It is time for another round of progressive recommendations! My purpose is to highlight noteworthy tracks not conventionally available to the CD-buying psytrance DJs out there. Although Beatport sells thousands of psytrance tracks, I seldom find very many worth purchasing—mainly due to the exorbitant price of a full CD’s worth after “wave handling fees” are considered.
The progressive house genre contains a lot of material that will mix nicely with the deeper side of psytrance. Much of it is exclusive to vinyl—which few psytrance DJs bother with nowadays—or otherwise unavailable from the major online shops dealing in psytrance. Shops dealing in physical media are restricted by the economics of atoms in terms of what they can offer. Digital shops like Beatport can diversify their catalog at a much lower cost; their selection is already better than all but the largest shops dealing in physical media. This has interesting consequences for the music consumer. No longer is one limited by the specialization of a traditional outlet—we can surf around and get a taste of something outside our usual purchasing pattern. Electronic dance music is in a state of increasing convergence: witness the genre-spanning efforts of Minilogue (Son Kite), Extrawelt (Midi Miliz), and D-Nox & Beckers. It makes sense to hear what else is out there, but the sheer amount of music out there can be daunting. This is why I’ve been compiling lists of tracks to check out—to help navigate this sea of information as best I can.
- D-Nox - Seven Hours (Martinez Remix) The original is a fairly standard electro-trance hybrid, but the Martinez remix is one of the most distinctive crossover tunes of 2005, loaded with idiosyncratic glitch and stylish melodic flourishes. Despite the slow tempo of 125 BPM this has proven to be an explosive crowd pleaser, excellent for opening sets.
- Dominic Plaza - Dark Side of the East (Parham & Plaza Remix) It is no wonder that Parham & Plaza have been featured on a number of progressive psytrance compilations; their technical sound fits right in with the deeper side of Iboga and Tribal Vision. Gritty percussion serves as a nice contrast to the glittering highs on this tight little number.
- Chris Lake & Rhythm Code - Wrong Turn (Parham & Plaza Remix) This second selection from Parham & Plaza shows the true meaning of progressive. It develops gradually, fleshing out the groovy bass line and mystic ambiance with deliberate pacing that affords every element the right amount of air time.
- Eelke Kleijn - Consequences After becoming captivated by his song Deeper Depths I have been exploring Kleijn’s back catalogue with great interest. Consequences is a very calm track with a subtle hook, serenely hypnotizing and elegantly polished.
- Snake Sedrick & Emze Hack - The Beginning (Nick Hogendoorn & Eelke Kleijn Remix) This calm and introspective remix from Tilth Music cannot be purchased on any physical medium; it is exclusive to the digital realm. The Beginning is finely balanced, dipping into deep bass grooves accentuated by tasteful tribal percussion and smooth atmospheres.
- Antix & Rob Salmon - Tame the Beast (Absolut Remix) The cheerful original appeared on Globalize, whereas the Absolut remix is taken from a Flow vinyl release. This is simple, sleek, and upbeat—just the thing for early evening. Note: the source file from Beatport is not mastered as well as it should be, so a bit of post-processing involving normalization and a maximizer like Waves L2 is in order.
- Matt Rowan - Gold Mine It is a wonder that a track such as this is listed as progressive house in the Beatport database! The rhythms may qualify as electro, prog-house, or something in between, but all the action takes place in the melodic layer. An enticing set of crystalline leads and blissful flourishes fill the air with positive emotions. This innocence of this little beauty really brings me back a few years.
- Cassino & Laben - Unsound (Snake Sedrick Remix) This is a gorgeous piece of deep progressive house with sublime, beautiful, luxurious qualities. A warm flood of bass envelops the listener in a soft and seductive shell, while ornate high-end melodies flow like liquid sunshine. I was not surprised to read that Hungarian artist Snake Sedrick grew up listening to Vangelis, as the influence is abundantly evident. This is a lovely tune!
- Roman Rai - Sweets Sweets is another selection harvested from this Czech producer’s back catalog, most of which is sold exclusively on Beatport for digital download. It might be dated, but I find myself playing this out any time there is a need for that lazy Sunday afternoon feeling. The pretty xylophone-like melody is incredibly soothing, and the carefree beats are nice and groovy.