So I was looking over my featured artist post about Above & Beyond (my favorite DJs in the world) from last year and was just appalled. The list is atrocious. Not that any of the songs are bad, some are sub-par (i.e. “Formula Rossa”), but it’s missing so many of their masterpieces. Honestly, it just shows my former naiveté of Trance in general and Above & Beyond’s library at that time.

Which leads me to this Random Playlist featuring Sirens of the Sea Remixed, originally by OceanLab. For those of you that do not know, OceanLab was a Vocal Trance side project by Above & Beyond and vocalist Justine Suissa. Sirens of the Sea is one of my all-time favorite albums, but fits more into the Downtempo genre. Then came Sirens of the Sea Remixed, an album which hearkens back to the harder (and sometimes 138 BPM) Trance that I fell in love with. Remixed was released almost a year after the original.

The reason I decided to feature this album as a random playlist is because for a good five or six months it was exclusively the only thing I listened to. I mean I stopped finding new music and just played it on repeat all-day, every day. Often times, I still do.

Now I didn’t come by each of these songs because of the album. Many I discovered earlier on as I browsed through Above & Beyond’s library, such as “Lonely Girl (Gareth Emery Remix)” and “Miracle (Above & Beyond Club Mix).” But everything really came together when I listened to it the whole way through. Because some of these songs are so amazing, I am going to provide a little description of some of my favorites. I don’t actually know which one is my favorite because I have about five, but here goes nothing.

  1. “Sirens of the Sea (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” [138 BPM] – The title track on the original album; this remix features what I think are the best vocals on the album. Beginning with the breakdown at about the 3:45 mark, this song gets real deep. I’m also a sucker for songs about sirens, including one of my non-EDM favorites “There There” by Radiohead. I’m certain if Above & Beyond ever played this in one of their live sets these days, which they won’t, I would definitely choke up.
  2. “Satellite (Original Above & Beyond Mix)” [140 BPM] – First of all, fuck yeah 140 BPM! I’m really into Trance songs that sort of desensitize you with really strong bass in the beginning, only to come back with an unbelievably beautiful, drawn-out build. Another great example of this is “Rebound” by Arty and Mat Zo. But I have to say this version of Satellite may take the cake. When the opening Psy Trance part drops out and all you have is mostly the bass line I get fucking pumped – immediate head banging. The Floris de Haan Remix must also be mentioned.
  3. “Miracle (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” [138 BPM] – A song that I think is about saving the environment (?); ultimately has a very similar feel to “Satellite.” It starts out pretty hard, but then drops off into a very minimal build with excellent vocals from Justine. It’s definitely one of those songs that you just sort of stand at a show, close your eyes and belt out the lyrics in anticipation of the drop. Even though this track is 138 BPM, I still find it rather calming.
  4. “Breaking Ties (Above & Beyond Analogue Haven Mix)” [138 BPM] – I’m running out of things to say, but this is another Above & Beyond remix masterpiece at 138 BPM. Beautiful melody, beautiful vocals – just listen. Love the acoustic guitar at 3:01.
  5. “Sky Falls Down (Armin Van Buuren Remix)” [138 BPM] – I’ve said before that I am not the biggest Armin fan, but this song stands out above the rest for me. It’s probably because it’s on an album I’ve listened to over and over again, but nonetheless, this is my favorite Armin song (remix or otherwise). Maybe because it’s Vocal Trance, but who knows.
  6. “Lonely Girl (Gareth Emery Remix)” [134 BMP] – So I’m not sure why, but this song was definitely one of the first 10 Trance songs I ever heard. I love it, it’s great. But I want to include it on this list because I just wanted to proclaim: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU GARETH?! “Come back because I’m…” missing your old sound!
  7. “On A Good Day (Metropolis)” [134 BPM] – Well it’s not on the album, but make sure you listen to one of the most iconic Trance songs ever in my opinion.

I’ll leave the list at that, but absolutely suggest you check out the rest of the remixes as well as the original album.