44 Songs, 2 Hours 25 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since EDM went overground at the turn of the 2010s, Armin van Buuren has proven a skillful navigator between the music’s grassroots legacy and pop ambitions, and on A State of Trance: Ibiza 2019, his annual state-of-the-art address, he strikes a thrilling balance between those two opposing tendencies. The set begins with a lighters-in-the-air moment: Van Buuren and Avian Grays’ opening “Something Real,” featuring Jordan Shaw at his most yearning, is a total heartstring-tugger shaded by alt-rock guitars. But from there the Dutch trance titan gets heady and hypnotic, veering into the pulsing grooves and rippling arpeggios that have been the genre’s calling cards for decades. The stretch between Melih Kor’s sleek, pulsing “Sunshower” and Gundamea’s “Sweet Disposition” is particularly captivating, as steely underground vibes give way to a guest turn from singer Andy Ruddy that offers tantalizing hints of what Thom Yorke fronting progressive trance might sound like. From there it’s back into the maelstrom, as heads-down instrumentals alternate with hands-in-the-air moments of catharsis.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since EDM went overground at the turn of the 2010s, Armin van Buuren has proven a skillful navigator between the music’s grassroots legacy and pop ambitions, and on A State of Trance: Ibiza 2019, his annual state-of-the-art address, he strikes a thrilling balance between those two opposing tendencies. The set begins with a lighters-in-the-air moment: Van Buuren and Avian Grays’ opening “Something Real,” featuring Jordan Shaw at his most yearning, is a total heartstring-tugger shaded by alt-rock guitars. But from there the Dutch trance titan gets heady and hypnotic, veering into the pulsing grooves and rippling arpeggios that have been the genre’s calling cards for decades. The stretch between Melih Kor’s sleek, pulsing “Sunshower” and Gundamea’s “Sweet Disposition” is particularly captivating, as steely underground vibes give way to a guest turn from singer Andy Ruddy that offers tantalizing hints of what Thom Yorke fronting progressive trance might sound like. From there it’s back into the maelstrom, as heads-down instrumentals alternate with hands-in-the-air moments of catharsis.

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