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UpFront Trance

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Album Review

It isn't hard to figure out how trance got its name. Trance is a very hypnotic form of electronica; while techno confronts (it is the death metal or free jazz of electronica), trance is a style that — for all its exuberance — would rather hypnotize and seduce. And hypnotic seduction is exactly what producer/DJ Matt Darey goes for on Upfront Trance, a two-CD set that he has described as "the first album I have ever made that is a true reflection of how I play in the clubs with no compromises." A club-like ambience definitely prevails on Upfront Trance, which finds Darey spinning 158 minutes' worth of music and turning his attention to material by Perry O'Neil, Blank & Jones, Ratty, Tilt, and Oliver Prime (among others), as well as some of his own material. Actually, much of Upfront Trance might be too uncompromising for those who have only a casual interest in trance. Some nonstop trance mixes will emphasize the pop side of trance in order to be more accessible to casual listeners, and while some of the songs on Upfront Trance feature female singers and have a traditional song structure (including Smith & Pledger's "Forever" and White Room and Amy Cooper's "Someday"), many of the selections that Darey includes in his nonstop mix are instrumentals that don't have a traditional song structure — they're strictly about the beat and the electronic rush that goes with it. That approach won't make Upfront Trance a favorite among those who believe that all trance should be as pop-minded as DJ Sammy and Yanou's remake of Bryan Adams' "Heaven," but for those who appreciate different sides of trance — the pop crossover side as well as the more hardcore side — Upfront Trance is an enjoyable demonstration of the types of things that Darey can do in a club setting.

Customer Reviews


Where's the second half? This was a 2CD release in May 2005, 25 tracks in all. These 12 tracks are only the first CD; the entire second CD is missing!


Matt Darey has been the king of Trance since the release of the "Ibiza Euphoria" in 1999. Some of his remixes and productions are some of th best trance and dance music of all time. "U Shine On", "From Russia With Love", Gabrielle's "Rise"; Moloko's "The Time Is Now"; Binary Finary's "1999"; and, of course, the classics "Liberation" and "Beautiful", which have stood the test of time. "Upfront Trance" is masterfully mixed; the tracks are decidely "modern" trance — not as anthemic as his earlier work. But that's the point here. He puts together some of the best trance from today, setting it distinctively apart from the bubble-gum music that some labels pass off as trance. A thoroughly 21st century remix of one of his first masterpieces, "Point Zero", goes nicely along tracks from other stalwarts like Art of Trance, Smith & Pledger, and Sandler. This is the kind of compilation that can be listened to repeatedly with the same enjoyment. It's just that good.

Deep Trance

Its pretty sweet. Matt Darey lives up to the job... But i can't see any up beat. Theres some but its kinda muted.


Born: November 29, 1968 in Leicester, Leicestershire, Englan

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s

An important figure in the development of dance music, especially trance, U.K. producer and DJ Matt Darey released his first single in 1992, signing to Warner Bros. shortly thereafter and issuing a series of records -- either under his own name or as one of his various aliases (as a member of Lost Tribe, for example) or in collaboration with others -- including 1994's "Point Zero" and 2000's "Beautiful," and the Euphoria series. In 2000 Darey took a break to travel around the world, returning to...
Full Bio
UpFront Trance, Matt Darey
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Customer Ratings