Category: CD Reviews

Svenson & Gielen – The Beauty Of Silence (2002)

Svenson & Gielen - The Beauty Of Silence (2002)

Svenson & Gielen – The Beauty Of Silence (2002)

Artist: Svenson & Gielen
Genre/Style: Trance
Release Year: 2002
CD Info: Svenson & Gielen – The Beauty Of Silence
CDs: 1 (one)
Length CD: 01:01:42
Tracks: 10 (ten) + 2 Bonus Tracks
Label: ID&T Music BV
Product Number: 7005622
More Information: ———-

Two weeks ago I was back in my home country, the Netherlands, and what I always do during my stay in this beautiful country, is visit my local CD store in Heerlen, Satisfaction Records. Been coming there for many years (bought my first rave ticket there back in 1998, for Mysteryland Outdoor), I’ve become known to the owner. Spent a lot of money over the years, buying everything money could buy. So a trip was necessary, because I like digging through thousands of CDs, and I support them. There aren’t many CD stores left, so those who are still afloat, you must support.

Digging through thousands of CDs is the best feeling. Most of the CDs I’ve got already, and it takes patience to find something unique and fresh. Queue my last visit: they’ve created a ‘discount’ section, and there it was: ‘The Beauty Of Silence’ by Svenson and Gielen. Yeah, you might call me a cheapskate, but in all fairness: I walked out with 7 CDs for only €16.99! Nowadays that’s the price of just one! I got lucky with this CD: when it was released in 2002 I never had the chance to buy it. And over the years I simply forgot about it.

Svenson and Gielen dominated the Trance scene back in the early noughties. They were succesful as a duo, and this album contains a few of their well known tracks. It’s astonishing to think that this album is 15 years old, and still sounds fresh. Unique. And that’s the reason why they dominated everything. They made anthem after anthem, and they are still loved by fans all over the world. Play any of the tracks and the rave ligths up. Groundbreaking tunes were made by them.

Let’s see the tracklist. You might know a couple of these tracks. I reckon you do. If you don’t, you weren’t born when this album was released…

tracklist

01. Svenson & Gielen – The Beauty Of Silence
02. Svenson & Gielen feat Simi Nah – Unknown Pleasure
03. Svenson & Gielen – Twisted Energy (Radio Edit) 
04. Svenson & Gielen – Fujirama
05. Svenson & Gielen – Outward Voyage
06. Svenson & Gielen feat Jan Johnston – Beachbreeze
07. Svenson & Gielen – We Know What You Did
08. Svenson & Gielen – Answer The Question
09. Svenson & Gielen – Falling Star
10. Svenson & Gielen feat Simi Nah – Evol (In Love)

Bonus Tracks:
11. Svenson & Gielen – We Know What You Did (DJ Tiesto Remix) 
12. Svenson & Gielen – Answer The Question (Cosmic Gate Remix) 

There you go. An amazing tracklist, isn’t it? I know most of these tracks, because they’ve appeared on many compilations. As I said before, they dominated everything imaginable. They were one of the hottest duos in the Trance scene, and they took the scene to places never seen before.

So many great anthems, it’s unbelievable to capture what they’ve done to the scene. ‘The Beauty Of Silence’, ‘Twisted Energy’, ‘Beachbreeze’, ‘We Know What You Did’, ‘Answer The Question’ and more. They were on the spot when it came to music, they embraced what was there already, and improved it. They knew what the audiences all over the world wanted and needed, and the result was a really good album.

A couple of tracks are a bit less than the anthems they created, I did miss something special, something that would improve them. Something I can’t describe. And also the Tiesto remix of ‘We Know What You Did’ is extremely dull. Never thought Tiesto would release something this dull when he was the king of Trance…

Best track? Oh, I like a few. But the one I would embrace is ‘The Beauty Of Silence’. Still have it as a single.

A very good album, and it was a bargain. It might have taken 15 years to be part of my collection, but it ain’t going nowhere.

