It’s come a long way, baby! When the first ‘Pure Trance’ album was released in November of 2012, the genre’s landscape was a remarkably different. Nefarious hands had again been at work – cynically drip-feeding poppy-pollutants into trance’s system. Inorganic quick-hit sugar highs that threatened its otherwise rich ecosystem, someone had to stand up, blow the whistle and become the countermeasure.
Eight years on and while that peril’s not passed, it advance has been blunted, with many of its chancers moving on in search of something else to commercialise. As such the movement – forged and spearheaded by Solarstone, and having long since matured to include global club events, a much-loved weekly radio show and a triple-record label arsenal has, almost imperceptibly, transitioned. Vindicated – a battle largely won, it’s become less ‘mission’ and even more focussed on the music itself.
Fresh from the release of his ‘3’ and ‘One’ albums, our Pure Trance sentinel Solarstone delivers his eighth annual, bringing another fitting close to this P.T. year. Joining him for 2019’s edition is a DJ & producer whose re-emergence is – essentially – a living, breathing result of the movement itself. After almost a decade away, Activa’s reactivation is as sure a sign as any of the scene’s brighter days renaissance. He commits an astonishing second disc of energized trance elevations to complement Solarstone’s assured-as-ever selection of the purest.
On his eighth Pure Trance compilation voyage, Solarstone says: “I’m delighted to present this years Pure Trance edition! I decided to focus on the lower BPMs this time, and bring in one of my favourite producers – Activa – for the higher tempo side of things, and the quality of tunage is really outstanding, full of innovation and creativity. I hereby invite you to join us on a wonderful journey focusing on melodic, emotive progressive & driving, uplifting pure trance music.”
Solarstone’s mix initially lies in the hypnotically languid, super-tranquil waters of ‘Beautiful Surface’ by Super-Frog Saves Tokyo. Taking its time to make those cool overtures, it features Solarstone’s own Retouches of Allende’s newie ‘Essence’, ‘This Side of Paradise’ from Romania’s Claudiu Adam and Oliver Imseng’s entrancing ‘New Dawns’.
The bassy throb of ‘Take Me On Your Flight Pt II’ from Solarstone and the Orkidea/Dinny Ward link-up ‘Forward Forever, Out Of The Screws’ start to establish a more floor-seeking heat for it – one that’s further amped by Sam Mitcham’s ‘Amarula’ and gardenstate’s ‘Bloom’. Bringing disc 1 to a head are RNX’s endlessly thrilling rework of Solarstone classic ‘Rain Stars Eternal’, The Blizzard’s gripping ‘Blue Hour’ and the Stripped Mix of Solarstone & Future Disciple’s marvellous ‘Monkey Mia’.
While not missing the chance for a scene-setting sign-in (courtesy of Tony Anderson tellingly-titled ‘Immersion’), Activa’s commences Pure Trance operations further up the tempo & tone dial. He strikes quickly with Solar Movement’s exceptional 4/4 drive of Way Out West’s classic ‘Mindcircus’, as well as S.M.’s own ‘Pure Soul’ and Activa’s killer ‘Midnight’. ‘Journey To The Deep’ from Robert Nickson turns the thermostat up again, while Activa precision places New Ordinance’s ‘Beyond Gravity’ (Factor B’s rework), ‘Novo’ from Dan Stone and others, to ensure that mercury keeps rising. Rob stacks the mix’s third act with much of his own studio fare. Among them is ‘Spirit’ – the new single alongside Solarstone, as well as a retouch of Jaron Inc’s update of G&M Project’s ‘Sunday Afternoon’ and ‘When The Mask Falls’ – his on-approach teaming with Julie Thompson.
On his participation in ‘Pure Trance Vol.8’, Activa said: “Pure Trance; the label, the club nights and the compilations are well established and have a strong and loyal following, so to be asked to mix a disc for the 8th instalment was an honour, but a task that I knew I had to do right. I wanted to ensure that my mix was part of a bigger ‘whole’ and provide not just a journey on that disc, but a continuation of the journey from Rich’s mix while still keeping its own identity and sound.”
Disc 1 – Mixed by Solarstone
01 Super-Frog Saves Tokyo – Beautiful Surfaces (Solarstone Ambient Intro Version)
02 Stoby & Coulter featuring Liz Cirelli – Sun is High (Solarstone Dubby Retouch)
03 New Ordinance & Gozzi – Aho (Vocal Version – Solarstone Retouch)
04 Allende – Essence (Solarstone Retouch)
05 Claudiu Adam – This Side of Paradise (Solarstone Retouch)
06 Oliver Imseng – New Dawns (Solarstone Retouch)
07 Solarstone – Take Me On Your Flight PT II
08 Orkidea vs. Dinny Ward – Forward Forever Out of the Screws (Solarstone Edit)
09 Men-D – Sarmale (Pure Trance 8 Version)
10 Gardenstate – Bloom (Solarstone Retouch)
11 Obie Fernandez – Todo Para Mi (Pure Trance 8 Version)
12 Sam Mitcham – Amarula (Pure Trance 8 Version)
13 Solarstone – Rain Stars Eternal (Robert Nickson’s RNX Remix)
14 Ehren Stowers vs. Elizabeth Fields – Mandela Effect Speak in Sympathy (Solarstone Edit)
15 The Blizzard – Blue Hour (Solarstone Retouch)
16 Solarstone & Future Disciple – Monkey Mia (Stripped Mix)
Disc 2 – Mixed by Activa
01 Tony Anderson – Immersion (Intro Version)
02 Activa – Midnight
03 Way Out West – Mindcircus (Solar Movement Remix)
04 Stephens & Green – Lexicon
05 Sector7 – Cherry Blossom (Stephens & Green Rework)
06 Solar Movement – Pure Soul (Dark Mix)
07 Robert Nickson – Journey To The Deep
08 Jamieson & Lamb – Frost
09 Starpicker – The Traveller II
10 Dan Stone – Novo
11 New Ordinance – Beyond Gravity (Factor B Remix)
12 James Kitcher & Adam Taylor – Utopia at Midnight
13 Solarstone & Activa – Spirit
14 Simon McLeod – Recall
15 Factoria – Enlivened Frequencies
16 Sector7 & Niko Zografos – Efforia
17 G&M Project – Sunday Afternoon (Jaron Inc. Remix – Activa Rework)
18 Activa & Julie Thompson – When The Mask Falls
‘Solarstone Presents Pure Trance 8’, mixed by Solarstone and Activa hits stores & streams November 29th. Pre-order here: pure.complete.me/ptvol8