Jump to content

Midi Miliz-Non Standards


Recommended Posts

Here goes my extensive and elaborate review. I dont have the full japanese version with that extra track, but I took the liberty to download it since I paid for the CD anyway. So heres the tracklist :


1. Dos Canones

2. 10.000 Watts

3. Trace Function

4. The Invisible Witness

5. Feet In The Air

6. Trebel Rebel

7. Speaker Sneaker

8. Nick Jacholson

9. Supersymmetry

10. X-Dream - Psychomachine (Midimiliz Punked Remix)

11. Exclusion (sponsored by DC++)



First of all I have to say that this is the fastest and darkest piece of music I have purchased in quite some time, because Im more into the housey progressive thing these days. Yet Midi Miliz has always stood for 100% quality, a fact proven by their last 2002 album Passages that I didnt get right away when it was released, but that i picked up a year later after listening to it at a friends house. After that it has become one of the most played records on my Ipod, especially the delicious ending track "Stars", a dreamy, touching voyage featuring non other than Louis Armstrong.


So naturally i didnt hesitate one second to purchase the newest release "non-standards", especially with all the hype Midi Miliz has gotten. And I think on this occasion the hype is totally worth it. "Non-standards" is their best and most mature album to date, it proves that Midi Miliz are one of the most creative producers in our scene that really do think outside the box. Thats why it is really hard to put this release into categories, because distorted Tech-Trance like the Midi Miliz of old it is definitely not. There is not much distortion used at all, and if it is very subtle. The most outstanding characteristic would probably be the electro style analogue basslines, but this is definitely no electro either.


On the first listens I was extremely intrigued and couldnt stop listening, but i wasnt quite sure if I liked it or not. I could not define it, I could not find a box that it would fit into, yet I kept on listening, I had to. Then while taking a nice walk around Vienna I finally realized what this music really is. It is not hard pounding techno/trance/electro music as I expected, even if all the monstrous analogue basslines and tough percussions would suggest otherwise. It is a delicate and ethereal voyage into a world full of colour and subtle nuances, a voyage into the soul of an electronic machine.


The best way to describe what I mean is how I came to this realization. I was listening to "Non-Standards" with my Ipod set on Shuffle. First I listened to the tack "Feet in the air", a smooth groover with a rolling electro bassline and a sugar sweet repeating sample that says "Your feet in the air, your head on the ground, inside out, upside down". Like in "Stars" from the old album, Midi Miliz use a repeating sample to create a dreamy otherworldly atmosphere , very seldom have I heard a track that is so uplifting and touching without using any uplifting or dreamy sounds. That track opened up a whole new way to listen to this album, i took the sample by its word and I listened to the music "ïnside out, upside down". The rolling pounding bass isnt what it seems, it is a beautiful gentle organic matter that tells a story, its not just there to make you dance, there is much more to it. The percussion is the guide that carries you on your journey, like signs on the ground that point you in the right direction when you are lost between the walls of sound. The other sounds interweave with the bassline to form a sonic carpet that gently lifts you along, it doesnt hit you the head or tells you where to go, it is just there to support you.


As luck would have it, the Shuffle on my Ipod took me to the remix of X-Dreams "Psychomachine". After my head had been turned "upside down, inside out" by "Feet in the air"already, this monster completely finished my brain off. The bassline, who I had realized was a living being on the track before, showed his most intense emotions and feelings with a heartwrenching, soulcrunching, braintransforming and utterly beautiful performance. At its most mean, pulsating and destructive, it revealed the most intense beauty and feeling.


After that experience, everything else just fell into place. Its like I had discovered the key to a secret dungeon where the most beautiful treasures were hidden, unseen treasures that were waiting to be discovered. Take the first track "Dos canones"for example, so intense and deeply touching, gently pushing along further and further. If you listen to this track the first time you will probably find nothing gentle about, but listen to it "upside down, inside out", you will find out what I mean. 10000 Watts seems like a mean electrotechno track, but when the melody in the end soars it feels like a silver lining on the horizon, like everything shines and sparkles. "Supesymetry" and "Trebel Rebel" paint intense and clear soundscapes, both feature bleeping sounds that pulsate and vibrate as if they were alive.


I dont wanna go into a real track-by-track description, these are just some examples of whats in store here. In my opinion "Feet in the Air"is the key to understanding and loving this release. If I had compiled "Non Standards", I would have put it in the beginning, because it points the listener in the right direction. Midi Miliz have taken a very bold step here, probably pissing off a lot of their hardcore customers, but they have gained so much more. These boys have shown pure musicality in places where you would least expect it. Non-Standard takes a lot of effort and dedication, granted, but Im sure I will be playing this years from now and it wont get old. So, do yourself a favor, buy it, play it and dont forget "Your feet in the Air, your head on the Ground, inside out, upside down"!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feet in the air sounds like a classic to my ears :) like a techno classic, I love it!