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Chris Unknown – I’m Alive (2015)

Chris Unknown - I'm Alive (2015)

Chris Unknown – I’m Alive (2015)

Artist: Chris Unknown & Various Artists
Genre/Style: UK Hardcore, Happy Hardcore, EDMCore
Release Year: 2015
CD Info: Chris Unknown – I’m Alive
CDs: 2 (two)
Length CDs: 02:06:00
Tracks: 34 (thirty-four)
Label: Klubbed Up
Product Number: KUACD07
Buy Here (via Hardcore Underground): BUY HERE
More Information: Chris Unknown – Facebook Fanpage

Back in 2015 many albums were released, but the long awaited album by Chris Unknown got the most attention. The most anticipated album of 2015, and I only bought it last year (in December I think, around Black Friday). I should be ashamed, and I really am, but there are so many albums I should look out for and purchase, and seeing as this is a hobby, it would become very dearly. But I had to get this album. I would normally say that I don’t know why, but with this album I felt the urge to get it. If you’ve been following the scene for… erm… the last couple of years, you know exactly how good Chris Unknown is and how well received his tunes are!

The change in music style for Chris Unknown has been very good, his new style is very good. Really liked his music when he was part of Sy & Unknown, but on his own the music does the trick too: he only produces dancefloor smashers. It’s been a good couple of years in the making, this new album, but the result is astonishing! In his past he already made excellent tunes, but come on, this new sound is quite tasty. You can disagree, but who are you and what do you know about music? Well, if you are a well known producer with years of experience, you might have an opinion and disagree. But in all fairness, it’s the crowd that makes the music work: they are the ones judging it. And in every set so far in 2015 and 2016 a track by Chris Unknown has been played, and the crowd has reacted like you would expect: absolutely bonkers!

The tracklist is good, 2 discs, the first being unmixed and the second a mix by the man himself: Chris Unknown.

tracklist

CD 1 – Unmixed Full Length Tracks 
01. Chris Unknown & Re-Con feat Gavin Beach – I’m Alive
02. Chris Unknown & Darren Styles – Freak
03. Chris Unknown – I Don’t Need No Drugs
04. Chris Unknown, Re-Con  & Klubfiller – Takin’ Me Back
05. Chris Unknown – Killa Sound
06. Chris Unknown & Gammer – Raise Ur F*cking Hands!
07. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Summer Haze
08. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Summer Haze (Dirty Mix) 
09. Chris Unknown – Get Down
10. Chris Unknown & Klubfiller – Falling
11. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Take Me Up
12. Chris Unknown & Mark Breeze – A Different Stylee
13. Chris Unknown, Re-Con & Klubfiller – Money Bitch
14. Chris Unknown – Shake
15. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – I Can Follow
16. Chris Unknown & Alex Prospect – Need You Everyday
17. Chris Unknown, Re-Con & Klubfiller – Drop The Beat

CD 2 – Mixed By Chris Unknown 
01. Chris Unknown & Re-Con feat Gavin Beach – I’m Alive
02. Chris Unknown & Mark Breeze – A Different Stylee
03. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Summer Haze
04. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Summer Haze (Dirty Mix) 
05. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – Take Me Up
06. Chris Unknown – Get Down
07. Chris Unknown & Darren Styles – Freak
08. Chris Unknown & Alex Prospect – Need You Everyday
09. Chris Unknown & Gammer – Raise Ur F*cking Hands!
10. Chris Unknown, Re-Con & Klubfiller – Takin’ Me Back
11. Chris Unknown – Killa Sound
12. Chris Unknown, Re-Con & Klubfiller – Money Bitch
13. Chris Unknown & Klubfiller – Falling
14. Chris Unknown – I Don’t Need No Drugs
15. Chris Unknown & Re-Con – I Can Follow
16. Chris Unknown, Re-Con & Klubfiller – Drop The Beat
17. Chris Unknown – Shake

If you’ve got not only yourself on the album, but also heavyweight artists (not talking about their actual weight though) such as Re-Con, Klubfiller, Darren Styles, Gammer, Alex Prospect, Mark Breeze… you know the album’s going to be big!

