If you listen to much dance music, trance and progressive house in particular, then you're probably already familiar with Alex Gold, whether you realize it at first or not. Gold is head honcho of influential dance label Xtravaganza, and has a long list of production credits for Top 40 club singles on his resume. He is also a highly respected DJ, having held long-running residencies at Privilege in Ibiza and Space in Miami, and already has a couple mix compilations under his belt. But seeing that he is just now getting around to releasing his first artist album, it's understandable that he might have slipped under your radar.
Back From A Break is a title referring both to a hiatus that has kept him out of the limilight for the past few years, as well as to a very serious paragliding accident injuring his spinal cord, and forcing that hiatus on him. It's a blend of styles that reflects his well-roundedness as a DJ, as well as the diversity necessary of a label head. Although grounded in progressive trance, there is enough variety to the album to break up the four-on-the-floor and appeal to both newbies and diehards alike.
The first single "Stranded In Paradise" is a straight-up trance smasher that is sure to light up some dancefloors, and features the nicely treated vocals of Mark Sales (I bring this up mainly because someone must voice the need for more male-led trance vocals, so that hopefully we can give the divas a vacation for at least one winter). "L.A. Today" is also sure to be a club hit, with its deft mixture of house, trance, and retro-80's, due in part to the vocals of former Human Leaguer Philip Oakey.
The resident vocalist on this album is Kelly Jones, who contributes to four (great) tracks. "String Theory" is a lushly gorgeous float down a river of balearic chill, where the intent is not so much to bludgeon you with a melody but instead to enchant you so thoroughly that your ship crashes into the rocks of the next track. Her contributions to "Foreign Shore" and "Electric Places" are also quite nice, proving her to be a capable voice and co-writer.