Paul Van Dyk – Volume – The Best Of Paul Van Dyk (2009)

Trance music has never been predictable. Indeed, it is a crescendo of highs and lows in the electronic music world. Well known German DJ Paul Van Dyk put together this mix for us, a greatest hits mix showing off his music so far.

It’s a good minimalistic Trance Music sort of listening, and actually for this genre, is more quality than quantity. It’s a great way to hear some fresh tunes, so let’s jump in.

We begin with For An Angel (PvD Remix ’09) which sounds minimal and melodic for a piece of trance music. It’s a nice introduction with rapid-fire melodies and pounding beats. It’s very simple but well done.

The next piece is Home feat. Johnny McDaid (PvD Club Mix) which is a nice trippy sort of piece. It’s all similar-sounding, but mixed and done so well that it is forgivable. A nice vocal piece is here, worth hearing.

Let Go feat. Rea Garvey (VANDIT Club Mix by PvD) is more techno-based and has some unusual sounds in it. This mix flows so well, that one will be impressed by it. It’s a memorable and catchy piece. In fact, all these tunes are. The change in this tune is awesome.

White Lies feat. Jessica Sutta (Album Mix) is an acid-based experience with intertwined melodies and some great singing from our guest. It’s a nice tune to hear with a few twists and interesting sounds to boot in it.

The minimalist Nothing But You feat. Hemstock & Jennings (Original) is a truly great piece. It is a club classic, with soul searching chanting in it. You must hear this one, it’s an awesome piece with wonderful sounds in it. This album is very, very good so far, and does not fail to impress.

After that, we have Another Way (PvD Club Mix) which has banging beats and acid sounds, once again. It seems that our main man, Paul Van Dyk, uses very similar sounds. But they never disappoint, and this track is proof of it.

Forbidden Fruit (Original) is an interesting trip. Although this album does not promote drug use, it is an almost drug-like experience. A nice chilled, trippy listen.

Together We Will Conquer (Short Version) has some really interesting cut-up drum beats and some nice vocals from a guest. It’s neither overly long nor boring this album, it is purely impressive. A great listen. It sounds totally reassuring.

The next cut, New York City featuring Starkillers & Austin Leeds feat. Ashley Tomberlin (Album Mix) has a guest singer here lyrically evoking about New York City on a clubbing night. It’s a nice touch, with some imaginative thinking about it. It’s a long piece for this recording.

The bass piano-like sound that drives A Magical Moment (Original) leads into an eerie and melodic piece. Not a single track on this album mixed sounds bad or out of place. Now, that’s great modern music! It is a short 4-minute piece but sounds like great clubbing music to chill to.

Words (For Love) sounds very much like a mixture of acid noises, techno, and trance. It is so futuristic that it sounds years ahead of the R & B on the radio today. It really is great. Some great drum rolls are here too.

Tell me Why (The Riddle) feat St. Etienne (PvD Club Mix) is a nice sounding piece featuring St. Etienne with some cut-up vocal phrases from our guest. It’s a good driven piece with a multitude of well-mixed sounds.

Next up is The Other Side feat. Wayne Jackson (Original) sounds musically intense. It’s a neo-Underworld style piece that sounds really good, and tasty. It’s a pacy piece as well. Good listening, with a processed acoustic guitar in it as well. It’s 8 minutes long but doesn’t feel like it is as such.

Following up is the blistering We Are Alive feat. Jennifer Brown (Original) which has a great repeating vocal melody and bombastic drums to boot. It breaks down into a melodic and computerised tune that is very danceable.

Time Of Our Lives feat. Vega 4 (US Radio Edit) is a nice little number reflective on said time of our lives. Melody and rhythm intertwine in such a wonderfully musical way. It’s a great listen for said reflection.

Wir Send Wir & Heppner (Radio Version) is a nice way to finish the album here. It’s a German song but done so well that it could have been English in its emotion. We finish the album off very well.

