As one of Trance’s best talents in the scene today, to say that Alex M.O.R.P.H. has some talent would be a complete understatement to his legendary abilities. The highly respected German ‘trucker’ produces some of the best in Trance today and has rightfully earned a large, devoted fan base due to his smash singles, including his classic tracks of Sunset Boulevard, Life Less Ordinary and New York City. His unique, Anthem-induced melodies keeps the core, essential facets of Trance in check and his bravery to step outside his comfort zone, (read his collaboration with Jerome-Isma-Ae: Bang!), has blossomed him into a true master of the genre, (who is only gaining momentum with age). After his highly successful debut album of Purple Audio, he finally released his universally acclaimed sophomore album, Prime Mover, in 2012.
In this album, he collaborated with a handful of highly esteemed artists, such as Protoculture and Woody van Eyden; as well as working with some of the best vocalists today, including Shannon Hurley, Sue McLauren and Sylvia Tosun. The Prime Mover album was a huge step in his career, as he ventured into a multitude of styles including as Breaks, Tech Trance and even Balearic, while showcasing his supreme skills in both Uplifting and Vocal Trance. Now, one year later, the highly anticipated Remixes addition to his second album features some of the highest talent from many different genres and has promise to being one of the best Remixes album heard in years. While we would love to review each and every piece in this album, the amount of work needed to do so would take a very long time to complete. So instead, we took our favorite pieces and showcased the best of the best in Prime Mover, talking in detail which pieces really stood on top for us.
1. Alex M.O.R.P.H.- Eternal Flame (Solarstone Pure Mix)
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An absolute legend in the Uplifting circuit, Trance pioneer Solarstone is known for cultivating the beginning of the beautifully crafted Pure Trance Movement; a movement that is described as, “a feeling, a passion which exists outside of contemporary musical fads and fashions, It is the bringing together of millions of fans for whom this music is a way of life.” Solarstone is a proud and determined leader who is devoted to keeping the core integrity of Trance alive, while spreading his love of music to an entire new generation of music lovers. His astounding production skills are unequivocally unmatched and is one of the leading technical artists that also manages to cultivate raw emotion into each of his tracks. In his remix to Eternal Flame, he starts with a calm, but driving phrase, opting to craft low cut, futuristic basslines and serene melodic lines that intertwine with mint percussion and wonderful vocal timbres. His breakdown features choirs from the heaven with a lone man slowly breathing in the timeless moment, (with subtle, thunder percussion in the background). As a waterdrop clicks in, a orchestral string section brings true life to the piece, interconnecting everything with a golden thread on wondrous emotions. As the buildup concludes, it drops into a bassline tinted drop while keeping the main melody intact, creating a beautiful organic world of sound. His incredible work truly brings out the best in Trance and is one of the top picks for this album.
2. Alex M.O.R.P.H. ft. Sylvia Tosun- An Angel’s Love (Andrew Rayel Aether Remix)
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Quickly becoming one of Trance’s hottest stars, Andrew Rayel‘s career has recently skyrocketed over the last couple of years. Currently one of Armin van Buuren‘s favorite stars at the moment, his 2013 tracks such as his collaboration with Bobina on Sacramentum and his remix to Zedd‘s immense summer anthem, Clarity has gained him an enormous following, while his highly energetic sets (such as his ASOT 600 show), have captured the hearts and hope of many Trance fans. He has an unusual knack for creating some of the most iconic, emotionally-charged anthems in Trance and his heavy hitting melodies have been tailor made to be utilized in arenas around the world. His remix is part of the accredited Aether Remixes, which are some of the most beautiful and hard hitting melodies heard, and Rayel has morphed this track into one that is primed for any Trance set. His breakdown features an amazing piano line amidst haunting vocals and cascading strings. As the loving vocals pull through, a luscious solo violin works in perfect tandem with the piano. The buildup features slamming drums and offbeat synths before pulling the curtain and harboring in a towering melody, (which transitions perfectly into the drop). What makes this remix even more impressive is the encapsulating vocal timbres of Sylvia Tosun, which completely overhaul this remix into an astounding representation of the human soul.
3. Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Protoculture – Waking Up The Stars (Skytech Remix)
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Although he is a smaller time producer who is young in his age, Skytech has been making huge leaps in his career as of late, and his ever maturing sound is starting to get noticed by some big names in the Trance scene. A regular in Markus Schulz‘s Coldharbour family, his unique melodies as well as his risky collaborations such as his hard hitting track, International Language, with Fafaq has shown that he is definitely an artist to watch out for. Even more so since the release of his brilliant Clear Vision/The Other Side double EP on Soundpiercing, which has received heavy support from Armin van Buuren, Sied van Riel and Protoculture. However, his remix to Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Protoculture‘s Waking The Stars showcases a surprisingly large leap in quality, as his interpretation overflows with quality and finesse. His breakdown showcases atmospheric pads, ghostly vocal breaths and many other sounds sweeping through the soundscape like wisps of color flashing for only a brief moment before fading into nothingness again. His buildup crafts together superb drums and muted musical ideas, as it morphs towards fruition in tandem with the increasing buildup of the drums. His drop contains a highly condensed and complicated harmonic structure which is interlocked with amazing white noise integration and warm, regulated basslines, all while keeping the emotional tone of the piece at a euphoric high; almost as if the rush of endorphins completely take over the mind in a visceral display of wondrous emotions and tones.
