Lovers of trance and progressive probably already follow Enhanced recordings religiously. The home base of Tritona, Estiva, Lange, and Juventa, the label releases quality tracks on a consistent basis. Aruna is an incredible singer and DJ who has the kind of pretty yet powerful angelic voice which sounds so great on trance tracks. Her collaborations with Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz, ATB, Cosmic Gate, Myon, and Armin van Buuren definitely showcase that. Following up her solo songs “Save the Day” and “Reason to Believe,” she recently released “Start a Fire,” which pretty much lives up to the title. The production, with Johan Malmgren, isn’t a quick torch but a slow burn that grows with intensity as it pulls you in. It’s one of those songs that might not grab you the first time you hear it but with each listen it will grow on you. For me, it was the track I kept hearing during the Winter Music Conference; knowing that it sounded familiar, but it didn’t hit me until afterwards what it was. If you like vocal trance/progressive with a touch of a pop edge, definitely check out “Start A Fire” and make sure Enhanced releases are on your radar.
Confession here. I have been a fan of producer Rhys Fulber for many years – through his work as Front Line Assembly, Delerium and Conjure One. I expect a lot from him and when I get a song like “Still Holding On” it’s nice to see he continues to deliver. Teaming up with singer/songrwriter Aruna (who skills are drastically underused IMHO), he has made a track that isn’t exactly ambient yet has a melodic groove. There are elements of electro in there but blended in such a way that the overall feeling is still mellow and pretty, rather than harsh or aggressive. Aruna sounds great, as always, and her top line fits the track perfectly with a chorus that is quite memorable. DJs wanting a mix for their club sets will like the mixes by Arisen Flame (which might actually be Rhys) and Clinton VanSciver – both of which combine downtempo melodic breaks with stomping energy.