AD Music - Compilation CDs

AD Music complilation CDs

The compilations on this page showcase the talents of our artists, bringing you some of our best music covering a broad range of instrumental music styles. The "Best of albums" Volumes 1 - 5 provide an excellent introduction to the diverse musical talents the label has to offer, featuring music that is generally representative of the artists and of the music found in our catalogue and on their individual albums.

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Album Reviews

Sacred Skies - Best of AD Vol 2

Review by Steve Roberts, SMD

Sacred of Skies The best of A.D. Music vol2cover art Volume 2 in the series again reveals the quality in AD's rosta of artists.

Beginning with the previously unreleased 'The Plains' by Bekki Williams, in less symphonic mood, the piece reflects the increasing maturity of her music. One of the finest albums in AD's canon is Catalin Marin's 'First Breath' represented here by 'Nandana-Paradise in Indra', an ethnic tinged gem that would not sound out of place on the 'Bladerunner' soundtrack. The shimmering 'Iceberg', again echoing Vangelis at his most accessible, is equally impressive.

Robert Fox's illustrious backcatalogue is condensed to the superb 'Over Turquoise Seas' taken from his first Ad realease 'Asfafa' and the majestic 'Three Sisters'. Another previously unavailable track 'Sacred Skies' by David Wright is further incentive to buy this compilation. A slow burner, 'Sacred Skies' again reveals the lynchpin of AD Music in great form and bodes very well for his next solo album. The sublime 'Flame Sky' from 'Walking With Ghosts' and 'Taiga', an earlier favourite from 'Between Realities', does not disappoint.

'Jumping Air' from Raviv Gazit's underrated 'Shapeshifter' is the most rhythmic offering here. Code Indigo's, 'Call of the Earth', 'Fallen' and 'Code 11' remind us of the enduring quality of AD Music's supergroup. Callisto's 'Setisphere' has already become a classic from the debut release 'Signal to Stars.

Another AD favourite, Bekki Williams is further represented by 'Under The Same Sky' and 'Nightflier', both high quality offerings. Traditional cosmic synths appear on Enterphase's 'When the Morrow Breaks'. However, there is one AD music act, again criminally undervalued, that impresses here because it offers something different from the other artists. Witchcraft's 'Angel Dust' has ethereal vocals and 'Cathedral' from 'As I Hide' offers a subtley darker ambient vision of subdued menace.

All in all 'Sacred Skies' serves as a fine introduction to AD Music and an essential companion to Volume 1. First time purchasers may find that investigation of many of the source albums may be essential.

Sacred Skies - Best of AD Vol 2

Review by Sylvain Lupari for Guts Of Darkness

Sacred of Skies The best of A.D. Music vol2cover artAfter the success of Ocean of Light, AD Music comes back with another great compilation, Sacred Skies that shows the depth and the quality of this label. Sacred Skies is different from Ocean of Light. The coherence of harmonies is always present and seems ideal to create another DVD, but the music here is more rhythmic, more energetic. Admittedly there are always superb soft melodies, like this wonderful The Plains from Bekki Williams, an unreleased track, where beautiful wrapping and dense layers progress on low pulsations and beautiful panpipes. Under the Same Sky is another superb romance, where a romantic piano hugs a string synth with melodious and comforting layers. Angel Dust, with a superb suave and bewitching voice, is another beautiful melody from Witchcraft.

Nandana-Paradise of Indra de Catalin depicts the quality of the material we find in the AD Music catalogue. Catalin offers an outstanding title to Olympia savours with orchestral arrangements which we can easily compare to Vangelis. Gregorian choirs open this tribal fresco to the rhythms of paradisiacal islands of Antique Greece with superb local percussions and string instruments. On a constant rhythm Nandana is majestic and circles on blazing synths with powerful orchestral mixes.

Robert Fox is another star of this English label that we can hear with the powerful and harmonious Three Sister and the intriguing Over Turquoise Seas. David Wright is one of AD Music jewels. This compilation offers one of his best tracks, Taiga a superb space bolero, which should at least be heard once in a lifetime. He also wrote the other unreleased track of Sacred Skies; the rhytmic title track, supported by superb guitar and plaintive solos. Flame Sky, his third title on this compilation is an intense linear movement with beautiful guitars chords which float on superb violin mellotron.

