Plenty of popular names in Electronic Music can be known as people who “murder a dance floor,” namely those who play a harder sound like those of the Bass Music, Electro House, and 140 Trance fame. Jono, Paavo, and Tony of Above & Beyond aren’t those to go behind the decks with the intention of working a crowd into a destructive frenzy(which there’s nothing wrong with, by the way) by initiating 2-7 hours of aggressive beats though; instead, they build community by injecting poetic lyrics and rich musicality into a modern big room formula in order to create meaningful, steadily paced, and exciting mainstage shows. The big question then becomes: how does one get ready for something as coherent and cinematic as a Group Therapy Session?
Not many can put their finger on it, and those who play nothing but bangers before they go on may not be too keen as to what they’re getting their audience ready for. However, the trinity themselves are especially knowledgeable to what the beginning of an extended journey through an Anjunabeats experience would entail. The most recent piece of evidence proving this and a set that didn’t get nearly enough attention as it should have is their warm up set at ABGT 150.
Through the course of this set they take advantage of deeper remixes they commissioned from their latest album We Are All We Need, blending them with instrumentals from the each half of their label’s busy kitchen: lush numbers from their deep younger sister label’s Ashworth and Way Out West as well as some chilled out progressive picks from their main imprint including Oliver Smith and newcomer Vintage & Morelli.
While these same vibes are reflected in the Deep, Prog, and tech house cuts the three each individually select for their ABGT shows every week, mixes like this in which they can curate without focusing on the task of only playing brand spanking new tunes in rotation are the ones that are a testament to their strength in storytelling.
This isn’t the kind of stuff you jump on your bed, speed on the freeway, or type in all caps in a group chat to- it’s more a collection of beats to soundtrack getting productive work done at home, a reflective journaling session, or a those often unexpected times when you find youself walking and looking out at a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Of course, it’s also key for grooving and easing into a meaningful night out with friends you’ve known for ever as well as those you strike a bond with for the first time.
Take some time to listen to the full ABGT 150 warm up set above. Episode 149 and Disk 1 of Anjunabeats Volume 11 are also great mixes to continue with if these unique cinematic tunes suit your fancy as well.