April was really special two years ago and if I mention Solarstone’s name, most of you will probably know why. Original title, stylish artwork, lots of new names on the tracklist as well as numerous hot and professionally mixed tracks – that’s what describes ‘Electronic Architecture’ (EA), the musical journey trance listeners were anxiously awaiting back in 2009. I won’t say ‘shame on you’ if you haven’t heard it up to now… well, you actually should feel ashamed but anyway… When a couple of years passed by and April came again, Richard Mowatt presented a sequel to unforgettable EA. The same concept. The same quality… but a brand new story which absorbs a listener completely. Are you ready to spend the coming two and a half hours with Electronic Architecture²? Great, let’s go!
Once the play button is hit, an intro reminding of some kind of sci-fi movie instantly takes the mind over. Electronic voice accompanied by high and light piano notes slowly leads to Prizma by Matvey Emerson. The beat fades in and finally the energy is turned up. Those beautiful short piano notes are still heard here and there and create an impression of light raindrops touching your eyes, cheeks, shoulders.. You might start feeling a bit cold, especially when those notes (aka raindrops) fall down quickly and send shivers down you spine! A hollow sound which is a companion to the bassline during all the track reminds of a heartbeat in slo-mo mode. Are we taken to another dimension where our pulse is much slower compared to things happening here? Maybe…
Oh look, everything just got covered in Mist! The deep proggy track by Piotro might not stand out when taken out of context but it’s an essential part of this compilation, it’s like a colour necessary for adding something special to the whole of the picture. Further on, the smooth transition (I must say that transitions are excellent!) slowly takes us to another progressive piece of music called Tokyo Nights which continues our journey. The bassline on Nick Stoynoff’s track is deeper, heavier and a bit more lively than on the previous one and yet the foggy atmosphere remains not to mention that short spooky breakdown with a mysterious wizard-alike voice saying one strange sentence. The track is later followed by Sunn Jellie’s remix of Winter Solstice by Daniel Mahuad which brings some light to the mix and makes the ‘fog’ disappear, however, another very unusual and surrealistic Piotro’s track is about to step in. I must admit that Uncontrollable won’t get a spot on my most listened tracks list but then again, it’s inseparable from this compilation and shouldn’t be skipped.
Next, silent whispers in the background catch the attention and finally, Abdomen Burst brings an end to the continuing dominance of progressive tunes as the breakbeat rhythm now takes care of your ears. It’s amazing how many cool effects such as vocal chops and various kinda futuristic sounds are used on Solar Eclipse! Together with a piano melody and „broken“ beat, they all make this a really outstanding track. Moreover, it gets even better when a subsequent piece of music emerges. It’s no secret I needed to hear this reconstruction mix of Hybrid’s Numb really badly and when the melody coming from the speakers finally reached my ears, all expectations have been exceeded. Just listen to the build-up! And that breathtaking breakdown with a pleasing voice, violins, cellos and various other sounds – the ambience is simply out of this world… When the breakdown is over and a sexy ‘pow pow!’ takes you by surprise you might catch your lips saying ‘wow’ without a voice. Although it would be nice to press the repeat button, let’s move on because the following track is almost here.
Please welcome the first (and the only!) vocal tune on EA² as well as the first single from this compilation by Mr. Solarstone himself. Big Wheel composed of a guitar arpeggio repeated all over the track along with a deep rich bassline and the extraordinary vocal part proves that Solarstone is not only good at making mixed compilations but also knows how to produce something different and without doubt quality. By the way, have you noticed that Richard & Peter McCowan aka Alucard are both met on some releases? This compilation is not an exception since the Canadian producer takes over the reins and we are led further by his track called Sliver, a track which is not as intense as those three heard previously but still enjoyable. A kind of cosmic melody as well as the danceable beat flavoured with claps take us slowly to another pretty relaxed piano piece of music by Kazusa & Shingo Nakamura. Filled with lightness, peacefulness and summery ambience, Dice might make you dream of a nice lazy day on the beach and, moreover, the following tune by Aerium stimulates your imagination even more intensively! If that sexy rhythm and the stunning breakdown of Icedive were transformed into a picture, it would probably show a sparkling sea and warm waves caressing your skin… A range of sounds and layers used in this track is truly astonishing and it’s hardly surprising that Icedive is one of my favourites.
Weekend by Belorussian duo Poonyk & Oxide comes not long afterwards and even though the style of this track would fit another label better, it’s quite an ok filler. Finally, Elfsong flies us thousands of light years away so we can enjoy the greatness of Eta Carinae. Quite dark, magical and boundless melody finds the way to listener’s heart pretty easily and makes this an absolutely good closing track. No no, don’t worry, our musical adventure is not over, we’ve just reached the halfway point and it’s time for the second part of the compilation.
