Thursday, 25 September 2014

Alpha Wave Movement 'Horizons' Review

Artist: Alpha Wave Movement

Title: Horizons

Label: Harmonic Resonance Recordings

Released: September 2014

Gregory Kyryluk has released music under various monikers since the early 90's on labels such as Groove Unlimited, Silent Records, Waveform Records, Spiralight and his own label Harmonic Resonance Recordings. This collection of recordings has been created over a number of years until the point Gregory felt they could be released as a cohesive whole where the tracks flow from one to the next throughout the album.

The album begins with the title track an excursion into deep space ambience with almost orchestral feel adding drums in places and dropping into melodic key breakdowns at others. This is followed by 'Traveller' which sounds like a melting pot of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Ozric Tentacles without the guitars wonderful stuff.

'Impressions' begins with an intro where the synths wash over you before deep chords switch the vibe which once again appears to be heavily influenced by the German style of space music. This time perhaps with a little more of an 80's feel than before. 'Starbound' is an aptly named track with an eerie sci-fi intro and vaguely audible tribal chants that eases into an deep ambience and once again has a touch of early Ozrics about it.

The album continues in a similar vein with 'Shanti' which once again for me is reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and finishes with 'Remnant' which is perhaps a little more layered than the rest of the album, but still gives the impression that Gregory is giving a nod back to his influences of yesteryear.

To wrap it up this is a great album to chill out to and the use of organic rather than digital drums forms the impression of a band. Which in turn helps form passages in his pieces to reflect the sounds of acts previously mentioned like Tangerine Dream and Ozric Tentacles.

Review by Woodzee.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sattva Ananda 'Breakdancing Jellyfish' Review

Artist: Sattva Ananda

Title: Breakdancing Jellyfish

Label: Party Time Society

Released: 1st September

Sattva Ananda is someone I know relatively little about, other than he hails from Sante Fe and is one half of Chase The Lazer, along with Amani Friend of the Desert Dwellers. With the promotional literature describing this E.P. as the darker side of temple bass and having nothing to lose except time I didn't see any reason not to have a listen.

The release begins with the title (which I found quite appealing in it's own right) track. The piece itself doesn't include any acoustics and didn't strike me as eastern at all really. I found it more like instrumental 80's european synth-pop squeezed through a mangle along with some bass. It's different but still it's downtempo and not unpleasant to the ear.

This is followed by 'Honig' which is more psy orientated than the opening track with a trip-hop'ish vocal that is released in spurts and toyed with on route. For me they seemed like two entities that didn't really connect until the latter half of the track but I also suspect that may have been the intention?

Two tracks in and I was feeling like I wasn't really getting 100% behind this release but 'Counter Swerve' rescued my interest somewhat. It's a down-tempo bass affair, balancing gritty and heavenly sounds with a drive behind it, that would work well to entice headnodders on to the dancefloor early doors. This is followed by 'Counter Counter Swerve' which drops the bass to a even lower frequency and starts with a more chilled atmosphere. However, it's not long before this version gets gritty and lo and behold the eastern percussion arrives.

This combo is continued with 'Chiznickens' which starts with an ambient atmosphere before dropping a phat bass and a soothing female vocal. This is the most eastern orientated track so far and layers more and more sounds the deeper you dive into the track. Yet still maintains the ambient atmosphere in the background. I can see this one being a grower.

The final track 'Reflections' travels even further to the east with Arabic lyrics and dubbed out sitar strings which seem to transcend out into the ether. The temple has definitely connected with the bass and sees the album out in a chilled fashion.

Review by Woodzee


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Gypsy Hill 'Our Routes' Review

Artist: Gypsy Hill

Album: Our Routes

Label: Batov Records

Released: Sept 11th

Now although I'm aware of their label mates Balkan Beat Box and despite a number of releases under their belt, I've not come across Gypsy Hill before but from the intro a fusion of loud-hailer samples, Balkan/Hip-Hop Breaks and low frequency bass caught my attention immediately. So strictly speaking it's not Dub or Chill but I feel with it's global fusion stance it's still an apt album to review on here.

Although the album has an overall Gypsy/Klezmer approach it takes a journey along various avenues 'Balaka' for example switches seamlessly between flutes, guitar and horn maintaining that Balkan sound while the horn section of 'Jimmie Jam' has more of a old New Orleans Jazz edge and 'Pachupa' transports you from the Balkans to the Mexican desert with the feel of a Spaghetti western soundtrack not unlike Calexico for those of you who remember them.

I've often felt the Balkan sound works well with Ska giving that knees up feel. But Gypsy Hill prove it can work with a variety of fusions along a variety of tempos, with the dj throwing in a scratch in suitable places and twitching low bass accompanying a few of the tracks. I have to say it works for me and I'd imagine they would be great fun to see live. Anyone in the Dalston area of London on September the 11th can catch the album launch free at the Passing Clouds.

Review by Woodzee.