Album Reviews

Judge Jules et al – Judgement Euphoria

(Euphoria) UK release date: 25 July 2005

Claiming that your compilation set is ‘the true sound of Ibiza’ is a bold statement, but then I suppose it reflects the exaggerated slogans of TV advertising. This isn’t, of course, the true sound of Ibiza this year, but it offers a decent look at the harder side of house and trance, taken as it is through Judge Jules’ dodgy specs.

His own mix opens proceedings, a typical prime time set of trance based house. After a couple of warm-up tunes the first anthem arrives, Signalrunners‘ 3000 Miles Away a candidate for best tune of the whole thing with its tribal loop and big bass.

This opens the way for harder stuff from Jan Loper and Jules himself, an excellent collaboration with BK marred only by the breakdown, where it sounds like someone repeatedly driving a car into a wall at the other end of a large warehouse. Maybe that was the intention! Refreshingly though, Jules stays off the cheese and delivers a party soundtrack worth airing.

Up next is Eddie Halliwell, with a faster set verging on hard house. Not much happens early on, other than the establishment of a pulse. Melody is scarce and the beats pound – good for energetic dancing but not quite so much cop on the stereo. Abel Ramos puts that right with help from Randy Katona, opening up the treble end. Inertia then hints at a mellow change of direction, but Halliwell pulls it back, with David Forbes & Mallorca Lee throwing in a particularly heavy beat for Close Your Eyes.

The mix races through twenty tracks in just over an hour, coming to a breathless close with Halliwell’s own mix of Genetic. Uncompromising, and straight to the point!

After Halliwell’s whirlwind the Trophy Twins set is positively feather light, and sounds much more Balearic with the airy organ riff that gives way to piano on Trix‘s Rise Up, the exceptionally groovy bass of Jose Nunez that ushers in vocals from the wonderfully named Bruce Baps, and the familiar, chart bothering riff of Axwell‘s Feel The Vibe, one of this year’s biggest Ministry successes. Paul Harris adds a solid riff for Watching Falling Stars, then the Twins themselves (no, they’re not really related!) pump up the bass with a couple of homegrown efforts.

Plenty of music for your money, then, but if you want a clear representation of this year’s Ibiza this is clearly only part of the story. What it does well though is illustrate that Jules’ stable is in pretty good health at the moment.

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