 2 days in the Washington countryside, tasting some of the freshest samples from our purveyors of fine music. As someone who had the opportunity to be there in person, it was moving on a level that words would only trivialize. Many of the tracks found on Disc 2, including the i_o “Alchemy” remix, “Hideaway,” and “Alone Tonight,” which got a modern-day update from the boys themselves, made their American debut that weekend.

One thing that has always been captivating about their music is their ability to reach into their extensive back-catalog and revitalize songs that they may otherwise never play again. It always serves as a perfect blend of modernization, and the nostalgic tingle of hearing an old melody pop back up.  Circling back to Volume 2 we get to hear from some familiar artists like Oliver Smith, Jason Ross, and Ilan Bluestone, all of which have made their respective rounds and are loved by our local communities.

Above &  Beyond come stateside again Fri, Jul 19 for Wanderlust at Squaw Valley, CA.  Sat, Jul 27 – 28th for their 2nd Group Therapy Weekender back at the Gorge Amphitheater. Finally Sat, Aug 31 at Electric Zoo in New York.

Connect with Above & Beyond: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Connect with Anjunabeats Family: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Show Comments