2009 Reviews - Part 3

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Recomendar

Jan 6 2010, 17h57

It's been almost 0,5 year since my last journal. But I have continued to make reviews. These are reviews from the last half of the year. I hope that all enjoy to read these as much as I enjoyed to write these. And of course feedback is highly appreciated.

Aes Dana - [Leylines]



1. Alignments
2. Bam (Album Edit)
3. Oxyd
4. Heights
5. Adonaï
6. Leylines
7. Lysistrata (Album Edit)
8. Signs
9. Inter
10. Blossom

Beauty never fades


I have to admit that I didn't have that good idea about Ultimae Records, the label which released this one. And I surely should have checked what they have to offer much earlier. But then again, I actually know many of the artists from the label. Carbon Based Lifeforms, Asura, Cell, h.u.v.a. networks and Solar Fields are all very good stuff which I recommend for everyone who wants to listen to more chilling electronic music.

But the name Aes Dana was unknown to me. The reason why I even checked this album was that I got recommendation to check this one out. And I had some clue how it might sound so I checked it out. But first some info about Aes Dana. Aes Dana is an artist name for Vincent Villius and this is far from his debut. In fact Ultimae have released 3 Aes Dana-albums before this one so the name probably isn't that odd for many listeners. But to me... well this was the first Aes Dana-release I checked so I can't compare it to the older releases. All I can do is to write what I think about this release. So let's see what [Leylines] includes.

I am not the best person to talk about ambient-stuff. I enjoy listening it but describing it is different thing. But what I can describe is that this album is pretty chilling for most parts using beautiful sounds. But at the same time the beats aren't forgotten and the album has both breakbeat as well as more familiar 4x4. But what I liked the best was the basslines which are powerful and interesting making the tracks catchier and generally more interesting to listen to. Also what I found remarkable was that every now and then the album becomes faster and after it comes more chilling parts suggesting that it's again just a calm before the storm. Of course even the faster parts are pretty peaceful and you can't find too much energy from this one but hey, it's ambient!

So is it good then? Well at the most parts yes. I think some of the tracks are pretty impressive and there certainly aren't any completely bad moments. Maybe bit dull but that's still more about being "calm before the storm". The album is beautiful piece of music and offers many interesting sounds but still, it fails to impress me completely. I don't know exactly why, but even though I think this sounds good, it doesn't sound awesome. As a whole album works well but it doesn't exactly go the one more step for being really awesome and memorable album.

Still, I would recommend this album for all those who like Solar Fields or any other producers which are in Ultimae's catalog. You don't waste your time while listening to this. Just press play-button and relax. You don't need to do anything else while listening to this one.

8/10

Ace tracks:
Heights
Leylines
Lysistrata (Album Edit)

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Paul Oakenfold - Perfecto Vegas



CD1
01. Hibernate - Left Alone
02. The Fraction - Awaken (Torin Schmitt Remix)
03. Shawn Michaels & Kenneth Thomas - Funktion Won
04. Joe Echo - On All My Sundays (Liam Shachar Remix)
05. Dezarate & Mitchel Manzano - Kiss My Love
06. Shannon - Let The Music Play (David Delano, Dirty Lou & Swedish Egil Remix)
07. Joey Modus & Kazell - Slack Jaw
08. The Fraction & Corey Croft - Tease
09. Nat Monday - Break & Fall (Adam White Radio Edit)
10. Vibe Shock - Invasion (Borganism Remix)
11. Elucidate - Carousel
12. Outer Sunset - Fell My Magic (Adam White Remix)

CD2
01. Robert Vadney - Fallen Angel's Symphony
02. Happy Monkey - King Of The Berry (Piano Slam Mix)
03. Jan Johnston - Sleeping Satellite (Robert Vadney's Blamed Remix)
04. Barry Jay - Infused
05. Robert Vadney - Away From You
06. Nat Monday - Flammable (Adam White's Perfecto Remix)
07. Kenneth Thomas Feat. Colleen Riley - Wish You Were Here (Ehren Stowers Remix)
08. Trenix - Becoming You
09. Robert Vadney - Club Perfecto
10. Amine Edge & Alexis Dante - Eivissa (Deluna Remix) (Bonus Track)
11. Barrington Lawrence & Shefali - Eclipsing The Sun (Barry Jay Remix) (Bonus Track)

Look! A monkey!


