By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Time once again to round up that favorite European-born friend-with-benefits (and funny teeth) and bop over to Space for whatever pops into Armin van Buuren's head.
Sure, van Buuren is another staple spoiling the fashionatti around town with frequent appearances, but it's that time of year to count your blessings and blah blah blah, so what better blessing to count than one of the most energetic trance promulgators in the world?
With his A State of Trance radio show ever in expansion mode and a handful of record labels to manage, he has been barraged by armies of interviewers questioning his intentions. Is it about the music or the money? "If I would have been concerned about money, I would have made use of my law degree and become a lawyer. The love of music is still the only drive to get on a plane and travel to a gig almost every day. Some gigs actually cost more money than they make."
As for the state of, well, trance, the Dutchman doesn't mince words there, either: "I think it's unfortunate and a bit of a pity that people call the music that Lasgo and DJ Sammy make ötrance.' No disrespect to those artists, because I think they are great artists, but that's not trance it's not the trance that I call trance."
Free of the progressive house that bogged down his A State of Trance 2005mix collection on Ultra Records, this year's edition is pure, uncut strobe-flash dance-dope, the hardest of the two CDs being the "In the Club" mix, which reaches climax in and around Hiroyuki ODA's majestic "Transmigration." It's a clear message that he's been hearing the fans and won't be deviating from his prime directive again anytime soon. Eric W. Saeger