Review: Paul Oakenfold – Trance Mission 2014


‘Trance Mission’ by Paul Oakenfold is all about recreating those eternal tracks with a modern spin/twist to give a perfect delicacy to the ears of the younger generation. It sounds strange but actually Paul Oakenfold is on a very heavy mission to give to the brand new generation of trance preachers the chance to taste some of the moments that shaped the trance culture as it is today. ‘Trance Mission’ promises to stir up something deep within you. Every single one of these tunes has so profoundly shaped the industry that we now almost take for granted.

First of all is the euphoric ‘Not Over Yet by Grace’. Oakenfold has recreated this classic track in his own way by utilising the full on banging and driving hi-octane euphoric trance style that will please Pure Trance followers. The shining vocals and presence of well known synth line is present that will give listener’s goosebumps and shivers.

Next is ‘Dreams’, filled with the huge synth based riff at the breakdown after the classic church bells sample. He has used female vocals while the original track contained dark male vocals and definitely this is an interesting change. It is the quintessential trance track that talks to your heart straight away and brings excitement whenever you hear it. A powerful progressive big room trance style remake respecting the vibe of the original and the synth filled lines sounds as devastating as the original.

‘Cafe Del Mar’ is a fresh energetic track. Paul created ‘Cafe Del Mar’ in a different, kind of Goa Trance themed style. It’s one of those tracks that can create an emotional breakdown and fill the nightclubs with exorbitant amount of energy through Balearic infused melody. The build-up is so intense that listeners are likely to lose the plot the minute it breaks. ‘Café Del Mar’, by no means a refined and polished track that spirals progressively harder in 2014 than it ever did back in the early nineties when showcased by Energy 52.

Through ‘Open Your Eyes’, Oakenfold managed to strengthen his reputation among trance lovers by displaying his excellent level of production skills through this track. Tribal drums, deep progressive basslines, floating synths, warm strings in the breakdown followed by the well known original melodic riff he adds to his fantastic Indian/Goa style traditional/ethnic melodies and voices that simply elevate the track to the next level.

‘Hold that Sucker Down’ is a big room track with tough bouncy house music grooves, electro twisted and smashed basslines along with hints of his well known melodic themes. The breakdown is very atmospheric with ethnic style voices creating a warm cinematic atmosphere. The climax is super energetic with pumping groovy basslines and hair raising synths.

‘Touch Me’ is an excellent track with various melodies, airy pads, electronic riffs, piano chords, guitar riffs and classic violin strings as well. The highlight of this track is the inspirational performance of Cassandra that shines and elevates the track to a higher level straight away.

‘Barber’s Adagio For Strings’ is filled with punchy basslines, jumping and pumping grooves and is sure to burn dance floors across the globe!

‘Theme From Great Cities’ is perfectly reshaped by Oakenfold into a driving melodic progressive trance track with psychedelic trance infusions packed with acid overtones characterised from the brilliant ethereal vocals in the breakdown.

Paul Oakenfold for this particular track i.e. ‘Madagascar’, he goes for the full on uplifting trance direction and the final outcome is more than impressive. Powerful tough drums, sharp rough kicks, driving energetic basslines pushed the track forward while on top he adds the cool original synth layers, heavenly trance voices and aggressive acid overtones as well. Superb real old school trance synth melody that drives the track to its massive full on hands in the air climax that is energetic, techy, uplifting and very acidic as we like it to be. This track is surely gonna be one of the top contenders for the trance anthem of 2014.

‘Toca Me’ is a powerful trance track that will be played in many mainstage sets around the world. Tough drum beats, hardstyle sounding aggressive basslines and fantastic emotional breakdown with the guitar riff will do the damage on dancefloors around the world.

On the whole, each track in this album is an unforgettable classic in its own way, and each one brilliantly updated and freshly imagined to fit the aesthetic and style of the present day. Oakenfold has done a fabulous job keeping the spirit of these classic tunes true to the original, while presenting them in a way that seems bold, exciting, and thoroughly modern. The blend will strike a nerve for many, and it will serve as a reminder of the power this music had and will always have. Transport yourself back to a time when dance music was brand new and a synthesizer represented much more than just a cheap plugin within a DAW. Go back to the days of analog — to the days of DJs mixing live on vinyl, imperfections and all. Revisit these unforgettable anthems with the man who brought them to the world so many years ago, and hear how well these timeless tunes fit into the climate of 2014.

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– Review by Samir Goyal

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