Oh yes, Oakie is here again! Oakenfold is at least in my books odd case. He definately was one of the first guys who defined the term superstar DJ and Oakie was also one of the first who became more and more commercialized (or like some would say, sold his soul to the devil) which eventually has lead him to be warm-up DJ for Madonna not to mention that horrible piece called A Lively Mind. But then again this is the guy behind Goa Mix and two good Global Underground-compilations and there has been much good things under the name Perfecto. And Oakie and Perfecto have once mixed with almost perfect result, Perfecto Fluoro. So there is still a chance that this might sound good. The chances might be small but there it is.

But first, let's look at the cover. What the f*ck really? Just... look at it! I have seen countless of CD covers during my life and some of them are really, really bad but this one looks like it tries to beat all of them. This is one of the worst covers ever. Just look at it. Colours aren't that bad and similar colours worked pretty well with Armin's Shivers-album for an example. But this looks just horrible. Oakie looks like he have drinked for one week without any break and everything is fulfilled with that hand which is... scratching his beard? I don't know about you but that makes me think about apes in the rainforest. Maybe Paul is trying to make new brand with the name Monkeyfold or something.

But let's try to forget all that and check what is in the CD's. And first disc actually begins very well, because Left Alone is a really good progtrance-track and even though it has vocals, those aren't annoying, since those aren't the whole point of the track. And actually the second track isn't that bad either. Is this going to be awesome? Nope, because already the third track takes Perfecto Vegas into the world of electro-bollocks and later on there are couple really bad vocal-tracks. But there is one major flaw in this disc. It sounds really random. It doesn't grow towards the end or build momentum for the last tracks. It just goes from another side to another (not really a new thing with Oakie). There is electro, minimal, prog and vocal-tracks almost in random order. To be honest there are couple good tracks like Tease and Carousel but it isn't enough to make this CD really memorable.

Is the second disc any different? Well it goes pretty same tracks than the first disc. And with that I mean that it's still fairly random. There is vocal track here and there, sometimes it offers electro, sometimes bit proggier stuff and sometimes it gets more epic. Yep, this disc certainly is more uplifting than the first CD and this disc doesn't offer so called minimal. Instead it highly relies on Mr. Vadney who takes almost half from this disc. But to be honest the only Robert Vadney-track that is really succesful is the first track of the entire disc. And I find the last track of the entire CD very annoying. Those vocals are just awful. Thank you for ruining fairly good feeling that this disc otherwise produced. And the bonus tracks are in my eyes just additional bonus and to be honest, those two tracks aren't that good or that bad that those would have any effect to rating.

So my final judgement is this: it's okay. Nothing more, nothing less. Some tracks here are really good but not mindblowing and then again some tracks are mostly just irritating. But still this is probably bit better than your random trance-compilation because this at least offers few highlights unlike certain compilations which just begins, goes on for 80 minutes and in the end you remember nothing. I also like to point out that Oakie never was too good with mixing and this just continues that saga. Oakenfold have almost always let the tracks speak for themselves and that is one reason why everything sounds bit random. That was the case with even his Global Underground's. But since the tracks aren't THAT good here and Adam White and Robert Vadney aren't in their top condition with these tracks, this gives pretty decent feeling. Still, not bad effort,

6/10

Ace tracks:
Hibernate - Left Alone
The Fraction & Corey Croft - Tease
Robert Vadney - Fallen Angel's Symphony

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Union Jack - Pylon Pigs



1. Papillon
2. Submerge
3. Triclops
4. Longhorn
5. Mainlining
6. Blink
7. Lifeblood
8. Vowel
9. The Dark Major
10.Funnelweb

Art of trance


It was rainy evening and I didn't expect anyone to come. I was just sitting in my couch watching TV when suddenly someone knocked my door. I was wondering who it might be and opened the door. There was an very old friend of mine. He was in poor condition but still I knew him. I had almost forgotten him but there he was. His name was trance and I was more than happy to see him after a long time. This was my reaction with new Union Jack-album.

