One Random Single a Day #19: “Riding on a Storm” (1999) by Timo Maas

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Oh neat, another trance single. At least this one is more uniformly descriptive of the trance genre as a whole, unlike “Not Giving Up on Love”. It does help that this particular single was created in the 90s, when the techno and rave scenes were arguably at their peak. Timo Maas is a prominent German DJ and producer in the scene, but “Riding on a Storm” was actually one of his very first singles released. He would go on to provide remixes of singles from artists as prominent as Madonna, Moby, and Fatboy Slim, as well as continue being a bit of a figurehead throughout the German rave scene as a whole.

It’s really difficult for me to write about trance singles such as this one. At least with other instrumentals I’ve covered like “Raw Cuts #3” and “Don’t You Want to Be in a Cult”, there were some aspects to the instruments or electronic sounds used that offered some insight on the effective of its use. Here, it’s just a typical, non-lyrical, static tempo trance track, through and through. The bumping bass starts immediately, followed by some electronic pitches and noises layered right on top. As intensity builds, some more zooming effects and something that sounds like a church choir is thrown into the mix. There are a couple of breakdowns present, but it’s mainly just certain elements of this layered sound being temporarily removed before they’re spliced back in for yet another climactic rush. This format folds upon itself for a few times through the duration of the track, and through this all, the thumping bass effect keeps up a consistent tempo, from the start to the finish.

I pretty much described any techno-dance track out there, but that’s really all that this is. This is the kind of recording that people point to when remarking on how all techno music sounds the same. I’ll admit that I’m very, very well-informed on the music and the scene as a whole, but this single just seems like it’s only useful for background music on mellow nights or as a catalyst for long nights of dancing and partying. On the latter point, this is pretty much as good to dance to as anything else – I just don’t see how anyone could give this a listen and see it as at all exceptional from the ginormous clout of other electronic trance singles out there. Anyway, that’s just my opinion. If this is your thing, more power to you, but I’ll much rather go back to music with more of a defined personality in its sound than this empty husk of a track.

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