OK—it’s another disappointed review of another average trance mix, making you wonder, Why do we bother? There have to be people out there who eat this shit up, continue to live in the mid-nineties like we were all nineteen again, like the promise of artificial elation had some direct correlation to the music that was playing at the time, like the taglines on the Ministry of Sound compilations actually captured the feeling well at all. Newsflash: those taglines have spelling mistakes. Since then, maybe, our appreciation of electronic music has snobbified, or something, but still: floating somewhere between “progressive” house and straight trance, Ferry Corsten lost relevance a while back. And with party DJs like Adam Freeland being held up by Global Underground, Spank Rock by Fabriclive, Ultra’s insistence on walking the middle of the dance field seems a bit lame, really. Corsten’s a veteran by now, too—we should expect more. At least the asceticism of a John Digweed solo mix. Instead we’re fed mainstream-oriented trance (again) with flat-sounding female vocals and high synths-n-strings in approximation of ecstatic elation. Some of the bigger shifts in dance music edge in at the corners of Passport USA—the edgy-rock jabs on Wippenberg’s “Promisedland”, for example—but mostly it’s taken right back to the same late-nineties feel that’s only still around because of nostalgia. We don’t need another “Megashira”, no matter how full the synth sound, how bulging the crescendos. OK, so Corsten can mix—the pacing, track selection, and mood architecture of the disc are well done, generally—but I’m sorry, in 2007 this stuff’s just pretty staid. I’d bet if you heard this stuff in a club you’d not be enthused to return.
// Notes from the Road
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