Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Terra Nine Breathe Review

Artist: Terra Nine

Album: Breathe

Label: Altar Records

Release Date: December 2011

I first came across Mike Westcott’s Terra Nine project on the Ajana Records compilation “A Magical Journey”. In fact I was so impressed with the use of the electric viola in his work I embarked on a mission to interview him for our blog.

I was suitably impressed when reviewing his last release “Stream Of Consciousness” which featured re-mixes by Ott and Pete Ardron of Orchid Star. This time the honours go to Astropilot and Squazoid and I’m even more impressed with this release.

The album opens with “Transmutation” where lush synth chords are layered over rainforest atmospherics and twitching notes of the viola. This creates a wonderfully warm and inviting surround sound. The beat takes a while to kick in and although it lifts the track I was happy enough without one.  The next track “Star” like the title track features alluring vocals from Aviatrix and has more of a trance vibe about it.

In all honesty I could go on about the richness of sound and production quality of every track on the album. Mike creates a fusion of chilled organic strings, trancey keys and beats with a twist of psychedelica. Think System 7 with an electric viola!

However, I am going to pluck a favourite from a very strong album and its hat’s off to Mike for his re-mix of Astropilot's “Memories Maze”. This in my opinion is better than both the title track and Astropilot's re-mix of that. The tracks open’s with a soothing synth which is soon accompanied by a synthetic vocal chorus. The viola creates wonderful loops which keep the mind entertained until the rich exotic Eastern vocal and then at five minutes in the didge-like 303 and vocal fx are introduced it becomes aural ecstasy. I can’t put this track into words you just have to hear it.

The other re-mix by Squazoid a name unfamiliar to me is a wonderful piece in its own right. This track also has an Eastern vibe with psychedelic vocals and drags Terra Nine into the low bass realms of dub step. 

Review by Woodzee

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