I’m digging this album a lot. Once I received in December, I obviously had to put it aside,because of my missus (nothing besides Christmas music gets the green light for the missus, anything else is a no-no). But now it’s January, and I can say in all honesty that I’ve already created scratches on the back of disc 1, because I’ve been listening to this album so much. Maybe too much? Is there ever such a thing as too much Chris Unknown?

The music is dope, melodic and dancefloor friendly. Also vocally. The tracks are well produced, well written, and when you get thousands of ravers every week dancing to these tunes and loving them a lot, it means that Chris Unknown is doing it well!

Best track? Crikey. I can’t pick. There are a few outstanding records such as ‘Killa Sound’, ‘Freak’, ‘Shake’, ‘Summer Haze (Dirty Mix)’, ‘I’m Alive’, ‘A Different Stylee’…. basically the whole freaking album! I can’t pick. I choose 17 amazing records, they all rock. They make me loose my cool on the dancefloor, or at home, or whilst driving.

This album should be played out only on maximum volume level. No low noise nonsense. This is really, really, really a good album! Better late then never, eh? Imagine if it got sold out and I never purchased one? I wouldn’t know what I was missing, but those who had a copy knew that one of the best UK Hardcore albums ever would not be heard by me….. and that hasn’t happened. This album has made me feel alive!

You can still get the album though. But hurry up, not for long though.

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Who’s Got The Stamina?! [Volume Two] (2016)

Who's Got The Stamina?! [Volume Two] (2016)

Who’s Got The Stamina?! [Volume Two] (2016)

Artists: Various Artists
Genre/Style: UK Hardcore, Freeform, Happy Hardcore, Gabber
Release Year: 2016
CD Info: Who’s Got The Stamina?! [Volume Two] CDs: 2 (two)
Length CD: 01:54:31
Tracks: 22 (twenty-two)
Label: Stamina Records
Product Number: STMCD003
Buy Here (via Stamina Records): BUY HERE
More Information: Stamina Records – Facebook Fanpage

Just before the year ended I received an album via the mail AND via e-mail. How’s that possible? Well, let me answer your question in a second, but first let me announce the album I received: Stamina Records’ latest album called ‘Who’s Got The Stamina?! [Volume Two]. The long awaited follow-up to the succesfull first instalment, which is nearly sold out, only a handful left in the whole wide world. Hint: get both albums before they are sold out, and you will never ever be able to get these tracks ever again! And if you are a DJ, it’s not a mixed album, it’s an album especially for you!

A couple of days ago I reviewed a mix done by M@rt!n-J, a dedication mix to Stamina Records, which was filled with records from this album. It received the highest score possible, 5 out of 5. It’s logical, because it was packed with awesome tunes. Straight after typing the whole review I decided to purchase the album myself, because I bought the first one and was highly impressed, and I didn’t want to miss out on this new album.

After purchasing the album via Stamina’s own webstore, I received a mail saying the downloads were ready?! And I thought ‘what’s going on? I thought I purchased the album itself, not a download album?’. Turns out you pay for not only the physical album, but you also get all the tracks as a wave file! You just go to the Stamina webstore, and you get the download. It’s as easy as one, two, three.

So basically you pay for one album and you get it twice. But what an album it is! It’s worth every penny, and if you are part of the Purple Revolution, you get even more (see Stamina Records’ Facebook page for more information).

tracklist

Disc One (Unmixed) 
01. A.B – Promise Me (Scott Brown Remix) 
02. A.B vs Finnbarr – Stick Together (S3RL Remix) 
03. Darwin & 3Star – Nebulous
04. A.B – Miami (Jakka-B Remix) 
05. Aethral – Reminiscing
06. Vitalsoundz – Warehouse
07. Alex BassJunkie – Fireball (Extended Mix) 
08. Lost Faith – Magicka
09. Finnbarr – Chant Of The Freeformers
10. Substanced – Artificial Reality
11. Rikki Arkitech & Cyrax – Destroyer Of Worlds

