Title: "Liquid Journeys"
Label: Vaporvent Records, San Francisco, USA - www.vaporvent.com/home/
Available in HQ digital download @ Beatport www.beatport.com/en-US/htm...d_journeys
1. Are You?
2. Don't Kill It (featuring Blane Lyon)
3. Next Steps
4. Psychic Dissent
5. Swamp Planet
6. Liquid Journeys
7. Back to Ibiza
Q: What do you get when you distill organic Goa trance, dub, bewitching breakbeats, smooth downtempo funk, psychedelic guitar wizardry and celestial trip-hop into a pure crystal goblet?
A: A tangy, highly-intoxicating elixir called "Waterjuice."
The San Francisco-based duo, Waterjuice, is among most underrated live electronica acts in North America. Party people go crazy over Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob, they love Bluetech, and they worship Tipper and Shpongle DJ sets... but when it comes to an actual "live" performance, Waterjuice's beats and grooves hit the dancefloor just as hard, and they're more interesting to watch on stage. The third Waterjuice album, "Liquid Journeys" pushes their classic 'electronica jam' sound to a new level of refinement and contemporary influence. The sound is quirky like the trigger fish on the album artwork: colorful, FUNKY, liquid, and submarine... with a few shadowy crevices between the coral, a couple of spines and nips from tiny teeth.
"Liquid Journeys" stands apart countless generic, laptop-produced downtempo releases (with ethnic wailing ripped from the same sample CDs).
This is proper music: hand-carved, slow-cooked sonic artwork.
1. "Are You?" is a monster opening: a moody, post-terrestrial psychedelic-tech-funk sojurn. Melodian synths, vocoder syllables and strange sine waves are soldered together into something epic and haunting. I get the same excited feeling as the first time I heard tracks like KoxBox - "Go Fly A Kite" or Shpongle's - "Dorset Perception." Listen to the gorgeous melodic solo 4'24" and you will feel it, too.
2. "Don't Kill It" drops some serious trip hop knowledge. Accelerating didjes and pulsing grooves push the the breathy, high-vibration rhymes into meta circuits of you mind - and keep them echoing around in there.
3. "Next Steps" squeezes out juicy, funky basslines and fat percussion grooves that could take on James Brown or George Clinton... A 70's detective show interlude with extra-terrestrial flair. Midway through the track..a UFO turns on its transporter beam and things get weird for a moment, before dropping you back into funky, familiar terrestrial realms.
4. "Psychic Dissent" - A clever, cheeky sample about an unauthorized party at a kid's parents' house sets the stage. A curtain of sound flows out of the speakers as cool as spilled liquid nitrogen, sublimating into FAT breakbeats -- fatter than your momma standing on a black hole after drinking 1000 lead milkshakes. The seductive, wommpy basslines and percussion synthesesia is beyond hypnotic. If the bass groove that drops 2'00" doesn't make you dance... there's no hope left for you. Nothing will.
5. "Swamp Planet" opens with a slow, classic Waterjuice techy interlude until 1'05".. KA-POW!..a soft gunshot sound pops the track into high gear.
Delicate, complex pummeling percussion and liquid melodic swirls percolate over whispers of ancient Tuvan throat singing and future robot voices. FUNK!
Watch out at 4'08" for a heady drum solo and bass attack!
6. "Liquid Journeys" gallops right into bumping, driving downtempo with a sublime underwater vibe. Colorful calypso grooves and shimmering metallic tones swirl and dance about like schools of tropical fish in coral atoll water.
7. "Back to Ibiza" is slow-burning, punchy new-skool Goa trance. An unexpectedly complex sound fractal that's triple-acid-dipped and bursting with original flavors. This monster track has a decidedly split personality... it's legs are rooted deep into the mud of a primordial swamp... the upper limbs and tentacles flailing high into the stratosphere.
8. "Bells" is a slow, staggering, darkish 'come down' track. Sounds kind of like NES Metroid or Sci-fi music. This is the most 'average' track on the album.
Best Tracks: 1(!),2,3,4(!),5,6,7(!)
"Liquid Journeys" is seriously high quality gear. It surpasses current downtempo cliches and production standards, and it has potential for long-lasting listening pleasure. While Ott's "Skylon" impressed me more in some ways, "Liquid Journeys" has been the most heavily repeat-played album to grace my headphones in 2008. It's also the best Waterjuice release yet... with a more polished, mature sound and complex production than the previous chapters. I dug it from the first track, but after about 25 plays my brain started to grok the subtle flavors and majestic details that "Liquid Journeys" is richly engraved with. Highly recommended! (9/10)
Written and Produced by Waterjuice:
Cyril Kollock - Logic Pro, pads, drums and bass
Bruce 'Raven' Tupling - live guitars and technical effects
Vocals by: Blane Lyon
Mastering by: L. Henry Sarmiento II. @ Sonic Vista Studios, Ibiza. ( www.sonicvistastudios.com/ )