Pylon Pigs is somewhat surprising release. Simon Berry and Platipus had been pretty quiet for years and there had been nothing with the name Union Jack in years. But last year there was an announcement which stated that Simon Berry will make new Union Jack-material with Paul Brogden and the new album was on the way too. There was also the first new track being Papillon which was trance. And I mean really trance. Acid-elements, dark atmosphere and it repeative and hypnotic. Also I found letters which are said during the track really influencing and nowadays almost everytime I repeat those letters when they comes during the track. And that track was one of the best I heard during the last year.

The next tracks I heard weren't worse either. Before the album was released I had heard Triclops, Longhorn and Funnelweb. Triclops don't have clear acid-sounds but it is also dark and hypnotic enough. It slowly builds into higher and higher eventually being one of the most epic tracks I have heard during the year. And that is just how I love my trance. And Longhorn is similar track but it doesn't have that good climax. But still I found that track very appealing and it has very good bassline. And those horns works really well here making it pretty epic track. Funnelweb is one of the most driving tracks of the album and even though it might not reach the level of other tracks I had heard before, it is still very appealing with it's awesome bassline. It also works very well when it ends Pylon Pigs. But anyway if all the other tracks would be at the same level, this would be one of the best releases ever.

Unfortunately I find those four tracks (Papillon, Triclops, Longhorn, Funnelweb) probably the best four tracks of the album. But it doesn't mean that the quality would be poor. Submerge calms things down after Papillon (and before Triclops) and in that purpose it isn't bad. It's calm and chilling and basically it repeats the same melody over and over again but it's somehow very hypnotic track nevertheless. Mainlining is a wonderful track after two epic tracks. It calms things down a bit and is similar to Submerge. It has pleasant sounds all over it and reminds me about Art Of Trance's Wildlife On One in a positive way. And after that track Blink offers basskick once again. But even though I learn alphabet once again (just like with Papillon) the track itself is in my opinion probably the worst track of the album. It's still fairly hypnotic and dark but almost all the really good elements are missing. Lifeblood's only purpose is build some mood for the next track. It's short, calm and it only offers some vocalsamples. Nothing less, nothing more. But then begins the acid-elements there is Vowel. And just like all the other good tracks in this album, it builds little by little but the climax isn't as epic as for an example in Triclops. Still it is a really good track and would be ace track in many other albums but not in this one. The Dark Major is a bit odd case. It's not like the other tracks from the album. It has some dark and hypnotic elements which are all over the album, but is still the only track with chilling breakbeatish atmosphere. But it does follow the pattern that after more energetic track there are more peaceful moment. And is it good? Well, yes. I like that track and it shows the way into last track (Funnelweb) nicely. And like I mentioned, Funnelweb ends the album really well.

In brief, this album is still the best trance-album I have heard in a long time. The best tracks are really one of the best tracks of the year 2009 and other tracks aren't that bad either. And honestly, the second time I listened this album I was in my bed and my eyes were closed. And I enjoyed every minute of that time because this album really put me into trance. I really felt that I was elsewhere than in my own bed and that doesn't happen with modern trance filled with unicorns and fairies. This is how I feel at the moment, but I really think that this is the best album from Mr. Berry alongside with Art Of Trance's Wildlife On One even though I know that's lot to say.

Welcome back Union Jack!

9/10

Ace tracks:
Papillon
Triclops
Longhorn

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Way Out West - We Love Machine



01. We Love Machine
02. One Bright Night
03. Only Love
04. BodyMotion
05. Pleasure Control
06. Future Perfect
07. Survival
08. Ultraviolet
09. Tales of the Rabid Monks
10. Surrender
11. The Doors Are Where the Windows Should Be
12. Tierre del Fuego

Domination


I haven't exactly hidden my love for Way Out West. After all we are talking about band which is second most played artist in my last.fm. So no wonder that I begun to wait for this album immediately when I saw the news that this one would come. And now the wait is over! Well, almost. I'm ordering my copy in couple of days and it comes eventually, but I don't have this album quite yet. Instead you can listen the full album in their homepage in a pretty good quality so I was able to make a review of this one.

