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Guest Reviews: Alex Wright's May 2017, Top 5 Trance Encounters

The very talented UK based dj and producer Alex Wright, who has  releases on top labels including AVA recordings, Always Alive, Levitated Music, Sundance, Veritas recordings, Blue Soho, Emergent Shores and many more with support from the biggest trance djs in the world including Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz and many more every month selects and reviews his Top 5 tracks of each month ahead of his radio show Trance Encounters that is streamed on 1mix radio every 1st Friday of every month with great success and big following. Exclusively for 1mix radio and Flux BPM Online Alex Wright chooses his top 5 trance encounters for May 2017. Alex Wright has studied extensively music production and he holds BSc degree in Audio & Recording Technology from De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU). Enjoy reading what he has to comment on each release with his knowledge as producer and DJ and of course put in your diary a reminder to not miss his radio show exclusively on 1mix radio.

Airlab7 - Daleko [Emergent Skies] 6/10

After recently changing team members, Emergent Skies have returned with a new release by a producer named Airlab7 called 'Daleko'. This tune plays upon an old style sliding saw bassline and lush pads. The chops are a bit rough and unflattering for me and could benefit from some extra processing and delay to butter them up a bit, but the arpeggiated melody isn't too bad and carries the climax nicely. I think it lacks a bit of something special to make it really stand out as I think a lot of these tracks have been made before without breaking much new ground, making this a slightly less strong catalog entry from the Emergent label group.

Additional info:
● Connect with Emergent Skies:

● Connect with AirLab7:

Ben Ashley - Distant Memories [Tranceform Recordings] 6/10

An unknown artist to me so far, but this track has some nice-sounding ideas despite sounding a bit rough and ready. A pretty pounding kick drum starts things off with a rather standard arpeggiated bassline, but when the rolling sub comes in there is plenty of energy and drive. A rather static sounding acid enters the picture which could benefit from a bit of ping pong delay in my opinion, but
this is built upon by a teasing and beautiful mid-range pluck. This is then backed by some smooth rhythmic chords and a musical, well thought out counter pluck melody. The progression is something
special here and proves that even with a relatively unpolished production sound, you can still create a nice feeling in a track. The breakdown sounds a little empty and unfinished but sports some nice cadences that are carried into the main section on top of that pumping beat. Not a bad effort from Ben and the Tranceform crew!

Additional info:

Cold Stone - Mustang [Digital Society Recordings] 7/10

A name that has given a few offerings over on DSR in the last month or so is Cold Stone. Here, his track Mustang demonstrates his clean drums and nice metallic, atmopsheric acids that let the intro roll along nicely. Slightly lacking in sub bass for my tastes but nonetheless bringing a brooding, dark atmosphere and things creep up towards the middle of the track. The lead and pads have some nice moments in the break particularly when opening in cutoff, revealing the gorgeous metallic tone and soaring reverb tail. Mustand has an honest beauty to it, despite sounding a bit stripped back and melancholic which actually suits its nature melodically. The vocal parts are a great touch too, adding to that apocolyptic, orange sunset vibe.

Additional info:
▼ Connect with Cold Stone:

▼ Connect with Digital Society Recordings:

Exouler - Ascension [Extrema Global Music] 6/10

Honestly being quite a hit and miss label that sometimes delivers a great tune, Extrema have brought us quite a nice effort here by Exouler. Ascension plays on a major theme which is designed to  lift you up and carry you with its chugging offbeat groove. Unfortunately, the way this track was made results in a lack of stereo information, particularly in the pads and lead which can really benefit from being nice and wide but the melodies created are beautiful and positive. There is a strong sidechain on the pads too which is a bit too strong in my opinion but really emphasises the pumping nature of the tune. The breakdown features some nice bass growls and distant, reverberated, distorted synths which are something a bit different before the epic lead melody comes in. This tune could be a 10/10 if it was nailed tonally and stereophonically, as the ideas are very good indeed.

Additional info:

Mehdi Belkadi & Zinou - The Longest Ride [Always Alive Recordings] 8/10

With Always Alive Recordings, you can nearly always guarantee a quality production with each release. This latest offering from Mehdi Belkadi & Zinou is no different with some lovely chipmunked vocals that really add that cherry on top of a bouncy, fun, vibrant bassline. The percussion surrounds your ears nicely as the pluck begin to build the theme on top of the foundation. Delicate piano sprinkles tease the main section as the chords begin to reveal themselves and things wind down towards the hands in the air breakdown. A really cool, sliding guitar comes out of nowhere as the beat disappears and briefly after, the huge, epic melody starts with a quick buildup and release. This track screams of classic 2007 - 2009 Daniel Kandi and the uplifting, peak time sound of the Above & Beyond we used to know. Top stuff!

Additional info:
▼ Connect with Mehdi Belkadi:

▼ Connect with Zinou:

▼ Connect with Always Alive Recordings:

Latest Alex Wright releases:
Alex Wright & Allen Belg - Havana out now on AVA recordings

      Trance Encounters with Alex Wright #044

**Don't miss Alex's Wright Trance Encounters on 1mix radio every 1st Friday of the month from 20.00-21.00 for the very best in trance and progressive. If you wish Alex to feature your track in his show and reviews or to book him for your next trance event please email him: alex_dj[at]live[dot]co[dot]uk