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Album Review: GT Digital Presents – The Future of Hard Trance

Album Review: GT Digital Presents – The Future of Hard Trance

Recently, GT Digital’s “The Future of Hard Trance” has given a definitive shape of what they’re trying to capture in the current hard trance revival. The CD opens with the rhythmic percussion intro of Aponaut – “The Future of Hard Trance.” Reminiscent of the seminal Art of Trance – Madagascar plucking sounds, we’re lead into a powerful offbeat bass and gated synth riffs. We’re moved through seminal hard trance sounds including rapid-?re acids, hands in the air breakdowns, and old-school anthem leads.

D10 Meets the Sixth Sense – “Don’t Stop the Music (No Vox Mix)” is a great highlight as the compilation builds, featuring broken beat sections and plenty of sounds from the heyday of Hard Trance. We’re exposed to singed synth leads that any fans of Megara vs. DJ Lee would enjoy, the occasional acid shots to enhance the groove, and the occasional stab effect to change things up. DJ W – “Mistakes” takes us to a new level of speed and places a greater emphasis on euphoric pads. There’s a spoken word quote before our big lead takes the front, something that has been returning to the general trance scene as of late. It hasn’t left Hard Trance, and DJ W’s use continues that tradition. The breaks begin extending to theatrical levels, like the piano pluck section in Locanda & Kuznetsow – “Ghost & Darkness.” We begin hearing hints of those horror movie, dream-style melodic lines that seminal hard trance likes to incorporate in the breakdowns. As the tracks grow harder and more powerful, the breaks compliment them in a way that shows some significant programming went into the tracklist order.

But the album does not purely aim for hard and powerful. Mark EG vs. D4RYL – “Angels in Ecstasy” provides moments of dance floor clarity. You can imagine the crowd closing their eyes and enjoying a moment’s rest before storming the dancefloor again at the climax. It’s great timing, too, as “Dark Energy” by Nostic takes us into a whiplash inducing frenzy afterward. Alongside new hard trance aficionado Renegade System’s “Digital Lifeforms (Together in Hard Trance),” these are some of the biggest kicks on the compilation.

The Future of Hard Trance rounds out towards the end, experimenting with different bass and groove progressions to take the listener on a ride. There’s an art to building a set beyond banging it out, and it’s done a great job of capturing that at integral points of listening along the way. XLS & Cognition – “Discovery,” for example, packs some of the quickest and most energetic arp sequences and is saved for the end. Keeping some of these elements on hold elevates the experience when they do come — and in that way, quite a few popular hard trance sounds are hidden from the listener until just the right moment. Then they return, just as fresh as they were in a 90’s super club.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Review By: Tom Rogers(USTM)

The Future of Hard Trance is available May 22nd on Selected Portals

Release Info:
Ever since the fantastic #HTM project on Atmosphere Recordings: UK we’ve been wanting to do something similar to help support pushing hard trance music moving forward so early last year we contacted a set of particular artists about making tracks for an album, and each one of them raised the bar big time even collaborating for us here and there, the results really did blow our mind.

Tracklist:

ConnecteD – Valkyria (Original Mix)
Nostic – Dark Energy (Original Mix)
Locanda & Kuznetsow – Ghost & Darkness (Original Mix)
Mindflux – Just Wanna Go Back (Original Mix)
Aponaut – Dream Of Eternity (Original Mix)
Mark EG vs D4RYL – Angels In Ecstasy (Original Mix)
Dean Zone vs The Sixth Sense – My Greatest Creation (Original Mix)
XLS & Cognition – Discovery (Original Mix)
D10 meets The Sixth Sense – (Don’t) Stop The Music (No Vox Mix)
DJ W Mistakes (Original Mix)
Busho – Identity Unknown (Original Mix)
Sully – Darkest Night (Original Mix)
Renegade System – Digital Lifeforms (Together In Hard Trance)
Shock:Force – Rebirth (Original Mix)
Blender vs DJ Meke – Last Ravechild (Xavi BCN & DJ Meke Remake)

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