Home / Review: Tiesto – In Search of Sunrise 4

Review: Tiesto – In Search of Sunrise 4

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As a big Tiesto fan, I was really looking forward to In Search of Sunrise 4 – Latin America and it is starting to grow on me. But it hasn’t really grabbed me the way In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama or the Nyana albums did. Sometimes I wonder why there is this tendency for dance mix albums to be double albums. It’s just tough to keep the quality and energy up for that long of a period, no matter how talented the DJ is.

The first disc gets off to a bit of a slow start for me, almost chillout trance for lack of a better word. There’s just not a lot of energy. The opening track “Like a Waterfall” from Solarstone & JES has a cool vibe, I’m just not sure I would have started the album with it. Around track 6, things start to pick up with a great Spanish guitar sample (it’s the riff from the Doobie Brothers “Long Train Runnin'”) on “La Noche” from Coca & Villa. I’m really digging the Andy Moor mix of “My World” from Luminary. “Arcadia” from Gabriel & Dresden is just okay; it’s a very austere mix. I like their work on In Search of Sunrise 3 or “Beautiful Things” from Nyana. The BT track “Force of Gravity” from Just Be has been played a lot, but I love that song and the mix on this CD is pretty cool.

The second disc is a whole lot better and makes me wonder why this wasn’t chosen as disc one. I think it makes a much better first impression. It’s just a very good mix throughout the set. Not a lot of big standout tracks, just strong all the way through. I was excited to see the inclusion of Grayarea’s song “Gravity”; this Chicago live dance ensemble really deserves to be heard by more people. Excellent stuff. The Junkie XL Air Guitar Remix of “UR” off Tiesto’s Just Be, has some good moments, mostly because Matt Hales (Aqualung) has one of the better male trance vocals in recent memory on this track. I’m not sure I like it better than the Just Be version, both have their good and bad points.

All in all, this is a decent collection of recent trance and well mixed, although if you listen to a lot of trance you’ll recognize a number of the songs. Tiesto on an off day is still better than a lot of the other DJs out there. But in my opinion he might have to shoot a bit higher than this to maintain his #1 DJ status. If you are already a Tiesto fan, it’s well worth picking this up for the consistently good disc 2, but otherwise you might want to try Nyana or In Search of Sunrise 3.

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  • Al

    Cool, you can reach me at wongsiuhong(at)interbaun.com

  • Al, I think there are instructions on the front page of the site about how to join. You just need to have a blog of your own and to link to this site and e-mail Eric Olsen, the site owner, to become an official BlogCritic. Then you can post on here whenever you want.

    I don’t really put my e-mail up here, but if you want, leave yours and I’ll drop you a line if you want to write me a note about something, bro.

    That is all.

  • Al

    This may sound dumb, but how do I post reviews? Also, the link in your name doesn’t seem to work.

  • Al

    I like BT. Some his songs are classic, but when seeing him live, just keep in mind he’s a better producer than he is DJ.

  • Al, definitely review Anjuna Beats Vol. 3. I loved Vol. 2 and their Mixmag CD.

    Is it just me or is Mixmag not available at any of the regular bookstores it used to be? Maybe it’s just where I am?

    I’m not a big BT fan at all, but he’s the first big American trance DJ, so you have to give him credit for that.

    That is all.

  • Al

    Sorry Curtis, forgot to mention great write up. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Also, if you can find a copy of BT’s – Force of Gravity (Ferry Corsten Bootleg Remix), I highly recomend it.

  • Good stuff, guys. Yeah, it was tough for me to write this review because this album just doesn’t seem up to par for Tiesto. There are plenty of hungrier DJs out there who are doing cooler stuff. That’s kinda the way it goes I guess. Thanks for the suggestions on other producers/DJs to check out.

  • Al

    Just bedroom DJ and I’m a huge fan of Trance and Prog. I have a few Cosmicman remixes, but I’ll have to keep those other names in mind. Though I tend to prefer more proggy trance, I try to collect all the subgenres of trance. Above and Beyond’s label Anjunabeats is probably one of my favorite (and possibly one of the hottest) trance labels right now. I just might have to make write a review on their Volume 3 Compilation.

  • Do you DJ, Al? You should definitely write some reviews of dance music on here. I’ll read em for sure.

    You should check out a producer named Matti Laamanen, who also produces under the names Sundawner and Cosmicman. He’s one of Ferry Corsten’s discoveries and he makes some of the best epic, melodic trance around. Along with Andy Moor and Above & Beyond, he’s the next big thing in trance. A producer/remixer named Fatkid is getting a lot of buzz too, but he’s only remixed a couple of songs. One of them, his remix of “Southern Sun,” is brilliant.

    That is all.

  • Al

    The x-fader switch is probably being a little over exagerrated, but I think you get my meaning.

    Schulzie has his own radio show on http://www.globaldjbroadcast.com I think it was on hiatus during the summer, as I really haven’t heard anything from him for awhile. Same format as ASOT where the first hour was the newest tunes, and 2nd hour was either his mix or guest DJ. Great show. I’d really like to see him live sometime.

    I’m also a big fan of Gabriel & Dresden. Their productions are really unlike anyone else at the moment.

