By: Marcos Blanco
I just recently became a fan of Roger Shah after watching and listening to his performance a couple of months ago at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco, CA. Needless to say, I was blown away by his uplifting trance sets he played that night.
Before Shah, I thought my eardrums would never be whisked away to some faraway place only my subconscious can conjure up in my dreams. Shah’s latest trance mix album, “Magic Island-Music for Balearic People, Vol. 3,” which was released last month, proves me wrong and it doesn’t disappoint on the sweeping trip it takes you on.
Shah’s latest mix album has 30 regular tracks performed by various artists and two mixes that are over an hour long each spread across two discs. To say there is plenty of uplifting trance to listen to on this album is quite the understatement. Almost each track is four minutes or more most of them are quite varied in style so multiple hearings might be required if you want to take in all the elements each song has to offer.
The first disc, while enjoyable, felt somewhat shallow in its selection. It’s not that the tracks were bad per se, but most of the tracks lacked an edge in their positive vibes. I know it’s meant to be relaxing and that’s fine, I was expecting them to be more uplifting as its genre would suggest. There are a few notable songs on the first disc namely “Inside” and “Nostalgic” by Nuera, “Leave A Sign,” “Found” and “Kata Sea Breeze.” These songs were pleasant and upbeat without being too underwhelming or over the top. “Found” by Sunlounger (Roger Shah) is noteworthy for just being plain epic with some great vocals by Zara Taylor. The rest of the songs on the disc were good, but there was nothing that really stood out until the end which leads perfectly into the second disc.
The track selections on the second disc were a much needed change of pace. I enjoyed all of the 15 tracks presented by Shah here. From the atmospheric and Celtic-sounding “Discovery (Intro Mix)” all the way to “Ancient Land (Roger Shah Long Haul Flight),” everything on this disc was near Balearic perfection. “Tears Of The Dragon” by Pedro Del Mar featuring Ridgewalkers, was by far my favorite selection not just on the second disc, but also the entire album. It encompasses everything I was expecting from this album: sweeping, elegant beats, soothing vocals and upbeat variety in its elements throughout its entirety with a hint of relaxation thrown in that makes you feel like you’re on a journey of a lifetime. Plus, with an epic title like “Tears Of The Dragon,” how can it go wrong? Other noteworthy songs on this disc are “Natural Wonders,” “Crystal Sky,” “Catch A Cloud,” “Eden” and “Over and Over;” all of which I got completely lost in a good way.
DJ Shah’s mix album did not disappoint in the slightest. While the first 15 tracks on the first disc sounded great, they leaned too much on the mellow side. The second disc kicked things up a notch with a nice variety of songs with different elements thrown in to keep things fresh and upbeat with a bit a calmness that takes you away. If you’re a fan of Shah or any of the other talented artists on this album, do yourself a favor and pick up this up. The grand trip your eardrums take will be one to remember.
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