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V/A - Seismic Mood


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V/A – Seismic Mood


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Hi-res cover: front + back


Artist: Various (US)

Title: Seismic Mood

Format: CD (jewel case)

Label: AuraQuake Records (US)

Cat. #: AQCD002

Distribution: Arabesque

Date: 12 December 2005


Track listing:


01. 08’19” Parus – Star Pass

02. 08’03” Penta – Dangerous Game

03. 07’30” Sector 7G - Exploit

04. 07’55” Penta – Half Dimensional

05. 06’42” Ocelot – Trumpeter Swan Rmx

06. 06’39” Parus - Leshiy

07. 09’07” Penta – Always Noon

08. 06’45” Sector 7G – X-mas

09. 07’08” Parus - Volna


.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/dg8x8 (all tracks!)




Earthshaking: an issue of seismic proportions and ramifications!


With the release of Penta’s second album Funraiser in September 2005, Bay Area-based label AuraQuake Records immediately entered the big psytrance league… That was, and still is, a gargantuan album packed to the rim with funny, murky, twisted and downright oddball darkpsy tracks… One of the best albums from 2005 within the genre… So, naturally I was excited when this compilation was announced… To be honest, I only know about Penta and Ocelot off the tracklist, but I’m guessing the AuraQuake quality inspectors are competent people… Let’s find out…


Let me take you thru the tracks…


#01: Parus – Star Pass

Parus is the trance-outfit of Latvian-born, American-based twin brothers Mark and Valentin Tarasov… They open this compilation with a slow, technoid afternoon groover… Minimal in structure, but with enough progressive stamina and melodic touches to keep me entertained… The perfect soundtrack to a lazy, sunny afternoon… Stripped down, electro-ridden morning tech-trance meets melodic psytrance… Nice opening track!


#02: Penta – Dangerous Game

Russian-born, American-based producer Nikita Tselovalnikov shouldn’t need further introduction… I’ve already talked about his second album Funraiser, which was just as good as his first output Pentafiles… Anyway, this track is more uplifting than the previous one… The infamous ‘retarded melodies’ from the newest album are back on this track… And that’s a shame – coz I still don’t like them…Luckily they don’t pollute the track completely, and there are some extremely wicked passages in this track… Pretty nice – despite the dreadful melodies!


#03: Sector 7G – Exploit

Besides from being Homer Simpson’s work place, Sector 7G is the moniker for the combined forces of Russian-born Alex Becker and American Scott McDonald… Allegedly their music is the closest thing to punk rock within the trance scene… I dunno about that, but what I do know is that this is indeed a powerful track… The long, murky intro builds tension, but doesn’t reveal the splendour of the actual track which follows… We’re still in pretty minimal, electro-driven morning trance territory – and this track has an impressive NRG level… Best track so far!


#04: Penta – Half Dimensional

Second Penta track – which I’m happy to say, I find much better than the first one… This one has deranged melodies and Penta-twirls too, but somehow they sound much better here… Anyway, this is hard-core night-trance… Which I guess can be played at ‘evil mornings’ too… Pure zombie fodder… Instantly trippy, easily complex in all its multilayered glory - and ever so scary! I mean – holy fudge! A trademark Penta track – amazing!


#05: Ocelot – Trumpeter Swan Rmx

Bay Area thrasher oCeLoT (Aaron Peacock) really impressed me with his second album vectorSelector released in June 2005 by Dropout Productions… Just like the style of the album, this is experimental, borderline night-trance with a melodic touch… So yeah, this is more morning-orientated than the Penta track… It’s still immensely trippy though – like only Mr. Peacock does it… Long driving pads and twirling psychedelia all over the place… My only gripe is a couple of ‘repetitive’ passages – but all in all, this is still a solid track…


#06: Parus – Leshiy

The twins are back with another track. This time, the music is a little more extrovert, but we’re still very far from say the Ocelot or the previous Penta tracks – which kinda throws of the flow a little… Anyway, this is minimal tech-trance with hints of uplifting, melodic morning trance… I kinda like the industrial-slash-technoid approach to trance, but I’m also slightly thrown off by the seemingly bland, infertile atmosphere… So yeah, this track isn’t as easily accessible as some of the others, and will take several listens to fully dissolve… I’m not quite there yet I’m afraid!


