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Sunday 07th, December 2008
John 00 Fleming & Christopher Lawrence - Global Trance Grooves vol. 1 - Two Tribes

Returning from a self-imposed six month trance exile I needed something special to ignite my interest. John 00 Fleming and Christopher Lawrence are both, when on form, two of the most exhilarating trance DJs on the planet. Ever since he rediscovered his love for psy (or ‘Goa’) trance J00F’s sound has been given a thrilling boost and Lawrence, one of the biggest DJs in America and a thoroughly nice chap, delivered some memorable sets for me at The Gallery at Turnmills (RIP) and the ill-fated Antiworld 070707 festival last year. This double mix album – Two Tribes on New York’s Moist Records – claims to be the ‘best in underground trance’. Purists will no doubt sniff at that but to me I hope this is underground as a glance at the tracklist reveals that I have only heard one track on the whole album. In fact I only recognise three artist names on the Lawrence mix. Shame on me! If anything though this gets me more excited about hearing this, plus I want to get Frankie Goes To Hollywood out of my head...

John 00 Fleming’s mix kicks off with a luscious intro from himself and the mighty Digital Blonde under their 00.db alias before a lackadaisical track from Vibrasphere that stretches itself out and gets a bit too comfortable at over nine minutes length. However after that it’s all aboard the non-stopping bullet train to Trancentral. J00F’s sound has developed into a fusion of progressive, uplifting and psy trance – difficult to pigeonhole, I would just describe it as ‘damn good’ trance. Good examples of this are Marek – Me Chali, stampeding trance cut through with emotive ethnic vocals and the sweet melody that just dances over the surface of Anton Chernikov – Kergudu. Racing through the thumping Paulina Crewe – Incipit (described by J00F as having ‘balls, drive but also emotion’) and the trippy hypnotic vox of Freq – Carbon Based, by track seven the mix has reached a galloping pace that would make it an odds-on bet to win the Grand National.

Psytrance sounds are beginning to shine through yet it still remains accessible – the super-uplifter Jupiter 8000 – Inside could fit in a Armin (on a good day) set. 00.db – Pro 1 is just sheer genius, an epic production of immense grandeur and one of the finest pieces of work from these two incredibly talented producers. J00F faves Wizzy Noise deliver a sustained euphoric bludgeoning with their remix of Even 11 – Oblivion building the mix to an intense climax with awesome chopped up vox on the blisteringly full-on Mad Maxx – End Of The Rainbow and the beautiful slightly Smack My Bitch Up-esque vocals of the ever-climbing Chakra – Opacity. The CD closes with a searing ambient 00.db outro that very neatly brings the mix full circle.

JOOF’s mix: 5/5

After that sublime lesson in trance, most would pale in comparison but not Christopher Lawrence. Instead he provides the perfect complimenting mix. The funky electro vibes of Inflexion –Distorted Jail and the inventive electric guitar/80s synths/tech trance fusion of Rank 1 & Jochen Miller – And Then are a promising start. Jay Selway & Magnus pick up the pace with a tough bassline and a couple of tracks from Zen Mechanics settle the mix into a menacing pulsating groove that begins a mesmerising journey into the darker side of trance. Again, the mix has a definite Psytrance feel especially in the energetic and uplifting Ephedrix – Astral Ignition and Crying Freeman – Icontrol that comes complete with a great nonsensical lyric breakdown. The ominous Materia – Who Are You comes marching out of the speakers like an approaching army of trance stormtroopers while the superb Sabretooth – Afterburner is initially melodic yet builds to a venomous 303 climax. Lawrence lets some light in slightly for the last couple of tracks, the free-flowing Magus – Fluid Motion and the beautiful expansive pads of Sean J Morris – Sunchaser providing an optimistic ending.

Christopher Lawrence’s mix: 4/5

I approached this album with high hopes and was not let down. John 00 Fleming delivers possibly his most well-rounded mix album yet, one that fans should add immediately to their collection to sit alongside classics such as White Label, Unfold and Psytrance Euphoria. Christopher Lawrence’s mix is the yin to J00F’s yang – the darker side of trance, stomping, relentless, totally transfixing and a real grower. This is free range trance – free of boundaries, free of genres, free of pretension and as a result is utterly vital. American trance fans especially, who presumably this album is aimed at, put down that Tiësto CD and get this instead – this is proper trance.

Overall: 4.5/5

Out Now.


Disc 1 - Mixed by John 00 Fleming

01. 00.db - Magna
02. Vibrasphere - Autumn Lights (Oliver Prime Remix)
03. Marek - Me Chali
04. Anton Chernikov - Kerudu
05. Paulina Cewe - Incipit
06. Freq - Carbon Based (Tristan Remix)
07. Jupiter 8000 - Inside
08. 00.db - Pro 1
09. Even 11 - Oblivion (Wizzy Noise Remix)
10. Mad Maxx - End of Rainbow
11. Chakra - Opacity (Remix)
12. 00.db - Ending

Disc 2 - Mixed by Christopher Lawrence

01. Inflexion - Distorted Jail
02. Jochen Miller & Rank 1 - And Then
03. Jay Selway & Magnus - Big Break
04. Zen Mechanics - Ground Control
05. Zen Mechanics - Off the Grid
06. Ephedrix - Astral Ignition
07. Crying Freemen - Icontrol
08. Tristan & Pogo - Different World
09. Materia - Who Are You
10. Sabretooth - Afterburner
11. Magnus - Fluid Motion
12. Sean J. Morris - Sun Chaser

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