Ah Way Out West. Duo made by legendary Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff. Both have done well in solo too but they are best known for Way Out West-tracks and why not. Ajare, The Gift, Activity, Mindcircus, Killa... The list of well known tracks seems endless. And they have made two good albums too. 1997 and Way Out West-album was good combination of progressive house, trance and breaks and it had my all time favorite, Domination. But even though Way Out West was gorgeus, I think that the second album Intensify is their best one. This album made in 2001 is full of awesome tracks like The Fall, Activity and Intensify Part 1. It continued in the same path than the debut, but was bit more energetic. But then... I think Don't Look Now released in 2004 isn't that good. Sure it has good tracks and Killa is a masterpiece but it didn't impress as a whole. But now it's year 2009 and time for the 4th album.

Actually this is one of the few albums I have anticipated so much that I checked every track which was around before the release. I actually rarely do that because too many times it just generates too much unnecessary hype. I know that with Way Out West I could have been disappointed if the quality wouldn't be what I expected. But hey, We Love Machine, Future Perfect, Ultraviolet and Only Love didn't lower my expectations at all. Instead I liked the style those 4 tracks presented. This would be pretty chilling but beautiful and stylish mixture of progressive house and trance. We Love Machine (the track) is the most energetic of those tracks and I think it's probably the best track of the album. It has interesting sounds, catchy effects and guitar which seems to fit flawlessly into the track when it isn't the main point of the track. Future Perfect and Ultraviolet relies more in atmosphere and both succeeded well in it. Especially Future Perfect is a masterpiece showing how good prog can sound.

But I have complains too. The vocals. Yes I know Way Out West has used vocals before and I don't have any problems with those in many of their tracks. But it seems that Nick and Jody can only make good track with female vocals (Intensify, Mindcircus, Anything But You...). Because when there is vocals singed by Jonathan Mendelsohn, it just doesn't seem right. Male vocals seems to be hard for house/trance-producers and this isn't exception even though I have to admit that Jonathan does sound bit feminine. But Only Love and Surrender are in my opinion the worst tracks of the album partially because of vocals. Fairly nice strings doesn't save Only Love and Surrender relies too much on vocals which just doesn't work. Survival is better mostly thanks to other interesting sounds but there vocals sounds out of place and only makes me irritated because those don't fit into otherwise very solid track.

Otherwise this album follows pretty well the path which was shown by Future Perfect and Ultraviolet. One Bright Night is very chilling track with nice little guitar in it and builds mood nicely. And most of all it sounds like Way Out West. BodyMotion, Pleasure Control and Tales Of The Rabid Monks are just that kind of mixture of progressive house and trance like Ultraviolet and Future Perfect are. Pleasure Control hits the spot completely and is one of the highlights of the album. BodyMotion works well too and it uses some vocal-samples which have always been one of the trademarks of Way Out West. Tales Of The Rabid Monks is a weaker track which seems to be stuck in a same place and which doesn't have anything interesting in it. Last two tracks are bit different and calms things down just before the end. The Doors Are Where the Windows Should Be is peaceful breaks-track and Tierre del Fuego just gives the last sounds. There aren't anything terribly wrong in those tracks but those aren't the highlights either.

So what is my conclusion? Well I like this album. A lot. It is the kind of stuff which sounds like Way Out West and what I expected. Sure they have calmed down a bit and there are less samples but eventually who cares as long as the result is just fine. Some tracks stands well with the best tracks Nick and Jody has done in their long career. Rating would be one better immediately if there wouldn't be couple tracks which are clearly worse than the other tracks and if vocals wouldn't be so bad. But nevertheless this is very good album with clear vibe which goes on all the way from the start to the finish line. So do as I do and preorder the album and put it into it's rightful place next to Way Out West and Intensify.

