It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As every label is showcasing the best tracks of the year, it’s also time for the 12th annual Anjunabeats compilation. The London label founded by Above & Beyond has been a launchpad for some of the largest names in dance music, as well as a beacon from trance fans around the world. Each year, the world anxiously awaits their double CD collection of the best the Anjunabeats has to offer, and this year, Anjunabeats Volume 12 released right before Christmas time, to make it the perfect gift for a special member of your EDM family.
Though past versions of the Anjunabeats compilation wasted no time delving into the high energy tunes, the past two editions have been more of a progression from house to trance, featuring many of sister label Anjunadeep‘s finest tunes. Stars like Lane 8, Oliver Smith, and breakout star Yotto all contribute to CD 1’s ambient vibes. Halfway through the first CD it transitions out to more progressive trance tracks from all of the label’s heavy hitters, including Boom Jinx, whose stunning debut album No Answers in Luck released just a few months ago.
Similiar to many other compilations, not every track is accessible outside of Anjunabeats Volume 12. While you can listen to Andrew Bayer’s “Memories” or Sunny Lax’s “Enceladus” elsewhere, exclusive cuts of Jaytech‘s “Great Divide” and Jason Ross & Wrechiski’s “Frontier” can only be found on the compilation.
CD 2 opens in a big way with a dreamy track from Oceanlab, Above & Beyond’s older alias with Justine Suissa that the group has promised to bring back in 2016 for their second Acoustic album. Also making a return is Nick Sember, who closed out last year with his first Beatport Trance #1 as a solo act. Though he had a relatively quiet year, his returning tune “Mezzo Forte” hits in a big way, as it’s a traditional Anjuna tune that the fans will immediately enjoy. Paired with Above & Beyond’s remix of Faithless‘ “Salva Mea 2.0,” CD 2 packs an early 1-2 punch of high energy ABGT-worthy trance tracks to really set the tone of the rest of the album.
As one would expect, Above & Beyond are highly represented throughout the compilation, especially since their album We Are All We Need released at the beginning of the year. Remixers Kyau & Albert, Jason Ross, Super 8 & Tab, and Above & Beyond themselves all try their hand at enhancing some of the album’s most popular tracks. Another tradition of the Anjunabeats compilations is the resurrection of older Anjuna classics by the newer acts on the roster. But Arty chose to update one of his own songs, and provided us with a 2015 remix of one of his most popular Anjuna singles “Kate.” In addition, Jason Ross’ remix of “Alone Tonight” closes out Volume 12, the way that Ilan Bluestone’s “Satellite” remix did for Volume 11.
Overall, Anjunabeats Volume 12 doesn’t fail to please the label’s loyal fanbase. The compilation does well to move as a fluid journey rather than be a jumbled mix of songs with no direction, and caps off another successful year for the London label. Pick up a copy for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season!