|Date:||Jul 4, 2010|
New CD compiled by Easy Riders, and consisting of names like FREq, Zen Mechanics, Ace Ventura, Gaudium, Earsugar, Ritmo and the Easy Riders duo themselves.
|Title:||Digital Beings – compiled by Easy Riders|
|Format:||CD (later also WAV/MP3 digital download)|
There is no doubt that Easy Riders is a name to watch out for. Consisting of the two progressive psytrance heavyweights from Israel, Yoni Oshrat (also known as Ace Ventura, Schatsi and previously a member of Psysex) and Rocky Tilbor (Rocky) who both have a lot of experience and releases behind them – from countless singles and appearances on the biggest labels, as well as full length albums on labels like Iboga Records, HOMMega and Chemical Crew.
After only two tracks released as Easy Riders (“Midnight Breakfast” on Plastik Park and “Test Drive” on Iboga Records) they have already signed a deal to release an album on the Israeli label Echoes Records, and as a teaser they have gathered a bunch of friends for a compilation on the same label. And with a tracklist consisting of names like FREq, Earsugar, Ritmo, Zen Mechanics, Quantize and Gaudium expectations must be sky-high for most people into progressive psytrance. Let’s give it a go.
The opening track is “Age Of The 6th Sun” from the well-known duo Earsugar. As it is commonly known, the duo consists of Nicola (also known as Liquid Soul and Sleek) and Martin (Human Element) and together they have a string of combined tracks behind them, as well as their own personal label, Mikrokosmos. The track here relies on a deep offbeat bassline, and lots of wide, “classic” progressive psytrance sounds – not as melodic and powerful as some of their later works, but undoubtedly a strong track for the daytime.
Dubi Dagan, also known is Ritmo is up next with the track “Process”. On his releases on labels like Blue Tunes, Iboga Records, Iono Music (where he also released his solo album) he has built a good reputation. Lately he has moved towards a more hard-hitting, rolling progressive trance style, and this is no exception. Intense progressive trance with euphoric acid-leads, a short offbeat section and a short, but distinct Barack Obama voice-sample. Effective dancefloor track, but I prefer some of his more melodic tracks.
Easy Riders themselves join the fun with “Kelman Gates”. The basics is a Ace Ventura trademark bassline shifting from straightforward, rolling notes to a powerful breakdown with a lot more swing. The melodies, pads and leads are not quite as happy and uplifting as expected, and the atmosphere is somewhat gloomy and deep. A strong, deep and emotional track for the morning/sunset hours.
Next up is the Swedish act Gaudium. With two albums on Spiral Trax and Iboga Records one can safely say that Gaudium is firmly established as one of the main acts on the progressive trance scene. “Scandonavian” relies on a rolling bassline, heavily delayed stabs and tribal percussion, and it’s undoubtedly a potent tune with some hints to older scando-trance.
Dutch act Wouter Thomassen aka Zen Mechanics and Ace Ventura join forces on the next track. The title is “Digital Beings”, and it is clearly inspired by the long voice-sample used towards the end of the track. The track combines sharp Zen Mechanics leads with Ace Ventura unmistakable style, and the result is a wonderful full on/progressive summer-track to dominate the festival dancefloors. Top quality!
After the release of their debut album on Iboga Records back in 2008 things really started moving fast for the duo Quantize. Since then, they have been in constant demand on parties and festivals around the world, and their sound has evolved into a powerful combination of progressive trance and minimal techno elements. “The Path” also follow in that route, but it is not among their best works in my opinion; the rolling minimal/techno influences that seemed fresh on tracks like “Dymethyltryptamine” I now find a bit too stressful at this tempo. I’m sure it has excellent dancefloor-potential, but I didn’t like it that much.
FREq, the wonder from down under, is up next. It’s been kind of quiet from FREq’s studio in recent years, and his output as FREq as well as part of the Nyquist project has been quite sparse – but oozing quality every time. “Revenge” is no exception, and it has FREq written all over it – despite running at 135 BPM it’s still groovier and more progressive house-influenced than the previous couple of tracks on the compilation, and it has a very positive vibe.
Lish and Michele Adamson’s “Concrete Jungle” was originally released on the “Set:10” compilation on Iboga Records last summer, and it became a small summer-hit with its catchy grooves and vocals. Now Rocky has given it the remix-treatment, and it has gotten a more punch and bite. While the original had a groove that had more ass-shaking potential, Rocky’s interpretation is a bit more straightforward in its rhythm, but still works quite well.
To close the compilation we have the slowest track so far, made by DJ Martin (Earsugar) with his solo project Human Element. The warm, sidechained offbeat bassline (which reminds me of some of the Käempfer & Dietze tracks) combined with the positive melodies and hints of a female vocal results in a warm, sunny groover with a very optimistic atmosphere. A lovely track to close the compilation.
With a lineup like this, it was clear that there were definitely going to be some strong tracks on the compilation, and overall it doesn’t disappoint. The style is mostly powerful progressive trance, and it manages to encompass both offbeat progressive (Earsugar), slightly full-on influenced progressive trance (for instance Ritmo, Ace Ventura/Zen Mechanics) and progressive trance with elements of techno and progressive house (Quantize and Human Element).
What keeps it from getting the highest grade from me, is that some of the tracks are a bit too anonymous compared to other releases from those artists. All in all it’s a solid compilation though, and DJ’s into potent progressive trance shouldn’t hesitate picking it up. Well done!
3, 4, 5(!), 7, 9
Buy the CD here: www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/ech/ech1cd011.html