Ferry Corsten

Trance Nation, Vol. 1

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Good luck finding an album that better sums up the enormous hype surrounding trance during the late '90s. On the first Trance Nation release, Ferry Corsten (System F, Albion) mixes together a total of 36 of the most popular trance anthems to date, focusing primarily on songs from 1998 but also going back as far as 1992 for the earliest trance anthems: Future Sound of London's "Papua New Guinea," Underworld's "Dark & Long," Age of Love's "Age of Love," BT's "Loving You More," and Robert Miles' "Children." Unfortunately, when a DJ packs 36 of the most massive trance anthems ever on only two CDs without any filler, the mix is going to be rough and unrelenting. Even if Corsten was one of the best DJs in the world, mixing songs such as Energy 52's "Cafe Del Mar (Three 'N' One Mix)" into Paul van Dyk's "For an Angel (PVD E-Werk Club Mix)" isn't going to be easy -- climactic tracks such as these need ample foreplay to reach their most promising effects. Without enough lulls, progressive trance such as that featured on this album can begin to sound highly diluted as the listener begins to get increasingly conditioned to giant breakdowns and endless build-ups. Furthermore, due to the progressive nature of these songs and Corsten's decision to cram 18 songs on each disc, one feels cheated by the short track lengths. Finally, for every sublime Robert Miles and Art of Trance song on this CD, there are songs such as the Moonman remix of "The World '99" that are downright gaudy. Yet even when considering these many problems, Trance Nation does fare better than many of Ministry of Sound's other compilations that often wander aimlessly from one genre to the next in their mission to capture all the biggest club hits. Furthermore, no album will give naive newcomers a better taste of commercialized progressive trance anthems than this loaded collection.

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