  • Al


    I totally agree with you on Tiesto’s Live show. When I saw him in ’99, he had something to prove and I was talking about him for days. I think I might have even had a little man crush on him.. haha. But that few times I’ve seen him, he’s really left me saying to myself, “wow, that’s it?”.

    Andy Moor is sh*t hot right now. Especially after the Air for Life Release. Banging tune!

  • I hear great things about Markus as well and he’s associated with all the big names. I tend to like my trance a little faster and more upbeat, but Markus is a rising superstar with his melancholy trance sound. One of the best things you can say for any producer is that you recognize their distinctive sound almost immediately when you hear it, and Markus is becoming one of those remixers where you know he’s made the track his own when you hear it because of his sound.

    I find it shocking that a few songs sound like Tiesto didn’t even mix between them and just flipped over on the cross-fader. Usually, even DJs who suck at mixing live will keep at it or edit using computers to make sure that their mix CDs are much better blended than you’d hear in a live club. Rarely do you find a DJ who’s as good in a club as he is on a mix CD.

    That is all.

  • Oh, and of course “In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama” also had two other trance all-time classics: Tiesto’s remix of “Southern Sun” by Paul Oakenfold (his all-time greatest remix in my book, with “Flesh” by Jan Johnston second) and “Solarcoaster” by the legendary trance producer Solarstone.

    If any of you are interested in getting started with what trance sounds like, download a song called “Seven Cities” by Solarstone. A beautiful, ethereal piece of heavenly music.

    That is all.

  • Al

    Hmm.. I’ll have to take a closer listen for some of the beat juggling. But otherwise, a great CD when compared to what else has been released this year. I think the only one I like better than this is Markus Schulz’s Cold Harbour Sessions, Miami ’05

  • Great stuff, guys.

    I too am disappointed with Tiesto’s live DJing lately, partly because he seems to play so much more of the hard, banging trance (think like Randy Katana’s “Fancy Fair”) that seems to be fashionable in Europe these days without much melody. I remember being almost sick to my stomach when I heard him play a remix of “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys the last time I paid $40 to see him — it wasn’t exactly a trance highlight moment and it was pretty cheesy. The remix was by a good producer, Matthew Dekay, but it didn’t fit his set at all and just screamed pandering.

    I’m not a big geek at clubs, so I don’t tend to notice mixing when I’m really drunk, but all of my DJ friends told me from that show and his most recent one in Chicago that Tiesto’s live mixing skills have really suffered and that he’s one of the poorer mixers among the superstar DJs today. In DJ lingo, lots of “trainwrecks” and poorly chosen transitions between songs. He also plays way too much of his own stuff now because of his “In Concert” tour, so that’s not much fun if you’re like me and don’t love his production work recently.

    I haven’t heard these mixes, but the tracklist seems pretty standard for some of the big songs that are in heavy rotation now by DJs. Everyone and their mother plays “Arcadia,” which is a funky, odd song.

    I’ll always have a fond memory of ISOS 3 Panama because of the wonderful, beautiful remix of Way Out West’s “Mindcircus” by Gabriel and Dresden, one of the best remixes in the history of trance that has me on board with G&D through even their lower moments as producers.

    Grayarea is a great band led by a really cool, nice guy from here in Chicago named Nosmo who DJs a lot as a solo act as well. Keep your eye out for him because he tours quite a bit as a DJ.

    I think Tiesto kind of lost me after ISOS 3, because Nyana kind of left me cold as well. There were some great songs like “Shine” from Darren Tate and “As the Rush Comes” by Motorcycle that Tiesto helped make popular, but the mix CD as a whole doesn’t seem to flow or inspire me like some of his past work did.

    I never thought he was in the league of Corsten, Armin, Paul Van Dyk, or the old Oakenfold as a DJ, but he used to be pretty damn good. Now, he’s just an icon resting on his laurels a bit.

    Tiesto used to use his stardom to bring some deserving tracks to an audience, but I can almost always predict what he’ll play now. He’ll always play a Junkie XL remix, at least a couple Gabriel and Dresden productions or remixes, several banging hard trance songs, and then one or two melodic trance songs to sweeten things up. It just doesn’t seem to all fit together that great for him anymore.

    Andy Moor is another trance god whose every production turns to gold these days. He’s behind White Room, half of the very popular production duo Leama & Moor and now has a couple of very good hits and remixes under his own name, including one of my favorites of the last year, his remix of “Find” by Ridgewalkers (a song that was apparently one of Armin’s favorites as well, since he plays it constantly for a year or so).

    That is all.

  • I agree with you there are spots where it seems pretty lazy, but there are a number of spots on the second disc where he keeps pulling elements from previous/next songs into the mix. But yeah, there are other times where it’s barely more than a switch from one song to another.

  • Al

    For the past few years I’ve grown more and more disenchanted with Tiesto after seeing him live in smaller venues. As for this CD.. the track selection is amazing. And unlike alot of other DJ’s mixed CD’s out right now, track selection is not contained to their own artist label (Armin van Buuren, i’m looking in your direction). But I really disagree with you on the mixing. I personally think the mixing on this CD is terrible. Too many times it sounds like all he did was flick the crossfader from one song to the other. There’s no lead in from the incoming song during the outro of the outgoing track. As much as I think Tiesto is overrated, I know he can dj, and this album sounds like lazy dj-ing. Either that or he needs to take some lessons from Sasha on how to use Ableton properly.