Disc Two (Unmixed) 
01. Kevin Energy & Cube::Hard – Voice Of Carme (Transcend Remix) 
02. JD-KiD & Arun Presents Stardust – Gaia
03. Digital Commandos – War Of The Machines
04. A.B vs Synthwulf – Genre This! (Ales Remix) 
05. Finnbarr – Beauty And The Beat
06. Lost Faith & Spectrum – Orbital Descent
07. A.B – Shudder
08. A.B vs K-Wire – Twisted (Kounta Kulture Remix) 
09. Tamerax feat Alanna Sterling – Rise
10. Marc Smith & Little Fella – Hardcore Crazy
11. Skinny & Darwin – Like A Boulder

There are too many great anthems on here, it’s probably Freeform’s greatest album of the year. Name another album this great, this good. Come on, accept the challenge and name one!

The album looks great. Loving the colours. MC Obie has done a smashing job with the artwork (he always delivers), and it makes the album stand out compared to other bland albums. Not only does it look good, it sounds good too! 2 discs filled with 22 tracks from artists such as Skinny, Darwin, Marc Smith, A.B, Finnbarr, Substanced, and more. What could you ask for?

Liking this album a lot! Not only bound to Freeform, it touches several styles. It’s good that Stamina promotes not only the well known artists but also the upcoming acts, names I’ve never heard of before, but from now on I will and must. Listen to Aethral’s song ‘Reminiscing’, or Tamerax’s ‘Rise’. Beauties, that’s what they are.

What’s my favourite record on this album? Crikey, that’s difficult. There are a few. ‘Magicka’ is epic, ‘Beauty And The Beat’ just astonishingly good, ‘Shudder’ a dancefloor smasher, ‘Rise’ beautiful, and I could go on an on. Ok, let me pick one. ‘Magicka’. Everything is just perfect. And also the drop is bad ass!

I can not mention this in each review, I can’t. This will be the last time I will ever mention this, and hopefully it will have a long lasting effect on everyone: Stamina Records is the world’s greatest Freeform label. They are the best of the best. And for releasing yet another astonishing album that not only looks great but also sounds EPIC I must give the highest score possible:

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SMD – The Ultimate Collection (2016)

SMD - The Ultimate Collection (2016)

SMD – The Ultimate Collection (2016)

Artist: SMD (Slipmatt Dubs)
Genre/Style: Oldskool, Breakbeat, Happy Hardcore, Rave
Release Year: 2016
CD Info: 2 Disc Limited Edition – The Ultimate Collection
CDs: 2 (two)
Length CDs: 02:32:49
Tracks: 34 (thirty-four)
Label: World Of Rave
Product Number: WORCD002
Buy Here (via World Of Rave): BUY HERE
More Information: Slipmatt – Facebook Fanpage

This Christmas was a good Christmas. Not only did I spend quality time with my family, the presents were also awesome! And after many years of guessing what we should get the other half, we decided just to blurt it out, so we would get the other the perfect presents. Why do you need Homer Simpson socks or a book about pooping when you can actually have something really awesome and wicked? One of the things on my list was a CD, which only got released a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a really special one! You know SMD/Slipmatt Dubs? Yeah, you do? Well, the album I’m talking about is the ‘ultimate collection’.

According to Discogs SMD is a ‘pseudonym used by Slipmatt to release a short series of cheeky Breakbeat Happy Hardcore tracks, all sampling elements from old skool tunes’. It was indeed very short, the time span was between 1993 and 1996. But what an impact it had! These are the oldskool anthems which still destroy speakers at raves. It has been kept alive by the remixes being made throughout the years, and also because they were groundbreaking anthems. SMD might have only been active for a couple of years, but the impression it left amongst ravers will last a lifetime at least.

