Title: Beyond The Radar
Label: Self Released
Released: 11th Jan 2019
After four years of concentrating on his deep ambient project ‘Experiments in Silence’ Neil returns to the more groove orientated productions of Spatialize. With influences ranging from the psychedelic, electronic, ambient, world and space rock. Juicy synths, exotic instrumentation and guitars float over organic and electronic drums, with the album including sax from Ian East of Gong and futuristic synths from Ishq.
The album begins with ‘Cat and Mouse’ with sequenced synths, drums, fx and a touch of squelch which combines to produce a sound reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles, with sax rather than flute. This is followed by the title track which is a more dubby affair with vocal harmonies that still retains an Ozric vibe. The next piece ‘Hobo Sapien’ moves the pace up a notch with a distinctly psy-chill feel, with little touches of sax peppered in appropriate intervals.
It’s a darker intro that emerges into the light with ‘Colour of Sky’ which continues on a psy-chill tip with some touches of the orient and vocal harmonies. The guitar is a more prominent feature on ‘Dance into the Light’ where the intro reminded me somewhat of Tangerine Dream, before the groove commences with the introduction of the beat and vocal harmonies. After the ambient introduction it’s back to the psy-chill on ‘The Great Super Mango’ which teases you somewhat before letting go and repeating that cycle.
The elongated intro of ‘Tolticken’ once again had somewhat of a TD and Ozric feel with the sequenced synths and vocal samples invite you in before it drops into slow motion with some beautiful guitar licks. The slow pace continues with ‘Out of Body’ intro, with a spoken sample not a million mizles away from the Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ when the drums kick in ethnic and harmonic vocal samples are utilised and again little passages of guitar. The final piece of the album ‘Tree Frogs’ another downtempo number that introduces some flute and sax to the party.
For me personally I’d strayed away from the psy-chill, psy-dub sounds in recent years, aside from the odd producers such as Globular I felt it was morphing into territories such as psy-bass and swamp and losing the chill out aspect that was always a welcome element for me. However, of late I’ve been re-visiting and enjoying some of the older releases in the scene so this review really couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d recommend this album to those who like space music, space rock and psy-chill as it switches between and combines these styles throughout.
Reviewed by Woodzee