Danny Slade is delighted to find a much-maligned sound still going strong in 2019
As a long-term lover of hard trance I was delighted to find this album in my inbox, for several reasons. It proves the genre is still strong among die-hard fans, it reminds me of happier days gone by, and most importantly it makes me relish the prospect of playing it good and loud, as it really needs to be heard.
From the first track, Public Domain vs Nutty T’s Lift Off – all booming kick, female vocal samples, risers, the obligatory side-chained bassline and tizzy hi-hats – I was whisked right back to a place of security for me: a loud, dark room packed with stomping people who are all there for one reason only, to dance their asses off. As the album plays on, you get tracks like the fast and furious Vi Ta Lee collab Braindrain, and It's Death, which has a horror film theme with eerie chords and screaming riff. In short, it's a banger-fest from start to finish, and it reminds me of what clubbing used to be like – before selfie-obsessed hipsters flooded the dancefloor, and before people started hiring $250,000 booths to hear Steve Aoki play EDM anthems at clubs in Las Vegas.
In fact, Esoteric makes me realise that great underground dance music (whatever particular genre those words might signify to you) is still being made by great producers the world over – you just have to look a little harder to find it. If you're a lover of hard, dark trance, then trust me – this is an album you need to hear.
Words: Danny Slade
Release date: 24 June
Review Score: 8