Birds start chirping, little by little music becomes louder and it feels as if the first rays of the sun started a little dance on your eyelids (Aeron Aether & Embliss get the thumbs up for having called this track A New Dawn). A perfect intro again. The tempo on this melodic piece of breaks music doesn’t rush anywhere and that creates a relaxing atmosphere which remains in Janeiro &Sovt’s track as well. As soon as the first chords of Dreams Of The Sea fade in, shivers instantly run through. The warm lovely melody with piano and guitar notes tickles your heart which, as a result, starts moving faster not to mention those seagull shrieks and sounds of waves in the breakdown that make you crave a moment on the beach. Your forefinger might be about to click the repeat button but please, stop it, because Mike St Jules has prepared another dose of beauty for you. A catchy melody together with a ‘fat’ bassline ensure that Vesperawon’t go unnoticed!
Eventually, the cheerful summery-melodies-in-major-key part comes to an end as Nairobi To London, a darker track by Jahawi takes over the speakers. After a short space of time beautiful guitar riffs appear in the background and you can now easily recognise the following track. Touchstone could probably be called last year’s summer anthem and it’s nice to see it got revived by a Finnish producer Orkidea. This fresh and energetic version of a well known Solarstone’s track keeps us moving to the rhythm until the beat unexpectedly disappears and PROFF Remix of Medway’sResurrection hits us like a bolt from the blue. Impressive! For a few seconds it’s not clear what to expect but finally, the beat returns and the energy is turned up to maximum. Great bassline combined with a lovely melody ‘spiced’ with vocal chops would sound fantastic when played live. Just like the next track.
You’re probably not familiar with Baltic Sound, however you must have heard of Ilya Malyuev, a guy from Russia who hides behind this alias. His masterpiece entitled Searchers Lane is completely overwhelming and totally different from most of tracks produced nowadays. Mysterious, a bit aggressive and full of power track is like a drug which will keep dragging you back for more. In addition to this, another perfect transition ends at terrific piece of music by one more talented Russian producer Ozo Effy. Remarkable melody with birds chirping in the background from time to time is the reason why White Wind will be trapped in my music player for quite a long time.
Wooh! The number of fantastic tracks we’ve heard so far is really impressive and this is not an end yet as City Of Dreams by Peter Liu has just came in. Again, a more relaxed summery track with a quite long breakdown is here to tease your imagination, however, shortly after it ends Majera dispels all the dreams and so the Escapade begins. Typical Majera’s bassline as well as an eerie melody soon becomes much more fierce and intense and finally we’re blown away by pure majesty of Nick Rowland’s remix of I Dream which was originally produced by Tilta long long time ago. Classic melody blended with fresh ideas will most likely result in quite a bunch of listeners non-resistant to this version.
Further on, the cloudy ambience goes away and when Almar’s track named Wasted Time lets the light in, a happy ending of this musical tale begins. Lovely well crafted track slowly leads to another brilliant uplifter which will soon be released as a single. Electric guitar solo and good vibes on the whole of Vanity by Active Limbic System give you no choice but to love this track. Finally, speedy beat fades out and the ambient beauty by DJ Orion & J. Shore warmly embraces you. Blissful atmosphere, birds chirping again… What an idyll! Architect’s Dream is definitely one flawless relaxing piece of music as well as a perfect outro track.
Despite the fact that countless compilations get released these days, Electronic Architecture² easily stands out in the trance scene.This compilation of 28 perfectly mixed spanking new tracks beautifully wrapped in an elegant digipack covers a wide range of music types and it doesn’t include neither boredom nor commercialism. For this reason, the outcome of the hard work will not only make your jaw drop and fill your heart with warmth but also demonstrate that there’s a huge difference when compilations are built by a good architect. Thank you, Solarstone. Hopefully, we’ll see more such quality releases in the near future.
01. Solarstone – Reconstruced Intro
02. Matvey Emerson – Prizma (Reconstruction)
03. Piotro – Mist (Reconstruction)
04. Nick Stoynoff – Tokyo Nights
05. Daniel Mahuad – Winter Solstice (Sunn Jellie Remix)
06. Piotro – Uncontrollable
07. Abdomen Burst Feat. Yavanndiel – Solar Eclipse
08. Hybrid – Numb (Kill City Sounds 03 Remix Reconstruction)
09. Solarstone – Big Wheel
10. Alucard – Sliver
11. Kazusa & Shingo Nakamura – Dice
12. Aerium – Icedive (Reconstruction)
13. Poonyk & Oxide – Weekend
14. Elfsong – Eta Carinae
01. Aeron Aether & Embliss – A New Dawn (Reconstruction)
02. Janeiro & Sovt – Dreams Of The Sea
03. Mike Saint-Jules – Vespera (Reconstruction)
04. Jahawi – Nairobi To London
05. Solarstone – Touchstone (Orkidea Remix)
06. Medway – Resurrection (Proff Remix)
07. Baltic Sound – Searchers Lane
08. Ozo Effy – White Wind
09. Peter Liu – City Of Dreams
10. Majera – Escapade
11. Tilt – I Dream (Nick Rowland Remix)
12. Almar – Wasted Time
13. Active Limbic System – Vanity
14. DJ Orion & J.Shore – Architect’s Dream (Dub)