Mixed by Maor Levi and Nitrous Oxide at around 130 - 132 bpm, the fourth installment of Anjunabeats Worldwide (AWW 04) was released in 2012 through Above & Beyond's legendary Anjunabeats label. After experiencing a taxing delay period of three years on the runway, the long-awaited Anjunabeats Worldwide 05 has taken to the skies with Anjunabeats's very own Ilan Bluestone at its helm. This time around, we're chasing the clouds at 129 bpm. Released this past Monday, the compilation features sixteen tracks from the likes of BT, Sunny Lax, Fehrplay, and Bluestone himself. Three of these tracks are currently on Beatport's Top 5 in Trance, while the AWW 05 Sampler pt. 1 holds spot 1 in Releases. Six of the compilation's tracks are Bluestone's, so it would be more accurate to call AWW 05 a quasi-Bluestone-album, featuring awesome artists. If you think this is a complaint, think again -- Bluestone is a king-in-making, and AWW 05 is but a reflection of how many back-to-back fire tracks he has released through Anjunabeats. And the flame burns thrice-great within this one. Prior to 05's release, I was given first-class tickets for AWW's relaunch. Here's what I have to say about soaring through the stratosphere with Ilan Bluestone:
INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES, reads an overarching sign as you enter the airport. You check your boarding pass: GATE 43, ANJUNA AIR. A constant trance-pad inspires a sensation of anticipation throughout your entire being, and suddenly become aware of a soft piano playing in the distance. As you make your way to Gate 43, the piano gets louder and louder. You see the gate, and the trance-pad molds into an elegant melody as you hand the flight attendant your ticket and make your way to your seat. Strapped-in and ready, the plane takes its first breath and strolls to the runway. The suspense rises as you wait for that tasteless, lackluster flight-safety video to end. Ugh, so tasteless, you think to yourself. Instinctively, you avert your eyes to the outside world out the window. Suddenly, the plane shakes and roars -- I'm ready, it shouts with its jets. Bluestone, my old friend, this will be a flight to remember, you think. An unrelenting smirk manifests itself upon your face as the plane breaks into a sprint to Fehrplay's retro-progressive (retro-gressive) "Lotus." Then, at its drop, take-off.
As the plane rises, it enters a plume of clouds while slowly declining its nose to be in-parallel with the ground. Right before it levels-off, the plane exits the hazy plume at the breakdown of Bluestone's "Cloudchaser." You notice clouds soaring past the plane at various velocities with each of the track's plucks. During the build-up, the plane gradually increases its velocity to chase these clouds. Then, at the track's drop, the plane forms multiple maneuvers as if it has a mind of its own, not too unlike kid-Goku's golden, free-body sky-chariot Flying Nimbus. Enter Jerome Isma-Ae's groove-driven remix of Above & Beyond's thunderous "Hello" as the plane orients itself into a barrel-roll formation. From ground to sky, and back to ground, you can't help but feel like you're in Fox McCloud's ARWING. But enough nerding-out, here's a gif of kid-Goku & Nimbus:
Sol slowly falls toward the horizon, painting the sky in a streak-like canvas of magenta, vermilion, pumpkin, and goldenrod to Kyau & Albert's catchy, equally-vibrant "Color Field." The streaks bend towards each another and coil inwards to fill the tail-wind's spiral-like flux with color. The streaks spiral in and out of phase with each other, providing a visual representation of dualistic relationships: interweaving whilst unlacing. The sun, appearing like a spherical, yellow balloon making its steady descent to the ground, continues to spray lines of color throughout the sky as it makes its diurnal exit. The sunset's serenity is embodied by the down-tempo, vocal-driven breakdown of BT and Bluestone's "All These Wounds," an epic track that is complemented by the tender voice of Stef Lang. All these wounds, and still no scars; But part of you lives broken-hearted. Previously atop a sea of clouds, the sun submerges from existence. As the track transitions to Soundprank's massive-aggressive "Legion," Luna begins to shine like a sphere of pure, white light amidst the deep-purple sky.
