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Sunday 02nd, March 2008
Ernesto vs. Bastian - Authenticity
Updated: Tuesday 04th, March 2008

Dutch production duo Ernesto vs. Bastian have always displayed a certain character in their productions that has given them stand-out quality, never more evident than in their biggest hit, the massive electro influenced Dark Side Of The Moon. Said vocal masterpiece is present on this, their debut artist album Authenticity, alongside their Trance Energy 2008 anthem Thrill. Being made the anthem to the biggest event in the trance calendar is a sought after accolade and can only deservedly boost their profile as this is an excellent album. Guest vocalists and instrumentalists aplenty here, but what is most enjoyable about the album is the abundance of ass shakin’ grooves. These guys sure know how to match trance melodies with rhythm sections that get you chair dancing and is one of their most endearing qualities.

Opening in dramatic style, as most Trance Energy sets no doubt did, with Thrill, the anthem is followed by the first of many vocal tracks and what a belter it is. Sound Of Soul features a new voice to my ears but one I’m sure we will be hearing more of, the German vocalist Jiga, her full bodied voice fits perfectly with their style. The most striking element of this track is the stunning live violin from violinist Amanda Loir that adds great depth and emotion to the track more so than any synth could with a tough twist of electro rounding off the perfect vocal tune. Jiga appears again on the Dive In Your Love with a more commercial vocal that forms the centrepiece of one of the most infectious techno driven grooves on the album with a gorgeous emotionally charged melodic vocal breakdown with the repetition of the title providing a haunting refrain.

Electric guitar riffing gives the quirkily named Double Life Of Mr. Shorofsky a pleasing rock feel, with delicate piano keys adding to the strong musical content. However, it does sound like it is missing something and I feel it would have benefited from a good vocal. Up next is As The Shadows featuring professional Darren Hayes impersonator Elliot Johns, who has worked with of course the likes of Nic Chagall, Cosmic Gate, Marco V and First State. As ever, his vocals are excellent on what is a very well produced and exuberant pop dance track with a great bouncy electro bassline. Mexican Caravan is a very simple track, but often the simplest ideas are the best, as is the case here. A bowel-shaking deep bassline combined with acoustic guitar strumming and the best use of a glockenspiel in a dance record since Shiller’s classic “Das Glockenspiel” and distant horns create a densely dark atmosphere that oozes quality.

This melts seamlessly into the gorgeous intro of Ein, with well used spoken word samples, especially the repetition of the title that soon dives into another head-nodding electro infused groove. A lush euphoric breakdown that is just the right length mean this is a bomb primed for dancefloor detonation - looking forward to a club mix of this one! Teaming up again with Dark Side vocalist Susana results in another quality vocal trancer – Stranger In Paradise. Her voice has real power, again driving the track with an electro-style bassline, sparkling synths and an emotional chorus this is yet another amazing vocal tune. For Remind the duo try their hand at big room trance with big melodies and pull it off with style. Great melodies, tough percussion and spot on use of synths with guitars.

The re-jigged 2008 version of Dark Side Of The Moon is up next. Given a much more downtempo feel than the original, perhaps it is because I am used to the more full-on original and Dogzilla mixes but the vocal sounds odd in this new setting. Still, the addition of the Durham choir gives the chorus and breakdown real emotional punch. The dub version of UM (Unchained Melody) their last single is the penultimate track on the album a real funky electro groover with again well used instruments.A good decision to include the dub too I feel as the vocal grated on me a bit and the track is strong enough without it. The closing track is next single Super Jupiter. A return to big room trance, packed with power and with a big melody, this is a real floorfiller and a great way to close the album.

Conclusion

Ernesto vs. Bastian have created one of the strongest and most coherent trance artist albums I have heard for a long time. Superbly produced and perfectly edited, they make full use of some excellent vocal performances and live instruments to craft an album bursting with character. The albums strongest point however is their almost Marco V-esque mastery of the groove that drives each track. A real quality release. 4.5/5

Out now!

Read the guys thoughts on the album here.

Tracklisting

1. Thrill
2. Sound Of Soul
3. Dive In Your Love
4. The Double Life Of Mr. Schrofsky
5. As The Shadows
6. Mexican Caravan
7. Ein
8. Stranger In Paradise
9. Remind
10. Dark Side Of The Moon
11. UM
12. Super Jupiter


Written by:
frombeyond

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