Archive for the ‘Psytrance’ Category

Cygnus X – The Orange Theme [1994]
February 28, 2012

Now here’s a track that inspires either flat out joy or absolute hatred in all that know it. Its one of those tracks that has been played to death for years, for me, thats for good reason, its a blinder of a track. Its a guaranteed floor filler, appealing to a wide slate of electronic music fans and perhaps thats one of the reasons it inspires such hatred in many. Its origins are from “A Clockwork Orange”, made by one Wendy Carlos who in turn took inspiration from Henry Purcell’s “March” from “Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary”.

Hoffman, under the Cygnus X moniker simply cranked the speed up, chucked in a bass drum and wavey ravey acid riff underneath and stuck it on wax. As you’ve probably noticed, im a big fan of simple arrangements and this is no different. There are hundreds of remixes, many of which make small insignificant tweaks to capitalise on the popularity of the original. The standouts for me being the Man With No Name mix released in 2000;

and the VERY crowd friendly, Moonman’s Orange Juice remix from ’99

Regardless of your opinion of the track, its hard to deny that The Orange Theme played an integral part of the techno and trance scenes. For good or bad its a track that can transport me back to dark, smoke filled rooms with lasers in an instant.

From Discogs
One of the best classical techno-trance themes. My guess is that it is techno-trance at its best. Unforgettable, but then again we must remember that the original melody was created by the genious Purcell, and beautifully worked by Wendy Carlos on the “Clockwork Orange” famous theme.

Eye Q reached the pinnacle of the classically melodic euro trance milieu with the ‘The Orange Theme’.

The Original Mix takes the ‘Vernon’s Wonderland’ (Vernon) approach, but raises the stakes to a quick 147+ bpm, and adds background bubbly acid line to drive it through. The result is a classical music masterpiece that has been often copied and remixed, but never bettered.

That is not to detract anything from the remixes here though, they are both worthy treatments.

Recreating a song composed by a classical music composer (such as Beethoven) into an electronica tune sounds like a good idea in almost every instance, but I have yet to really find an example of this that has really worked. The Orange Theme, which is also the main theme from the movie “A Clockwork Orange”, is just not very good. Granted, the Solar Stone remix is good trance, with a great build, but the main synth line is just not that good. It really isn’t that catchy, and is just plain cheesy. There are better trance anthems out there that are worth owning in this format.

I’ve always considered “The Orange Theme” a turd in Eye Q’s catalogue. It’s crude, in-your-face and unsophisticated, and reeks of UK superclubs and “Now that’s what I call trance” compilations.

But the flip side of this original release is magnificent. See, “Introspective” is just that – a pensive, poignant track imbued with the kind of warm melancholy often heard in the best early 90’s trance. You needn’t waste your time on the overplayed A side – this is the real deal. Beautiful.

Astralasia – Aloo [1994]
June 27, 2011

A beautiful piece of Psytrace from 1994, with more a focus on the relaxing nature of Goa rather than the up all night with your head full of madness rocking out. Simply breathtaking in its execution, it retains a decent amount of beat so you dont get bored. The strings are just phenomenal, all encompassing and lush. Total perfection.

From Discogs
‘Aloo’ really does make this cd worth tracking down and it is only available in this format to my knowledge unfortunately. First heard it only within the last few months on a rather anonymous digital-only radio station called ‘Chill’, appropriately enough, a station with no dj waffle but with a playlist that sounds like someone’s iPod on permanent shuffle; however this track would always be a welcome re-appearance.

The title track currently sounds a little dated but ‘Aloo’ offers timeless wholesome uplifting ambience that really is a joy to hear; smiles all round when played I assure. ‘Zero Celsius’ whilst of the same gentle ambient persuasion, and by no means a dud track, nevertheless after ‘Aloo’ sounds rather average by comparison.

The title of this release is an Arabic term meaning “hashish eater” and is the origin of the English word “assassin” – I don’t know if that’s relevant to this release but it’s a great bit of trivia! The title-track Hashishin is a 130bpm dance track with a positive vibe and a cheerful “to a better place” refrain – it’s nice enough, maybe slightly poppy, but the key track on this EP is the second one. Aloo is quite simply a totally divine piece of floaty, trancey, beat-led chill-out music. This fades into the equally chilled Zero Celsius giving you a quarter-hour of very pleasant and relaxed listening …whatever you’re eating. 😉

Doof – Sunshrine [1996]
June 27, 2011

Fantastic atmospheric goa trancer from one of the masters of the genre. Its an amazinly simple sounding track but its so layered with crowd pleasing strings and synths that you cant help but get drawn in. Great great track.

