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Ferry Corsten Right Of Way Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

The top trance trouncer makes an impressive debut with an album stitched with...

Jack Smith 2004

The phenomenal rise of trance, in particular that permeating from Holland's hinterland, during the past few years, has not gone unnoticed. DJ magazine's recent readers poll of the world's top spinners gave trance a resounding thumbs up with the top three (Tiësto, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren) all plying their trade with tracks derived from the genre.

At six in the list was the reveller from Rotterdam, Ferry Corsten. There's little disputing that, as a DJ, the one-time footballer from the seaport, is one of the best. But the transition from deck general to recording artist is never a given. For Right Of Way, thankfully the journey is as smooth and polished as the production on the 14-tracks that lie within.

Corsten's particular dalliance of dance is trance with an electro-edge and techno-twist. Typified by the current single, "Rock Your Body, Rock" - drawing on influences ranging from jarring guitars of The Clash through to Numan-esque synthlines; and continued on the grungy "Whatever!". His previous single sortie, the dirty in-ya-face, "Punk", surprised many as it dented the top ten without a glow-stick being cracked within a hundred yards.

His music builds more on the past sounds that BT and Hardfloor pioneered, then the current crop of trance producers. And while tracks like "Kyoto", "Star Traveller" and the title track, do ooze of Judge Jules "largin' it" on a Saturday night with the formulaic clichéd ethereal breakdowns and hands-in-the-air riffs.

However, it is cuts like "Holding On" that make Right Of Way highly palatable. Shelley Harland duets on the said slice of sublime electronica that reeks of Brian Transeau's "Embracing The Sunshine" as progressive, electro and techno genres merge to create musical clarity. While "It's Time" and "Show Your Style" (with the wordy rhymes of Birgit) perfectly updates an electro blueprint with a contemporary breaks feel.

Designed for short-term impact rather than longevity, granted this might not be to everyone's liking. I personally never thought I'd enjoy it, let alone press the repeat button. Don't make unfair preconceptions of an album designed exclusively for a glow-stick generation of gurning 'Crasher kids waving their arms in unison as they feel the rush. That would be an insult to Right Of Way. Fusing trademark crystalline electronica with oddball percussion, Ferry Corsten ploughs his unconventional furrow with considerable style.

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