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LABEL: Armind RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2006 GENRE: Trance
// review by SoyBomb the record store!

I remember randomly perusing the CD selection at the local Future Shop (before they were all converted into Best Buy locations), wondering if I'd find any hidden gems. If by "hidden gems", you mean "many copies of Nickelback's latest album", then it was easy to find. But cached among the dance mixes and Tiësto albums was A State of Trance 2006, mixed by Armin van Buuren. I bought it, recognizing the name, and soon popped it in, only to be overwhelmed by an amazing wave of trance music. And one of the tracks I remember the most was the first track of the second disc... "Arisen" by Arksun. Truly a beautiful experience, Arisen is something that should be heard by any trance fan or fanatic alike.

If you buy the single package separately, you get two separate mixes. The first is the one I recognize, the Original Mix, which starts out low-key with nature sounds and a low bassline as angelic pads float their way in. It takes a little while for the arpeggiated synths to march in, alongside some gruffer bass, but once they do, the party really starts to heat up. After another while, the solemn nature of the track kicks in, everything becomes quiet, and one of the most beautiful melodies of trance I've ever heard is played with synthetic chimes and pads together. Mixed together with the instrumentation from earlier, you have a powerful symphony of ideas that really work together as a whole. A definite recommendation.

For a slightly harder and louder mix, look no further than the Airbase pres. Parc Remix. Almost immediately, the beats roll deeper than a Thai massage. The bassline is equally rumbly as we prepare for the main event. The buildup leads to the same melody, as expected, though slightly more distorted and...more straight to the point! The previous track being over 11 minutes long, Airbase said, "Nuh-uh." Then he heads in a far techier direction with a bit more candid energy than the original, giving the tune a far more unique, though less organic, flavour. Still, this harder mix doesn't fail to please.

Arksun's original mix hits all the high notes if you want an emotional trance rollercoaster, while the Parc Remix knocks it out of the park as far as power and stamina is concerned. A solid entry into any trance collector's library.

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