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Waterjuice - Melbaphonics (Vaporvent) 12/2004


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Artist Name: Waterjuice

CD Title: “Melbaphonics”

Released by: Vaporvent Records, San Francisco, USA

Release Date: 12/2004

Available at: http://www.vaporvent.com

Review by: BrettFromTibet


Track List:


1. Low Room

2. New Goo – (120 bpm)

3. Something Else – (80 bpm)

4. Fresh Squeeze – (120 bpm)

5. Trip – (125 bpm)

6. Dubbly Bubbly

7. Steam –(120 bpm)

8. Green Shake –(67 bpm)

9. Surf or Sync – (104 bpm)

10. Launch




I really like the new Waterjuice CD, “Melbaphonics ”. It should show the rest of the world why they are one of the very top psychedelic downtempo acts in North America. This San Francisco-based duo stands out because they’ve pioneered a unique sound that is both epic, yet easily accessible to a wide cross-section of the underground: chillers, trancers, jam-band fans, and dancers.


Another thing going for Waterjuice, is their “live ”shows actually seem very live - much more like a concert than a laptop recital. It’s easy to watch how they tweak their instruments, manipulate sound, and get involved in each step of the creative process. Waterjuice consists of Sur Real and Raven - Raven is an electric guitarist with a boggling array of effects and pedals that can make both classic “guitar sounds ”, as well as cosmic trance tones. Sur Real works pads and synths, and I’ve seen him tap out new fat beats right in front of the audience. He also shakes a one-of-a-kind “MIDI Space suit ” that triggers sound via body motion. They play together well and can really whip-up the audience by jamming long and hard - like a futuristic, digital, psychedelic rock band .


This newest studio CD, “Melbaphonics”, smoothly cruises through a wide spectrum of chill, breakbeats, dub, psy-trance and trip hop. And it nails each of them spot-on. The disc plays very solidly – which is important to me, for picking or recommending a downtempo CD. My attention span for music can be short, but I’ve never really felt like skipping through any of the tracks on “Melbaphonics”. They’re all good.



Track 3, “Something Else ”, is really something else! This darkish psychedelic dub session has bass notes deeper than a fault-line ocean trench – and it sucks me into the subduction zone every time. The disc really starts to sparkle around Track 4, “Fresh Squeezed ”, a heady blast of invigorating, slow, skunky-funky psychedelic trance. Track 7, “Steam ”, rolls out the trance-groove even harder –steaming, sizzling and smoking too. Number 9, “Surf or Sync ”, is a spectacular rock-infused jam with Water-juicy guitar hooks and freshly bubbling synthesizers. The disc finishes with a funkadelic trip-hop groove called “Launch”, something I’d imagine hearing at a whacked-out Wednseday night warm-up party at Burning Man…


This disc goes great with a chilled-out smoke , or as a soundtrack for a sunny drive. Playing it out has shown that the faster tracks really WORK, and just ooze with accessibility and dance-floor magic.


To push the envelope of downtempo sound design, and travel the world on the strength of your music is an extremely competitive mission. But I’ll bet that Waterjuice has the fierce creativity, stage presence, classical musicianship and studio skills to stay ahead. I can wholeheartedly recommend their newest CD “Melbaphonics”. And I wouldn’t miss out on seeing or booking their live show. You will not be disappointed.

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