maandag 11 november 2013

Single Review: Rank 1 - 13.11.11 [November 2013]

Tis A Good Day

Rank 1’s new Opus has finally been released on Beatport! Until Ferry Corsten gave an 8 and a half minute preview of the track in Corsten’s Countdown Episode #331, there was no telling what the track progressed like despite support for it on various other shows like ASOT and GDJB. But even with the longer preview on Ferry’s show there were still five unrevealed minutes of possible bliss! Hence, more than ever, I am delighted to have just bought this new Rank 1 dish! Excitement is an understatement as the last time a Rank 1 track exceeded the 10-minute mark was back in 2005: that Opus 17 ended up being one of my favorite tracks ever! As I rub my hands in utter anticipation, I will give you the option to read through a summary of my thoughts on this track or to head down this 13 minute long rabbit hole with me! If you aren’t in the mood for a long story, here are…

11 Instead Of 13 Reasons Why You Should Buy 13.11.11
01. That Outro!!! OH MY GOD!!!
02. The track is 13 minutes and 11 seconds long. In a scene infested with 5-minutes-max club tracks this a breath of fresh air (and probably one of the longest Trance tracks ever or at least in a while)!
03. Despite it having a strong “Less Is More” minimal touch to it, the track’s effect is maximal. You love that as much as I do. Don’t try to deny it. Give into your inner-Rank 1 fan.
04. The main lead has that Classical euphoric Rank 1 feel to it. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, Classiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic…
05. At the same time, that main lead has a positive infectiousness ala L.E.D. There Be Light. L.E.D. There Be Light is Divine. And Modern (see what I did there?). And Epic. Hush.
06. The main synth reminds you of Elements Of Nature. You know just how much you love Elements Of Nature.
07. Self-explanatory titles are cool. And epic. Just listen to Opus 17 and 7 Instead Of 8.
08. The title refers to three qualities of the track (release date, duration, BPM) and all of it somehow fits together and makes perfect sense. I dare you to try the same!
09. Furthermore, you simply want this track to reach #1 on the BeatPort Trance chart. For the LOLz at the very least. I mean, imagine the hilarious notation:

1. 13.11.11   Rank 1   High Contrast Recordings   Trance   2013-11-11   €2,17 (That’s 13 1s!!)

10. This is the 3rd Rank 1 single in the past 12 months that focusses on the arrangements and hypnotic flow: they’ve stayed true to their words in that DMC Network Interview last year read it here:
11. Name any other 131,111 BPM Trancer out there that is THIS awesome. Can’t? Thought so!

Now, if you prefer the Mane Pill, here’s the actual review:

Rank 1 - 13.11.11 (Original Mix) [13:11]
The track kicks off with the beat right away, no intro whatsoever (which I did expect to be honest, that will make it all the more difficult to keep things interesting for +13 minutes!). Just listen to that! There is that stuttering chopped synth effect they first used in Floorlifter, but the build-up also slightly reminds me of Jochen Miller - One Day / Back 2 Earth (Jochen Miller) due to the echoing distorted sound effects in the background… Seems Benno went all-out on this one with his magnificent sound library! As the stuttering synth keeps swelling and the build-up tension raises we are guided into a typical Rank 1 melody with a synth a la Elements Of Nature, though probably an octave lower or so. The melody reminds me of the Classic Euphoric Rank 1 sound, long before they started utilizing huge riffs... As the gentle feel-good synth gains more prominence, it is backed by an extra… I don’t what to call it exactly, Flute / Guitar-ish crossbreed sound you would sooner expect in certain types of 138 BPM uplifters. This backing effect is pretty similar to what made the breakdown in 7 Instead Of 8 so epic! The mood set by 7IO8s pluck melody in the breakdown became ever more tragic and epic due to that haunting sad synth joining in: but that’s about where the similarity with last year’s gem ends. This track is 110% euphoric Rank 1! The “EON-synths” head into their climax and this euphoric rush is unleased. These positive vibes strongly remind me of L.E.D. There Be Light’s infectiousness and overall “victory feeling”. Sweet!

The track then seems to lose some background elements as the main lead stutters about a quarter throughout itself as it did during the climax moment in the breakdown. We are taken back to the “Floorlifter” build-up synths and effects. A very minimalistic but groovy and infectuous sort of -dare I say- Funk (as far as you'd expect that in a Trancey track!) is what follows with all sorts of downpitching effects fading in and out. I can only imagine how awesome this must sound live! From 04:53 onward, a faint synth sound plays the main lead whilst a very cinematic like singular pad joins it in the background. Suddenly the Funk turns into Mystique when at 05:37 the beat suddenly fades and the pads gain more space "to shine", in a musical way...