The album is unique and it’s exclusive.Why? Well, because you get the tracks on 2 discs, the first disc being DJ friendly and the second a mix by the Godfather of Rave himself, and if you are lucky, he will even sign your copy (like he did mine). But after this batch there won’t be any more released. This is it. If you miss these, you will miss out on probably the biggest album of 2016. Unless you’ve got these on vinyl, then you are truly an Oldskool legend like Slipmatt himself.

Let’s see what money can buy you, and money does buy you happiness.

tracklist

Disc 1 – The Ultimate Tracklist 
01. SMD – SMD#1A
02. SMD – SMD#1AA
03. SMD – SMD#2A
04. SMD – SMD#2AA
05. SMD – SMD#3A
06. SMD – SMD#3AA
07. SMD – SMD#4A
08. SMD – SMD#4AA
09. SMD – SMD#5A
10. SMD – SMD#5AA
11. SMD – SMD#5AA2 (Slipmatt’s SMD#1 Remix) 
12. SMD – SMD#2AA (Slipmatt’s Harder Remix) 
13. SMD – SMD#3A (Slipmatt’s 96 Remix) 
14. SMD – SMD#4A/AA (Al Storm Remix) 
15. SMD – SMD#3A (Slipmatt & Kutski Remix) 

Disc 2 – The Ultimate SMD Mix
01. SMD – SMD#5A
02. SMD – SMD#2AA
03. SMD – SMD#1AA
04. SMD – SMD#2A
05. SMD – SMD#1A
06. SMD – SMD#4A
07. SMD – SMD#3AA
08. SMD – SMD#4AA
09. SMD – SMD#3A
10. SMD – SMD#3A (Slipmatt’s 96 Remix) 
11. SMD – SMD#5AA2 (Slipmatt’s SMD#1 Remix) 
12. SMD – SMD#2AA (Slipmatt’s Harder Remix) 
13. SMD – SMD#5AA1
14. SMD – SMD#2A (Vibes & Hattrixx Remix) 
15. SMD – SMD#4A/AA (Al Storm Remix) 
16. SMD – SMD#3A (Dougal & Gammer Remix) 
17. SMD – SMD#3A (Vinylgroover Remix) 
18. SMD – SMD#3A (Slipmatt & Kutski Remix) 
19. SMD – SMD#2AA (Al Storm Remix) 

This album contains so many great anthems! No joke, this is the one album you need to purchase right now! After this there won’t be anything like this ever again! SMD will never ever release an album as unique as this one. So hurry up before you are too late and you might feel a bit stupid if you don’t have a copy!

So many great anthems, made in the 90s, and still making the present day music sound so pathetic. This is music how it should have been made, even in 2016. This is how it’s done, pure and yet with a lot of passion, dedication and limited knowledge of the equipment presented to them. In all fairness, when these tunes were made, they did not have the equipment we all have nowadays, so it was basic (compared to now), but even with ‘basic’ stuff SMD made quality tunes! Picture that, making tunes on oldschool computers and keyboards that you would give your kid nowadays for them for Christmas. This was ground breaking stuff, and the power behind each track can still be felt.

I can’t pick one favourite, even like the remixes by Al Storm, Dougal & Gammer, Vibes & Hattrixx, Kutski, and even Slipmatt’s own remixes. The originals are dope, but these remixes are as equal as the originals. So great to hear quality tunes: they don’t make them as good as SMD did back in the early 90s.

Ok, if I’ve got to pick…. ‘SMD#5AA2′. This sums up exactly how I feel when I hear an SMD tune. Everything’s in it, and it makes me move like never before, dislocating every body part which can dislocate. This is pure rave, and when Slipmatt made these he was in his elements. This is a classic album, and already has gone in my ‘top 10 all-time albums’. Why? Well, because it’s the music that makes the album great. Name any other artist who has that much of an impact on the scene as Slipmatt and his dubs. You can’t. Slipmatt is royalty to the raving scene, and with this album we can hear how good he was in the 90s when SMD was alive and kicking!

Will he ever bring SMD back? Will he ever release SMD#6A/AA? Who knows? Only Slipmatt and time will tell us. Let’s hope so.

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