8/10

Ace tracks:
We Love Machine
Pleasure Control
Future Perfect

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00.db - Heaven & Hell



CD1:
1. Magna
2. Indigo
3. Lantra
4. Ark
5. Orba
6. Pro 1
7. Entropy
8. Darkness
9. Astrix - Ice Cream (00.db Mix)

CD2:
1. Sasha Watching The Stars
2. Eminox
3. Run
4. Worlds Of Space
5. Dreamcatcher (42 Minute Chill-Out Journey)

It has finally arrived!


I could say that this album ends the trilogy. There were three albums I expected more than any other albums released during the end of summer / beginning of autumn period. Other two has already been reviewed and ironically the record I ordered first and which should have been released ages ago was the last one to arrive. But finally yesterday there was something in my mailbox and there it was. Heaven & Hell had arrived after a long wait.

00.db is a group of two producers who have been more than very important for my musical development: John 00 Fleming and Ricky Smith (The Digital Blonde). It was pretty much these guys who finally took me out from ASOT-loop. John 00 Fleming introduced me into bit darker and proggier sound alongside with psytrance with his sets and The Digital Blonde released Synthology, excellent album full of stuff which gives hints into the time which is almost forgotten these days. Soon enough their collab Fused came and later there came more and more tracks which had been made by 00.db. There was 8th Day and Fused and eventually John and Ricky announced that album indeed was on the way. Actually, 3rd disc of JOOF's Psy-Trance Euphoria was called Heaven & Hell in 2008 and it had tracks made by 00.db, but after all it was not finished version of the album. It still took about 1,5 years but the waiting is finally over.

So how can I describe the sound of the album? After all this album isn't exactly the most traditional trance-album with couple of breakbeat-tracks here and there and couple of unnecessary vocal-tracks in other places. No, if there is human voices, those are samples which doesn't dominate the tracks at all. Also the album offers just what 00.db can do: trance. Though there is 40-minute ambient trip in the end, it's outside the other album and doesn't really bother. And those trance-tracks aren't really the most usual either. Because those tracks takes some parts from the sound of both guys. There seems to be dark atmosphere and psyinfluences from JOOF and the memories of the 90's progtrance and epic climaxes from Ricky making the tracks pretty different from usual mnml/electro/uplifting bollocks trance scene is full of nowadays.

But is it good music? Well I need to ask couple more questions before that judgement. Have you heard any other 00.db-tracks before? If no, check pretty much any 00.db-track in youtube or Spotify. If yes, I have to ask one final question. Did you like the track you listened? If you didn't, then this album isn't for you, because this album sounds pretty much the same from the start to the end. If yes, then go and buy this album, because you will like this album. Personally I have liked what these two guys have done already for couple of years so I like this album. Though I think that 3rd disc of Psy-trance Euphoria was actually bit better than the final result.

And I would give couple of smaller notes just before the end. The cover of the album is... well yeah. Not that good. Though I have to give credit that for once, there isn't the producer watching the horizon in the cover of trance-album. And I must say this once more. For a change, this is trance-album which sounds almost like an album. It has the clear red line, it doesn't bounce from house to techno and it sounds like 00.db all the time. And this is in my opinion way too rare in electronic music. Good job John and Ricky! Though this album could be better, it's not complete letdown either. It's pretty good album and I think it's worthy of that money which I lost when I preordered this one.

8/10

Ace tracks:
Ark
Pro 1
Worlds Of Space

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Ferry Corsten - Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed
VS.
Solarstone - RSEMIX



01. Shelter Me (Rafaël Frost Remix)
02. Black Velvet (DJ Mind & Jerry Ropero Remix)
03. We Belong (Lange Remix)
04. Gabriella’s Sky (Solarstone Remix)
05. Made Of Love (Heatbeat Remix)
06. Radio Crash (Ummet Ozcan Remix)
07. Twice In A Blue Moon (DJ Eco Remix)
08. Feel You (Ashley Wallbridge Remix)
09. Life (Patrick Plaice Remix)
10. Brain Box (Marlo Remix)
11. Shanti (Sied Van Riel Remix)
12. Brain Box (Markus Schulz Remix) [Bonus Track]




