REVIEW: Will Holland – ‘Digitally Enhanced Volume 5′
As a huge fan of trance and progressive house music, I have to admit that it is a joy when I come across a new source of music that had somehow escaped my notice before. Of course with that joy also comes a bit of shame knowing that somehow the Digitally Enhanced compilation series had somehow escaped my radar over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard of Enhanced Recordings and the progress that Will Holland has made in providing some of the most consistent trance around, but for some reason his compilation series had been an enigma to me. Holland’s endeavors have not gone unnoticed, though, by many and over the past few years, fans of trance have been delighted with each release in the Digitally Enhanced compilations series. Fortunately for trance fans, the fifth volume of this series is now being released containing two discs of exclusive, unreleased material filled with progressive-minded and high-energy trance.
The first disc of Digitally Enhanced Volume 5 focuses more on progressive releases, opening up with an upcoming tune by Will Holland (featuring vocalist Jeza) entitled ”Every Heartbeat,” with the prolific Beat Service on remix duties. This melodic track definitely delivers with a pulsating bassline, while the vocals deliver an emotional touch. Beat Service continues his appearance on the first disc with the brand new solo track “Mars,” which combines pure blissful atmospheric melodies with rich, powerful beats that keep the consistency and fluidity of the mix moving beautifully. ”The Reach” by Audien is another refreshing track; a real progressive gem with a solid bassline and breakdown that is instantly infectious, while the complex basslines and beautiful vocals of Maor Levi’s remix of Ignas’s “Hold On’ further illustrate the consistency of Holland’s track selection and mixing skills. Of course Maor Levi is represented yet again with his spiritual take on “Safari” by Ost and Meyer, which again showcases a wonderful blend of vocals and bassline, with nifty electro chunks thrown in to further enhance the listening experience.
Of course when you think the set cannot get any better, Falcon’s ”Parallax” comes in next, delivering a progressive track that uncovers a finely-tuned melody working hand-in-hand with those progressive tones and beats. Not to be outdone, Estiva makes his first appearance on the compilation with his stunning remix of the track ”Love Is Strong” by C-Systems & Jo Micali, featuring a strong but highly-polished bassline that works flawlessly with the vocals, creating a masterful track. Estiva continues his onslaught with his recent release ”Death Of Me,” featuring rising star Tania Zygar on vocals that intertwine with energetic tech beats and electro lines that create a lush and atmospheric experience to envelope the senses. Holland ends the first disc on a high note with the addition of the Rafaël Frost remix of ”Azzura” by Boom Jinx and Daniel Kandi- it radiates with soothing power and pounding beats that leaves the listener in a state of elevated bliss.
Holland begins the second disc of the series with ”Alpine” by Fast Distance with Karanda, providing an epic intro that illustrates a more high-energy experience and that lays the groundwork for the following tracks. Audien makes another appearance on this compilation, this time presenting ”Keep This Memory” (courtesy of Johan Malmgren), which generates a great summer vibe with the use of strings and a majestic break. This is followed by another awesome melodic track from the collaboration between Alan Morris & Sequentia, “Blind,” that is emotionally spellbinding- especially when the break kicks in. Ost & Meyer then offer up their remix of Vast Vision’s ”Hurricane,” which is a massive track gifted by the enchanted vocals of Fisher. Another noteworthy track is C-Systems & Bushi’s ”Ari,” an artful showcase of warm ambience and an uplifting melody that is followed by Sequentia and Jaco, who combine their illustrious skills to create ”Crossfire.”
Holland isn’t done yet, offering the Juventa and Answer42 track ”Like These Eyes,” which incorporates a progressive, melodic sound infused with a savage bassline that works amazingly. Ost & Meyer step up once again with their own original track, “Argentum,” with a perfectly-crafted melody that adds to the consistency of the album and the second disc. ”Welcome Home,” by Suncatcher, is another gem on this release, with a driving bassline and a Suncatcher-inspired break that forms a highly melodic theme to keeps you on the dancefloor. Holland also includes the Temple One remix of ”Lacuna” by Deepwide, which takes an already amazing track and lifts it to a whole new level. At the end of the album, and at the close of this musical journey we find some real magic with the inclusion of Tritonal’s ”Still With Me,” given a classy retouch by Suncatcher that makes for a supreme remix, pulsating with emotion and a fitting end to this compilation.
While Digitally Enhanced Volume 5 may lack some of the flawless production skills of other compilation series like Anjunabeats, it still features some of the highest quality progressive and melodically-driven tracks you will find. Will Holland does a great job of track selection and maintaining a fluid consistency throughout the compilation, providing for an amazing musical experience to be relished. If you are looking for a great mixture of trance and progressive house music, then make sure and check out the Digitally Enhanced series; especially the newest release, Volume 5.
Disclosure: Review copy was provided by the record label.