Above & Beyond
About Above & Beyond
Trance has never sounded more melodic—or more affecting—than it does in the hands of Above & Beyond. Since the early 2000s, when they founded the Anjunabeats label, the London trio of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki has delivered a steady and invigorating stream of trance classics. The blueprint of their sound arrived fully formed on their debut album, 2006’s Tri-State, in tracks like “Alone Tonight,” where driving synths met soaring vocal melodies; on 2011’s Group Therapy, they widened their range, folding elements of progressive house, tech-house, and synth-pop into the mix. Given their emphasis on making emotional connections, it’s no wonder that they soon found themselves playing to arena audiences; what was surprising was the decision, in 2014, to unplug, which they did on Acoustic, the first of several sets of ethereal, ambient-inspired reworks. With the following year’s We Are All We Need, the hazy beauty of their acoustic side snapped sharply back into focus, showcasing an even more yearning melodic sensibility married to crisp, colorful grooves. While unexpectedly gritty traces of dubstep sneak into grinding cuts like “Sticky Fingers,” the angelic choirs and sheet-lightning synths of “Peace of Mind” find Above & Beyond sounding more heavenly than ever.