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V/A Solstice Black Compilation #01


PKS
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Solstice Music in Japan surprise us this time with a new concept, bringing some of the most respected artists from the techno scene and the psytrance scene into one compilation. The cover art we get with this is also pretty refreshing and different for a change.

 

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Solstice Black Compilation #01 (Solstice Music) 2006 (SOLMCD022)

 

1. Eat Static – Xeno-Phonic

2. Control F – Release-Rhythm-Circuits

3. X-dream – Insanity

4. Koxbox – Geomancer 2006

5. CJ Bolland – Mole Patrol

6. Thomas P. Heckman – Close Encounter

7. Kloq – Kloq Music 2

8. Prime Suspect – Synthetic Love

9. Synthetic – Evil Thing

10. Juno Reactor – Angel & Men (X-Dream Remix)

 

With this compilation, Solstice Music has finally taken a new direction away from the mass produced full on they have been serving us the last few years. It is compiled by Xavier Morel, who has been playing around the world for many years, including touring with Juno Reactor. Xavier has always wanted the psytrance scene to explore a bit different sides of electronic music, which he has shown in his sets all the way, by putting more techno influenced trance in his sets. The compilation he serves us here is a refreshing add to the psytrance scene, here bringing in pretty big techno artists such as Control F, CJ Bolland, Kloq and Thomas P. Heckmann. And it definatly works for me. In my opinion, one of the most interesting trance compilations I have heard for a long time! Some of the techno stuff doesn’t get me 100%, such as the commercial sounding, almost hardhouse alike Control F track, but the usual suspects such as Eat Static, Synthetic and X-Dream doesn’t let us down… The 2006 version of the Geomancer track by Koxbox sounds a bit stripped down, but will for sure be used as a nice dj tool this year. We also get a new interesting collaboration here (Prime Suspect), which are Jan Müller (X-Dream) together with Xavier himself. Synthetic gives us something new and fresh, with a different sound than usual from him. A slow, groovy track with dark themes. My favourite track here is offcourse the Juno Reactor track Angel & Men, here in a X-Dream remix! A beautiful trance version, which I hope to hear a lot on various festivals this summer.

 

All in all, this is a really strong compilation from Solstice. I really hope this is the beginning of something more to come from Solstice. Because I really think this is something we need in todays overload of melodic full on!

PKS

 

More reviews at:

 

http://www.trance.net

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This is quite a surprising and refreshing compilation with powerful techno/trance crossover stuff. Unfortunately, the X-Dream Remix of Juno Reactor's Angel&Men is way too short, ending after just 5 mins, that feels like an interruptus... ;) Besides this, my favourites are Kloq Music and the Koxbox Geomancer, both with a straightforward structure and lots of raw power.

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Artists: Various

Title: Solstice Black Compilation 01

Label: Solstice Music

Catalog: SOLMCD022

 

Tracklist:

 

1.Eat Static - Xeno-Phonic

2.Control F - Release-Rythm-Circus

3.X-Dream - Insanity

4.Koxbox - Geomancer 2004

5.C.J Bolland - Mole Patrol

6.Thomas P. Heckman - Close Encounter

7.Kloq - Kloq Music 2

8.Prime Suspekt - Symthetic Love

9.Synthetic - Evil Thing

10.Juno Reactor - Angel & Man (X-Dream Remix)

 

There has been quite a few quality releases with crossovers between trance and techno over the last few months. It is not suprising that this continues, however I find it very refreshing to see something like this comming out on Solstice Music. With a lineup like this, you'd think it has no possibility of going wrong... Let's check out the tracks!

 

01: Eat Static - Xeno-Phonic

To open the ball we dance for a short while with the legendary eat static. These guys have been tweaking those knobs for as long as I can remember, and they've seldom let me down. This track is no exception, a wonderful piece of music. As so often before with eat static there is quite alot of elements involved. Breakbeats, straight techno beats, some ethnoinspired singing, lots of acidlines and ofcourse it's groovy and spacey. perhaps a bit to short, but thats a minor complaint. Nice opening!

 

02: Control-F - Release -Rythm-Circus

Control-F continues with his Release-Rythm-Circuse. It opens as a horrible anthem-like late-90's trance piece of the worst european kind, but luckilly this lasts only for about a minute. After this torture it turns in to a nice enough track with some edgy baselines. Towards the end the theme from the opening is brought back in to the mix and totally ruins it for me. Dissapointing track!

