Van Bellen Appreciation thread and similar

TRANCEBLASTER

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Van Bellen and Oliver Lieb were my most loved 'millenium' Trance producers.

1997-2001 were his strongest years, I mostly love his summerish or deep spacey tracks.. sadly I never really enjoyed anything from his productions after 2001, his digital remixes 2011-2016 are super weak.

Here are my all timer favourites:

Van Bellen - Shades (Aftersun Mix) [2001]
Future Breeze ‎- Smile (Van Bellen Remix) [2000]
Pink Elln+Atom Heart - Elektroniikkaa (Van Bellen Remix) [2001]
Van Bellen - Soulfeel [2000]
Cyrus & The Joker - Milky Way (Van Bellen Remix) [1998]
Chris Raven - I Know You Love Me Too! (Van Bellen Remix) [1997]
Velvet Girl - Velvet (Van Bellen's Velvet Beach Dub) [2001]
Dj Sakin & friends - Protect Your Mind (Braveheart) (Van Bellen Remix) [1999]
John Johnson – Impact (Van Bellen Remix) [2000]
Breeder - New York FM (Van Bellen Remix) [2000]
Power Dove - September Soul [2001]
Yoogie van Bellen & Christian Linder - Atmospheric [2001]
Saints & Sinners - Summernight [1998]
Dove Beat - La Paloma (Ocean Mix) [1997]
Power Dove - Sonic (John Johnson vs. Van Bellen Remix) [1999]
Yoogie van Bellen & Christian Linder - Electric Nite [2001]
John Johnson meets Saints & Sinners - Summernight [1999]
 

Hensmon

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He's the best prog producer of all time in my opinion, and maybe my favorite artist of all time. It is some of the most beautiful electronic music I ever heard, but whilst keeping amazing groove and progression in his tracks. The first track I ever heard was Soulfeel and I loved it instantly, then in later years I realized that La Paloma (Ocean Mix) was by him and that was probably first one I loved from him.

Top 5

1. Future Breeze ‎- Smile (Van Bellen Remix) [2000]
2. Van Bellen - Soulfeel [2000]
3. Dove Beat - La Paloma (Ocean Mix) [1997]
4. Van Bellen - Let Me Take You (On A Journey) [1997]
5. Breeder - New York FM (Van Bellen Remix) [2000]
 
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Yoogi should have had the same notoriety as Sasha and Digs, with his own legendary comps and accolades. He produced far more good records than the aforementioned and more diverse too.

1. La Paloma (Ocean Mix)
2. Electric Nite
3. Smile
4. Shades
5. By Your Side (Van Bellen Remix)
 
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Electronlyman

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Yoogi should have had the same notoriety as Sasha and Digs, with his own legendary comps and accolades. He produced far more good records than the aforementioned and more diverse too.

1. La Paloma (Ocean Mix)
2. Electric Nite
3. Smile
4. Shades
5. By Your Side (Van Bellen Remix)
He undoubtedly is a legendary producer, but far more good records compared to Sasha and Digweed?
I think it's unfair to Sasha and Digweed to say that.

Is there really any need to depreciate other legends to validate Yoogi's significance?

Especially considering that Sasha is still going strong, possibly at the peak of his game right now.
His LNOE label is on fire, doing some very unique stuff in the recent years.

One of my favorites from Van Bellen wasn't mentioned here, so here we go :)



My absolute fave production of his, is the remix of Breeder's New York FM.
 
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He undoubtedly is a legendary producer, but far more good records compared to Sasha and Digweed?
I think it's unfair to Sasha and Digweed to say that.

Is there really any need to depreciate other legends to validate Yoogi's significance?

Especially considering that Sasha is still going strong, possibly at the peak of his game right now.

Okay, okay, let me me rephrase. Sasha & Digs are legends, Van Bellen also legend. Love ‘em both but Van Bellen has the progressive magic a step above, that’s just how I feel. Have 30 productions from him that I still play today, only 6 or 7 of S&D

Apart from the Xpander EP I cannot think of much more that tops the VB classics. I should probably listen more to S&Ds catalog, as I mainly hammered the various mixes, and to be frank I gave up Sasha productions around 2010 assumed he fell off the cliff with the rest of the scene. Happy to be shown otherwise if you want to drop some suggestions.
 
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Electronlyman

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Okay, okay, let me me rephrase. Sasha & Digs are legends, Van Bellen also legend. Love ‘em both but Van Bellen has the progressive magic a step above, that’s just how I feel. Have 30 productions from him that I still play today, only 6 or 7 of S&D

Apart from the Xpander EP I cannot think of much more that tops the VB classics. I should probably listen more to S&Ds catalog, as I mainly hammered the various mixes, and to be frank I gave up Sasha productions around 2010 assumed he fell off the cliff with the rest of the scene. Happy to be shown otherwise if you want to drop some suggestions.

