Article | Onlythebeat

Enhanced Sessions Vol. 4 Isn't Just Another Label Album

Monday, September 22, 2014
Tony Apfelbeck

Enhanced Recordings has Enhanced Sessions Vol. 4 all printed and ready to ship for today's release, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy. Estiva’s returning to the project with another mix CD, but this year Juventa is taking over for Daniel Kandi. Enhanced Sessions Vol. 4 is quite a hefty mix with 38 tracks in total between the two discs, 20 of which are album exclusive releases. This volume boasts guest appearances from a couple usual Enhanced suspects like Speed Limits, Daniel Kandi, and Tritonal (obviously), as well as new tracks from some of my personal favorites: LTN, BT, and Aruna. Some notable newcomers found in the mix are names like Wretchiski, Suspect 44, and Mr. FijiWiji. As I said before, the entire album spans something like 2 hours and 40 minutes so it’s a pretty mammoth thing to tackle, but I’ll give you the highlights from my first listen. In general, it sounds like Enhanced is taking progressive house down a few different roads at the moment. Personally I’m hearing developments from two distinct stylistic directions of house; between last year’s big room bangers (complete with all the triplet drops you could ask for) and the explosive synth-y type of tracks from the year before. However, everyone’s sort of running off with these things in their own different direction or creating wildly different fusions in the year 2014. I’ll put it to you this way, these are the ones that stood out to me for one reason or another:

Estiva & the Spacies – “Voices” (Estiva Mix)

This one really just comes within a hairsbreadth of overplaying the happy house sound for me, but it stays just shy of crossing that border. Somewhere in the mix there’s this lead guitar sound that comes wailing in from the background and gives it that sound like it’s the climactic song right at the end of the soundtrack to a happy movie. That’s the aesthetic I’m getting, but that’s what we’re trying to jam to at the main stage anyway so that’s the point, they're aware of its niche and plays it well. Personally, I think this one is right at home on Enhanced when you draw a side-by-side comparison of it with the new Tritonal tracks on this album. These are all bright and explosive mainstage tunes chock-full of synths to get your hands in the air.

LTN feat. Christina Novelli – “Feeling Like Yeah” (Alexander Popov Remix) [ALBUM EXCLUSIVE]

This one’s been making its way around a few ASOT dance floors as an ID track and it’s absolutely a notable powerhouse. The two versions I’ve heard of this track are that close to being absolutely mind-bendingly raw. Christina Novelli is an impressively gifted singer who can absolutely rip through your heart with a vocal line, but on this version I feel like she’s carrying the track just a bit more than the instruments supporting her, and this particular mix has a sort of groovy syncopated bassline in the drop that just isn’t what I’m begging for when the track is about to burst forth from the break. Just wait, someone’s got the diamond edition of this one stashed away on their hard drive somewhere and they’re holding it close until their next really big stage appearance.

Aruna – “Start A Fire” (Mr. FijiWiji Remix)

If I’m honest with you, I was filled with skepticism when I saw that someone put one of my favorite artists to the remix because I’ve always lauded the original mix of "Start a Fire" as an all-around perfect progressive track. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the treatment Mr. FijiWiji put to this song and I’ll admit, stubborn as I am with my preference for the original, this remix is quite tasteful and very pleasing to listen to. I’m really impressed.

BT feat. Christian Burns – “Paralyzed” 

BT’s “Paralyzed” with Christian Burns is an absolute masterpiece. What more can I say about this release that I haven’t already said before? It’s an absolute gem to listen to and was a track I purchased with zero hesitation the day it was released on Beatport.

Speed Limits – “Petrichor” [ALBUM EXCLUSIVE]

Speed Limits continues to deliver quality with “Petrichor” through some seriously eye-opening 4/4 sections in this one that really just punch right through my speakers. I’m not a big fan of half-time sections right before a drop, but I like this one enough that I’m having trouble deciding if I really think it detracts from the energy of this song or if I’m just being old-fashioned. In any event, this one will punch your crowd straight in the face with sound and put your speaker system through boot camp.

Aerosoul & Yoel feat. Jenny Mayhem - "Dreams Come True" [ALBUM EXCLUSIVE]

The last one I want to highlight is a pretty classic mainstage anthem; the lyrics are quick to learn, it bursts into the sky with lots of splashy percussion and big synths, and it’s really got that happy house feel to it. There is one little surprise section right after the second verse where it blows open its time signature and drops into a soaring dubstep section that’s actually quite fitting and exquisite to hear on a system that packs a punch.

So there you have it! Make sure to pick up Enhanced Sessions Vol. 4 on iTunes here.