Alive with shooting stars gliding through the night sky at soul juddering speed, fireworks creating roaming destinies bidding to stay with you forever, and harnessing the moment between rush and release…that’s the schedule of events expected of and delivered by Above & Beyond, their attention to quality control naturally bringing plenty of their own material into the bargain.
Bound by riff upon riff of delight, in the current arguments of cheaply tactical EDM, Above & Beyond always seem to detonate their drops and killer licks with care (and with mainstream appeal, such as on Mat Zo’s “Loop,” accounted for). Glistening delicacy also powers through with plenty in the tank (Jaytech’s re-up of “Overdrive”). Truth be told, it’s the vocals that are of most disappointment throughout. As of the genre, they’re all wistful and longing, though interpretable as depressed and clingy, and the result is that there is never an original or inspirational means of communication.
This is a particular downer when the music has one common, aim for the skies cause. And though A&B integrate Eric Prydz altering M83, later getting his mitts on Depeche Mode, outsider thinking = owning a different set of keyboards. The bass-retching elements of Mat Zo’s “The Sky,” Heatbeat/Parker & Hanson’s “Afterthought,” Norin & Rad’s “Pistol Whip” and Ronski Speed’s remix of Marc Marberg, be the ones to instantly jump out at you. If you’re in the moment, details like this won’t even register.
File under: Cosmic Gate, Arty, Genix