Parade of the Athletes

BY Philip DowneyPublished Dec 1, 2004

Quite simply, this is strictly for trance fans. For the third time in a row, Tiesto was voted #1 in DJ Mag’s influential annual top 100 DJs poll, and his album reflects the modern trance sound — thumping beats and overcharged synths that are heavy on buzzing and melody. The album is all original tracks, eight are new, and four are reworked versions of old tracks. Tiesto played a live set similar to this for this year’s parade of the athletes and opening ceremony at the summer Olympics in Athens. This album is mixed, sort of — there are no breaks between the tracks, but that’s really just to avoid gaps. "Heroes” is a fun break-beat opening, and after that it’s all four-on-the-floor pounders, each at an accelerating tempo. "Breda 8pm” has a great bass line and syncopated percussion and "Euphoria” has an intense, building melody. The cheese factor is occasionally high: Barber’s "Adagio for Strings” manages to make two appearances, on "Athena” and "Adagio for Strings”, and I’d swear "Victorious” is a riff on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats tune, "Memories.” Plenty of trance’s usual tricks are evident, like world music flutes and drums, repeated synth stabs, acid squelches and big, beat-less breakdowns. It’s a little exhausting for home listening, but fine for a club. By the end, my ears felt like they had run the marathon.

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