Category Archives: Albums & EPs

Gabriel & Dresden – Mixed for Feet Vol.1 Review

Mixed for Feet Vol.1 –it’s a dance compilation, but not as we know it.

After their much appreciated reformation in early 2011 and a shed load of touring, progressive trance duo Gabriel & Dresden have given birth to their first album release Toolroom Knights, Vol.2 in 2007. Like they have done through out their much celebrated and industry awarded career, Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden have taken their twist and turned it into one of the hottest dance compilations of 2011 with Mixed for Feet Vol.1.

Now normally when it comes to an artist release, you would expect to find nothing but self named tracks (I know I did), so I was pleasantly surprised to find a gathering of some of the biggest and best names in dance to date, scattered across the track lists. Tiesto, Fredde Le Grand, tyDi, Umek… and that’s just disk one. And, of course, there are plenty of G&D hero anthems for the devoted.

Aside from the sheer professionalism of production, what comes through loud and clear is the love. Personal favourites are Eponym by D-Wayne Vs Jacob Van Hage (disc 1) and White Noise-Red Meat by Dada Life (disc 2) and classic Motorcycle (original clip above) remix of As The Rush Comes (It’s The DJ Kue Remix!) – all guaranteed to get you into the happy holiday headspace. Making over classic Gabriel & Dresden anthems, like Tracking Treasure Down feat. Molly (original clip below), is definitely a masterstroke, though there are also some new tracks which are destined to become favourites with fans and dance enthusiasts alike, like Josh Gabriel Presents Winter Kills’ Oklahoma Town.

Anyone who was fortunate enough to see them play live in ’11, as I did at Creamfields in May, would have witnessed the powerful playfulness of the two accomplished DJs first hand. Mixed for Feet Vol.1 further stamps the statement “we’re back” – and this fan couldn’t be happier.

Mixed for Feet, Vol.1 is available via Armada.

Michelle Sawyer, October 2011

Check out my chat with Dave Dresden on their reunion, Deadmou5 and Creamsfields.

What To Make Of Markus Schulz’ Dakota: Thoughts Become Things II

With the announcement of Summadayze 2012 – featuring non other than US based German trance-man, Markus Schulz – I thought it was a good time to scope out his latest offering, Dakota.

Who: Markus Schulz

Album: Dakota – Thoughts Become Things II

Background: Born in Germany, but now based in Florida – inevitable that he was going to become a Trance DJ and producer, Markus is the founder of the EDM label’s Coldharbour Recordings and has remixed everyone from Depeche Mode to Gabriel & Dresden and Madonna, finding not one, but two Billboard Club Chart #1’s with remixes of Jewel’s Intuition and Stand.

Here’s where Schulz last left us…

Now you are up to speed, I will begin…

Firstly, you switch the sound on and immediately Gypsy Room take you away from your shitty cubical desk job, and out floating through the skies across Fantasia on the back of Falcor, fist pumping the air (the last little thought might be different for others). Seamlessly transitioned into Red Star (I had to check which track I was on it was so dam smooth), the mood cranks up a notch and continues to do so but always maintaining its positive vibes.

The title, Dakota, is quite fitting, as this album has a lot of tribal elements – something I would imagine a bunch of progressive American Indian natives would dance and chant to around a bon fire – but it also keeps it’s modern trance sensibilities; unique, individual tracks that converge without ending up as just noise. This is not offensive trance; you don’t need to understand the genre (or culture) to enjoy this music, but if you do, you’ll love it even more.

Someone else who will love Dakota are DJs (like myself, sort of) who are looking for a solid dance track with high production value and sound builds, which could easily fit on a cross genre set list. There are going to be some clear clubber faves like Sleepwalkers, In A Green Valley and Sinners, but you’ll also find weekend house party anthems like Terrace 5 am and Miami. It could even be the soundtrack to a pretty out there road trip!

It’s rare that us Australians, due to our logistically challenging location, that we get to see such accomplished artists like Markus in the flesh. So if you are heading to Summadayze 2012, maybe head to Dakota first. I can’t guarantee your thoughts will also be that of Falcor: The Luck Dragon from The Never Ending Story, but this album will definitely evoke some trance-itional thinking.

Michelle Sawyer, August 2011