November 16, 2006


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Above & Beyond, Anjunabeats Vol. 4
Anjuna Beats, 2006

In our post-9/11 world, everything has a safety-minded side, even trance, but we'll get to that after explaining (hopefully correctly) the background here. Above & Beyond own the Anjunabeats imprint, see, and the Anjunabeats compilation albums spotlight the artists on that label. If this has been horribly misunderstood, PR should immediately send a formal complaint to our You Didn't Really Think Critics Read Press Releases For Comprehension Did You desk and someone will print a correction within the next million-billion years. But back to the Taliban: unlike the European crowd-pump trance you're most likely picturing, Anjuna's ProTools freaks are into progressive, subdued forms that drip professionalism almost to the pedantic point it's literally more hypnotizing than danceable some of the time, not that that's a knock. Israeli teen Maor Levi provides the floor-filling climax in "Illumina" smack in the middle of the record, but all of it's like a cup of instant vacation, soothing, exhilaratingly sensual, life-enhancing. A-

Eric W. Saeger