George Acosta

The History of Trance 1993-2004

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There's so many compilations that claim to be the "Best of Trance," "Greatest Trance CD Ever!," or "The Story of Trance" that it's easy to be suspect of this one, especially with its plain cover art (a tribute to New Order's Substance perhaps?). But George Acosta is a name worth knowing, and Ultra Records have gone all out with their licensing on this one. Sure there are tracks that could have been on here, but this is a top-notch selection, no doubt about it. Acosta chooses the right mixes, the flow is almost perfect, and the liner notes go as far as to give you all of the producer's aliases in case you want to explore further. There's no grandiose story in the liners, which is fine since trance isn't old enough -- or important enough, some would say -- to take a Rhino Records-styled, academic point of view. The text story of trance is still on Internet message boards, but when it's written, History of Trance could be its soundtrack, at least up to 2004. The Robert Miles, Sasha, Energy 52, Delerium, and System F tracks are all defining moments for the genre. Acosta gains more credibility by remembering the cuts by Three Drives, Matt Darey, and his own mix of Jon Secada, all classics that aren't necessarily on the tip of everyone's tongue. He doesn't partake in much DJ showiness, and tracks are pretty much left alone, just slightly mixed together. It's his sequencing that matters, and both discs build up nicely to dramatic finishes. There's more to the genre than two CDs can hold, even if music snobs tell you otherwise, but History of Trance is a great overview, worthy primer, and an exhilarating listen.

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