Lost All My Tears
Somewhere between the relentless heartstring pulling of Neptune Project's minor key/major impact riff and its conversion by Noble 6 to peak-time roof-remover, 'Lost' begins ticking a lot of boxes. It’s the vocal that puts it squarely into the back of Money Shot's net though. Un-maudlin, yet inescapably sincere, I’d be amazed if trance music in 2014 produced a more moving song.
Bilal El Aly
Delivering very strong psy-leaning trance with ever-greater frequency, Lebanon’s Bilal El Aly scored big with the Linnea Schossow collab ‘Penumbra’ last year. In title, cover art (which puts the ‘Psy’ into ‘psychotic’!) and sound, ‘Biomass’ tracks that Goa line again, with agitated 303 and hazardous levels of distortion. Revving its atmosphere with a strident bleached-out leadline, its conclusion is equally impressive.
Daniel Skyver & Tasso
'Do You Copy (Splattered Implant Remix)'
Want to attract the roving eye of a reviewer to your track? Easy! Get yourself a rework from the spectacularly named Splattered Implant (an outfit whose logo has to be Googled to be believed). Choppy vocals, squally FX, a rampant tempo, ‘Do You Copy’ is acid-b-line-driven Psy fun for the whole (trance) family.
'Music Is More Than Mathematics'
The title track from Protoculture’s fourth artist album is a reflectively impressive piece of music. Dark, brooding and thundery front end, it builds and expands, drawing ever increasingly on top-notch FX, long held pads and its cool, ruminating 'Music Is More Than Mathematics' vocodered vocal. A few shafts of melody in the break — enough to prevent it becoming oppressive, and it rumbles tech-ily back off. Ace.
Jam & Spoon
'Odyssey To Anyoona (Airwave Remix)'
Still criminally awaiting release, Jam & Spoon's under-remixed ‘Odyssey to Anyoona’ couldn’t have got a more deserving treatment than from Airwave. Véronnez dials down the travelling wistfulness, but admirably loses little of the atmosphere in the process. Booming up the drums and removing the focus from the break, he arrives with something more hypnotic and trance-progressive in nature. And that’s how you nail a remix of ‘Anyoona’!
The accompanying notes for ‘Reincarnations’ appear blissfully unaware that Together are giving a long overdue new outing to a 16-year-old Jinx/Neo Records classic. In name, the 'Nu Gen Update Mix' offers a tantalizing clue as well as a thrusting restoration. The original riff could have done with a little more lip service, but the gated string one that overrides it does a decent job of keeping lead in ‘Reincarnations’ pencil.
Three contrastingly themed tunes from David on this EP. ‘Revert’ is the most accomplished; a vividly produced and realised high-season trancer with both enough warmth to ingratiate, and drive to negate its drifty-ness. Boshy, pitchy and dense with discordance, ‘Polaroid’ is ‘Revert’s polar opposite. ‘Locations’ meanwhile has lots of sprinting basslines, chiming, echoing piano and side-chain contrived uplift.
Newton’s Third Law says every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This could be Pure/138 Trance’s opposite antiphon. Weepee (and indeed much of Colorize’s) latest sounds like it been produced whilst horizontal, at super low tempos and then dropped another 10bpm pre-master for good measure. Lovely melodics as ‘SLOW’ (ho-ho) and ‘I Know’ enjoy, the only feathers they’ll ruffle will be in the chillout room.
'Tigris & Euphrates'
Two years on from the must-have-been-exhausting ‘Dark’ ‘Parallel’ and ‘Bright’ album trilogy, it’s great to see some new Laurent Véronnez material appear. At 10+ minutes, ‘Tigris & Euphrates’ is as epic in runtime, as it is in content. Low-tempo and prog-trance themed, it churns the atmospheres deep. Super-heavy drums, edgy, so-tense synth lines, Eastern-tinged instrumentation and vocal harmonics all make ‘Tigris’ a heady brew.