If you ever need a good listen to one of the greatest introductions to trance music, or just a great mix full of great tunes, start here. You will not be disappointed. The future is here.

9/10

Nirvana – Nirvana (2002)

To be fair, if you only want one Nirvana album to keep, this it it.

Nearly 10 years after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, comes this release. It’s a great compilation that does justice to the legacy of Nirvana. For example, the opener You Know You’re Right is a rarity, recorded shortly before Kurt Cobain’s passing. It sounds like it too, being deep and emotional in general.

The other cuts are just as good. This album tends to focus on rarities unheard of before. It’s a great little compilation masterpiece, varying from the early Bleach era, through to Nevermind and In Utero, and the MTV Unplugged album. It’s a great way to show off how wonderful Nirvana worked together as a unit.

Nirvana were a professional and talented team of musicians and despite the negativity that features in their music, it’s a great listening experience to have. If you are new to Nirvana, check this compilation out. Nirvana kick started the 1990’s, and were hugely influential. The proof is in the songs, and they have many great songs here.

9/10

DJ Icey – DJ Icey Presents Y4K (2006)

DJs are not to be underestimated in the 21st century. Their ability to hone a decent mix and utilize their own craft is something special, and something that has not been done so before much in the history of music.

This mix is a good one. It’s filled with awesome tracks to sink your teeth into. If you love the sound of breakbeats, or just new something cool for a change, no doubt here is a good place to begin,

We begin with Merka’s I’ll Be Here. It’s a simple and minimalist track which leads into the mix in general. It’s nothing special, but a good start to the mix.

Following up is a rather deep and meaningful track. IIs’s Loving You (Atomic Hooligan Remix) is a good example of vocals, breaks, and beats mixed together into a good piece. It’s sonically reassuring, given the piece itself. Worth listening to.

Plodout by Vlad follows, and it’s just that, but never gets dull to listen to. It combines some beats and some basic electronic sounds to boot. It’s a good one.

Feelin’ Kinda Strange (Bass Kleph & Nick Thayer Remix) by the Drummatic Twins arrives, and this mix really kicks off. It’s so catchy you’ll be dancing for days to it. It has a bunch of killer sounds and samples, with a climax that is euphoric. Killer.

After that, we have This Feelin’ (Boy 8-bits Grindhouse Mix) by AB/DC and it has some warm sounds throughout. It’s an okay track but serves as an anticlimax after the previous tracks, which is a little disappointing.

The next track is a highlight. Like This (Main Mix) by Artcrime samples John Lennon screaming and has a bunch of interesting sounds, samples, and breakdowns to keep one interesting whilst listening. It’s awesome.

Never Gonna Stop The Show by General Midi is a good rap/breaks piece. It is direct and to the point, and just fits in well with the rest of the mix here. It’s good to hear some decent rap for a change.

Come Closer by DJ Icey himself is theatrical, and brilliant. It samples a lady asking for some, and has some great acid like sounds in it. It’s a great touch to the mix.

The following piece, The Ride by Move Ya! and Steve Lavers is a futuristic romp through music. It’s awesome no doubt, but also by this point in the mix, we can recognise the greatness of the overall mix. Just fantastic.

The next one is acid galore. Everybody Get Up (Circuit Breaker Remix) by Transformer Man has a bunch of great rhythms to boot as well. It fits into the mix nicely.

San Pedro by DJ Icey is a much more chillax sort of vibe by DJ Icey himself. It settles down the party like atmosphere after the previous few tracks. DJ Icey is an accomplished musician, by all means.

All Your Love (Deekline & Wizard Club Mix) by Deekline is a strange one, with pounding beats and cut up vocals that make no sense whatsoever. It fits the bill nicely, however.

If there is one track to dislike on this mix, it is likely this one. Grizzle (Vlad & Ardisson Remix) by Smithmonger & Kobi is dull and drags on quite a bit. Still, it has its place here on the mix.

We end the DJ mix with DJ Icey’s Nikita. It’s okay but sounds as though the mix is a little burned out at this point. We conclude it after 5 minutes of solid listening.