 

03: X-Dream - Insanity

X-Dream is another one of those standout acts in our scene. They've allways managed to change and explore new musical landscapes. This is a storming piece of rhytmically oriented techno-infused trance(or is it trance-infused techno?). It's swirls loosley around some definition of the term "Insanity"...."Insanity. State of being insane. Unsoundness or derangement of mind without recognition of ones own illness. Insanity is rather a social and legal than medical term an implies mental disorder resulting in unability to manage ones affaires and preform ones social duties.....The term covers a variety of disorders such as manic depressive insanity, dementia, paranoia, general paralyses and alchoholic insanities....." Phew! And it does not stop there, It goes on and on while the track turns more and more....well...insane.

 

04: KoxBox - Geomancer 2004

Geomancer is a track that should be well known to psytrancers. This is the 2004 version of the track. You can hear what track it is, and some of the feeling of the original is maintained. Still, I think it's better to see this as a new track all together. It's more minimalistic and stripped down than the original, still this really is filled up with lots of spaced out sounds, some familiar (and some unfamiliar" melodies, lots of groove and a dash of voicesamples. Oh, and yes - It's all very good!

 

05: C.J Bolland - Mole Patrol

C.J Bolland is a guy you don't see every day on psytrance oriented labels. This is a pretty melodic, but still essentially dark piece of techno music, but it still sounds pretty trancey. This has become a track that I've got a love/hate relationship to. First of all I love it because it's a great track. Period. But I also hate it becaus i find my self walking around on the street humming the main baseline, whisteling it in the shower, and when I want to go to sleep at night - there it is! I can't get it out of my head...

 

06:Thomas P. Heckman

I know Heckman is a legend for a lot of techno fans, but I've never realy listened to his music before. This is a pretty straightforward technotrack, and it really doesn't do it for me. It's harder than ther previous track by C.J Bolland, but it's also alot more monotonus. I actually find it rather boring, and quite possibly the weakest link on this compilation.

 

07: Kloq - Kloq music 2

This is along the same path as Thomas P. Heckmans track, except this is pretty interesting stuff. It's a hard and pretty pumping piece, but where Heckmans track sounds boring and repetitive this has alot more going for it. There are plenty of elements being spun around here and it turns in to a nice blend suitable for both homelistening and dancefloor mayhem. Nice!

 

08: Prime Suspect - Synthetic Love

Prime Suspect is Jan Muller from X-Dream and Xavier Morel, the guy who compiled this album. You can ceirtanly hear the x-dream influences here, but it's tilting more towards the techno-side of things than x-dream usually do. It's hard and rough, never sounds boring and has a real 'drive' to it. If you're in the right mood there's not a chance you'll be sitting still while this is playing. very nice!

 

09: Synthetic - Evil Thing

Evil thing is a pretty slow track, but still manages to blend in nicely with the techy stuff on this compilation. There's a ceirtan 80's feel to this, It feels as it wouldn't be terribly ouf of place in the soundtrack of miami vice. Don't get me wrong though, it's a great piece of music. It might not get you on the dancefloor, but will work wonders for you sofa groovers. Quality!

 

10: Juno Reactor - Angel & Man(X-Dream remix)

Ok, so you're in the recordstore and see this album just standing there. You look at the tracklist, and can't really decide. Should I get this one? You go through th tracks, and finally your eyes see this. An X-dream remix of this track? Bam! this is when all doubt is forgotten, and give your vis aa good spanking. Remixing this is a bald move, but X-dreams pumping techy influences actually work great in this track. Still...I've got one complaint: It only lasts for about five minutes! And when it's done it sort of just leaves you hanging, wanting more... Still a great track!

 

Final remarks:

It's great to see solstice releasing something like this, it's ceirtanly a turn in the right direction for them. That being said, this compilation wont be for everyone. It's one of the more techno influenced compilations I've seen in the psyscene and for me it definently works! Not all tracks are standout material, but alltogether this is easily one of the more interesting offerings as of late. Recomended!

 

Tomas(Psychedelic Mustache)

 

Buy it here:

Saikosounds

Psyshop

Beatspace

Wirikuta

Juno

Play

Discobole

 

More reviews and other stuff:

www.sonic-energy.net

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still waiting for my copy...... <_<

 

edit:got it :)

 

....just finished listen to it and my first impressions are all good,i really liked this techno influenced compilation,if you´re looking for something good i suggest to go get this,recommended.