From Discogs
Here we have another early classic from the goa heyday. Doof has kind of dropped off the face of the earth as of late, but Let’s Turn On was a major ripping album of its time. The title track is well known as the opening track of the uber-classic TIP Yellow, put there is plenty of other good stuff here. Angelina rips it up something fierce as does Destination Bom. Mars Needs Women also needs no introduction to old-timers. While is album isn’t quite of Twisted, TIP Color series caliber, it is definately a smoking old goa classic which all fans of the older sounds should own. 8/10

The first CD by Nick Barber alias ´Doof´… Released in the prime-time of trippy, psychedelic Goa-Trance music, 1996.
This is the typical sound of that era… every track is a trip of its own. After a slow intro, the song becomes more and more complex with a lot of effects, 303 lines, staccato-beats, synths, voice-samples etc.—- The true definition of Goa.
Every track is brillant in its own way. Perhaps one of the best CD ever made in this genre.

RIP Loleatta Holloway
March 22, 2011

Loleatta Holloway

Its a sad sad day for music. We lost one of the truly great female vocalists. In this day of autotune and refined marketability, Holloway continued to find cuts of her vocals in all manner of music, in many cases without any financial compensation. Her voice remains one of the most sampled in the history of music with Love Sensation being one of the most prolific accapella’s of all time.

I grew up with Loleatta Holloway’s voice, from the originals back in the early to mid Eighties to the rise of the sampler and House & Garage tunes from 1987 onwards. From that point on, I dont think ive heard more than 20 different electronic tracks before I find one with a vocal from Holloway. Ive lost the plot with her, i’ve danced around a field with her voice floating across the fields, heard in raves, mixtapes, hardcore, house, drum & bass, commercials, movie trailers, on my ipod about four times a day and i’d hazard a guess that she was playing the day I got married. There are very few artists that I know of that can claim to have been in the collective audio unconscious of sample based music lovers for almost four decades.

She was one of the truly great vocalists of our time and one that will be very sorely missed by me. In an effort to do any kind of justice to this memory, lets get the music underway.

RIP Loleatta Holloway, you were fucking amazing.

…the key to her appeal is that she doesn’t push herself too far to the front. The pleasure of listening to divas like Whitney or Rihanna is that it’s an aspirational experience – women want to be them, men want to be with them. Holloway is a different proposition: a collective experience, of mutual understanding and shared joy. She takes the utopian ideals of clubland – sex, community, abandon – and massively amplifies them back at the dancers, singing to each one of them and the club as a whole. As her voice surges onto and fills the dancefloor, it really does feel like we’re all getting stronger.
Taken from a Great Obituary from the Guardian

Astral Projection – Nilaya [1999]
May 13, 2010

What a track this is. Probably one of my favourites from Another World its depth of synth mastery I think outshines almost any other Psytrance track. There’s at least four main synth sections mixed with the pounding bassdrum that just sweep in and out of each other. Its farkin’ supreme, an absolutely stellar dancing track that you can loose yourself in and just when you think your journey is over….. off you go again!

From Discogs
Astral Projection’s “Another World” was released following the hugely sucessful “Dancing Galaxy”,and continues on that tradition of massive, rich and deep sounds of previousAstral Albums. Nine mind-blowing compositions, kicked off by the heavenly and angelic sounds of ‘Nilaya’ – a floor killer that captures the soul and takes it into a psychicjouney into the chakras.The album theme “Another World”is a pulsting grooveoverlaid with skylining power riffs. “Visions of Nasca” – images of colliding magnetic fields that mold into powerful and mysterious 3D morphing grooves.”Searching for UFOs” – a touching creation – a magical light from the galaxy beyond us with excitingmorning sounds. Other tracks include “Tryptomine Dream”, “Aqua Line Spirit”, Trance Dance and the legendary Mahadeva in a new form “Mahadeva 99”. All in alla multidimensional sound scape, breaking new boundaries in Psy Trance.
This album is Astral Projection at their peak in my opinion. While I love all their albums, Another World always stuck out for me. The overall feel and theme of the music is very futuristic and outerspace… Which is something I love in trance music. When an artist or album successfully captures this feeling in their music I go crazy for it. Tracks like “Nilaya” and “Tryptomine Dream” give these space images very well. Its debatable if Astral Projection is still considered goa trance as I write this review, but back when Another World came out, there was no better artist in the genre!

Marmion – Schöneberg (Man With No Name Remix) [1996]
April 26, 2010

‘Kin YES, another bloody epic remix from Martin Freeland. He takes the fairly middle of the road Eurotrancer and rips the guts out and reworks this… incredible remix. Its impossible resist driving bass and synths just rock its so hard ive have NEVER been able to resist it. A pure Goa/Prog House classic of epic proportions also fondly referred too as the “Ding Dong” song. GET IN!

From Discogs
A party trance anthem if ever there was one. If ever there was a track guaranteed to get any dancefloor moving, this is it.

