Reviews 02-13-2007

 

Music Reviews 

 

   

Dream Wide Awake
by Omnimotion

 

Visit Omnimotion's Website

Apologies to anyone freezing their shanti's off  in Europe at the moment, but here in Australia it is HOT. The kind of hot that follows you around and wonít let you escape. The kind of hot where the ceiling fan only moves the heat around, and where any fluids you drink evaporate from your body immediately.

England are losing the cricket, I can hardly think in the heat, so I do what any self-respecting person would do under the circumstances: I have a spliff, a lie down, and I put on this CD.

Dream Wide Awake, ladies and gentlemen, is another level. Itís not psy-chill, thank Raja. Itís not dull ďproperĒ ambient, thank Namlook.

Four years in the making, itís a veritable tapestry of sound thatís got more live instruments than the Salvation Army marching band. And more than this, they are used intelligently and decisively: the violin, accordion and female voice on Elves Of Athoria are morphed into the electronic backbone in a refreshing, impressive way. None of this ďacoustic instrument manipulated as a digital sound,Ē nor the ďstandalone electronic track with token live instrument samples off a Future Music cover CD.Ē Iím serious here: itís seamlessly well done, itís as though music was always meant to sound like this.

Dubber and Purple Sky sound like a more emotionally sensitive Massive Attack, while the radio-friendly standout is an electro Radiohead fronted by a softer Sinead OíConnor.

It doesnít always work; Open My Heart and Wide Awake are somewhat awkward, rambling diversions, but this doesnít really matter. The shagadelic Ton Image closes the album in steamy, Future-Sound-Of-Gainsbourg style and youíre left mopping up the cerebral, loveable mess that this album has made in your shorts.

Dream Wide Awake is impossible not to love. While other people making electronic music are producers, Omnimotion is an artist; and yes, there is a difference. If youíre an Entheogenic addict then you may be disappointed with this. If on the other hand youíre over shanti and want something mature, lasting, significant and bloody good, then look no further.

A scorcher.

 Reviewed by Damion courtesy of the Psyreviews website.

 

   

Free Range(organic)

by OOOD

 

 

Itís a little-known Ė and, letís be honest, largely insignificant Ė fact that without OOOD, there would be no psyreviews. Their Kundalini is THE track that kept me interested in this music, after having my curiosity piqued by those very same year-dot tracks that everyone credits. 

Free Range has been a long time coming, and it bloody well sounds like it too. The production hugs you, lifts you up from the conventional psytrance bottom-heavy spectrum and to have this level of musical variety on one piece of plastic is almost enough to reaffirm your faith in music. 

The title track kicks off funky and drops into 4-4 in one of the best set-starters ever devised; after which, Smoke A Lot flitters from glistening dub to floaty doof with a sublime elegance. The Humming is evil and hefty up to a dreamy breakdown, after which itís evil and hefty again, and Solar Sway takes things into a sort of netherworld-y, morning-trance-cum-oldskool that isnít exactly arresting, but is jolly nice all the same. 

Oh My (Good Golly Me) is one of their best efforts here. Itís brave, itís bold, and itís beautiful. The vox distorts and warps perfectly, the techno-pounding rig botherage is in full effect, and subtle changes make it feel like a real journey, in the manner of Prometheusí better work. 

Marijuajuana has a few too many samples, but its combination of shitkicking disco and dreamhouse pads make it a winner. Rock My Soul again suffers from over-samplage, which could almost be forgiven were the tune itself not quite so wandering and noodly (or should that be nOOODly). Sorry, crap joke Ė but then thatís what you come to psyreviews for, isnít it? 

Blue Seal is a cracker. Taking ages to start, it holds the attention perfectly with intricate hooks, suggested melodies, an array of frequencies Ė in short, everything this kind of music should have. 

It all comes together in the wonderful, warming Eye Of The Beholder; utterly wonderful, fluid, epic, dreamtime stuffÖ the kind of which I never thought Iíd here. Free Range is a decent album, with plenty of variation and with the inclusion of whatís known in the trade as ďshort talky bitsĒ (think Three Feet High And Rising), itís a winning package for home listening. 

Musically, it may lack a certain thunking presence Ė as in, it doesnít sound like normal fullon Ėand as such DJís might find they donít give it quite so much of an airing. But the bottom line for the rest of us is that this is a mature, confident, loveable, lasting album thatís executed with flair, grace, professionalism, and a little sprinkle of magic from another dimension. Probably.

