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Wednesday 03rd, June 2009
Lange - Intercity Summer 2009

Lange has been plugging away at this trance business for over a decade now, and from the start of his career he’s been right up at the top, even bothering the UK pop charts. He’s stayed riding high with an impressive ability to move with the progressing sounds and, in fact, quite often leading the way himself. Intercity is his popular radio show on web station Afterhours.fm and to tie in neatly with the launch of it as a Podcast he gives us a two-disc selection of some of his highlights from the show and future club hits entitled Intercity: Summer 09. Lange has always been one of the most reliable trance DJs, his consistent popularity reflected in his solid DJ Mag Top 100 position over the years, so this album should be quite a treat.

CD1 opens with a nifty intro with female voices listing various worldwide cities (Intercity – get it?) over the opening beats of Ronski Speed – Are You. The is the Ronski we have grown used to recently, a quality, highly credible female vocal over a blend of lush trance melodies, solid beats, gritty bass and, of course, a ‘dugga-dugga’ electro twist after the break. Perfect opener. Next up is his collaboration with Andy Moor on Stadium Four, teaming up two of the best UK trance producers around. Often when you get two great producers together the results are disappointing but not so here. Mix together one of those galloping Moor basslines, chopped female vox (naturally) and a heart-string plucking melody, throw in more electro dirt and a cheeky sprinkling of 303 and the result is a near-masterpiece. Cressida has always been one of my favourite trance producers and fully deserves the success he has had recently. Never Mind, a catchy, free-flowing electro-edged male vocal, fits perfectly in the mix here. Ashley Wallbridge is another talent to watch and his brilliantly bonkers Masquerade is up next. Frenzied stop-start rhythms and grand, sweeping piano-laden breakdowns result in one of the most riotous, chandelier-swinging party anthems of 2009.

Two of Benelux’s best trance talents Menno de Jong and Leon Bolier contribute the sunny trancer Last Light Tonight, a sweet track that serves as a nice laid-back moment in the mix. This precedes a devastating hat-trick of three of the biggest trance hits of the year so far. First bulging the back of the net is the wonderful Into Something by Richard Durand. I’ve never been his number one fan but I will grudgingly admit that he has a popular dancefloor formula. This track though shows a much more tuneful side to him and the perfectly simple melody is a fresh summer breeze in the muggy fug of over-wrought trance productions these days. Next up is the infectious Exposure from Gareth Emery a well-rounded track that works the addictive ‘Super Mario’-style melody to the full. Rounding of the salvo is the joyous Rafaël Frost – Red that just explodes with melodic brilliance from every beat. When the second part of the lead is revealed is one of my favourite moments in trance this year. The sexiest minx in trance, Claudia Cazacu teams up with Brazilian Fabio Stein on CazaKiStein, taking the mix on a techy diversion - the Balearic guitar in the break fits well with the summer theme of the mix.

This is followed by surely the most dancefloor-slaying lead of the year thus far, the majestic Timewave Zero from Ummet Ozcan. Many a big-name DJ has pulled this out at the peak of their sets to give their crowd the maximum euphoric climax, and Lange does the same here. The breakdown is so teasing and the drop so satisfying. Awesome! Up next is a 2009 mix of Cosmic String by Marcos. I feel this leans a bit too heavily on the 4Strings classic ‘Into The Night’ and is one of the less memorable tracks on here. Never fear, one of my personal favourites follows this, the awesome Breakfast remix of DJ Eco – Lost Angeles. DJ Eco has been a revelation this year, blessing us with numerous gorgeous melodies, add to the mix one of the most stampeding basslines ever to come out of the prodigious Breakfast’s studios and a high-drama breakdown and the result is one of my top 3 of 2009. Closing CD1 is one of Lange’s most classic remixes, Happiness Happening. I don’t think it is a new version, maybe slightly retouched, though interestingly there is no mention of Lost Witness on the tracklisting. Maybe it is Lange finally claiming what is allegedly rightfully his, who can say. Nevertheless it is always nice to hear that vocal again, it takes me back to more innocent times and is the ideal way to round off what is a near-flawless first disc.

CD2 kicks off with the kind of summer prog from Wendal Kos, with a sublime piano and strings break and thumping minimal groove, that is tailor made for the dancefloors of Ibiza. This segues effortlessly into Kismet – Endorphine, another proggy chugger that is awash with warm synth sounds. A big club hit is up next from Dubguru, a trio featuring Johan Gielen, and their take on the early nineties classic by Capella, U Got 2 Know. The over-the-top synths are hardly subtle in this day and age but they work and the dark tech rhythms add credibility. Big track. The Choice Is Right by Ben Preston has a great dirty electro bassline and a solid groove that contrasts nicely with some sweet melodies. The mix has now settled into a lovely sunny prog-trance vibe, emphasised by the wonderfully bouncy Signalrunners mix of Oliver Smith – Restless. Signalrunners rarely go wrong and turn in a sparkling remix with huge synths so bright you feel you need an extra big pair of sunglasses on while listening to it. A gorgeous track from Steve Brian, Starlight, continues the upbeat feel with a sweet heavily treated female vocal and cute melodies throughout.

