Many interesting things have happened in the trance scene in 2014, with one of the highlights being Discover Dark‘s anniversary release. Since it marks such an important milestone in the label’s development, I saw fit that Discover Dark 100 (Mixed by Oberon) should be VS’ 2014 Album Of The Year. Because a couple of sentences aren’t quite enough to justify the pick, more details await below. Word of warning, I do have a bad habit of forgetting to stop writing, so this might go on for a while. Nevertheless, to whom ventures forth, good luck.
Back in the early days of the site (early 2011ish), as I was mindlessly browsing around (something one would do, of course), I stumbled upon John Askew‘s The Witch. Having gotten used to uplifting and progressive until that point (with tech trance being an entirely alien concept to me) the track came as a bit of a shock. Despite the harder, unfamiliar sounds, I kept listening. The track kept building, and building until it got to its ominous breakdown, dominated at first by some very nice pads, alongside yet another new, distorted sound. About halfway through, a simple riff, joined by a fitting vocal sample (which might be from the first of the Alien movies) started taking center stage. By the time I had reached the track’s growl-infested anthem point, I knew one sure thing: this was something new, totally insane and unexpected. And I really liked it. To this day, it’s still my favourite track from Askew.
Several replays later, I started digging through John’s discography, only to find one of his other great productions, Blackout. As it turns out, this was also the first release on Discover Dark (alongside his Stripped Down Club Mix of Electroglide). This, folks, is why I needed the entire paragraph of back story. Onward!
In the time since, I’ve grown to really like what Discover Dark stood for and to appreciate the sound and skills of artists such as Peter Plaznik, Oberon, Chris Voro, Johann Stone, Indecent Noise and many, many more. A decade of commitment and very high standards is something to be appreciated, so the joint 10 year / 100 release anniversary album mixed by head honcho Les Oberon was something I paid close attention to until its release and beyond. For those of you that are into the darker side of the trance spectrum, there nothing quite like this album. 18 new remixes for some of the biggest tracks in the back catalogue, all “wrested” into place (as the folks at Recoverworld put it) by Oberon. For those even more curious types among you, click here for my review of it.
I’ve enjoyed many albums this year, such as John Dopping‘s Words In Colour, Thomas Datt‘s Inside The Glacier, and even Goa Classics Remixed from Astral Projection. I would honestly put all of them on the top spot, but it would get crowded quite quickly. So, to reiterate (in case you got lost within the sea of words above), my pick for 2014 Album Of The Year goes to the supremely dark Discover DARK 100 (Mixed by Oberon). Below, there’s a tracklist to remind you of the contents. Also, since copying and pasting gets tiresome after a while, I’ve also included a Youtube playlist with samples for all the tracks.
Congratulations to Les Oberon and the entire crew over at Discover Dark / Recoverworld for pulling this off. Happy holidays, you guys!
1. John Askew – Chime (Liam Wilson Tech Remix)
2. John O’Callaghan & Bryan Kearney – Pendulum (Chris Voro Remix)
3. Bryan Kearney – More to Life (Origin ‘Cold Razor’ Remix)
4. Mekk – Restless [Activa Presents Mekk] (Peter Plaznik’s No Sleep Remix)
5. Bryan Kearney – Punchline (Sequence & Deathmind Remix)
6. Sean Tyas – Rulebook (Johann Stone Remix)
7. Indecent Noise – Zokete (Omega Drive ‘Make Some Noise’ Remix)
8. Oberon – Danger Ahead (Johan Ekman Remix)
9. Lisa Lashes – Numero Uno (Ian Booth Remix)
10. John Askew – Battery Acid (Oberon’s Bad Acid Remix)
11. John Askew – Giving You Acid (Casey Rasch & John Merki Remix)
12. Greg Downey – King Dong (Oberon’s 12″ Remix)
13. Matt Skyer – Throwing Swords (Jamie Drummond Remix)
14. Indecent Noise – Civitanova (Estigma Remix)
15. Jamie Drummond – Code Zero (Diego Morrill Remix)
16. Adam Foley – Trip Switch (Spencer Hardwick Remix)
17. John Askew & Matt Hardwick – Slaves to the Machine (Drama Remix)
18. Peter Plaznik – Destroyer (Casey Rasch Remix)
Check back tomorrow to see what’s the name to watch out for in 2015. 🙂