For anybody who is a fan of EDM or similar types of electronic music, this compilation is worth tracking down. It is much better than you’d expect from a Breakbeat artist, and it is a good solid hour or so of listening. If you love breaks and beats, look no further. DJ Icey does very well here.

9/10

Oasis – Time Flies… 1994-2009 (2010)

Oasis were the best band of the 1990s. There, of course, was always friction between Noel Gallagher and his brother Liam on everything Oasis did. This sadly brewed tensions that by 2009, Noel had enough of. After a backstage incident of violence and Liam Gallagher breaking one of Noel’s guitars during an argument, Noel left Oasis and released a press statement shortly afterwards saying so. The band millions were familiar with had now gone.

But the flip side of the band breaking up was this album. It’s a fantastic representation of what Oasis were from start to finish. It includes songs from every album, as where Stop The Clocks ignored Be Here Now totally and Oasis had not yet recorded Dig Out Your Soul. This album is quite possibly the best starting point for the British rock band. It’s got a variety of great songs galore.

It’s a double disc album. Every album is covered here, and instead focusing on B-sides and rarities like Stop The Clocks did, it focuses on the main tracks of interest. Which is possibly why this album is just as essential as a good album by The Beatles. It also features Lord Don’t Slow Me Down and Whatever for the first real exposure of two very good songs indeed. The former is a fantastic acoustic based rant which sounds like it should have been on Don’t Believe The Truth. The latter is orchestral Oasis pop at its finest.

Is there a weakness with this album? Yes. Too much of the bad quality Oasis album Heathen Chemistry is here. Even so, it is good to balance out some of the stunning A-side single type songs with more variable and lesser-known songs in that respect.

Apart from that specific weakness, everything you love about Oasis is here. It’s a great compilation and shows you how wonderful the band and their music was. Own a copy today. After Oasis, Noel began a successful solo career in Noel Gallagher And The High Flying Birds. Liam Gallagher and the remaining Oasis members recording some ordinary material under the name Beady Eye which had limited commercial success, before Liam Gallagher began a much more successful solo career.

For those who are real fans, seek out the DVD and extra CDs that came along with this album as well. The DVD is fantastic and features commentary by Noel Gallagher.

Madferit.

9/10

Oasis – Stop The Clocks (2006)

This album marked the beginning of the end of Oasis. Although certain events had occurred since the band formed in 1991 that hindered musical and personal progress in the band, it really started here with their first retrospective compilation. Oasis needed to put this compilation out due to the end of their contract with Sony, so Noel Gallagher obliged and made his own mix of Oasis songs, almost completely disregarding everybody else’s advice. This pointed out that he was unwilling to listen to other people’s advice in general with Oasis’s music, and instead wanted to do his own thing. The new democracy style input in Oasis during the 2000s obviously wasn’t a big issue to the group.

The compilation here is actually really good though. It focuses heavily on the songs from Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? eras with a few additions from other eras. Notably, Noel refused to put any Be Here Now numbers onto the compilation and used the “length” excuse as usual. Which is the only weak point about the compilation, it misses out that era totally which still had some good songs on it. It doesn’t have any songs from Dig Out Your Soul either as that album was not released until 2009.

Strangely enough, there was another compilation a few years after this one, once the band had broken up for good. But it seems to be better than most Oasis albums around, so it is definitely worth checking out. Notably, it is a great compilation for more thinking than dancing sort of Oasis mood. Looking through the compilation, it’s easy to see more single tracks on the double-disc album than anything else. It’s a good way to go about an album if you want to make a compilation that sounds good.

Interestingly enough, the album art was done by The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album artist Peter Blake. It’s also the name of an unreleased Oasis song, which Noel eventually released on his first solo album. Strangely ironic indeed.

After this release, the band made the awful Dig Out Your Soul before calling it quits in the unfortunate incident between Noel and Liam Gallagher. This is a great compilation though, perfect for that thinking mood when you need some Oasis.

9/10