pr0fane Posted June 22, 2005 Share Posted June 22, 2005 Artist: Jaïa Title: Fiction Label: MPDQX/Digital Structures Format: CD (Jewelcase with 8-page inlay) Released: June, 2005 Tracklist: 01. In 02. Serial Groover - 03. Gate I 04. Orchestra2.0 - 05. Gate II 06. Eyengui - 07. Gate III 08. From Tokyo - 09. Gate IV 10. Rouge Marine - 11. Gate V 12. Out Of Control - 13. Gate VI 14. Electric Sunrise 15. Interval Of Intimacy 16. Desert Walk Review: In 1998 a French duo called Jaïa released an album called "Blue Energy" – an album that had a stunning mix of ambient and uplifting psytrance, and received amazing feedback before it was eventually sold out. With a re-release in 2000 under the name "Blue Synergy" (which also included 6 new tracks) they released their 2nd and so far latest album before splitting up and going separate ways. One part of the duo, Yannis Kamarinos, decided to carry on under the Jaïa name though, and now, 5 years later he is ready with the long awaited 3rd Jaïa album "Fiction". Behind the release is no less than the Swedish powerhouse label Digital Structures, and the package is very professional compared to most other releases – the inlay doesn't seem much at first, but opening it up reveals a quite impressive wide drawing very connected to the music inside. I'm sure everyone who owns this will understand. Before I go on with the track-by-track review, let me just say that I'm going to take a slightly different approach this time, as the album has a quite special build-up. Between all the dancefloor-tracks there are some short "Gates" (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long), that connect the different tracks. I'm not going to review these short gates, but just say that they're very well-executed, clever and full of little surprises – and without them the album wouldn't have been nearly as good as it is now. Anyways, lets get down to business. 01. In First of is a pretty long intro – taking us with Jannis through the streets of Paris (I guess) and back into his studio where starts grooving on a set of drums, followed by a dreamy sequence with big, delicious pads, before landing again on the way to a party. Walking through the streets of Paris again, getting on a train, and arriving safely at the party just in time to hear "Serial Groover" spinning. 02. Serial Groover [130 BPM] "Serial Groover" is a very laidback progressive house tune, just oozing with atmosphere and with a nice, appealing vibe. The track is constantly evolving and it combines different elements like stunningly simple melodies, a few lush pads and some extremely sexy trumpets. Amazing track with a very positive effect on the mood – I will definitely use it a lot on future blue mondays. 04. Orchestra2.0 [135 BPM] The first Gate brings us into a big old opera, where the orchestra is warming up, and the concert begins with "Orchestra2.0". The opera singer is there, and so is the violins and the piano, and in perfect combination with the progressive grooves the result is a marvellous tune – epic, progressive psytrance when it's best. 06. Eyengui [135 BPM] Things get deeper and darker with "Eyengui" – a track with some seriously gloomy undertones, which can easily be associated with being lost in the jungle with something lurking around every tree. Later in the track it gets seriously tribal with some heavy percussion and african chanting – this must be how a secret jungle-party sounds like. My favourite part must be the female sample – weird, yet incredibly sexy. 08. From Tokyo [140 BPM] "From Tokyo" brings us through the busy high tech metropolis of the capital of Japan – one of the two fastest tracks on the CD, and quite close to the dance friendliness of full on, yet much more tasty and nowhere near as stressful. On top of it all is some extremely busy tribal percussion, which I personally associate with Safri Duo – a nice touch. 10. Rouge Marine [128 BPM] After some very overwhelming waves in the 4th gate we are swept under water in "Rouge Marine". The groove is very housey, but don't let that fool you – this is a very atmospheric track, totally swept in delicious soft sounds and sweet pads. This is pure auditory pleasure from the first to the last second, and especially the break around the 3 minute mark is one of the most beautiful and overwhelming breaks I've heard in a long time. 12. Out Of Control [140 BPM] The tempo is raised again in "Out Of Control", and like "From Tokyo" it's pretty close to full on territory with its fast rolling bassline, yet also with a more progressive buildup. I really liked the collaboration "Passengers" with Silicon Sound on Exposure Productions "Digital Performers" compilation, and "Out Of Control" is pretty close to that – a bit more rough around the edges, but certainly very good. 14. Electric Sunrise [135 BPM] Last track for the dancefloors is "Electric Sunrise", starting quite mellow with female vocals and some relaxing chords, before the bassline kicks in after 1 minute and 10 seconds. The vocals and chords are the returning theme of the track, and overall it feels very relaxed. Not a peak-time track, but excellent material for morning-time or the opening hours of a party. 15. Interval Of Intimacy Time to get down on the ground after the dance-music, and "Interval Of Intimacy" provides just that – a 3 minute break in kind of a standard psy-chillout style with big surrounding soundscapes, and some very caressing, pleasing drops of water. I can imagine it sounds like lying in a Japanese garden. 16. Desert Walk The final track is "Desert Walk", and it surely lives up to its name. With lots of Middle Eastern influences, vocals and flutes combined with some very relaxing drums, this feels like a long, lonely and very windy walk in the dunes of the Moroccan desert before reaching the destination 9 minutes later: the end of a truly amazing album. Bottom line: I can't remember the last time I was so overwhelmed with an album at the first listen – it's hard to describe the thoughts going through my mind when I heard this masterpiece the first time, but one thing is for sure – it touched me very deeply. 5 years is a long time, but Yannis obviously took his time, and "Fiction" stands out as one of the most complete albums I have heard in a very, very long time – not only is the production absolutely brilliant, the musical content is also amazing, incredibly diverse and filled with surprises and perfectly put together as a journey or a long dream. The last trance releases that had a similar album feel to me (and not just a more or less random collection of tracks) were Saiko-Pods "Phutures & Options", Sashas "Airdrawndagger" and Younger Brothers "A Flock Of Bleeps" – and I even found this baby better than 2 of these. Besides from all the praising of the album - is there anything I didn't like about it? No. Well, the only thing I can think of, is that I have preferred if "Rouge Marine" was a bit longer (it's only 5:33), but that's just in the very, very nitpicky department. Also some psytrance fans might be intimidated by the low BPM of some of these tracks, but please put the "oh no, this is boring house-music" prejudices aside – this album is certainly not boring and monotonous. If you like dreamy, melodic trance-music, yet deep and never naive – I'm certain you'll love this. Hell, if you like good music you'll love this. Hands down, this album is absolutely essential, and without a doubt the best album I've heard so far this year (sorry Antix). Don't waste any time – order it now. Favourites: 2 (!!), 4 (!!) 6 (!!), 10 (!!), 12, 14 Verdict: 9,5/10 – Essential in every collection Links: MPDQX/Digital Structures: http://www.mpdqx.com/ds Jaïa: http://www.jaia.net Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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