If you like techno, get this album, great music for party, but certainly not psytrance, but why not reviewing it here...Passages was a really good techno release too, and this last album doesn't disappoint me at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ahahaha Midi Milliz are back at it again and thank God they didn't turn into some crappy commercial electro like X-Dream did. No baby, this is still dark gritty tech trance all the way!!! Although I must admit that it DOES sound a bit (too much?) lighter than their older stuff...


GaySatanicHippie and Manuser say that Feet in the Air is the best track. Well perspectives differ cause personally I find it the WORST track here... it's the only one that reminds me a LOT of the crappy mass-appealing style on X-Dream - We Interface. Yes, there's that same stupid female voice (although a bit darker this time). I don't like this track one bit... Luckily other tracks are much better.


Dos Canones is a monster of a track, it opens the album nicely. Ah that dark repetitive feel that reminds me older stuff by them and Marcus' other side-project, The Delta . It just feels like you're sinking deeper and deeper into a swamp, slowly suffocating in the dark mud all while feeling a certain euphoria caused by oxygen deprivation to your brain hehehehe


10.000 Watts is a bit more "neutral" techtrance, and well frankly the main thing I like about techtrance is the dark atmosphere so once that's gone I don't like it very much... Still, this can work good in a proper night set.


Luckily the dark atmosphere comes back with Trance Function . Ah that low dirty grainy synthline that kicks in around 2:40. That's the stuff :) Then it evolves to a melody which becomes a bit to light for my tastes.


Illussiveness of the Witness is a BEAUTIFUL track! Midi Milliz making morning trance... who would've thought this was possible?? At first it seems pretty commercial but after a few more listens that repetitive melody just digs in deeper and deeper. The end result is something very hypnotic that just brings a ridiculously big smile on your face. The whole feeling is not very different from the one made by a certain track called BotFB - Mr Fantastic ... and that's one of my all-time fave tracks so... :) I hear you say "But this is Midi Milliz we're talking about. It CAN'T make you smile!!". Ah well it just does and no I don't take that against them. Contrary to other "dark trance" artists like Dark Soho or X Dream I don't find that these guys went for the cheese, it simply feels like some mature artists simply decided to make some happier stuff than they're used to and that's it.


Nick Jachelson brings us to more experimental territory... This has a breakbeat bassline... hmm... who would've thought that Midi Milliz and breakbeats would match? I guess that by now you're guessing why this album has been called Non Standards ... This is a slower ambientish track which has a dark atmosphere to it. I can't really decide what to think of it now, sometimes it feels good, other times it's not that good...


Speaker Sneaker gives us some more... morning trance!! Actually this is the perfect transition from night to morning trance track IMO. It starts dark then slowly but surely brings in light. Again, this isn't really what we'd expect form these guys but I like it!!


Now we get back to more "classic" Midi Milliz tech trance with Trebel Rebel . Hehe, there's an effect in around minute 1:00 that makes you jump from your chair and think that someone's knocking very hard on your door hehehe Imagine the panick this can cause when on acid :) Then the knocking continues a whole minute and later gives place to a KILLERdark synth melody!! Then the "knocking" comes back and there's a VERY hypnotic progression. This one of my fav tracks. Oh baby that melody is SUCH a killer!!!


Supersymmetry brings back the experimental breakbeats... don't ask me why but whenever I listen to the first 2 minutes I get the vocals from Moby - Lift me Up in my head... Luckily it becomes more "serious" afterwards with a pretty cool melody. Again this is more appealing for chill-out than dancing... Although I could also find some use for some late afternoon set. The end result is again pretty damn hypnotic and brings you that feel-good smile.


The remix from Psychomachine brings back the techtrance style that became extinct around 2002 into full-force. Hehehehe this is full-power mechanical darkness. The mental images of a huge assembly lines building killer robots that are preparing to eliminate human kind from the Earth are back :) Welcome to bad trip territory my friend, just try to keep in mind that it's all in your thoughts before blowing your brains out with a 7 mm... And that evil elf voice coming in around 4:00 hehehehe


Exclusion is again some nice dark tech trance, although again, it sounds more "neutral", there's a dark atmosphere, but not much. Still, it's pretty hypnotic as well :)



Conclusion Midi Milliz still make their dark techtrance style... but now they also bring a more experimental side to their work as well as... morning trance!!! Well what the hell, even Ka-Sol makes morning trance these days so... As long as it's quality stuff I don't mind and this is some pretty top-notch stuff!!! And thank Heaven, there's no trace of a full-on bassline or the crappy X-Dream electro in there (OK, except for Feet in the Air ) so I'm happy that at least there are SOME artists out there who have some integrity left and don't just convert to making fucking pop music... 8,5/10

faves: 1!!, 4, 7!!, 8, 10!!, 11

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really nice cd, definitely nothing amazing but still totaly solid. Though feet in the air is nothing special, its still really catchy to me.