Robert Fox and David Wright are also members of Code Indigo which presents 3 titles, the very Oldfieldian Call of the Earth and the sensual Code II which start on powerful and arrogant riffs which hide under superb guitar solos. And if the unbridled power and rhythms attract you, Jumping Air by Raviv shows you that all kinds of EM is represented at AD Music. Enterphase and Callisto are the only titles with the Berlin School ambient influences. Two beautiful titles which show the fickleness of AD.

Sacred Skies is a superb compilation which shows a more orchestral and tribal aspect of its catalogue, highlighting a melodious artistic approach with ample arrangements. Another beautiful collection which gathers 18 beautiful harmonious titles, to fluid melodies and genius arrangements, from the soul to reach the soul.

Sylvain Lupari for Guts Of Darkness; French Home of Dark & Experimental Music

Trance AD - The Remixes

Review by Steve Robert, SMD.

Trance AD thr remixes - electronic instrument trance and chillout music CDThere are those in the E.M. fraternity who will view a remix album with suspicion and only have to see the words 'trance' or 'dance' and then recoil in horror, like a vampire moments before the first golden rays of dawn. To be honest, like every other genre, there's some dire stuff out there but rest assured this release is a rare treat.

Just in case you hadn't noticed, AD Music has grown into a very interesting concern, containing a variety of artists embracing different styles of E.M., at times adventuring beyond melodic synth and ambient territory into more experimental areas. The success of a remix album depends upon the quality of the source material and the talent and vision of the re mixer, who can on occasions morph a piece into something radically different and surpass the original.

Rest assured, the tracks have been carefully selected here across the range of AD music releases and artists, and secondly, the re mixers, although operating under working pseudonyms, are leading exponents of their field. Robert de Fresnes' 'Rune Casting' opens the proceedings in fine fashion with a slightly chilled introduction adhering closely to the source but with hints of genre textures before the full onslaught of the dance mix is unleashed and it's a monster! Interspersed with the occasional respite of a dramatic interlude of the melodramatic 'Rune Casting' verse and chants, there is clever and subtle deployment of light and shade to make this a real winner.

Samsara's 'Odessa' cross fades in with a towering sequence which develops melodically with convincingly vibrant dance rhythms but again changes pace to slow down and build up to climax with frenetic sequencing and effects. Bekki William's 'Labyrinth' is transformed by a high bpm into a dance opus but with sustained melodic interest to keep the listener engaged and entranced. The underrated Raviv Gazit is represented by M Theory's remix of 'OV1' which maintains the standard before a brace of David Wright tracks 'Listen' and 'Sygyzy' enter the mix. They both use voice samples but the former is more up tempo , whilst the latter is a little more subtle successfully combining melodics with trance devices, sequencing, and slower segments.

Mass Panic's remix of Bekki William's 'Morpheus' slows the pace somewhat and retains the melodic integrity of the source whilst enhancing the mix with trance production techniques which give the track a more contemporary feel but don't overpower the integrity of the original. No mean feat. Catalin's 'Nandana' is another successful reworking with highly infectious sequencing transforming the original. Robert Fox's sublime 'Queen of Hearts' is treated with due respect, with the melody surviving intact, but given a scratchy backdrop and added sequencing and drums. It works well, and is an enjoyable interpretation of a classic track. Of course it cannot surpass the original but it is the manner in which this track succeeds which typifies the success of the album.

The excellent 'Odessa Ambience' completes Samsara's contributions and is a magnificently moody atmospheric track, as is Code Indigo's nicely chilled 'Code 14'.

Make no mistake about it this is a very well crafted album which successfully traverses genres and takes the best elements of several musical styles whilst retaining the integrity of the original compositions. Unlike most trance music, this collection offers variation and melodic integrity as well as rhythmic power. If you have the odd 'Euphoria' compilation in your collection don't hesitate, if you haven't, live dangerously tip your toe in the water you may be pleasantly surprised! (SR)

Returning Tides

Sleeve Notes by Steve Roberts, SMD.

Returning tides booklet artwork A career retrospective has long been overdue for David Wright but this is not a treading water exercise given David's steady output and 'Returning Tides' focuses solely on David's solo output and not his collaborative work. However, with at least 15 albums to choose from there is no shortage of material. In fact some will be surprised that 'Returning Tides' is not at least a double album, or was Part 1 left off the title in error?