01. Part Of Me (Solar Energy Remix)
02. Rain Stars Eternal (Bot Cyprian Remix)
03. Slave (Probspot Remix)
04. Spectrum (Stan Void Remix)
05. Late Summer Fields (Ferry Corsten Remix)
06. Breakaway (Jaksaw Remix)
07. Filoselle Skies (Jox Dub Mix)
08. The Last Defeat Pt 1 (Bissen Remix)
09. Dark Heart (Beetseekers Remix)
10. Lunar Rings (Pedro Del Mar & Dj Cosmo Remix)
11. 4ever (Update Project Afterhours Remix)

Versus


Yes yes I know that it's been a long time since the last review. But there are reasons. First of all I don't want to force myself to make a review since those would become total garbage. And then again I wanted to make something different for a change. First I thought that I would do a review for new Porcupine Tree-album but soon I noticed that review wasn't going into the right direction. Instead I decided to make review for two albums and decide which is better one. And then I had to wait for RSEMIX. But now there is two reviews in one message. Everyone wins?

So then I decided that I would make a review for two Remix-albums. Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed and RSEMIX. These albums are fairly common these days and almost every album made by a big name releases the Remix-album these days. But I don't know when this trend really begun.I remember Paul van Dyk's Re-Reflections from the year 2004 and Tiësto's Just Be (Remixed) from the year 2005 but clearly these albums have become more usual lately. I'm not a fan of those to be honest, since those albums are made by dozen different artists so there isn't even the slightest chance that Remix-album would sound like an album. And by that I mean something with clear red line. It's just bunch of tracks in a CD and all I can hope is that the tracks are good.

But then why these two albums if I don't usually like them? There are two reasons. One is that both Ferry Corsten and Solarstone are big names and those are always something that are interesting and at the same time something that I can easily write about. And I have already written about original albums so it's fairly easy to compare new ones to old ones. Both albums could have been better. Ferry's album was pretty good even though it didn't offer anything special. Ferry did fairly nice job with Twice In The Blue Moon but there wasn't really anything that would make that album mindblowing. And Rain Stars Eternal was bit of a letdown for a fan of old Solarstone. Tracks just weren't catchy enough except for couple of tracks and I didn't exactly like new even more poppier style than before. But anyway let's check what we have here.

Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed looks pretty regular when looking at the tracklist. There is Lange, Solarstone and couple others with couple of good tracks but I didn't have that high hopes about it. And of course there are some good tracks. Rafaël Frost's Remix of Shelter Me opens the album very well and I like that kind of energetic trance. Lange's Remix of We Belong has also some nice ideas but it doesn't use the full potential. Heatbeat Remix of Made Of Love could be nice too without awfully long breakdown and bit too weak part just after it. And Brain Box (Marlo Remix) works nicely but mostly thanks to the original track since this is just ”generic techtrance version” of that one. And there are couple tracks in a more annoying department. I didn't like that much Ummet Ozcan's Remix of Radio Crash and I felt that Ashley Wallbridge's Remix of Feel You is just incredibly boring. And Patrcik Plaine's Remix of Life is just that kind of boring and unimaginative minimal/electro-bollocks I highly dislike. Other tracks are decent, nothing more, nothing less. Yes, even Markus Schulz Remix which is ”nice” but it's nothing special either.

So in Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed there are some good tracks and some bad ones. As a whole it's not that interesting in my opinion but I won't begin to bash it either. After all it is Remix-album. And you can hear it. It offers all kind of tracks which are fairly popular in the trance-community these days. But it can't sound like an album if it tries to give something for everyone. It just sound funny that there is electrotrance track after uplifting trance. But it is decent album nevertheless.