4. Alex M.O.R.P.H.- Prime Mover (Will Atkinson pres. Darkboy Remix)
Arguably one of the leading frontmen in the world of Uplifting, Will Atkinson‘s supreme production knowledge has procured some of the greatest melodies and emotional moments in any Trance genre. Every single one of his releases are always on point and each time he sets down to produce a track, he always creates straight fire. Over the past year, he has been heavily experimenting on his own sound, switching up his sets for some dirty Techno (on his guest mix on Simon Patterson‘s Open Up radio show) and creating the heavily experimental Darkboy alias, which focuses on the genre flipping styles of Breaks and Psy Trance. It is quite a treat that Atkinson has brought out his Darkboy persona for his remix of Prime Mover, because it cleverly combines aspects from Psy, Tech Trance and even Goa into a whirlwind of slamming, quality music. He starts with taking a leaf out of Coming Soon‘s playbook, with a heavy, percussive-inflicted Psy line coupled with unique timbre choices, such as smatterings of unclear vocal origins, highly original samples and scritchy, Latin sounds amidst surgically placed percussion and floating hidden intricacies. Highly unusual risks such as rhythmic independence, and freedom of sound expression transfer perfectly into a 12/8 section that features an agitated melodic line with many sounds entering the mind. The drop is a beautiful triplet feel with laser-esque acidic lines, angry melodies and roaring, rising chords before transitioning into the bass induced beginning once again.
5. Alex M.O.R.P.H. ft. Sue McLaren- From The Universe (Steve Brian Remix)
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I personally have been a huge fan of this producer from at least a year ago, particularly loving his rework to Junkie XL‘s I’ve Got A Xerox To Copy, (which is a free download if you venture to find it!). However, I would have never expected Steve Brian‘s sound to morph into the titanic feel that has been set through his recent releases. Although he is a smaller producer in terms of notoriety, his skills have been steadily increasing to the point where he has been putting out some really fantastic tunes as of late. Known for his wondrous Progressive Trance touch on each of his productions, his delicate, yet soothing melodies cascades over listeners in pure bliss. However, his remix to Alex M.O.R.P.H.‘s From The Universe is one of his best releases to date and his incredible attention to feel-good melodies is clearly evident. Brian‘s breakdown features the mellifluous vocals of Sue McLaren as his warm piano line and soft strings not only complement her vocals, but also gives the perfect foundation to really accentuate the lovely message through her lyrics. As he builds with increasing drums, the piano repeats in a perfect ostinato, with EQ effects brings the buildup to a high point. His drop is incredibly detailed, featuring highly unusual effects such as tape stopping, phaser teasers, and distorters which bring a great technical aspect to the mix. But that is child’s play compared to the incredibly rich melody that occurs, which features triumphant synths and euphoric melodies in a storming, yet beautiful flow of music. Truly a shining Progressive Trance cut, Steve Brian‘s remix is definitely one to check out.
6. Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Woody van Eyden ft. Tiff lacey- I See You (Matt Bukovski Remix)
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Matt Bukovski is a legendary Trance producer who is more of a hero behind the limelight, as his productions silently permeate through many peak time setlists. However, this does not mean that he is a lack luster artist; rather that he is an artist whom you have to actively search in order to discover. To reward those who do search for his music, Bukovski delivers an amazing level of quality towards each of his tracks, as they vary from elegant melodies to Middle Eastern inspired journeys into sound. His Uplifting chops are some of the best in the industry and while he has been recently pairing down the BPM and heading for a different, more flowing sound, it does not mean that his strive for excellence has hindered at all. His remix to I See You is a prime example of his mature, overarching abilities, as it contains a large amount of technical and emotional aspects to present a clear winner. Bukovski starts with Progressive Trance ostinatos amidst reassuring basslines and wind swept white noise, which gives a mystical, mysterious quality towards the pure vocals of Tiff Lacey. His drop is minimalistic in nature, as he adds a simple percussion section and a beautifully subdued melody to create a bright world of sounds and colors to harmoniously co-exist amongst one another. While it is probably not suitable for peak time moments, it is a perfect example of showcasing the beautiful nature that Trance has to offer.
7. Alex M.O.R.P.H. ft. Hannah- When I Close My Eyes (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Vocal Club Mix)
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It is often said that remixing your own tracks can be one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in production, simply because artists aren’t starting from scratch and are not utilizing the different style of another artist to base the remix off of. However, Alex M.O.R.P.H. rose to the challenge and masterfully completed a magnificent new mix for his own contribution of the Remixes album; reworking his track, When I Close My Eyes, into one of the best tracks that he has ever created in his career. It combines both the radiant qualities of Trance and a little of the Orchestral niche of Uplifting Trance to create a gorgeous combination that produces pure magic upon listening. He starts with a driving bassline amidst quality percussion and serene, Balearic ostinatos as it sets a shimmering, unique tone through the entire phrase. His breakdown is ultimately a marvelous moment in musical expression, as his warm, fluid strings and angelic choir bring forth an amazing amount of depth and clarity, which provides full lyrical impact with the vocals of Hannah. Bringing in a soft bassline and subtle percussion, the emotions continue to rise as the heart wells to the throat in anticipation of the impending release. Like a breath of fresh air during the break of dawn, the release brings tears to the eyes as his graceful strings, grand melodic lines and charming vocals brings an emotionality unlike anything heard before and is truly a tour de force to finish off the album. The Vocal Club Mix of When I Close My Eyes is an iconic stepping stone in Alex M.O.R.P.H.‘s incredulous career in Trance.
An amazing album from start to finish, Prime Mover features some of the absolute best that Trance has to offer and is a must purchase for any fan who loves Trance, or who just wants to listen to beautiful, heartfelt music. You can grab any single, or even the entire album today over at Armada at Beatport, so make sure you support these artists by grabbing a copy today!
Keep the music alive. -Q