Currently laughing at people who are saying Armin was not very good/overrated. Id like to know who you actually thought was a good producer haha??
The gold standard for golden-era trance is the Tiesto Silence/Suburban Train/Goldenscan remix/Tears of the Moon sound. I'm not saying Tiesto is a good producer, but instead the team responsible for making that sound.
That's a rather unpopular opinion, quite fitting the thread. I am a bit biased since 76 is one of my favourite albums of all time, but I just listened to Mirage the other day and...even though I loved it in 2013 when I discovered it, 76 is in a league of its own.
I wonder what exactly you find special about Imagine and Mirage, especially over his earlier work. This is a proper question, I would really like to know how you judge these tunes.
And BTW, Imagine is when he started working with Benno.
No matter how much I tried to like it, I couldn't get into 76 other than Precious, and that is largely because it's essentially an Airwave track.
Imagine and Mirage (the album tracks) are some of the most technically complex tracks Armin ever made. They sound like they took Armin weeks to create and arrange, and the production in them is top-notch. There's so much attention to detail and ambiance that you just don't hear in his earlier productions. They're also decently catchy and still sound great in 2023.
The rest of the tracks on those two albums are pretty basic. But I can tell you that I'm more likely to listen to Face to Face, In and Out of Love, I Don't Own You, and Virtual Friend instead of the non-Precious tracks on 76.
That could also be the effect of Benno working with Armin, and not just Armin working by himself. Maybe the producer that I actually like is Benno.
This is one of the craziest things I have ever read on this forum. So these tracks are all from an amateur:
Communication, Serenity, Sail, Shivers, Clear Blue Moon. 4 Elements, The Sound of Goodbye, Touch me, Sunspot, Precious, Slipstream + countless remixes that Magdelayna mentioned.
Yeah, to me Imagine and Mirage sound more professional, like they were recorded with state-of-the-art equipment at a professional studio