When the bass kicks in, the multi-chromatic, ant-like stars begin to pulsate to the track's beat. At the track's piercing-quiet, inclining breakdown, the stars begin to move quicker, leaving behind radiating paths of stardust. Right at the drop, the lunar sky is anointed with curving startrails, much like a long-exposure shot. With the introduction of the stellar "Melba," by the talented Sunny Lax, certain startrails begin to retrace their paths and the cosmic sea is illuminated with lines of stardust moving in opposite directions of one another around an arbitrary origin at the track's sun-like drop. Enter the booming club mix of Super8 & Tab's "Patience," featuring the vocals of the lovely Julie Thompson. Mankind's artificial deep, yellow light from Terra's surface penetrates through the clouds, generating interconnecting webs of light. Light surrounds you, both above and below:
Then, at the track's thunderous drop: lasers -- everywhere. Spaceships appear. What the -- are those spaceships? you ponder. They launch lasers at each other and leave behind multi-colored explosions in this thunderous, cosmic-battle of a drop. Afterwards, we're met with Andrew Bayer's electrifying "Do Androids Dream Part 2." At the track's breakdown: Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I've put the plane to sleep, announces Bluestone. And, as soon as the loudspeaker clicks out: Wait, what does he mean by 'I've put the plane to sleep,' with your arms crossed. The track builds as you run through the various (mostly horrific) scenarios that could be inferred from 'putting a plane to sleep.' Then, suddenly, at the drop's resolution: For those who were disquieted by my previous announcement, the plane is in auto-pilot, and is merely dreaming, announces Bluestone. Dreaming? you think. Do planes dream when they go into auto-pilot? You let out a deep sigh as you resume your endless gaze of the starry night out the window. Well, at least you've achieved a sense of peace of mind, considering this paragraph's anxiety-inducing events.
Above & Beyond's all-killer extended mix of "Peace of Mind," featuring the soothing vocals of Zoë Johnston, kicks in. See what I did there? Dots in the sky begin to brighten up exponentially to the track's build-up, and shoot in different directions across the sky at the track's drop, leaving behind pink, curve-like paths. Pink stars are falling, pink stars are falling in lines. As the clouds beneath you begin to dissipate, you notice a city dipped in poly-chromatic light beyond the horizon. A golden tower outshines all other structures. Is that Tokyo? Enter Ilan Bluestone's long-awaited flaming inferno "Bonsai." The city's lights pulsate to the track's roaring beat, and the tower radiates waves of light to the track's iridescent, reverberating plucks. Then, at its "Under My Skin"-contending drop, the tower shoots these waves of light into the air, forming a shell of protective light around the city of Tokyo. As the track phases out, the shell slowly degrades and flickers out of existence.
What an awesome flight this has been, you think to yourself. Bluestone's recently released "43" makes its appearance as you get all giddy and nostalgic over this flight. Come on, get a hold of yourself. The vibrant track fills the plane's jets with spiral energy, causing the plane's potential energy to skyrocket. At its maximum limit, and conveniently at the track's drop, the plane jets back to its origin. Bayer's second feature on this compilation is the wonderful "Super Human," featuring the vocals of the talented Asbjørn. Thankfully, no systems are crashing here. At the track's zero-gravity breakdown, G-forces fade-out as you rise out of your seat and float through the plane. We were Su-per Hu-man. You strap back in for Wrechiski and Jason Ross's dark epic "Atlas." At the track's ancient, ethereal breakdown, you notice the blue-black of the sky -- the imminent end of the nocturne. At the bass-kick of his remix of Above & Beyond's "We Are All We Need," featuring Zoë on vocals: Ladies and gentlemen, please prepare for landing, announces Bluestone. During the track's breakdown, you notice the airport from which you departed not too long ago. The plane makes its emotional descent at the drop. We're all we need. The plane lands and taxis back to Gate 43. Thank you for flying with Anjuna Air, announces Bluestone, making his last announcement and signaling the formal end of the flight. As you exit with a grin across your face: Yeah, we're all we need.
Get your copy of Anjunabeats Worldwide 05 here! In celebration of its release, Ilan Bluestone will be navigating a headline tour across North America, including the UK and Ibiza. Catch him on July 24th at The Exchange, LA; July 30th at Bassmnt, SD; and September 4th at Sutra, Costa Mesa.