It’s no exaggeration to say that Dutch DJ, producer, promoter and label runner RAM has lived a lifetime of trance. 25 years since his first DJ booking, he’s been empirical at every major twist and turn of the genre’s progression. Having last month delivered a virtuoso performance at his sold-out 25 Years-marking open-to-close show at Amsterdam’s famed Paradiso concert hall, he follows it in the most fitting of fashions, through the release of an epic-in-every-sense mix-comp.
Over the 4xCD/mix course of ‘Essence Of Trance – 25 Years of RAM’, track-by-track he charts his own personal musical history. Both through its mixing and compiling, in this career-defining endeavour RAM has left nothing to chance. In preparation, he drew up a quarter-decade-spanning list of music that – at its peak – numbered more than 400 potential inclusions. From there he began the often-brutal task of filtering them down to 79 tracks that – over the longer-term – best epitomized him as a DJ, and were the quintessential ‘Essence’ of RAM.
Inevitably given the timeline, highly recognizable names feature regularly over its quad-mix, near 320-minute runtime. They are though, almost-without-exception, rarely the artists’ best-known productions or remixes (a ‘greatest hits’, this is not). In the mixing those selected flow together in a captivatingly naturalistic manner that speaks volumes of their intrinsic and time-honoured importance within 25 years of RAM set-lists.
Grouped into four mix headings (titled by turns Moments, Magic, The Journey and Passion), RAM brings an enviable procession of music to the album. In keeping with his approach, for every mainstage name, there’s a clutch of the underground’s most beloved waiting in its mix wings. In the latter’s regard, the productions of Ralphie B, Vincent de Moor, Chakra, X-Cabs, Salt Tank, Signum, The Thrillseekers, DT8 Project, York, Gaia are to mention but a few. Whilst to the former (though it’d be easier to tell you who’s not there!), the music of Tiësto, BT, Armin, Oakenfold, A&F, John O’Callaghan, Solarstone, Dash Berlin, Gareth Emery and dozens of others all take their place.
While RAM’s own music peppers the first three discs, it’s to the fourth (Passion) that he quarters the majority of own his production work. ‘Forever And A Day’, the legendary ‘RAMelia’, recent smash ‘Northern Star’, ‘Saving Angel’ and (perhaps most fittingly an for an album of this nature) ‘The Calling’ all feature.
“for me it is all about melodic, emotional trance and the feelings this music gives me. Due to evolutions in electronic music, I have played different types of trance in my career. Instead of creating 4 mixes with different subgenres, I have chosen for tracks that fully connect to my essence of trance. The tracks on this compilation inspired and motivated me for the last 25 years, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.” – RAM
The very definition of consummate, the release musically plots the professional heights of lifetime devoted to a genre that – in itself – inspires dedication like few other. Packed to its nines with personal and universal highs, ‘Essence Of Trance – 25 Years of RAM’ is out now and available to stream or purchase through this link.