Nevertheless, this is a well compiled 'best of' and no doubt some fans will quibble over the track listing but the fact is that this serves as an excellent introduction to the canon for the uninitiated and for the faithfull a timely celebration of David's longevity and creativity. I can understand why a chronological approach wasn't followed given the advances in recording and excellent sound quality of more recent offerings. Not that the early work was not creditworthy, I still hold 'Reflections' as one of my DW favorites, but to start with 'Rysheara' from the excellent 'Dissimilar Views', well represented here, is an intelligent choice given that one of the purposes of a 'best of' is to attract the uninitiated and perhaps those that only have an album or two in their collection. 'Rysheara' as much as any single DW track embodies the key elements of his music, melody, romanticism and cinematic textures. 'Nomad' appears from 'Ocean Watch' followed by 'Taiga' pulled from 1992's 'Between Realities'.

Arguably, David's most consistent release to date 'Walking With Ghosts' is also, quite rightly, well represented here by 'No More Angels', 'Beyond Paradise' and 'Flame Sky'. It is also good to revisit tracks such as 'Midas' from 'Moments in Time and 'Sioux Falls' as well as the eponymous and apposite 'Returning Tides'. 'Sygyzy' from the acclaimed' 360 'set closes the album. The sound quality is excellent with all tracks having been 24 bit re mastered and edited especially for this compilation and for this reason alone is well worth the asking price. An exclusive track or two might also have hooked the faithful and given the nature of the exercise David's extended pieces are under represented .(Perhaps this is the 'shorts' and the next volume will be 'the longs' ?) But hey, I'm quibbling now, with a generous running time of 78.49 you are getting value for money and it does exactly what it says on the tin, but it may require another tin or two to finish the job or maybe a boxed set?

Returning Tides

Review by Deadearnestreviews.

Returning Tides by David Wright - electronic instrumental music CDVery rarely do you get a compilation of a band or artist's work that is so carefully assembled, that it not only reflects the albums from which the tracks are taken, but, possibly more importantly, results in an album that, even though it spans thirteen years of music, plays almost as though it was a "proper" album in its own right. This is one such album.

Taken from 8 of his previous albums, going right back to '91's 'Marilynmba' and up to the recent magic that is 'Continuum', what you have are 18 tracks, the longest at around six minutes, that showcase the really solid but melodic synth music compositions for which Wright is best known. From the Vangelis styled 'Smiling Shadows Lie' and 'Beyond Paradise' through the Jan Hammer-isms of 'Returning Tides' (that could so easily have given anything off "Miami Vice" a run for its money!!) and the Enigma-esque 'Guardians' to the modern Oldfield-sounding (of which Wright actually pre-dated!!!) ''Flame Sky' and 'Continuum', there is a wealth of music here that can only be described as magical. It's melodic, it's rhythmic - full of warmth and feeling - often atmospheric, occasionally punchy, never bland, while the sheer variation of music within what is Wright's trademark way of creating layers from the arsenal of synths and keys, drum samples and guitars, is simply a joy to hear.

If you've never got into his work before, then at least buy this album as it's not only a summary of the man's talent in its own right, but an album that you will enjoy playing for years to come - heck, it may even spur you on to buying more of his music - but, for now, buy this and you'll have a smile on your face!


Sleeve Notes by Steve Roberts, SMD.

Timeless by Robert Fox - easy listening instrumental music CDI remember the first time I heard Robert Fox's music. It was his debut release 'Asfafa' (1991), represented here by 'Over Turquoise Seas', and it left a lasting impression on me. At last a British musician had created a melodic, grandiose sound on a scale to rival Vangelis, yet the composer's own identity shone through like a beacon. Now, nearly 15 years later, just before the release of his tenth solo album, 'Timeless' is a welcome compilation of carefully selected tracks from an impressive canon.

Drawing musical inspiration from personal experiences such as traveling to Australia, Robert has produced enduring classics such as 'White Man Dreaming' and a personal favorite, '3 Sisters' from 1993's 'Blue Mountain Suite'. Further excursions to Canada, and study of the native legends surrounding Niagara Falls, inspired the album 'A Gathering of Spirits'(1994) from which the opening cut 'Thundering Water(Niagara)' and 'Moving On' have been taken. The latter is a good example of the composer refining his musical template with increasing sophistication and skill.

