Well my total love affair with all things Anjuna is no secret my. So sure an article like this might be expected from me. That being said the latest Anjunabeats compilation, ‘Anjunabeats Volume 11', is one of the most impressive albums to be released so far this year. 2014 is no doubt going to be a year to remember for original works with artists like Deadmau5 and Knife Party both releasing full artist albums, but so far Vol. 11 takes the cake. To break down exactly my thoughts on the album I decided to highlight 5 reasons why this compilation is one for your personal library.
1. Brilliant Remixes of Classics
One of the best parts of this album is how the label took some of their current super stars and gave them a chance to rework some classic tracks. The originals of the previously mentioned remixes were both Above & Beyond songs, specifically ‘Satellite' and ‘Good for Me'. The rising star ilan Bluestone took over ‘Satellite' and seriously…it is one of the best remixes I have ever heard. The track keeps the airy vocals of A&B's Oceanlab days but lays in a progressive drop that is both emotional and powerful. Established deep house master Matt Lange took a crack at ‘Good for Me' and the result is a melodic journey of nostalgia. Both of these tracks are so good in their own unique way, definitely check them out below (or at least a preview).
2. The Collaborations Between Anjunabeats Label-Mates Are Jaw Dropping
When two or more members of the Anjunafam get together to create a song the outcome is usually magic. Lucky for everyone, Vol 11 has several examples of this exact thing happening. Example A? Jaytech and Super8 & Tab's ‘Code Red'. This trio makes for the perfect combination of intelligent melodic house. While ‘Code Red' is both intelligent and melodic it is also the perfect amount of progressive and original. The melody stays with you for a few days after first hearing it, drawing you back again and again. Luckily this one does not tire out the ears. Another beautiful collab is ilan Bluestone and Jerome Isma-Ae's ‘Tension'. It is the perfect name for the track as the first minute and a half is a piano riff that sweepingly builds until the point of no return where the song goes into a constant euphoric drop that leaves you wanting more.
3. Andrew Bayer Is A God Among Men
At the current moment Andrew Bayer is my favorite producer. His sound design as well as confidence are what make him so special. Andrew has released tracks ranging from ambient and melodic to full force big room and trance. He has already topped the Beatport Trance Chart twice this year with both ‘Once Lydian' and ‘Bullet Catch'. I was just overjoyed when I saw his name appear on the tracklist a few times. His solo track on the compilation ‘The District' is on the more energetic side than Bayer's last album. Still the song has complex chord patterns and features so many subtle elements that after each additional listen will slowly pop out to you. I still wake up in the dead of night sweating only to find out that I have had it playing in my head as a dream soundtrack.
4. Tons of Previously Unreleased Above & Beyond
Above & Beyond have just been having an incredible first half of 2014. They had a few hugely popular releases like ‘Mariana Trench'. On Anjunabeats 11 A&B slipped in their other singles ‘Sticky Fingers' and ‘Hello', as well as some awesome bootlegs. If you saw the guy's since Ultra you have definitely heard a good bit of these tracks. The mashup including Andrew Bayer's ‘Need Your Love' and A&B's ‘Far From In Love' has already been played on stages all over the word. This just goes to show that two artists who are primarily recognized for trance and progressive can have enough talent to also succeed in the world of big room.
5. Many Songs Mark Artist's Return to Anjunabeats
Anjunabeats has created some of the most successful and critically acclaimed artists to date. As many producers do, several anjuna-alumni have pursued their own projects, most with total success. 16 Bit Lotlitas has just returned with a 3 track EP, and their song ‘Beat Organ' is breaking Beatport. It is funky, inspirational and just the right amount of different. Among other notable artists to return to the London based label are Mat Zo and Audien.
So there you have it. 5 reasons why I believe Anjunabeats Vol. 11 is the best album of the year SO FAR. It is all original. It is at some points emotional. And at others absolutely rocking. This one deserves a permanent place on your iPod. You can now buy the the album from iTunes, Google Play and Beatport. Now I want to hear from you. What albums do you think have been notable so far? I cannot wait to see what is next from Anjuna as without a doubt anything they touch turns to gold.
1 You Would – Thomas Schwartz & Fausto Fanizza
2 Wicked Game – Betoko & Gemma Hayes
3 Beat Organ – 16 Bit Lolitas
4 Good for Me (Matt Lange Remix) – Above & Beyond
5 Gravity – Parker & Hanson
6 Boy (Spada Remix) – Emma Louise
7 Staccato – Matt Lange
8 No One Gets Left Behind (Konstantin Sibold Remix) – DJ Yellow & Flowers & Sea Creatures
9 Rediscovered – Cid Inc.
10 Overture (Guy J Remix) – Twice As Nice
11 The Dark – Boom Jinx & Meredith Call
12 Gemini – Soundprank
13 Dark & Long (Dark Train) [Jerome Isma-Ae & Maor Levi Remix] – Underworld
1 Tension – Ilan Bluestone & Jerome Isma-Ae
2 Anjunabeach (Genix vs. Las Salinas Remix) – Above & Beyond
3 Hey Now (Arty Remix) – London Grammar
4 Sticky Fingers (feat. Alex Vargas) – Above & Beyond
5 Code Red – Super8 & Tab & Jaytech
6 Pyramid Scheme (feat. Chuck D) [Club Mix] – Mat Zo
7 Hindsight – Audien
8 Karma – Sunny Lax
9 Run – Genix
10 Evermore – Oliver Smith
11 On My Way To Mariana Heaven (feat. Richard Bedford) – Above & Beyond
12 Spheres – Ilan Bluestone
13 Far from Needing Your Love – Above & Beyond & Andrew Bayer
14 Hello – Above & Beyond
15 Satellite (ilan Bluestone Remix) – Above & Beyond & OceanLab
16 The District – Andrew Bayer
17 Liquid Love (Maor Levi Club Mix) – Above & Beyond
18 Home (Genix Remix) – Above & Beyond