Especially with being a contributing writer, I can honestly say that I hardly get surprised by much anymore in terms of listening to the newest Trance tracks. Almost every single artist has a certain style to them and once you hear two or three tracks, you know exactly what to expect. And from the thousands of tracks that I listen to on a monthly basis, I have inevitably crafted a hardened shell around my musical tastes that only accepts the highest of quality. Some may call it snobbery or arrogance, but it is simply the process that eventually occurs to all listeners if they allow the time and the patience. While there are certainly brand new artists that emerge in the scene every year, their appeal and magic wear off after time. It isn’t to say that their tracks get worse and worse over time, (although some do), but people tend to lose that certain sense of wonder that occurs when first hearing an artist. That is until I recently heard of a small time producer called High 5. His single of As Long As It Takes has been the first time in a very, very long time that I have been at a complete loss of words over someone whom I didn’t know existed last week. I was completely flabbergasted the first time listening to this track. Not much is known about this enigmatic producer, but there is one fact that has quickly become irrefutable: he has that elite spark of musical beauty and ingenuity that is exceptionally rare to come by these days. Rather than let himself talk, he lets the music flow out through some of the most beautifully crafted Trance that I have heard. Period.
High 5- As Long As It Takes (Original Mix)
And I am not the only one who has noticed this. This track has been under the radar over at the Anjunabeats camp and Above & Beyond have supported it on their radio show for a full three weeks in a row. Simply put; that never, ever happens. His sound encapsulates the low-brow sounds of Anjunabeats of the past while gracefully walking the path of Trance 2.0 with the atmosphere of Progressive Trance. High 5 starts with an extremely stripped back drop that focuses on the low beat basskick with smatterings of sounds at random intervals, almost as if it is the artist’s mind slowly crafting the grand puzzle together piece by piece. Additions of vocal breaths, expanding pads and subtleties add a very personal and in depth feel through the piece. It was crafted with pure love and for the sheer joy of the music. This sentiment is showcased in its full potential through a special and intimate piano solo that strikes deep past the armor and straight to the heart and soul, leaving it defenseless and blisteringly alive. As submerged chords begin to bring surprising force and power to the fray, magnificent string synths provide an amazing foundation to work on the build up. Absolute silence arrives on beat one, as High 5‘s soul shines through with the full power of freedom and elation, weaving us a wondrous story that cannot be described in words as emotions are rendered useless amidst the purity of melodic interludes and the realization of complete spiritual release.
High 5- As Long As It Takes (Mike Shiver Remix)
Pulling along for the ride is seasoned Trance veteran, Mike Shiver. Shiver has been a staple for both the Armada and Anjunabeats family and has been representing Scandinavia through quality Trance music that has been championed by Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz and Above & Beyond. His approach is more outfitted to cause some damage on the dance floor and has done an amazing reinterpretation suited for a more club oriented atmosphere, (while keeping the core integrity of the track in check). Keeping the glitch elements in play, his sounds are much coarser and harder, with slamming Electro lines giving a certain ferocity towards the overall feel, (and props for the strange sound on beat four, really digging that). Subtle percussion changes, whisking white noise and materializing synths keep the core ideas on track without derailing and serves as a fantastic skeleton to cage the piece in. Shiver smartly kept the piano section untouched from the Original, but then develops a playful streak with rapidly engaging and disengaging synths. The drop utilizes different timbres through the Original melody, but this time, it is actually the fantastic bassline that really digs into the chordal structure and gives the entire character of the piece a sense of beauty and emotional maturity that is demanded for this type of excellence.
Both the Original and the Mike Shiver mixes of High 5‘s, As Long As It Takes, is out now on Amon Vision on Beatport. I HIGHLY suggest you purchase these two renditions, because they are coming very close to being some of the best Trance tracks of 2013. Definitely keep a watchful eye out for both of these talents in the future.
Keep the music alive. -Q