And then to the other album. RSEMIX looks bit more interesting when I'm looking at the producers. There is Ferry Corsten, Beetseekers, Probspot and so on which I think have better potential than the ones in Ferry's effort. And there are fairly many good tracks. Solar Energy's Remix of Part Of Me immediately begins album well with nice and relaxing trance with nice guitar. And I like these vocals which, I admit, is a rare thing. And Bot Cipryan Remix of Rain Stare Eternal is pretty nice too. Probspot doesn't let me down either and he offers very tasty breaktrance-track. Jox makes also good job with Filoselle Skies and what I really like besides it's nice atmosphere, is that it takes most of the annoying vocals away. Also Beetseekers usually makes pretty good job and it's the case also this time. His remix of Dark Heart resembles his remix of Knights Of Cydonia and that is something I like. Vocals doesn't annoy either. Unlike in Pedro Del Mar's and DJ Cosmo's version Lunar Rings where otherwise nice track is spoiled with vocals. And finally the case of Ferry Corsten. He shows that occasionally can still make really tasty trance. I absolutely adore his remix of Late Summer Fields! Other tracks are decent. Not bad but decent.

RSEMIX is actually pretty good album. Much better than expected, even though artists seemed fairly interesting. Most of the tracks are pretty tasty and there isn't too many weak links. Actually I think that this is lot better album than the original Rain Stars Eternal. Also this is more like usual album than Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed. Except for couple tracks (Slave which is breaks and 4ever which is ambient) it's mostly pretty driving progressive trance. So it's similar to Electronic Architecture, which compilation that I liked and in my opinion the best trance-compilation I have heard this year.

So which one won? That's easy question to answer to. Good album beats decent album. RSEMIX is actually very interesting compared to much stuff released nowadays when Twice In The Blue Moon suffers more from current trends. Decision between RSEMIX and original Twice In The Blue Moon would have been much harder but this time it's pretty easy.

Winner: RSEMIX

Twice In The Blue Moon Remixed:
5/10
Ace tracks:
Shelter Me (Rafaël Frost Remix)
We Belong (Lange Remix)
Brain Box (MarLo Remix)

RSEMIX:
8/10
Ace tracks:
Slave (Probspot Remix)
Late Summer Fields (Ferry Corsten remix)
Dark Heart (Beetseekers Remix)

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Shpongle - Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland



1. Electroplasm
2. Shpongolese Spoken Here
3. Nothing Is Something Worth Doing
4. Ineffable Mysteries
5. I Am You
6. Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit
7. No Turn Un-Stoned
8. Walking Backwards Though The Cosmic Mirror

Are you still Shpongled?


I actually have to admit that even though Shpongle is a fairly well-known name and I like to explore every now and then, the first time I listened to Shpongle-album was around one year ago. But some say that it's better late than never. But when I listened to the first two albums Are You Shpongled? and Tales Of The Inexpressible I was shpongled. So it's no wonder that when I read about Shpongle's 4th album Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland (after this I refer it as IMFS) I got excited. This is something I absolutely had to check!

So what is Shpongle? It is project of Simon Posford and Raja Ram. Posford is also known from Hallucinogen and Younger Brother, but this differs pretty much especially from Hallucinogen. Shpongle makes pretty interesting music. It's interesting combination of psy, ambient and tribal-influences. And Shpongle doesn't go the easiest way. Actually not at all. There are weird sounds everywhere and tracks often breaks the pattern when solutions aren't the most usual. So clearly I have to take some hallucinogens before I listen to this album. Or then maybe just little bit of whisky.

But as some know, there is only a fine line between very interesting music and overproduced garbage. IMFS is trying to keep it's balance between those sides. At times it's very interesting and fresh-sounding psy/downtempo/something which even has some catchyness. And at times it feels like complete opposite and it kind of feels like it's unusual just for the sake of it. Sometimes the unusual solutions aren't even close to be the best one and those at times even are bit annoying. The album is very inconsistent. Some tracks are good, other ones aren't. And even some tracks has really good parts and then much weaker parts later on.

