|Date:||May 11, 2009|
Whether you hunger after its cerebral intensity or go running for cover the second it assaults your ears like a crowbar, the harder end of the psychedelic spectrum.
|1.||Neutral Ethos||High Sky||150||7:28|
|2.||Toxic Anger Syndrom||Zoosh||158||7:06|
|4.||Amorphous & Poteto||A Chain Of Mind||153||8:23|
|7.||Far East Ghost||Computadores Fazem Arts||162||7:06|
|9.||Enichkin||The Light Of Reason||158||6:31|
|10.||Sectio Aurea||Sistema Uomo||156-108||9:30|
I hesitate to pigeonhole it as “dark” – has developed into an easily visible part of today’s psytrance culture. Admittedly, the playlists in my mp3 player gravitate more towards the slower, more relaxed side of things, however there are still times when find myself craving an expedition through the bizarrely sinister soundscapes designed to infiltrate those murky psychological nether-regions. Dublin-based label Triplag is a project devised explicitly for that sort of endeavor, and has spent the last three years exploring the fiercer side of psychedelica, featuring a roster of artists gathered from all corners of the world. With their seventh release, the compilation A Chain of Mind, Japanese-based label DJ e-MO has pulled together ten tracks from an international cast that continues on Triplag’s audio journey.
A Chain of Mind will undoubtedly please those listeners and DJs who are looking for a heavier soundtrack focused more on the higher end of the BPM spectrum. At its high points, it presents a sharply intense sonic ride that keeps its relentless attitude without ever crossing over the line to coarse aggressiveness. The opening track from Russian duo Neutral Ethos titled “High Sky” is a perfect example, pulled along by a thumping low-end which reveals a hint of groove, over which metallic synth work constructs a semi-minimalistic sound structure that never overloads with excessive sounds. A heavy influence from e-MO’s homeland is felt through a quartet of tracks from Japanese producers forming the heart of the album.
While I must confess that the first three of these quickly lose my interest through their rapid and often seemingly disjointed hopping through various noise collages, the final of these four, from one of the country’s more recognized producers Far East Ghost, is quite possibly the peak of the CD. Clocking in at a breakneck 162 bpm, “Computadores Fazem Arts” is elegance thinly veiled in power, an adrenaline-fueled romp through psychedelic soundscapes that cuts a focused path straight to its dissonantly eruptive climax.
A more freestyle ending awaits listeners, with a pair of experimental pieces closing things out to mixed results. Enichkin’s dark and moody “The Light of Reason” is a deeply entrancing number that refuses to fit any mold, hurtling along through a series of appropriately unanticipated twists and turns before closing in a surprisingly ideal chorus of trumpets. The finale, “Sistema Uomo” from Switzerland duo Sectio Aurea will certainly appeal to the fans of the more adventurous abstract mental splatter-paint variety of sonic onslaught but falls victim to a cluttered sense of misdirection for my own ears.
Ultimately A Chain of Mind likely won’t change any minds about this particular style of psychedelic trance but will undoubtedly be a favorite amongst the devoted of the more extreme side. As with any compilation there are a couple head-scratchers that cause a mass neuronal misfiring, however its finest moments have the touch that can keep me sucked into the dancefoor for hours without any ability or desire for escape.