As a heavily accomplished producer who’s artistically unbound by the bothersome chains of genre-defining conventionality, the illuminated fingertips of Solid Stone has touched many a set with his unique brand of Trance and Progressive. With an affinity towards the deeper and darker edge of the Trance spectrum, his earlier works instantly attracted the attention of Above & Beyond and Markus Schulz with a combination between friendly, Trance 2.0 attributes and moody, err-born egocentricities that’s the embodiment of the patented Coldharbour sound. Recently, Solid Stone has been teetering on the edge of two completely different worlds, as his singles of Furious and We Are Here have been a boon on the essential Prog Trance label, Re Brand, and became a valuable tool for Armin van Buuren during the beginnings of numerous sets. On the flip side, he has been delving deep into the thickening void with his precious Diversion alias on tracks such as Redemption and Disturbed, and has also unleashed a slew of Techno singles and remixes under his original name to blur the line between all three genres. After the success of his last Diversion EP on Colorize with Wear And Tear and Dustforce, Solid Stone marks his return to the label with three, all new singles that perfectly showcases his widening ability to transcend any and all forms of orthodoxical production.
Solid Stone pres. Diversion- Underworld (Original Mix)
As a marked favorite during Armin van Buuren‘s legendary warm up sets during the ASOT 650 celebrations, the highlight of the entire EP definitely has to be the title track. It perfectly culminates an entire enriching storyline that immediately sets the tone towards a somber, yet groovy endeavor. However, the fluid narrative isn’t permanently fixed, and as the track wears on, it becomes clearly evident that the moods and the emotions that are associated within this track change over time, much like the reflective surfaces of an ever turning diamond glistening in the sunlight. Slow brewing basslines are the focal point of this piece and the slow, breathy release of whispering pads add a nice touch of character towards the entire arrangement of various textures. Along the way, a gorgeous melodic line slowly comes into play that softens up the phrase while providing a clear cut foundation to amp the energy towards higher heights, (which is also assisted with the inclusion of snappy percussion sections and screaming synth blares). Even though it is technically categorized as a Diversion release, we see heavy influences with his main sound incorporated into this track, which is a great feat to accomplish, considering that he is the curator of both of these multilateral styles.
Solid Stone pres. Diversion The Man From The Moon (Original Mix)
Considered the polar opposite of Underworld, The Man From The Moon shies away from elegant melodic lines and emotional clarity and instead opts for a deeper and darker affair within its bellowing basslines and smooth, sly disposition. However, this isn’t to say that this track doesn’t have some juice to it, as the forward thinking percussion sections really issue a driving momentum throughout the piece, which edges it more towards contemporary Deep Progressive genres. Even though the basslines only play out one repeating note, it still manages to infuse a sense of groove and funk into the mix while keeping in tone within its futurism tendencies. The breakdown features rumbling bassline drones and blippy synths that seem to stab the very air around the phrase as the bare bones orchestration keeps things fresh and interesting to engage the listener in. It’s minimalistic tendencies are brilliant from both an aesthetic point of view and in a situational vantage point, as its solid stability keeps the energy both frenzied and calm, creating a paradoxical calamity that shouldn’t exist; and yet, it keeps chugging along through its intended purpose with strength and vision held deep within itself.
Solid Stone pres. Diversion- Play Me (Original Mix)
Play Me runs along the same vein as The Man From The Moon in terms of drive and style, yet offers a captivating twist upon the formula for both of these tracks. Rather than focus on Deep Trance, (a la Underworld), or Deep Progressive, (a la The Man On The Moon), Play Me goes back to his Progressive roots with a full fledged Prog rocker that contains heavy influences of refreshing Prog Tech. This is by far the brightest and most energetic piece out of the entire EP and it leaves quite a happy ending on an otherwise brooding and angst ridden music package. The beginning starts off with forward momentum and drive as the inclusion of faint Prog ostinatos radically changes the flavoring of the entire track. The breakdown comes at us in two parts: in the first part, the moodiness returns in the form of mouthy basslines and suspense ridden string pads; but as the phrase continues, we start to hear more and more influences of Progressive creep its way through. The second half is a controlled celebration in which Solid Stone‘s technological prowess reigns king, and the beautiful array of futuristic synths really gives the melody a sense of depth and 3D motion; almost like a complexionally crafted cylinder that slowly revolves in order to marvel through every nook and cranny. Finally, the power comes to a breathtaking high as the release rushes forth an abundance of feel good emotions to illuminate the day for any fan who is fortunate enough to be listening.
Solid Stone‘s massive Underworld EP is out now on Colorize via Beatport, so make sure you purchase a copy and support real talent!
Keep the music alive. -Q