#07: Penta – Always Noon

“Come, we don’t have much time. We’ll make it – it’s still noon! It’s always noon here! What – what do you mean? Back home it’s already after midnight! What?” The third and final Penta track on this compilation is a murky, haunting affaire… And though Nikita claims it’s always noon, I beg to differ… This track is what you want to hear in dark, abandoned warehouses with smoke all over the place and the smell of brimstone in the air… Über-dark and somewhat repetitive, this is easily one of the darkest Penta-tracks I’ve heard in a while… Like Xenomorph on PCP…And that’s about the best description I can give. A ripe, mature track – which once again shows just how talented this guy is… Impressive track!


#08: Sector 7G – X-mas

…‘Tis the season to be jolly, so here’s the Becker / McDonald take on a psychedelic Christmas carol… And by golly, this is a hard-core x-mas tune! Stiff syncopated acid-stabs revolve around the bassline from hell – and the pixies and elves are dancing around tripping on shrooms… Check out the cool breakdown after which the track rebuilds itself into an even stronger party choon… This is a very interesting and very unique tune… If only it wasn’t so short… Ho ho ho!


#09: Parus – Volna

Final track by the twins is another odd one... But whereas the others were kinda low-key, this one is more four-to-the-floor and accessible… Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very much Parus, but with an acid-spin put on things… So yeah, we get flaring melodies here alongside the bland, industrial-like soundscapes… Sadly I’m not a big fan of those melodies... Actually I find them kinda annoying… What a shame – this track had potential!


Well, let’s take the negative stuff first… I really didn’t connect to the last two Parus tracks – style wise they seem oddly out of place on this compilation, which leads me to talk about the evident flow-problems… I know that flow is maybe not as important on a compilation compared to an album, but still… I would have much preferred to have all the Parus tracks first – and then move on to more accessible stuff… Also, I can’t seem to get past those demented, high-pitched melodies in the first Penta-track… But enough with the negativity now – thankfully there are heaps of stuff to be positive about here!


Yeah – this is a wicked compilation! There are a handful of really excellent tracks – and I’ll never get tired of the Bay Area experimental psytrance… I really, really like it and we get some real hits here… The cover-art was made by Penta himself, and I dig it… It stands out from the crowd and fits both the overall seismic activity theme – but also the music… Especially the Parus tracks! Fans of Penta/SF psytrance will definitely take well to this compilation – and I’m sure the Parus tracks will find its fans within tech-trance circles… To conclude, this is a solid piece of plastic… Easily worth a purchase… Enjoy!


Favourites: 3, 4(!!), 5, 7(!), 8,



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External links:

AuraQuake Records: http://www.auraquake.com

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/582918

Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/ajo2m

Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/akdld

Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/crbrw

Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/acebu

Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/7vtxa

Juno: http://tinyurl.com/b2x2u

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Le Lotus Bleu

Let's pass quickly over the cover which is ugly, i'm sure a good designer is not that much expansive Mr Penta...



Parus has a heavy & slow style like a diesel (!),which is not that much frequent in the darkpsy scene, Star Pass is a perfect illustration of this.

With Leeshiy , There's a nice Zombish atmosphere, still in quite slow tempo for a darkpsy sound & this time the pumping rythmic lets place to a discret kick..

Volna is more glacial, the tempo is falsely slow, some percus have been integrated; but this by far the most indiferrent tune among the Parus' track.


Penta in Dangerous Game delivers a melody 'dominos waterfalls' from 2'45 which is nice, otherwise the tune is confused & i've got the feeling he didn't know too much what he wanted to do here.

Half Dimensional is more psychdelic, strong,raving & fast, a Penta more effective & trippy from his best moments.

Within Always Noon, tones are eitheir spitefully triturated or metallic. It's the most boisterous & incisive track from the compilation, strangely in this context the snare is a lot attenuated. The samples contained in the song will explain you the reason of its name. Furthermore, on the end when the girl says again 'what?' after a big flooding of fx, i find the situation very funny.


Sector 7G develops an insistant structure with Exploit but i don't dig it. X-mas is bloody shambles, i didn't catch the Christmas thing if it was suppossed to be somewhere.On the 2 tracks i'm not convinced by the Sector 7G musical potential :(.


Ocelot with Trumpeter Swan remix is in the lineage of his last Vector Selector album even if it's not among his top creations. I mean Ocelot's style is raving darkpsy with detuned tones, certain often slump on themselves here.



Globally the quality result of Seismic Mood is positively average, with an orientation more focused on mental goals and/or domestic listening purposes than pure dancefloor stuffs according to me.



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