Another key influence on Robert's music has been classic Literature. 'The Fire and the Rose' (1991) was inspired by T.S. Elliot's 'Four Quartets' and, sadly, by the death of his first wife and is represented here by the majestic 'And All Shall Be Well'. 'Underworld' (2002) was a soundtrack composed for the Mikrokosmos Theatre Company's production of 'Faustus' and revealed deeper and darker dimensions to Robert's music and 'Angel' clearly demonstrates the increasing range and maturity of Robert's sound.

'Brother Earth' from 'Into the Light' (1997) reveals a more spiritual side, deploying ethnic textures whilst 'Somewhere Out There' aptly demonstrates the composer's ability to produce music to inspire and uplift the listener in equal measure. 'Heaven's Gate' is taken Robert Fox musician, composerfrom the proposed 1998 release 'The stuff of Dreams' which finally appeared in 2000 as part of the collaborative project 'Blue' and is another fine example of Robert's uncanny gift for producing ;memorable anthems.

The critically acclaimed 'Talking Heads' (2000) is well represented by the excellent 'FourSixZero', 'Water Music' and the magnificent 'Queen of Hearts', a melody of such outstanding quality that it has quickly become a firm fan's favorite. Robert Fox's work, as 'Timeless' clearly demonstrates, bears favourable comparison to the very best the genre has produced simply because his music is so consistently inspiring. His vision has remained constant, to produce evocative, high quality, melodic electronic music but he has continually refined his distinctive sound and with increasing subtlety produced music of enduring quality.

For the uninitiated, 'Timeless' is the best possible introduction to Robert Fox's impressive discography but it also serves as an excellent retrospective on a distinguished career and a timely appraisal of the master craftsman's oeuvre. The final cut, an exclusive edit of 'Ascension', is taken from Robert's forthcoming album 'Maya' and is further evidence of the increasing timeless CD booklet artworkmaturity and evolution of his trademark sound. 'Timeless' stands up as an exceptional collection but there is more to come and I will continue to follow Robert Fox's career, along with his faithful followers, with keen anticipation.

Steve Roberts (February 2005)

Ocean of Light - Best of AD Vol 1

Sacred Skies - Best of AD Vol 2

Review by Deadearnestreviews

ocean of light cover pic

One hundred and fity eight minutes of music across two CD's and 36 tracks by lord knows how many different artists - hey!!! - I'm a great reviewer, but I'm not superman!! (No, actually, I'm not!!!) I COULD do this track by track, but "War And Peace" has already been published!! So let's cut to the chase - let's assume you don't have anything, or no significant amount of albums, on the A.D music label. You're a synth music fan who has a generally wide taste in electronic music. You love strong rhythms, good melodies, a decent tune and solid production - you like shorter tracks and nothing that goes on so long you feel it was begun as the Ark was being built. You like synth music but the occasional guitar doesn't do any harm. You like your rhythms to be chunky, even occasionally the dreaded "A" word (ambient to all ye non-believers) but nothing that sounds like you could dance to it.

Sacred of Skies The best of A.D. Music vol2cover art

You like music to which you can turn off the lights, sit by the fireside and let your imagination take off to distant universes - atmospheric, warm, feeling! You love the richness of string synths but hate the blandness of "new age" - you like to hear the occasional piano lead as long as it has notes that sound suspended in the air - and you like your music to be multi-textured - plenty happening but nothing too busy. You are schooled on three decades of synth music but are always open to something new as long as it's instant and long-lasting.

Sound familiar? Do you conform to most of this?

If the answer is a resounding "yes", then - like compilations or not - you owe it to yourself to get these two albums. For they are EXACTLY the stuff of your musical dreams, if what I have just described conforms to your musical dreams.

Bekki Williams, The Kobalt Project, Code Indigo, Robert Fox, David Wright, Witchcraft, Raviv Gazit, Callisto, Enterphase and Catalin Martin will all thank you for buying these - OK, not personally - as I said, I'm not Superman - and who knows - you may find an A.D. music spell under which you are about to fall - a label producing such quality electronic music (which it does!!!) that you'll hear these and wondered how on earth you've managed to ignore it all this time .