The Original Marmion Remix has been a huge influence on the nu-nrg/hard house/hard dance scenes, but don’t let that put you off it. It starts off with the distinctive riff played on its own as though it were a call to arms. A cool chugging beat charges in as the track continues for the next minute or so. Then from out of nowhere it changes direction as a crazed synth lick rages through, the bass drops and harder beats rain down, only briefly stopping for a teasing Iberian break, before continuing into further mayhem. It finally winds down with an epic rush of peaking synths. By then you won’t know what has hit you.

The Man With No Name remix is a commendable alternative. It features all the typical Martin Freeland production techniques – big booming beats, acid squiggles, and day-glow psy trance synths. The Man With No Name has produced many excellent remixes, and this is right up there with the best of them.

An all time trance classic.

Man With No Name – Sugar Rush (Refined Mix) [1996]
April 26, 2010

I think I have a whole bunch of synapses dedicated to playing this back to me when im least expecting it. The mere mention of “Man With No Name” and my brain comes alive with that synth riff. Its an internationally recognised tune, anyone who found themselves out dancing in the mid nineties would have heard this. What makes it so different to other Goa mixes is its roots are firmly planted straddling Prog House and belting Psytrance – a mix almost nobody but Man With No Name has mastered. Hence you could be at a house night with bunnies in furry bra’s one minute and in a filthy blacklight drenched trance club the next and this track would fill the floor, every. single. time. The mix is taken from the fucking amazing album “Moment Of Truth” – buy it right now.

Hallucinogen – Demention [1997]
April 15, 2010

‘There is an area of the mind that could be called unsane, beyond sanity, and yet not insane. Think of a circle with a fine split in it. At one end there’s insanity. You go around the circle to sanity, and on the other end of the circle, close to insanity, but not insanity, is unsanity.’
From ‘The Beyond Within: The Rise and Fall of LSD’ (BBC documentary, 1987)

The first track from Posford’s seminal The Lone Deranger just tears a hole in your speaker and drags your ass into a stroboscopic, infinately colored goa world of snakey synths, evil sweeps and so many layers you just fall. Probably one of the most mature tracks on The Lone Deranger with distinct areas to the arrangement, it feels the closest thing to a chemical journey that you’ll find with your head still attached to your shoulders. Absolutely fantastic.

From Discogs
Starting from with the well known LSD sanity-unsanity sample we slowly delve into the Demented world of Hallucinogen! Squelching acid lines meet the rolling rhythms from Twisted as sounds pop in out, creating, leading and ultimately defining the tunes. Trancespotter and Snarling being perfect examples. Horrorgram adds percussive elements to the stomping mix. Gamma Goblins features seriously twisted levels of sonic manipulation which are intense yet melodic.

The Lone Deranger is a worthy follow up to Twisted and Simon Posford has once again pushed the levels of Psytrance in a new direction by taking the old-school Goa melodies and adding the Psy influenced tech vibes. All of the tracks on this album are gold, just as Twisted. It stands the test of time and gives today’s commercial sounding “psy-trance” a run for their money, 10 years after being released! In my opinion that’s what defines a classic, It sounds just as good as the day I first heard it.

Art of Trance – Octopus (Man With No Name Mix) [1995]
December 15, 2009

I dont think there’s been a single release from Platypus Records ive ever disliked, or anything from Man With No Name for that matter. So what happens when you put them both together? You get this pounder from Art of Trance. The original is so so, the remix is a massive psytrance pounder that gets into your head, into your soul, you feet and your arms. Easy to loose yourself in this extremely complex trance tune. Listen to all those layers, absolutely awesome.

From Discogs
Martin Freeland (aka Man With No Name) has a history of delivering superlative remixes, and this is no exception. In terms of style, it’s similar to his remix of ‘Bony Incus’ by Eat Static, i.e. trippy and hard. This remix will add urgency to any dance floor, and manages to retain the Indian mysicism associated with the origina

The Infinity Project – Stimuli [1995]
November 19, 2009

Simon Posford does it again with this Psytrance / Progressive stormer. It found itself being caned by Oakie on his legendary Goa Mixes, subsequently appearing on every Fluro mix album and from that point, in just about every trance and progressive house set going. The dark bass keeps the track pounding along, the sprinkling of classic ambience vocals and a face ripping synth riff make it a standout.

From Discogs
Raja Ram, a trained jazz flautist and member of the 1960’s band Quintessence, formed The Infinity Project in 1989 along with Graham Wood. In December of that year they organised their first party and played their first primitive tracks. Over the next few years The Infinity Project started releasing their first material on labels such as Fabulous and Dragonfly Records. Then in 1994, Raja Ram and Graham Wood, along with Ian St. Paul, formed the legendary Goa Trance label TIP Records.

Simon Posford (Hallucinogen), although not a full member of The Infinity Project has co-produced/engineered many of their tracks, and has a long-standing friendship and musical partnership with Raja Ram. Other notable collaborators include Martin Freeland (Man With No Name) and Nick Barber (Doof). By 1998 The Infinity Project had split-up, with Raja Ram and Graham Wood concentrating on their other projects.