Few artists in the trance/progressive genre have made as much noise as Andrew Bayer this past year. Kickstarted with the help of Above & Beyond, the Berklee College of Music grad’s highly intelligent and creative approach to dance music production quickly garnered him comparisons to BT. In fact, his collaboration with BT, The Emergency, was ranked #1 on our Top 20 Trance Tracks of 2010, and remains one of my favorite vocals of all time.
Despite all the amazingness we’ve come to expect from Bayer, nothing could prepare me for his debut artist album It’s Artificial, which releases tomorrow on Anjunabeats. Nearing the end of my first listen-through (eight tracks deep), I was seriously left longing for more. Simply put, the album takes the progressive genre to new levels, reflecting a level of artistry few dance music DJs have matched.
It’s Artificial is far from a normal dance release. The experimental nature of Bayer’s production work becomes far more apparent in this album. The opening track, Nexus 6, starts slowly from a peaceful ambient section and builds right into a hot glitch hop drop. It sets the tone for an album that’s full of surprises. Tracks smoothly switch back and forth between subgenres–often between progressive house and ambient electronica, such as A Drink for Calamity Jane. Want something a little dancier? Try Monolith, a beautifully dark and deep progressive house tune. Masterful production work makes for an extremely polished sound, so I beg of you to listen with quality speakers or headphones. Make sure not to miss out on what could possibly be the progressive album of the year! Also, stay tuned for our interview with Mr. Bayer.