Moving into the second half Lange takes the mix in a more tech direction with a track on his own label from Robert Burian – Insider, here in the Jonas Stenberg remix. Darkly throbbing bass, punishing beats and big synth stabs exude confidence and the radiant lead that pierces the dark clouds is a standout moment. Unfortunately the mix is interrupted by a quite appalling track from Mr Sam called Tantra. Unless I am completely missing the point I don’t know why Lange included it. Go-nowhere minimal beats, jumpy stabs (that sound lifted from Chemical Brothers – Galvanize) and a maniacal laugh result in an incredibly annoying record that kills the good flow Lange had created and even affects the next two tracks. Two solid tech-trance productions from Danilo Ercole and the mournful male vocal of Terry Ferminal – A Thousand Miles are nevertheless too techy to inject enough energy back into the mix at this point.

Thankfully, things are righted by a magnificent track from Marcus Schössow – From The Heart. One of his most epic productions to date this is hypnotic darkly uplifting trance all underpinned by his gritty percussive flair and based around a grandiose string breakdown, topped off with brilliantly over-the-top synths and a beautiful brassy melody. Schössow shows the pretenders how to do epic trance properly with this superb production. Leon Boiler makes his second appearance on the album, solo this time, with the aggressively named Thug. Again, techy beats drive a track draped with haunting sounds and the perfect tech-trance riff that is just the right mix of dirty and uplifting. The penultimate track is an underrated vocal trancer from Sunquest feat. Josie – A Little Bit Special on one of my favourite labels, Infrasonic. This is a high quality Andain-alike production and the main vocal hook will lodge in your head making this a welcome inclusion. Closing the album is a tune from the always-excellent Martin Roth teaming up with rising stars Bartlett Brothers. Boasting a strong, if a little commercial full male vocal and a bold bassline, this is an upbeat track to close a mix of the utmost quality.

Conclusion

This is a wonderful mix album that has barely left my CD players and playlists since I got my hands on it. CD1 is hit after hit, an utterly irresistible track selection of tailor-made dancefloor stormers. This will be the CD you put on for an instant fix and to provide the perfect trance BBQ soundtrack. CD2 leans towards a cooler, proggier vibe with more emphasis on tech-trance, delving deeper and darker yet never straying too far from the sun. Despite the impressive derailment midway through, this is a real grower of a mix. The mixing is nothing less than flawless throughout with numerous immensely enjoyable transitions. Lange never gets carried away by the trance fairies, he always has an ear on the dancefloor - this is both accessible enough for newcomers yet credible enough for veterans and your ideal summer trance soundtrack. 4.5/5

Released 15th June - pre-order a copy here: http://cdjshop.com/cart/product.php?productid=165115

Read our recent interview with Lange

CD ONE

01. Ronski Speed - Are You (Club Mix)
02. Lange and Andy Moor - Stadium Four
03. Cressida - Never Mind (Sebastian Sands Remix)
04. Ashley Wallbridge - Masquerade
05. Menno De Jong & Leon Boiler - Last Light Tonight
06. Richard Durand - Into Something (Fall Down Mix)
07. Gareth Emery - Exposure
08. Rafaël Frost - Red
09. Fabio Stein & Claudia Cazacu - CazaKiStein (Fabio Stein's Simpler Mix)
10. Ummet Ozcan - TimeWave Zero
11. Marcos Ft Emi Jarvi - Cosmic String 2009
12. Dj Eco - Lost Angeles (Breakfast Remix)
13. Lange ft Tracey Carmen - Happiness Happening

CD TWO

01. Wendel Kos - The Pianoman (First Sunlight Mix)
02. Kismet - Endorphine
03. Dubguru - You got 2 know
04. Ben Preston - The Choice Is Yours (PoisonPro 'Made The Right Choice' Remix)
05. Oliver Smith - Restless (signalrunners remix)
06. Steve Brian - Starlight
07. RB - Insider (Jonas Stenberg Remix)
08. Mr Sam - Tantra
09. Whitecurve - Sonora (Danilo Ercole Mix)
10. Terry Ferminal - A Thousand Miles (Rework)
11. Marcus Schossow - From the Heart
12. Leon Bolier - Thug
13. Sunquest feat Josie - A Little Bit Special (Original Mix)
14. Martin Roth & Bartlett Bros - Losing Gravity (MR Anything goes Mix)



Written by:
Jon Nix

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