Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Koan - Argonautica Review

Artist: Koan

Release: Argonautica

Format: Digital & CD Album

Label: Section Records

Release Date: 10th December 2012

Nick Brennans Section records bring us label mates Koan's latest psybient album 'Argonautica' and people, it's a beaut!

It takes the Greek legend of Jason and the argonauts epic tale and uses it as the inspirational template to create a warm and psychedelic soundscape.

It opens with 'Orpheus and Eurydice' and it really does give the feeling of casting off onto calm seas with echoing, lapping arpeggios and breezes of warm flowing synth's. This combined with the liquid feel to the sparse rhythmic percussion really does give the feeling of being afloat.

There is a feeling of traversing deeper waters with 'Lost Lyre' and the melodies become more intricate and layered. I've found with each new listen another hidden gem of melody and effects become uncovered.

As the album develops the beats become more pronounced and the BPM's go up a notch or two for 'Irida Falls for Morpheus Pits', 'Crying Prozepine' (Blue mix) and 'Pegasus' where the former of the three morphs halfway through into lush breaks and washes of arpeggiated echoing synth.

Although the synth's maintain their trance like feel throughout the course of the album they never become repetitive and the programming constantly changes and evolves creating an emotive, affecting and never static listening experience.

'Seven Mirrors of Atlas' is a warm psychedelic dubby workout with cavernous echoes, deep swathes of bass, snares in the deep and once more multi layered soothing melodies and intelligent fx.

The journey comes to an end with 'Ladon' (Serpent Mix) which after more finely placed tripped out fx and slowed breaks closes with uplifting waves of synths.

This album is an absolute gem and having Nick Brennan (Tripswitch) on mastering duties really puts the icing on the cake to this already accomplished masterpiece.

Don't miss this one.

Now, where did i put that fleece..


Tripswitch - Deer Park 2012 re-mixes review

Artist: Tripswitch

Release: Deer Park 2012 vol 2 (Chillout Re-mixes)

Label: Section Records

Format: Digital

Release Date: 3rd December 2012

For me Circuit Breaker Re:Wired is a must have album for any fan of electronic chillout music containing the original album and another disc of fabulous re-mixes by quality artists. This is one of those albums where fillers are few and far between but even among the gems there’s one track that is widely considered to shine not only on the album but within the genre itself.

Section records released the parts to “Deer Park” earlier this year and ran a remix competition for followers of the label to bring their creativity to the table and work with one of the Tripswitch favourites.  The winning mix was a down-tempo version from Radioactive Sandwich, but the high quality of the submissions has led to a 2 package(dance and down-tempo) release just in time for Christmas.

I’m going to concentrate on the down-tempo release here (after all we are about dub and chill).

I can see why Radioactive Sandwich’s submission was selected the elongated intro paves the way into a blissfully soothing take on the original peace and despite being slightly reserved on re-mixes of a firm favourite I have to say I really liked this.

Joey Fehranbache follows and keeps a suitable chilled opener with a really nice dub echo on the sounds. The track doesn’t deviate too far from the original while containing some nice melodic fresh input and although the track ticks along nicely for me there’s something lacking which I can put my finger on in comparison to Radioactive Sandwich's mix.

Audioglider start their mix in a darker, moodier direction upon slow firm 808 beats. The more chilled elements seem to bounce against this for a while but I found myself easing into the track along the way. Once again it’s listenable but for me lacking a certain something.

The final mix by Tektribe (a partnership between Ultimae label DJ Nova and ethno-percussionist Antonio Testa, with guitars from Rodolfo Airoldi) really appeals to me and could well have got my vote. This ten minute long journey begins fusing natures elements balanced with wonderfully apt synths, the guys slowly introduce tribal percussions and guitars riffs underneath Natasha Taylor’s exquisite ethereal vocals. Six minutes in and the drums are almost building an undercurrent vibe akin to a tribal house monster whilst still maintaining the chilled atmosphere.

Reviewed by Woodzee