So, for now, let these be your collection - your doorway to a new and gorgeous world of synths, sequencers, percussive and keyboards music excellence.

Ocean of Light - Best of AD Vol 1

Review by

ocean of light - easy listening electronic music CDOcean of Light is an excellent introduction into the music of A.D. Music, a label that has released a series of melodic electronica albums. While the CD is primarily a compilation of previously released tracks, it has a coherence defined by the label's vision and style.

The largely instrumental tracks on Ocean of Light explore new age, melodic space music and chill out styles. The cuts share a relaxed vibe, and have an attractive surface without sacrificing depth. Label honchos David Wright and Robert Fox show up in several combinations and permutations, along with Bekki Williams, The Kobalt Project, Witchcraft, Enterphase, Raviv Gazit & Catalin Marin.

Several tracks stand out on the album. Code Indigo's 24 AM is lovely, mixing new age orchestration with jazz-influenced piano. David Wright's Beyond Paradise has the relaxing seaside vibe of Vangelis' Oceanic, conjuring images of a beach paradise. Wright's A Certain Malaise moves into chill out territory, combining modern percussion sequencing with laid back synth work.

Witchcraft's tracks Ultraviolet & We Rest are vocal tracks that fall somewhere between gothic ambient and the French electronica of Air. Their tracks are stylish and imaginative, and the vocals are atmospheric enough that they fit well with the instrumental tracks. Raviv Gazit's Ov1 is another treat. Gazit builds his tracks on dance-friendly chill out rhythms, and spices them up with world influences and interesting synth work. His one short track here leaves you wanting more.

Callisto's Elara showcases the group's feel for classic synth music. The track combines Berlin-school sequencing with some symphonic electronica that should give frustrated Jarre and Vangelis fans a fix. If that's not enough for classic synth fans, Enterphase dive deep into stripy sequencer territory with Snow Paths.

Romanian composer Catalin Marin contributes the final track, Postlude. This brief symphonic electronic track also recalls the work of Vangelis, complete with string synth, choir sounds and crashing cymbals. Marin has his own melodic flair, though, and makes the style his own.

Ocean of Light is a relaxing and rewarding introduction to the artists of A.D. Music. Fans of melodic electronica that are not familiar with the label will find this a great place to start. Don't be surprised, though, if it leaves you wanting to hear more from A.D. artists!

Ocean of Light - Best of AD Vol 1

Review by Sylvain Lupari for Guts Of Darkness

ocean of light - easy listening electronic music CDAD Music is an English label which specializes in harmonious EM, rhythmic with a progressive touch. Founded in 1989, the label built a solid reputation around EM fans and circles. Their productions are refreshing, a comfortable mix of lightness, freedom and imagination. It is musical poetry with diversified styles, sailing between the melodies of Enigma and Mike Oldfield. It is on this label that we find artists as famous as Robert Fox, David Wright and Code Indigo. But there are other very promising names which we know little about. I think in particular of Bekki Williams, Raviv Gazit, Enterphase, Kobolt and Callisto. Ocean of Light is an excellent way of discovering them. Two new titles were added; Sub Aqua by Bekki Williams and Ocean by Light of Kobolt, a group created by the two Massey brothers.

Ocean of Light is a superb collection which will enable you to discover astonishing artists, with complex dimensions, sometimes progressive, but always harmonious. Superb ballads like 24 AM, Beyond Paradise, Ultraviolet, Water Music, Stasis, We Rest and Postlude will bring you into the arms and caresses of Morpheus. Much of what you hear on this superb album will soothe the spirit, but it isn't relaxation music. New Berlin School with rhythmic sequences on complex structures is also well represent with Ocean of Light, Queen of Hearts, In the Arms of Morpheus, And All Shall Be Well, Ovi, Elara and Snow Paths. And there are also titles a little harder, with heavy percussions and riffs A Certain Malaise, Code14 and astonishing Ov1 by Raviv Gazit, an unknown artist for me who is worth further investigation.

