The Sky Above Us Letter from CallingPharaon to Beloved One Down in Love that of light New Frontiers Too busy to talk Magic The Last Frontier
Arty will probably be a name that everyone who is familiar with progressive trance or EDM is already familiar with. This gifted Russian DJ and producer, also known as Alpha 9, has destroyed countless dancefloors since 2009, from A State Of Trance gigs to the most recent ABGT 500 showcase in Los Angeles. In reality, Above and Beyond’s set, that evening was eclipsed by Alpha 9’s, which was undoubtedly the finest show of the night.
We should start off 2023 with a bang and a brand-new “Arty Party” since a new year is upon us. New Horizons, Alpha 9’s debut EP, is exceptional. Arty dons the Alpha 9 hat once more to present a stunning display of technical mastery and scorching progressive and trance tracks, showcasing his impeccable producing abilities.
Alpha 9 showcases brand-new songs from his expanding catalog over the course of 14 tracks, which together total around an hour and a half in length. Many of the vocal and instrumental tracks on this album stand out. Alpha 9 spares no effort as he creates a concentrated and powerful progressive album that really showcases his talent, ranging from vocal-heavy ecstatic bangers like “Final Frontier” and “Down to Love” to more instrumental-oriented songs like “Letter to Beloved One.”
For those who have seen Alpha 9 perform live (or on sets captured on YouTube), his technique typically relies on rapid blends between tracks or jaw-dropping, previously unheard remixes rather than lengthy, quiet beatmatching to blend two songs together like some DJs.
However, given that the EP is entirely unmixed, that isn’t really an issue here. The album’s tempo and tone can feel a little off at points, especially if you plan to listen to it nonstop. However, this does serve to differentiate each individual tune. The vocal and instrumental tracks alternate frequently throughout the album, with the first half of the album feeling considerably stronger due to the abundance of joyous, enduring tunes. That’s a small complaint, though, because New Horizons includes some absolutely killer songs all throughout that will make you feel good regardless.
With its straightforward lyrics and instantly memorable melody, “Down to Love” seems bound for vocal trance fame, while “Magic” is surprisingly restrained and excels as a progressive track that bridges the gap between slower, more concentrated trance compositions and dancefloor destroyers. One of the more modest stand-out moments of the entire album, the final 90 seconds of this song’s build-up literally causes goosebumps.
These memorable moments are tucked away throughout New Horizons, and part of the fun is finding them during the hour. After little more than ten years of destroying dancefloors, Alpha 9 is finally making a very welcome comeback to his progressive trance roots, which you’re likely to welcome with open arms.
With tight production skills, plenty of goosebump-inducing tracks, and a great blend of instrumental and vocal tracks, New Horizons sets a high bar for progressive trance this year that’s going to be tough to beat.