REVIEW: John O’ Callaghan – Subculture 2013

Artist: John O’Callaghan

Genre: Trance

Label: Armada

Release Date: January 18th, 2013

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.0

John O’Callaghan (JOC) is one of the best trance artists to come out of Europe in a very long time. His signature heavy beats and exceptional track choices got my attention early last year & I was kicking myself for not finding him sooner. The Subculture label lets him recognize tracks that capture his blend of high energy, uplifting, trance & tech trance.

The first CD starts melodic and light but pulls into hard & techy in Lightning, by marlo and Letting Go, an amazing remix by Jorn van Deynhoven. This trance never makes it over to the USA, except when the correct DJs get chosen by Armin to bring to his ASOT tent in Miami during Ultra. The uplifting Fire Island remix by Aly & Fila pushes the mix to new heights and it keeps building. One of JOC’s originals Boban, shows up and brings the anthemic feel back after it pulls into a more euphoric bend following the Aly & Fila. The mix ends with JOC’s hard edit of one of my favorite tracks from 2012, that being I Don’t Deserve You, pulling into Airport by Photographer, which is so hard it almost sounds like psytrance (massive compliment imo). It’s some of the best hard, chromatic, deep and euphoric trance I’ve heard in years.

The second half of the compilation glides into existence on the back of ethereal beats and strummy guitars, courtesy of a Marlo remixed Solarstone track before dropping into hard, rambling trance. This is music I’d sell my plasma to hear on this side of the pond. The tag-team set between Aly & Fila and John O’Callaghan on the last night of Electric Zoo was tremendous and anyone who was there can tell you the power of this stuff to rock a crowd’s face off. JOC’s Dark remix of I’ll Listen (a ridiculously popular vocal trance track by Armin) haunts as it delivers. Whether it’s Giuseppe Ottaviani, Bryan Kearney, The Thrillseekers or Orjan Nilsen, the mix is a clusterfuck of awesome DJ talent. The deep, 4 to the floor sound continues to push for the rest of the mix with the best saved for last. Jorn van Deynhoven roars back into the spotlight with a radio edit of Headliner. The mix ends with JOC’s signature remix of one of the best tracks (voted #1 on Armin’s vote in poll of the top tracks of 2012) of last year, “Concrete Angel” by Gareth Emery featuring Christina Novelli. She delivers soaring vocals for this beguiling tune and they feed directly into the energy of JOC’s driving, powerful remixes. Arguably one of his best for the year, especially when it comes to reminding you that trance still exists.

A superb compilation that gives me hope for 2013, while reminding me how good 2012 was. I can’t wait to see him back in NYC. I’ll definitely be there and if you’re a fan of trance like I am, you will be too I wager.

Review by Terry Gotham

This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.

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