One year after the publication of this CD, AD Music produced a DVD with the same compilation, adding 2 bonus titles; Iosphere from Callisto and Fading by Bekki Williams. The topic being water, the luminosity of the reflections on water, AD Music presents 20 titles, for nearly 90 minutes where the wonderful music is accompanied by a superb video. We see water everywhere in all its forms; she runs, dances, torments, falls and bubbles. The result is certainly one of the most beautiful audio/DVD I have seen. Very beautiful music with stunning images is what awaits you on Ocean of Light (Best of AD Music Vol 1) DVD. Give yourself a treat, follow the current and start your quest to discover AD Music talent. Let these compositions cast their spell. This collection is a marvellous album which reaches into the soul.

Sylvain Lupari for Guts Of Darkness; French Home of Dark & Experimental Music

Ocean of Light

Review by Steve Roberts

A superb compilation featuring artists from the AD Music Label and an essential introduction for the uninitiated with a couple of previously unreleased tracks to tempt those with more than a couple of these albums already in their collection.

Bekki Williams' previously un released 'Sub Aqua' starts proceedings with a lushly evocative tone poem before 'Ocean of Light' by Cobalt (D. Massey and P. Massey) also exclusive to this release, makes its mark, reminiscent, not surprisingly given the personnel, of a stripped down Callisto 'Ocean of Light' is an infectious melody impeccably performed and recorded.

'24 AM' from Timecode follows. An exquisite Wright/Fox composition that will have you stacking up those Code Indigo albums for heavy rotation. Cinematic, with jazz tinged textures adding to the air of world weary melancholy. Sheer class.

This is then followed by Robert Fox's sublime 'Queen of Hearts'(remix) which is taken from the undervalued Trance AD album. Fox's magnificent melody and subtle sense of dynamics still send shivers down the spine.

'Beyond Paradise' from David Wright's outstanding 'Walking With Ghosts' album is joined by 'A Certain Malaise' and the title track 'Walking With Ghosts', more than enough to confirm the album's status. Bekki's 'In The Arms of Morpheus' (remix) demonstrates her work with effective light and shade and ambient textures.

Best of AD Music instrumental compilation CDRobert Fox is further represented by 'And All Shall Be Well' from'The Fire and the Rose' and 'Water Music' from 'Talking Heads, the former being more representative of the composer's epic flourishes and the latter another sublime track demonstrating Fox's compositional skill and rich sonic textures and increasingly keen sense of dynamics. Code Indigo tracks 'Code 14' from 'For Whom the Bell' and 'Stasis' from "Timecode" and 'Snow Paths' are timely reminders of how great this band is and really deserve greater crossover success and acclaim.

Enterphase are represented by the gently evocative "Snow Paths" from "Solar Promenades". AD Music's best kept secret, Witchcraft, is also represented here and offers an interesting alternative to the above with 'Ultraviolet' from 'Scattered Areas of Invisibility' and 'We Rest' from 'As I Hide' demonstrating the versatility and diversity of the AD stable of artists with some rare vocal contributions. I remember reviewing Raviv Gazit's 'Shapeshifter' album and suggesting that he would be ideally suited to join the Froese's to give an infusion of freshness and innovation to Tangerine Dream compositions. 'Ov1' demonstrates these qualities admirably and is not even the best cut from the album. 'Postlude', probably included as much for the suitability of the title and its running time represents the brilliant 'First Breath' album by Catalin Marin, an essential album if you are a fan of Vangelis at his melodic best.

ocean of light cover picThere you have it, quite simply a first class compilation of melodic electronic/ambient music from an innovative label that more than deserves your attention and patronage. An ideal starting point for someone unfamiliar with the label and the artists and of considerable interest to completists as well


Review by Deadearnestreviews.

This collection shows the breadth and depth of the man's musical career to date and is a remarkable showcase of the variation and range of electronic music that Fox has produced. To his credit - although some would say "arguably" at this point - most of his tracks here not only don't conform to the clich'd synth music categories, but also don't sound like any other musician. Sure, there are hints of 30 years of greatness as artists from Tangerine Dream & Vangelis to Vimal, Roach, Oldfield and Enigma are recalled as melodies, rhythms samples and soundscapes pass by, but the overall effect is that the compositions are individual and unique - this is Robert Fox and no-one else.