It's always going to be subjective.
Anyway, these are some tunes I have enjoyed from him in the recent years.


Sasha vs. Frankie Wah - Haunted
Sasha - Out Of Time
Sasha - Cut Me Down
Sasha - Pontiac (Club Mix)
Sasha & Sentre - Track 10
Sasha - Exploding Suns
Sasha - Head Melter
James Zabiela - Healing (Sasha Involv3r Remix)
Ananda Project - Moment Before Dreaming (Sasha Involv3r Remix)
Sasha - View2


Haunted, Out Of Time, Pontiac, Track 10 and Cut Me Down are probably my favorites out of this bunch.
He's also had some stunning live sets and released a great mix compilation during the Covid restriction period.

Sasha In The Lab LDN
Sasha - LUZoSCURA (mix compilation)
 

Redrot

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I believe, on the flipside, that Sasha's music nowadays is relatively dull compared to what he was spinning 20 years ago - it's clear he followed the trend of taking prog house and making it slower a la Cattaneo and Guy J. Certainly on the more interesting side of modern progressive house (especially compared to the incredibly bland Anjunadeep fare) and LNOE is one of the few popular progressive house labels that's still unpredictable in its release style, but it all feels so inorganic and formulaic compared to his old stuff. I think the best example of what I mean is LUZoSCURA - none of the tracks are bad by any means but altogether it just sounds so samey, minus perhaps the Rival Consoles track. The tracks are so indistinguishable, but not in the good prog house way where it all blends seamlessly together into a collective texture, but in a bad way, where if I didn't know better I'd assume all the tunes were produced by the same 2 people. This is probably my biggest issue with progressive house in the 2020s - almost all of the tunes, even if you know what to listen for, lack any kind of distinguishing features, and use the same few cliches that haven't changed for at least a decade at this point.

However, his Late Night Tales album/compilation is phenomenal, extremely original, in my opinion. Sasha's always had originality (the Involver mix series showcases that quite well too) and he definitely hasn't completely lost it. Granted that's from 2016 iirc. HIs Fabric 99 mix comp as well showcases he's willing to pull stuff from all over the spectrum, and I did quite like the breaks mix of the tune he produced to close it out. Link if anyone is curious, definitely one of the more eclectic mixes I've heard that is still predominantly "progressive house"


Digweed on the other hand makes music that is a shell of its former self and Bedrock releases elevator music nowadays.

oh right this was a van bellen thread oops
 
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HTY

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I only found out about Van Bellen because of this forum, I think, although that was year ago now. Probably didn’t pay attention enough to the Global Underground track lists. He’s definitely up there with the best. La Paloma is so special.
 

Progrez

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He undoubtedly is a legendary producer, but far more good records compared to Sasha and Digweed?
I think it's unfair to Sasha and Digweed to say that.

Is there really any need to depreciate other legends to validate Yoogi's significance?

Especially considering that Sasha is still going strong, possibly at the peak of his game right now.
His LNOE label is on fire, doing some very unique stuff in the recent years.

One of my favorites from Van Bellen wasn't mentioned here, so here we go :)



My absolute fave production of his, is the remix of Breeder's New York FM.
Digweed is a better producer than sasha. I know I am going to piss off some people but I think the current sasha is overrated. Van Bellen is a great producer I would rate him higher compare to digweed and sasha for sure.
 
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Thanks for your suggestion Electroman. I will try it. Nothing against new prog, it’s alright, but I often find it so boring compared to old prog. None of the nice sounds and none of the groove. The two best things about prog music

Like listen to Van Bellen and his sound is saturated with lush and warm soundscapes, all with beats that keep you moving. It’s in such stark contrast from todays prog.
 
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Hoplite

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After more extensively exploring his back catalogue (ashamed to admit I didn't do this sooner), I can safely say that Van Bellen has one of the best and most unique sounds in trance music, period. A true journeyman through and through, tracks aren't rushed, and patiently build up to this warm melodic goodness. Production that doesn't feel overstuffed, while feeling musically rich at the same time.
 
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Electronlyman

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Thanks for your suggestion Electroman. I will try it. Nothing against new prog, it’s alright, but I often find it so boring compared to old prog. None of the nice sounds and none of the groove. The two best things about prog music

Like listen to Van Bellen and his sound is saturated with lush and warm soundscapes, all with beats that keep you moving. It’s in such stark contrast from todays prog.
I kind of separate the old and modern era styles.
My post wasn't trying to compare old vs new sounds, I actually don't feel able to do that...
It's two different worlds and yeah I also did prefer the raw and playful warmness of the old one.
It was just a different time and philosophy.

For today's modern Progressive, I appreciate what Sasha is doing.
 

Progrez

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He hasn't made anything for the past 5 years last release he did was a chillout track


 

Electronlyman

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@Perpetuous dreamer
Would love to listen to the 30 Yoogie productions that you mentioned about in an above post.
I only know like 15 tracks from him, really curious to know more.