Great – just what the world needs, another uber-cheesy trance mix album. Mixed by some faceless uber-DJ (well, his best mate), apparently live but actually done with pro-tools at the studio over a week with some painstaking plus 8+’ing on the mix. (P.S. that’s speeding up the tracks to get the BPM’s to match)
Well, that’s the review of every Paul Oakenfold mix CD ever, but not of this mix CD, mixed by Art of Trance (well, that’s the name of Simon Berry, label meister and who also records under a plethora of names).Platipus, unlike most labels (Perfecto, Deconstruction etc.) aren’t funded by a huge mega-corporation, and aren’t just the trendy arm of selling faceless, cheesy bollocks, but funded from a bedroom….and they couldn’t give a shite about making the charts, maintaining a consistent sound to all its releases, which is mostly known to people as the original home of Robert Miles’ house epic, “Children”; later to sell millions around the world when Warners bought up the rights. However, in being responsible for most of the house boom, Platipus didn’t jump the bandwagon, but with artists such as Terra Firma and Union Jack, concentrated on streamlined, melodic trance and ambience.
Enough of the history: This double mix CD is designed to act as an introduction to the label. While the mixing might not be the best in the world, and really would have been better as a selection of individual tracks . While not including the definite (but uber-cheese of) Robert Miles’ track “Children”, this compilation serves as an almost perfect introduction, a smooth selection of intelligent, smooth and melodic yet not cheesy top 40 material, such as Union Jacks genre defining “Red Herring” and “2 Full Moons and A Trout”, as well as other tracks from Art Of Trance, Terra Firma, and the more ambient noodlings of Quietman.
The Second (unmixed) CD however is more a showcase for the ambient side of the label. Again, the same usual suspects (Art of Trance, Quietman, Union Jack) all appear, mainly in rare or otherwise unavailable mixes. But to be honest, Most mix CD’s aren’t worth the plastic they’re made on – most Mix CD’s are just an aural placebo, the very antithesis of everything music stands for. Most mix CD’s are just something to play in the background of a night of chemical oblivion; and this isn’t. It proves that intelligent dance music exists, and it exists outside the charts and the top 40 pipeline. If you’ve any interest in modern dance music, trance or ambient, its worth a spin. And best part is, this double CD album , at over 2 hrs long, is about the price of a CD single, about £4. Bargain.
8Graham Reed's Score