These artists, DJs, remixers, and label-owners were voted #9 in the latest DJ Mag Top 100 poll, were hailed by Pete Tong as the UK's "next dance superstars", and were tipped by many from Mixmag to DJ Mag as the next bit thing. "Volume Five" is the next installment in an electronic music series that's packed full of unreleased exclusives and future anthems, including several new tracks from Above & Beyond themselves.
The boys at Anjunabeats--who in their collective DJ persona go by Above & Beyond--have probably done more than any other outfit to reinvigorate the genre of trance in the last five years. This is largely thanks to their mix compilations, which have featured talents like Gabriel & Dresden, Kyau & Albert, and Smith & Pledger. So it's a bit difficult to explain how these tastemakers could see fit to include a track peppered with a geek-speak warning that laptop overheating results in decreased battery life (Chunk & Twist's "Battery Life"). But such oddness is soon forgotten with the entrance of "Essence," a predictably excellent effort from Jaytech with plenty of swing. Disc 1 also features Joonas Hahmo's "Together," an effervescent fusion of house and trance elements that works like a charm. Disc 2 leaves the gate with Maor Levi's "Shapes"--whose splice-and-dice vocals nod to James Holden's seminal remix of "Nothing"--followed by Marc Marberg and Kyau & Albert's "Megashira," a must-spin track that is electro on the outside and trance on the inside (and features an absolutely stellar breakdown). Volume 5 is the most electro-influenced installment of Anjunabeats yet, but Above & Beyond are careful to use the harder-edged stuff as a springboard to give their trademark euphoric material even greater effect. --Brent Kallmer