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1. Eat Static – Xeno-Phonic

2. Control F – Release-Rhythm-Circuits

3. X-dream – Insanity

4. Koxbox – Geomancer 2006

5. CJ Bolland – Mole Patrol

6. Thomas P. Heckman – Close Encounter

7. Kloq – Kloq Music 2

8. Prime Suspect – Synthetic Love

9. Synthetic – Evil Thing

10. Juno Reactor – Angel & Men (X-Dream Remix)

 

1. Eat Static – Xeno-Phonic

 

Nice alien-style track by Eat static , combining many elements as usually, from techno to breaks.... Cybergroovypsy...

 

2. Control F – Release-Rhythm-Circuits

 

Cheesy Anthems :S The production is good though, the basslines not that bad, overall that track has a rather dance/housey touch...

 

3. X-dream – Insanity

 

X-dream begin this track in a minimal techy way.. That's how it progresses in fact, very repetitive , techno-influenced. After a while some vocals kick in, giving definitions of insanity, psychosis, dementia and such...

I was not that impressed about this track, neither bad nor great, techno listeners will probably like it.

 

4. Koxbox – Geomancer 2006

Koxbox in a more minimal and technoid version. I like the Koxbox midbass sounds,the FX and generally that repetitive techno style can be quite trance-inducing too, but still would expect something else...

Although as it seems the more you listen the more you get into it, being a long 9.02 track....

 

5. CJ Bolland – Mole Patrol

I found the main melody to be cheesy, let alone irritating and frustrating..

Oh well. The melody that gets in @ around 3.00 gives the whole track a much better track... after 3.40 track gets bouncy and groovy/funky with some nice short fast twisted sounds...

Mixed Feelings about this one. I would rather not listen to it.

 

6. Thomas P. Heckman – Close Encounter

 

Clearly much more psychedelic feeling in this one..Although it might appear more monotonous and it is quite repetitive I didnt find it quite boring , it has some hard cripsy hats and snares,along with some more interesting percussion and drums now and then. Whole track is based on a loop which is slightly altered, or accompanied by twisted effects throughout the track. Puts you in a techno-trance state, if you know what I mean...

 

7. Kloq – Kloq Music 2

Uninteresting, thin-sounding lead, electro vocoded vocals which I personally found boring being repeated, track gets in pretty dynamic though.. I rather like the whole loop that gets after 2.00 and the way it progresses[? :D] after that until the end..

 

8. Prime Suspect – Synthetic Love

 

Imagine something similar to X-dream - We Interface but a bit more on the techno side.

Descent track.

 

9. Synthetic - Evil Thing

A track that has a more atmospheric intro and is slower is needed..!

Beatiful groovy cyberscapes blended with futuristic effects and sounds.

Evolves into mellow groovy mechanical music with rich hypnotic melodic pads now and then.!

 

10: Juno Reactor - Angel & Man(X-Dream remix)

Hard task for sure to remix this one, let's see how X-dream will manage....

Quite succesful mix I think!

The hypnotic ambient track was blended fine with X-dream's techy sounds and 4/4 beat.

Too short indeed however!! Should be around 8 mins...

:D

 

All in All

Mixed feelings. Give it a listen nevertheless..Some tracks are certainly worth

Favourites: 1,4,6,9,10

Rating:8/10

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I'm on my second listen of this CD and so far I'm pretty damn impressed - maybe it's because I don't listen to enough new technoid beats, but DAMN this is one hell of a refreshing compilation... Harder, teKknoiD, entrancing beats...

 

Maybe I'll write a longer review later, but for now: Stellar compilation! B)

 

/DP

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This is the first interesting-looking tracklist I've seen so far in 2006, but I've learned to never judge an album by it's tracklisting or cover, for better or worse.

 

My Impressions:

 

Eat Static: Xeno-Phonic sounds OKAY. I like the voices and I expect more from Eat Static, who produced some great stuff. This clearly is not great.

 

Control F: Release-Rhythm Circuits sounds boring, repetitive to me.

 

X-Dream: Insanity - Well there's that female cpu voice again from off We Interface. Actually, this song sounds very similar to that album, but nothing great. I wish they made their songs more imaginative, melodies, etc.. It's got a good kick for dancing. At this point I'm beginning to thiink this is just not my style. I was impressed by the tracklist.

 

Koxbox: Geomancer 2006 - I find this track boring too. I guess psytrance has spoiled me of ever enjoying new techno or tech-trance, at least in these songs. :(

 

CJ.Bolland: Mole Patrol - So-so. Forgettable.

 

 

Close Encounter - not impressed.

 

Kloq Music 2 - Blah..

 

Prime Suspect: Synthetic Love - Wow, imagine a song that sounds like it was ripped right off X-D's We Interface sound and this is it. Neither good nor bad. Cool sounding but a bit too inspired maybe. The unoriginality turns me off when an artist sounds too much like another artist.