Still IMFS is interesting album. For sure it's not the best one from Shpongle but fine enough. Especially after the second listen you begin to notice that the album is more than just bunch of weird solutions. Even though it breaks the pattern pretty often, there is still enough music to keep you interested. The first track of the album describes the album well. It's bit strange but it has much good in it too. So if you want to briefly check what kind of stuff this album offers, check that track too and if you liked it or at least thought it was okay, then check the rest of the album. Because as always, Shpongle is the strongest in full album and not in individual tracks.

8/10

Ace tracks:
Electroplasm
Nothing Is Something Worth Doing
Walking Backwards Though The Cosmic Mirror

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Jori Hulkkonen - Man From Earth



1. I Am Dead feat. Jerry Valuri
2. Boying in the Smokeroom
3. Dancerous
4. The Other Side of Time
5. Re Last Year feat. Villa Nah
6. Ridge Over Trouble Forrester
7. Musta Gunilla
8. Undercover feat. The Dove
9. I Dance to Your Bass My Friend
10. Bend Over Beethoven
11. My Brother Went to Space and All I Got Was This Lousy Vacuum
12. Man from Earth feat. Jerry Valuri

Sweet


Jori Hulkkonen is a strange fellow. He is one of the most well-known finnish producers but still he is relatively unknown. Also he has done all kind of music and he had guts to put Star Trek-costume on when he had a gig. But he has made some awesome music in the past too. Under his own name he has released bunch of albums as well as some great tracks like Lo-Fiction and Custom's Person. The most well known track though is probably his collab with Tiga. Tiga & Zyntherius - Sunglasses At Night had fairly big success in music charts too and actually it's not that bad track. This album though was bit harder to find but eventually I found it from Spotify so now I can review it.

But anyway Hulkkonen has done many albums before too. When No One Is Watching We Are Invisible, Different, Dualizm and Errare Machinale Est comes into my mind. All of them pretty good albums too with some ace tracks. But it is interesting to notice how his sound has changed during the years. First two albums were more like groovy house music and little by little he has taken more influences from the 80's which you can hear already in Dualizm. But with Errare Machinale Est Jori Hulkkonen finally was spot on and that album which nicely united synthpop with some house-sounds was the first really good album from this man. So no wonder that I had high expectations with this album.

And Hulkkonen doesn't disappoint. It seems that when he found what he really can do with Errare Machinale Est, he doesn't change it too much. If it isn't broken, don't fix it you could say. This album is like it's predecessor full of nice synthpop-tracks with certain influences from house and that's how I like my Jori Hulkkonen. There are even some acid-influences which is always nice to notice. If you want to know similar albums, Tiga's album from this year is pretty close. Though it's no wonder, because Hulkkonen helped with 2-3 tracks with that album too. But it is similar otherwise too. Some tracks are clearly synthpop while others are more housey but it's just nice to have little bit of variation while keeping that certain vibe.

There are also some collabs in this album. Visitors mostly gives some vocals since Jori Hulkkonen doesn't consider himself as a singer. Finnish duo Villa Nah helps Jori with Re Last Year but in my opinion that is one of the weakest and the most pointless track of the album. Undercover has been made with The Dove even though it's obvious that the vocals are made by Tiga. But it seems to be funny to be under alias at times. But nevertheless that track is really good. Undercover has bunch of nice sounds including acid-sounds and Tiga's vocals fits here perfectly. And after all it reminds me about good Ciao!-album which was released under Tiga's name. And then there is Jerry Valuri. I don't know how these two guys make it, but I just adore everything Valuri and Hulkkonen makes together. Including their sideproject's Processory-album. This album begins and ends with track featuring Valuri and my god those are good. It's synthpop but Valuri's vocals just perfects the tracks and Hulkkonen is making melodies which aren't too cheesy and obvious. And I can't do nothing else than appreciate it!

So the conclusion. This is a good album. A really good album. If Errare Machinale Est was pretty good all the time, highlights were short. But this album has a lot of good tracks all over the album. Also it seems to follow that certain red line all the time. Some tracks with be poppier than others and some tracks are more house but it doesn't matter as long as the tracks are solid. Good job mr. Hulkkonen!

9/10

Ace tracks:
Boying In the Smokeroom
Undercover
Man From Earth

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