Piercing The Quiet was already hailed as one of the best trance albums—and to me, one of the best artist albums, full stop—of 2011. This year, after a procession of singles and a meteoric rise in prominence that landed them firmly in the DJ Mag 100, American duo Tritonal is back in town with a 2-disc release of Piercing The Quiet: Remixed, released September 3 on Enhanced.
One thing we loved about Piercing The Quiet when it first hit airwaves and earwaves everywhere was that even though all of the tracks had great remix potential, the original mixes could still stand their own ground without any reworking. So unlike some artist albums where listeners start hoping that the remixes will improve upon what little an album has to offer, all of the remixes on this album faced a refreshingly high bar to begin with. Some tracks absolutely lived up to the challenge—Maor Levi delivers a massive remix of Can’t Keep It In, which not only showcases his ever-consistent creative genius with a fantastic instrumental (and a dubstep break that doesn’t seem contrived), but also brings out another layer of richness in singer/songwriter Jeza’s featured vocals. Garuda favorite Craig Connelly, who crossed paths with Tritonal before on his own single Absolute Electric, brought his trademark steady progressions to a remix of Everafter; the unbroken melody somehow supports Cristina Soto’s voice very well, even though the original mix is a melancholy near-acoustic piano ballad. Daniel Kandi stands alone on the stage of more traditional uplifting trance here, as he often does. In a sea of progressive mixes, his classic treatment of Meredith Call’s voice in his remix of Broken Down can take you back a few years and make you not want to leave.
Other notable remixes on disc 1 include the Seven Lions remix of Still With Me with Tritonal vocal muse Cristina Soto, The Madison’s remix of Murakami, and Estiva’s remix of Ziziki; the latter two landed in a good middle ground between club-friendly anthem flashiness and the richness of the original album mixes. Juventa, whose style has slowly slid from uplifting to progressive over the course of his growth as a precocious young producer, gave a well-done remix of Shapes Revolve, though the heavy-handed basslines risked feeling overdone alongside the playfully vocoded voice of Tritonal’s own Dave Reed.
I’m starting to think there’s a reason Piercing The Quiet: Remixed puts all of the other artists on the first disc: it lets you listen to the new remixes before Tritonal one-ups some of them–these mixes are no-holds-barred dance music. Club mixes of almost all of the vocal tracks have been released with their respective singles in the past and have been getting airplay for months already, but it’s still impressive to hear them all lined up in a row. Tritonal’s own club mixes of I Can Breathe with Jeza, Something New with Jenry R, and Everafter with Cristina Soto are still my favorites for those tracks. And if Estiva’s remix of Ziziki is bouncy and summery, Tritonal’s remix is the grimy cousin that never left the dark underground club. Also included is the Slave remix that stormed the Beatport charts with a little help from Ben Gold.
The quiet hasn’t been pierced again—it’s been shattered. If Tritonal keeps building on their momentum like this, they’re still going to have a ways to go before peaking, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how far they fly.