 Reviewed by Damion courtesy of the Psyreviews website.

 

   

Cosmos (Tribeadelic)

by Various Artists

Visit Tribeadelic Records' website

 

Tribeadelicís latest compilation is also its best. Released at a time where the sheer dearth of fullon releases means that hardly anything gets any kind of exposure at all, itís definitely one of those diamond-in-the-rough situations. 

Rinkadinkís Suadade is pure Rinky bliss, smooth sounds and interesting half-melodies with a decent drop; and it gets better with LPU (CPU and Melbourneís Liquid collaborating) Ė a hefty, thunky track with balls as big as two planets tucked painfully into a pair of tight spacejeans. Indraís Bomb Bass isnít bad, itís the whole Isra thing again, and it's bloody cheesy: but itís executed well. New Australian producer Audio Unit does encouragingly well with Pink Cup, one of the finest examples of fullon around at the moment. The peaks and builds arenít forced, the production is punchy, and it shies away from cheese. 

Legohead makes a welcome return with Pinky And The Brain, showing that he can still do what he does, and does it well. The sample at the break is nothing short of hilarious, and the subsequent drop has your feet moving, your face smiling, and the bits in between all feeling rather nice indeed. 

Next up, Nosferatu by Liquid Nebula Ė a veritable Australian supergroup with Luna Orbit, Fractal Glider and Ozzy on vocals Ė ok not really. But itís a decent track, buzzing along at a fairly frenetic pace and making good use of that guitar plugin (for once). The escalation is organic and effective, the middle run is more kaleidoscopic than 1968 Jefferson Airplane playing in Ken Keseyís living room, except with better production. 

The wonderful DMMT do well with the Doors-exhuming Break On Thru, a fucking stellar track with or without its cheeky sampleage. Liquid & Legohead is a good collaboration on paper, but Lick Your Leg falls short. Itís not bad, but it lacks a certain punch and the arrangement of sounds favours the lower end, with the result sounding a little muddy. 

Things get better, and brighter, with Life Theory from Tasmaniaís Mycosonic. I am all over this track at the moment; thereís a slicing, a stuttering going through the whole thing and a warm production that puts you in mind of Voice Of Cod. It escalates like a dream, and the peak, while melodic, is fucking bliss. It loses it slightly with a bit of a misplaced piano, but once that fades away youíre left with a final run that anyone with a pulse will love in some way. 

Finally a rare downtempo outing from Fractal Glider: Ride The Wave sounds like its title would suggest, dubby without being too shanti, and a cocooning vibe that sounds like being hugged by the carpet (or something). All in all this is a bloody impressive release; lose Indra and youíve got an almost perfect album.

Reviewed by Damion courtesy of the Psyreviews website.

 

   

Mode-S

by Xavier Morel

Visit Xavier's website

 

A very hot property this. Psy-heads may not know this chap by name, but chances are heís sitting in your CD collection already; heís worked with Genetic, Eat Static and Juno Reactor, heís compiled the two mighty Black compilations on Solstice this year, and he guests on the Koxbox album. 

The common denominator on the more recent appearances is, essentially, what Mode-S is all about: tecchy, metallic trance that builds subtly, morphs violently, and jaw-drops daw-droppingly. 

Itís essentially a load of music that I donít know, but I now know that I probably should; the dynamic, intricate layering of psytrance has been preserved and this raw, split-level techno has been dusted all over the top of it. The Tony Rohr remix of X-Dreamís We Interface makes so much more sense than the original; stripped-down and paranoid, the elements that are retained from the original have more impact via not being shoved down your throat. 

Speedy J & C Liebingís Eventide is disturbing, and the midsection peaks with a smashing run of Oís Atomit, Steven Bodzinís Tron and Heckmannís Shadow Dancer. 

See, these names are new to me. Which makes reviewing it a handsome challenge. 

The closest familiar ballpark to this would probably be the Solstice Black compilations with less of the psy bassline; or X-Dreamís last album with more subtle poke. And if thatís no good you can always check the preview at Xavier Morelís Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/xaviermorel . 

Oh, and the fact that itís a Japanese import gives you extra trainspotter points with yer mates.

Only released in Japan as far as I know, but worldwide delivery is available here

Reviewed by Damion courtesy of the Psyreviews website.

 

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