Yet by the end of it, you still haven't pinned him down. Mostly rhythmic, and generally strongly electro- percussive or just plain percussive, some of the tracks have an etho-ambient foundation to them while others are based more on the traditional electro-percussive synth structures. He uses string synths a fair bit to provide the lush textures that serve as an expanse or a backdrop to much of the intricately composed and played melodic detail that is going on above all this. The tracks all possess a very deep, warm, human, almost analogue, sound to them and, despite the relative variation between tracks (one that actually lessens the more you get into the album), the whole thing hangs together superbly as a great introduction - even a collection in itself - to the remarkable and highly creative, easily digestible and thoroughly spiritual music of Robert Fox - treat yourself!! - you won't regret a minute of it.

Trance AD - the Remixes

Review by In the

trance AD - electronic trance and chillout music CD

You must own this album! Why you ask? Read on... A.D. Music (A.D.) came into being in 1989, a product of David Wright's desire to create a label and creative space for melodic ambient music. In 1995 Wright joined forces with Robert Fox's private FX Music label and the rest, as they say, is history. One of the most influential synth labels of all time, UK based A.D. has many talented artists on its roster, including its founders and their Code Indigo project, Bekki Williams and Robert de Fresnes. With over 15 years in the business and 46 releases to date, this little-known label has survived due to its integrity and consistent delivery of high quality synth music with real emotive power.

Synth music has a long and colorful 40 year history. Artists in the synth community are often criticized, their sound being labeled as dated and plastic. What the critics miss though, is the complex evolution of sound and method that synth has undergone since its 80's synth pop days. It's impossible to overvalue the influence that luminaries such as Vangelis, Kraftwerk and Jean Michael Jarre have had on shaping music across the whole spectrum of music. However, though these artists once epitomized the sound, synth has come along way since their contributions. These days, synth artists are largely concerned with creating rich aural atmospheres of texture and melody, heavily influenced by advances in technology.

A trance release may thus seem an abrupt digression for a label that specializes in synth atmospherics and indeed it is. However, upon listening to this release, one quickly comes to the realization of just how similar the two styles are. The original versions of the tracks are rich and complex soundscapes typical of the labels' 'evolutionary ambient' philosophy. In a flash of inspiration, AD decided to let various extremely talented producers take this already amazing music and infuse it with their own unique trance sound. The end result is an absolutely mind blowing collection of music. Neither the original artists nor the re mixers are well known outside their particular niche-genres. This has no bearing on their skills though and it is thanks to the special talents of these artists that Trance AD - The Remixes, shines as such a rare gem. It's very exciting to listen to something so bold in its approach to redefining the boundaries! Released in 2002, Trance AD has all the markings of a timeless classic. Lets take a look at what's on offer.

Tap the play button and you are immediately catapulted into the world of the sublime. The first track, Rune Casting, is simply mesmerizing! From its haunting mythological chants to its soaring peaks of synthesizer glory, Rune Casting is a striking piece of music. MAT's re mixing work has turned this Robert de Fresnes' tune into an inspiring piece of uplifting symphonic bliss. Subsequent tracks like Odessa, Labyrinth, OV1 and Listen are all truly captivating. It's almost impossible to find trance music of this level of sophistication circulating around. Female keyboard artist Bekki Williams' melodic Morpheus and Witchcraft's haunting We Rest end off a journey through floaty harmonies and colorful space music. As warm and melodic as they are soft and shadowy, the first eight tracks take you for a trip to new age with a pulse.

The tempo kicks up a notch with M.A.T.'s remix of Catalin's Nandana on track nine with its deepest of deep grooves and glowingly warm analog harmonics which lead seamlessly into Queen of Hearts, one of Robert Fox's finest works. Dramatic, soothing and melancholic, it really is quite superb! The metronomic rhythm and perfectly sequenced atmospherics are accentuated by Jon Schulze's poetic remix finesse. Odessa Ambience, the spaced-out sister of Odessa, is another exquisite composition and my pick of the lot.

Messier 87 breathes some of his cosmic remix dust into this already majestic song, taking the album to even greater heights! Luscious layer after layer of intricate sound finally eases into the final track, Code Indigo's Code 14 (Kosmos Remix). TranceAD is simply too beautiful for words!

Listening to this album is like flying through fluffy white clouds of abstracted lucidity, watching the echoes of previous civilizations' consciousness floating gently around the swirling glow of your mind. Still reading? Go and buy it! Now!! There are 0 user comments, click here to view or post your own.

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