(josh, you can just read the last three words if pushed for time)
Tribal Vision (Czech Republic)
Following on from the rather wonderful debut Urban Legends, the case for progressive trance as being the must interesting and high-quality sub genre in 2005 is furthered with this staggering release. The return of Jaia continues to be much source for celebration, teaming up here with French Kisz on the 126bpm Drifting Planet: attentive and slinky, it comes alive and drifts along like nothing else Iâ€™ve heard, and all at the perfect late-morning beery dancing tempo. Raiâ€™s Liquid is an awesome find, right from the outset you know itâ€™s going to be a classic, and in all fairness this deserves to be a massive summer hit across dancefloors all summer â€“ it might even get Sasha back off his current electro-bestiality kick. Smooth stabs and euflurric rushes move up and down, moving perfectly to the break where it picks up some epic (and I mean epic) chords. Turn it up. Vision & Canedyâ€™s Collected Vibes is a more muted affair, it sits nicely in the mix and itâ€™s very good fun to mix about with. Minilogue are up next with Leeloo, an astonishing track thatâ€™s just as overflowing with quality as youâ€™d expect from the Son Kite side-project. Itâ€™s an adorable structure of hooks, loops and vocals, themes and subthemes, and itâ€™s worked and massaged into a smooth, heavenly tripping daisy of a breakdown before dropping back in again and persistently blowing you away some more. Flowjobâ€™s Cloud Politics has a monster break at its centre, almost long enough to go to the toilet and come back before it thunks back in again, with one of the best drops Iâ€™ve heard all year. The quality continues with Cityrain from Holm & Andersen, driven along by a vocal hook to an airy, expansive breakdown. Then things get a bit electro, then a bit dirty house, before taking in extremely simple and effective melodies that edge the tune in a more psychedelic direction. Seeing the word â€œTiconâ€ on the back of a CD is pretty much a reason enough to buy it, and in the case of Reflections, wellâ€¦. You have to hear it. You just have to. Perfect. Fucking. Track. It does exactly what you want it to when you want it to, but it also does so much more. Itâ€™s from another planet, seriously. Itâ€™s that bloody good. Leoâ€™s Music Design Revolution follows, with the emphasis on textures lifting it from a low-set groove and then easing it back down again, and finally Shumaâ€™s Illektro Music starts with promise to be an outstanding breaksy tune, but somehow turns into a very Son Kite-y trance tune thatâ€™s fine in its own right, but doesnâ€™t quite stand up against the other tacks on offer here. All in all this is a damn fine album, with a commendable mix of established and new artists. Itâ€™s now quite up there with Urban Legends for my money, but the sheer brilliance of the Jaia, Rai and Ticon tracks alone make it pretty much essential.