Favs, dos caonnes, trebel rebel, feet in the air, elusiveness of the witness, trance function

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw them live in Montréal :o just before the album dropped.


They did play a lot of psy-electro there, which was adequate but nothing special: electro was tapped out in 2002 IMO, there are plenty of Hacker clones out there and I don't mind others doing it, but it'd be a shame if that sonic dead end abducted some of the only psy producers I'll still listen to. Just my opinion.


Anyway, the live show, where they stayed away from psy-electro and gave'er with the psy-tech, SHIVER ME TIMBERS, AAARRRRR, oh my God these boys know what they're doing.


Then the album BLEW ME AWAY! It's not half-cheese like, sadly, the last X-Dream. I really like "Feet in the Air", it's a perfect pace for a fast walk: the kick-drum has a definite left-right (low, high, low, high) cadence to it. All others are outstanding too - I haven't warmed to Dos Canones, but the words above assure I'll keep giving it a chance.


Midimiliz has raised the bar even higher. How ever will they match this effort? How will anyone? This release is "Desert Island Choice" good. 10/10, heart in the throat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, this is one of the most DARKEST albums of 2005, it's amazing how the MIDIMILIZ power has been increased to this level, that's why i'm glad i purchased the Japanese album and i have it now in my hands! And i can make a deep dark trip anytime! AMAZING MASTERPIECE!


Did i forgot to mention, i'm Midimiliz fan since year 2000? Well, i am and i don't have the right words to say how their musical talent has changed, it's amazing, great new direction Midimiliz keep up the dark spirit alive!!!


Best tracks: 1. Dos Canones, 4. The Invisible Witness, 7. Speaker Sneaker!! < this is the main reason why i buyed the album!, 10. X-Dream - Psychomachine (Midimiliz Punked Remix). 11.Exclusion < sounds like "Exclusive" and yeah it's a superb track only for Japan.


Mark: 10/10

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got this album and really liked!! Or better say Loved it! Technical dark style gives me good vibrations. And most weird thing happend when i was listenning song Psychomachine.. Listenned it with phones and quite loud.. When this psychosound started and then This boom whooom, i got really euphoric feeling like i had took something.. u know.. And i was just.. What the fuck.. Song made me huge impression. Almost every track is good on their own way, but best tracks are The Invisible Witness, Dos Canones and last but not the least Psychomachine!

MiliZ ruleS!! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This album surely demonstrates a maturity in their sound and production. Have these guys been taking music theory lessons? I think so as this album is full of melodies which weren't present in past albums to the same degree as in Non Standards. Sounds like these guys picked up a Moog Voyager and a Jomox for drums+percussions and dumped the Microwave and sample cds as their production has a definite analog feel to it which is also fatter! Overall this album is solid. I just wish they experimented with more interesting use of fx and pattern programming as this album although well produced, sounds very standard. 8/10



"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as

kids,we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching

magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."


Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989

Link to comment
Share on other sites



The very typical Midi Miliz tech-trance sound is on display in this CD. A very good thing, too.


Paint my beard black, darken the lights, put on my favourite Scooby Doo cap and twirl around the room.


Recommended if you like the style (and do not forget to also purchase Boshke Beats's superb Chronika Chapter 2).





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Midi Miliz - Nonstandards, this is definately a must-have album.


you don't have to be into tech-trance to like this album. it's good quality and that's enough for someone to get hooked on it.

dark, tech, trance, melodic parts, good samples .. the combination turned out into a good album. i love it.

there are also some good dancefloor tracks on it.

my favourite tracks: 10.000 Watts, Trance Function, Illusiveness Of The Witness, Feet In The Air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

~...one of the best sound producings ever in tech/trance soundz. cuts,bleeps,sweeps,breaks,bpms all these in a dark techno filter...

one of the best albums of this decade...~


in other words,how tech/trance musik should be in the year 2005...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

it took me three times to get how cool is it :D


german sound - in its best traditions :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 9 months later...

Proud to call this one part of my collection!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ouch ! I haven't posted the review of one of my favourite albums in past few years !


A.W.E.S.O.M.E. !!!


These guys simply never dissapoint. They made their most melodic and psychedelic album to this date. Their previous minimal worxxx were great as well, but this album is entirely on new level. Pure definition of dirty, psychedelic masterpiece. I have no time to get deeper in review about this album. It works as a whole, there are actually no favorite tracks here, they are all mind blowing. The keywords for this album are : FUNKY, DIRTY, PSYCHEDELIC, RETRO, PERVERSION. Very solid sound structures and lots of crazy moments. 11/10 without thinking about it. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...