Damn… :))

That moment right there, that moment of peace before the bassline-backing layer joins in does two things: As the shivers run down my spine I am reminded of the Symsonic album and the beautiful harmonies it harbored. I don’t know exactly how, this track doesn’t really have a retro-feel to it like EON or 7IO8 did but still… Something about the melody and that pad just oozes Symsonic-era to me…

The second thing this Moment Of Serene Bliss in 13.11.11 does is unleash a recognizable Grateful Euphoria. How many times have I gone through this exact feeling already?? I’ve lost count but its meaning has always been the same: Rank 1. Does It. YET. Again!

The main lead returns and we humbly smile at this reprise part! It is soon backed by the background pads whilst the kick temporarily leaves us to complete that euphoric mania. The track then starts losing elements gradually as you'd expect but whereas this would normally signal the end of a Rank 1 track, the Outro Part Commences. At 09:16!! I could now spend another paragraph to give an in-depth description of what happens and what it does to me but... At this point, words don't cut it anymore. I'm simply overloaded with joy at this point and grinning like an idiot. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what music should do to you.

What a Rabbithole Ride... 13 minutes and 11 seconds of pure modern Trance bliss... No Trouse clichés. No Dubstep Wobbles. No Electro piercing sounds (though Rank 1 were one of few that knew how to mix Trance with Electro properly as evidenced by their 2006-2008 discography if you ask me). No climax-hopping. None of that. A proper and deep, dreamy, Trancey Journey that epitomizes what Rank 1 has always stood for in my very-humble-though-completely-biased-opinion-as-a-Rank1-fanatic: Quality In A Different Way. And just good fun through the self-explanatory title too! Together with 7 Instead Of 8 and Elements Of Nature this track forms a Triad Of Rank 1 Epicness the same way L.E.D. There Be Light, Symfo and The Great Escape did over the course of 2009-2010. These Triads are absolute highlights in the Rank 1 discography much like the Epic Quartet of Beats At Rank-1 Dotcom, After Me, Opus 17 and Top Gear which in turn was preceded by the excellent Symsonic album and of course, their First Four Blissfull Singles. With 13.11.11 Rank 1 somehow manage to re-invent themselves YET again and I can only wonder what kind of exciting singles await us in The Near Future… Perhaps an exciting experiment with Breaks? Or perhaps a modern follow-up to Top Gear? Something cinematic even? There is no telling what to expect and for me that’s part of what makes being a Rank 1 fan so exciting! All I know is that "The Usual" is there to be challenged: The Rank 1 guys understand this and live up to it on a healthy basis.

What A Journey It Has Been!
There could have been no better track to Crown a superb 2013 for Piet & Benno I think. Three new singles, two new remixes (after 25 months or so!), a sweet mix compilation with many P&B Classics / Favourites, the release of the Massive soundpack, the extension of Radio Rush in which a bedroom DJ gets the chance to shine in the show’s second hour (just how many Trance Legends offer that huh?), an awesome live performance in Amsterdam, live gigs that included two sets in a new frontier for larger scale Trance-associated music (India > ASOT #600 and Sunburn Festival) as well as a second “Next Generation” De Goeij… But most importantly, as a Rank 1 fan this year has simply been pure delight. Where 2011 had me jumping in front of Piet’s DJ booth at (a for me record-breaking) four gigs -with the absolute highlight of that year being the moment I got to meet him in person- 2013 had me glued to my headphones with all these fresh new Rank 1 productions. The live performance at Back In The House where I got to meet Benno in real life (at long last!), was undoubtedly this year’s highlight. If they were to make a public statement next year, in which they would say they are quitting this whole Rank 1 thing, I would be sad of course but on the other hand… After these ten long AWESOME years in which they’ve ALWAYS come through as my favourite artists, I would have nothing to complain. The journey so far has been fantastic and I am realistic enough to know that nothing lasts forever. Whether This Rank 1 Journey is to last a couple of years more or whether it will come to a close in the near future, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it! It was instrumental in teaching me to appreciate different styles than what I was used to listening at first, it has been a great source of inspiration for my own amateur music and most importantly, it has always enriched the most important happenings in my life (be that positive or negative events). I've literally grown up with their music, effectively making them for me what The Beatles, Elvis or other Great Pop Acts were or are for my parents' generation: Legends. And I got to meet both of them in real life and tell them my appreciation for their achievements as an artist duo. What else is there to say? Rank = #1!

Now, head over to Beatport. Don't hesitate. Grab your copy of this gem. Nothing short of a 2013 Essential. No "but"s! I'll even make it easy for you. Here:

| Single Review | October 18th - November 11th |

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