 

Synthetic: Evil Thing sounds different, more refreahing compared to the others before. It's slower in style and I like the change. However, for what it is, I overall didn't find it THAT catchy or engaging, it's still decent and stands out whether you like it or not.

 

Juno Reactor: Angel & Men (X-Dream Rmx) - Okay, I like this, and it doesn't sound like techno. It's pretty cool for a remix. I'd have to hear the original again. Nice sounds, melodies, voices... it's catchy! Someone said it was too short. Oh well. The voices and segment when the beats stop completely add feeling, making it more dynamic and interesting I think.. then the beat continues with those nice melodies. I wish there were more songs like the last one on here.

 

Overall, this album is more intriging in it's tracklist and cover than the uninteresting songs appearing on it. I generally like X-Dream very much, but I've heard this sound before and done far more catchy too. I don't care for X-dream's first song here, but I like their rmx of Juno in the last song. This comp isn't my style. It's too techno sounding for me, and NOT good techno, maybe ten years ago this would have sounded great but now??? :huh: I suppose fans of the new X-Dream sound and those into techno may find more interest here.

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  • 1 month later...

nice comp! First of all, it took me a few minutes staring at the cover to see just where did people see a "techno om"... lol in the end I saw it, pretty neat stuff and IMO it illustrates the spirit of this comp nicely since this is basically techno released under a psy label. People might say that this is wrong, but IMO it's a great idea to get those elistst psyheads to listen to some different music for a change. You see the thing is that some people in this scene are soo damn elitist that they never bother buying anything that isn't released by a psy label... so when someone like XDream starts releasing Detroit techno on a psy label, they all applaud their "innovative sound"... without knowing that other techno artists have been making better stuff years ago... So for me, introducing some well established techno names to the psy scene is a good thing :)

 

Funny, most people completely diss the Thomas P Heckman track, personally I find it the best one here! This isn't "just" techno, it's ACIEEEEEED techno! Man hearing that 303 line slightly changing all throughout the track gives me goosebumps. In a way this is more effective at inducing a trance state than most full-on released these days.

 

Of course one couldn't have a psy label comp with techno music without XDream themselves... Here they give us a very cool tribal track, it's very different to anything they've released before and personally I applaud the change in style. Now if only they wouldn't have put that stupid sample of a "robot chick" in the middle of the track... God I find it so annoying.

 

CJ Bolland (a Belgian, BTW ;) ) delivers a nice tune but I must say that I've heard better stuff from him. And let's not forget that he's not "just" a techno producer, he started out by making some cool breakbeat ambient and is also behind a trance all-time classic called The Prophet (which I highly recomend to everyone to listen)

 

Wasn't a big fan of Geomancer before and I'm still not now... this brings me to what I initially said: if you want techno, go to real techno producers, they make it better ;)

 

Kloq is another pretty cool techno tune. Then comes Prime suspect which reminds us of a LOT of X-Dream's "post-Irritant" style... which I hate!! Will someone shoot that damn chick so producers will stop recording her vocals and put them in tracks? man, it's so fucken annoying...

 

Synthetic is a nice downtempo track with some industrial elements, although nothing really special here...

 

then comes a VERY nice tune from Juno Vs X-Dream which is basically the original but on a higher BPM. I like this a LOT although I can't help getting the feeling that something's missing... first of all, like others here said, the track is just too short, it leaves you flat on the face after just 5 minutes. It's as if there wasn't anymore space on the CD so the compiler simply cut it down... Other than that I really don't like the way they recorded the piano sample: it's VERY loud, actually it's so loud that there is a slight distortion, which gives the track a eurotrancy feeling and I find that a pitty because that's not at all how the piano line sounded in the original.

 

and I kept the worst track for last which is the one by Control F ... ok, I don't mind mixing my psy with some techno (preferably acid...) but no fucken hardtrance please!

 

Conclusion ok, this ain't really psytrance but I like the whole idea of blending artists from different genres and, above all, almost all the tracks are top quality (which is pretty rare for a comp these days...). So I rate this a 9/10

 

faves: 1, 3, 6 (!!!), 10 (!)

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  • 2 months later...

Very cool compilation and very refreshing. Lots of very fulfilling, diverse, energetic, throbbing, catchy music. Highly recommended.

 

And I have to add that I love the cover. Whoever designed it knew how to merge concepts perfectly. The design work in general is very late-90s Warp, which is cool with me.

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