NOV. 21, 2013
Finnish DJ Orkidea, Tapio Hakanen, released his pure trance remix album “20 Ximer” (Remix backwards) on November 18 as a celebration of his two decades in music. As one of Scandinavia’s top DJs for over 10 years he has remixed for big trance labels like Anjunabeats and for artists like Tiesto. His sounds are precise and intentional and you can tell from listening to his latest album that he knows what he’s doing, and he’s being doing it for a long time!
His Unity (Pure Intro Mix) begins by washing over you with soft tones that bring back memories of the good old days of trance. As it should, Unity first came out in 1999 and Orkidea has done a great job of keeping it current with a number of remixes over the years, this album included, with “Unity” (Solarstone Pure Mix) and more.
This original trance feeling is maintained throughout the rest of his album, never straying too far from his purist trance roots. But he doesn’t just rest on his trance laurels without bringing something new to the trance table. There is something nostalgic and exciting about “Tw3nty” (Lovetone vs JS16 Remix), but it quickly gets punched into overdrive reminiscent of techno and funky bass.
Where I really got hooked was “Liberation” (Something Good Vocal Remix). It’s as if electronic pop and trance got together and had a funky techno baby…whose godfather was Faithless. It’s different, and it’s good, and man…I dig it.
His tracks bounce from pure tonal trance, to funky, to beat pounding without losing the essence of what Orkidea has spent decades producing – just good trance music. It certainly keeps you on your toes, with each song bringing a new perspective to the intricacies of trance and electronic.
His track with Solarstone “Slowmotion II” (Tempo Giusto Remix) only helps to reinforce the efforts of trance legends like himself who continue to repair and transform the sounds of trance that have been torn and distorted in recent years. He doesn’t rely on constant breakdowns, but instead trusts his sounds enough to stand on their own and create a natural buildup in the beat.
There are some tracks where this natural wave is harder to catch than others, for me that included the Winkee Remix of “Slowmotion II”, the “Pacifique” remixes, and “Lifetime Warranty”. Individually this could have been disappointing, but because the album overall really captivates the trance lover in me while still bringing into the mix exciting and different funky styles, I still thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Orkidea’s “20 Ximer” and believe it deserves it’s place in trance music history.
Review by Lauren Stafford