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USTM Top 5 | January 2013

USTM Top 5 | January 2013

USTM Top 5 January 2013
By: Tom Rogers

It’s the first month of the year and many artists have broken the tradition of hiding new releases to play as ID’s down in Miami for the Winter Music Conference. Let’s check out what’s happening in Trance:

5. Ummet Ozcan – Eclipse

Ummet has finally made his track “Eclipse” available for a free download, but proposes a challenge first: you must complete his custom arcade game, a platform jumper akin to Mario and Sonic where you play as Ummet. Get to the other side to snag this tech trance track with a mysterious feel. We’ve heard there are some difficulties actually completing the game (I’ve heard as many as five attempts), but the track itself is worth it.

4. Fisherman & Hawkins – Apache

Don’t we all love tracks where you can sing along, but have no words? Echoing the success of the Markus Schulz & Jochen Miller collaboration “Rotunda,” the duo Fisherman & Hawkins present Apache — a significantly slower and techier tune with a similar effect on the dancefloors. If you were in the front row at every Markus show shouting that riff with your friends, this one is likely going to be one of your favorites. Oh, and it has the new Coldharbour flavor pitch-raise that has been behind the impact of tracks by Khomha and others on the imprint. Mm, pitch-raise. It’s what’s for dinner.

3. Armin van Buuren vs. Markus Schulz – The Expedition

Well, it finally happened. After several back-to-back DJ sets in the Netherlands, years of working together and the recent increase in Markus Schulz’ success even further (he was voted America’s #1 dance music DJ last year)… it exists. The official theme for ASOT 600 features Armin’s now trademark Gaia vocal chops, some edgy Markus Percussion, and a lead that simply rips your face off. Think Beat Service with some electro yoi’s under it. Although it’s not melodically the most intense track ever experienced, it’s definitely worth a mention and is sure to be pulverizing a lot of dance floors.

2. Rank 1 vs. M.I.K.E. – Elements of Nature

Another super collaboration, the creative Rank 1 teams up with the legendary creator of “Universal Nature” and “Strange World,” M.I.K.E. Both long time veterans of the genre, they present the arpeggiated riffs and creative variations they are both known for. If I had to guess there’s a lot of use of Benno (half of Rank 1)’s Reaktor patch for drums, as the percussion variation in this track is simply fabulous. M.I.K.E.’s constant “hand in the air” synth work comes in for the breakdown for a euphoric moment. One of those tracks where you stop and take it all in during a festival set. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it in the second half of Armin’s performance at Ultra Music Festival.

1. Bjorn Akesson – Gunsmoke

They don’t call the label Future Sound of Egypt for nothing. Uplifting guru Bjorn Akesson creates a techy smasher that only needs 134 BPM to completely blow the roof off. With the slight decrease in tempo he has room to create an extremely filthy bassline at the main drop with maximum impact. The howling pads completely drive this over the top, alternating with lazer-esque hoovers to get the energy at a great high.

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