While many music fans have become accustomed to the uplifting, big-room trance that Above & Beyond and their Anjunabeats label specialize in, we are also beginning to see the evolution and rise of the Anjunadeep label and its imprint on progressive trance and house music. Leading the charge is their eponymous compilation series, mixed by the talented duo of James Grant and Jaytehc, who’ve helped to give the Anjunadeep label an identity all its own. Their previous three releases have set the standard for great music and fortunately for us, Anjunadeep Volume 4 is no different- even setting the standard higher for progressive trance and house music.
Anjunadeep Volume 4 is no different than its predecessors with each DJ taking a disc and mixing a wide variety of amazing tracks. The first disc, by James Grant, brings out the deeper, more house-influenced end of Anjunadeep’s spectrum with heavy-hitting low bass grooves like Macro Plex’s mix of Laura Jones “Love in Me” and Vincenzo’s “Get to Know You.” Other standout tracks are Martin Roth’s “Beautiful Life,” which swells with life and takes no prisoners, and Andrew Bayer’s “You” energizes the party with an underlying dark bass beat, some high hats, and a few jazzy elements for flair. James Grant’s remix (with Andrew Bayer) of Above & Beyond’s “Prelude” is another highlight and elevates it from one of the less memorable tracks from the Group Therapy album to something altogether more compelling and more accessible to the dance floor with its understated, filtered breakdowns.
Jaytech, by contrast, almost verges on trance in some parts on the second disc. His selection of tracks tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, culminating with his own “Atlantic,” which can be seen as an embodiment of the sounds that comprise this mix. One of the best tracks on this disc, though, is “Boundless Energy” by Soundprank with its perfect mix of beats, melody, and bass grooves. Other tracks that enhance the listening experience of this set are Kobana & Yane3dot’s “Woosh,” which has a complex bassline driven by progressive sounds layered with feel good trance and Dirty South’s remix of Kaskade “Sorry,” which has an extremely unique spin put on it by Jaytech with a catapulting deep house rhythm underlying it. To have the ability and talent to transform the sounds of Kaskade and Dirty South into a format that works with Anjunadeep is truly spectacular and illustrates one of the many reasons why this compilation series works so well on so many levels.
Anjunadeep Volume 4 is another classy and unique offering that offers a spellbinding journey through deep house, immersive melodic grooves, and modern progressive music. This release also continues to elevate not only the compilation series but the label as a whole, and I have to admit I am in awe at some of the talent that James Grant and Jaytech have dug out for us on this release. Both individuals have created a listening experience that is worth buying and even sets the standard higher for progressive trance and house music in general.
Released March 2012 on Anjunabeats Records.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the record label.