The global #trancefamily is a powerful and loyal community that continues to grow and thrive year after year! To quote the king of trance himself, Armin van Buuren, “In some cases David Guetta might sell more tickets than me in some countries, where house music is more popular, but in a way, the trance fans are perhaps more devoted. The intensity I feel sometimes is so enormous, people treat trance music as more like a religion, even though house music has its fans, of course.” This was especially clear last year when Armin van Buuren made history by uniting trance fans around the world for a five-week celebration stretching across five continents to celebrate the 500th episode of his radio show, A State Of Trance. This year for ASOT 550 he’s taken it to the next level by touring for six weeks in six different countries, including two sold out shows in the US at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and Beyond Wonderland in Los Angeles. No matter where you are, you can tune into the broadcasts live as they happen or listen to re-streams of the the live sets here.
Just in time for this year’s celebration comes Armin’s A State Of Trance 2012 compilation. I’ve been listening to every edition since A State Of Trance 2006 and I have to say, the latest one has a fresh new edge to it. I first clued in that there would be some surprises by how the album cover (above) differed from his usual style of wearing white clothes inside a white room. Then, I nearly fell out of my chair when the first mix opened with a radical electro-breaks drop from the track The Fusion by Omnia and IRA. Armin sure knows how to kick off a mix, and this tune seems very much inspired by other popular progressive/electro hybrids like Gareth Emery’s Tokyo and BT and Adam K’s Tomahawk, which he opened last year’s Universal Religion Chapter 5 compilation with.
Don’t fret about Armin leaving his roots just because of his experimentation with new sounds or collaboration with Kirsty and David Guetta, though. The Dutchman is a man of his word; to quote him from our interview, “I’ve been a trance DJ for years now and I don’t plan on abandoning ship.” While the first disc is more on the progressive side with tracks like Hyperfocus by Mark Otten, the second disc is more uplifting and holds even greater energy. I was downright humbled by the intimate melodies in Aether’s version of 550 Senta by Andrew Rayel, a track that is vividly true to the soul of trance. I think the last time I got goosebumps this intense was when I heard Arganda by Argentina’s Heatbeat for the first time. Lastly, if you enjoy epic trance remixes of operatic pieces, you’re going to love Armin van Buuren’s massive remix of Nova Zembla by Wiegel Meirmans Snitker, a track he did for the soundtrack to a Dutch movie by the same name.
A State Of Trance 2012 has some surprising new sounds, but it still delivers the driving trance that we all crave. Armin really puts today’s trance scene in perspective with its ever-growing diversity while still remaining true to the genre’s immortal spirit. Go ahead and grab it here off iTunes.