Dutch electronic music mastermind Armin van Buuren unveils ‘Breathe In,’ his 9th studio album.
Armin van Buuren has traversed a remarkable trajectory since his modest inception in the mid-1990s. One of his early triumphs, “Blue Fear,” may appear unfamiliar to contemporary enthusiasts. Featuring a captivating bassline, woodblock notes, and driving atmospheric synths, the track emanates a simplicity that captivates, providing a gentle yet entrancing musical experience. Although deemed milder in today’s resounding scene, it adeptly achieves its objective of engrossing the listener and prompting rhythmic movement.
This inherent ability to connect with the audience resonates universally throughout Armin’s discography, prominently showcased in his ninth album, “Breathe In.” Spanning over two years in production, the Dutch maestro curates 12 distinctive tracks that pay homage to his trance roots while embracing innovative influences that cast him in a renewed light.
The inaugural track, “Forever (Stay Like This),” a collaborative effort with the GRAMMY-nominated duo Goodboys, unfolds as a hypnotic, melodic anthem, reminiscent of Guru Josh’s “Infinity.” This star-studded partnership seamlessly integrates the iconic saxophone with a contagious new hook, solidifying Armin’s proficiency in the pop genre and crafting an unforgettable tune with universal appeal.
Further into the album, Armin collaborates with trance luminaries Ferry Corsten, Rank 1, and Ruben de Ronde in “Destination (ASOT 2024 Anthem).” This aptly named composition pays homage to the sounds of the early 2000s, culminating in an atmospheric masterpiece replete with futuristic textures, icy synths, and rapid arpeggios.
A standout moment in the project is found in “God Is In The Soundwaves,” where Armin, alongside UK producer Xoro and duo Yola Recoba, accelerates the tempo with a staccato-led vocal. This stutter house record skillfully interweaves trance elements with innovative techniques from emerging producers, showcasing the collaboration’s essence, particularly evident in the impactful second drop.
Balancing the kinetic beats of tracks like “When We Come Alive,” “Inevitable,” and “Make It Count,” Armin introduces a contemplative dimension with “Bed of Rain.” Here, the producer opts for a gradual progression, spotlighting Mila Josef’s soulful gospel ballads. Josef’s gentle voice infuses the anthem with a cinematic aura, allowing the progressive synths to breathe and evoke a larger-than-life presence.
“Breathe In” stands as one of Armin’s most pop-oriented works to date, yet it steadfastly maintains its core messages. According to the veteran of the dance scene, the album encapsulates a theme of “welcoming outside influences and establishing a deeper connection with everything or everyone around you.” This project reflects Armin’s embrace of new sounds, portraying a multidimensional image of the artist, a facet not always apparent in his career.
Reflecting on the 20th anniversary celebration of his record label, Armada Music, Armin candidly shared that he once believed his career would conclude after the 2012 pop hit “This Is What It Feels Like.” Juggling creative freedom with fan expectations is a challenging feat, but growth necessitates risk and experimentation.
Fortunately, Armin has remained unwavering in his fearlessness. In his latest endeavor, he presents an album that traverses diverse facets of the dance world, compelling us to forge connections and share the dancefloor experience.
Immerse yourself in the sounds of “Breathe In” by Armin van Buuren on Spotify or your preferred platform. Stay updated with the trance titan’s latest developments on social media.