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Protoculture - Circadians [Nano Records]


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First review on here, hope it fits your guidelines :) (Apologies for the sketchyness of the review, it is sunday morning!)

 

Circadians is without a doubt one of the most anticipated albums of 2006 and promises to push the Protoculture name to even greater heights. After his now classic Refractions debut release in 2003 and Dj compilation Natural Selection released in 2004, Protoculture fans have been eagerly awaiting new sounds from the Protoculture studio.

Having added some high-end tech to the Protoculture studio, Nate has been refining his techniques to what his now an even bigger and more powerful sound. Instantly recognisable as the Protoculture sound Circadians showcases some harder techier moments besides the awesome uplifting and melodic moments that he is so famous for. Circadians looks set to be one of the albums of the year and will certainly deliver exactly what his fans love about his music and more!

 

Ok, I don't doubt that this was one of the most anticipated albums, so you have to take into account that there is going to be high expectations (Refractions, in my eyes is amongst the better psychedelic albums ever made).

To me Circadians, On first listen comes off as Astrix, remixed by Protoculture. It has lost the cruisy (yet dancy) feel of Refractions, and degenerated into your more systematic full-on that everyone is making these days.

 

Ok don't have time for a particulary indepth review but ill put up my feelings/attitudes about the tracks:

1: Out Of Reality (Nate meets Avi - Love At First Sight) - Iffy intro, but builds into a pretty lush song, nice vocal elements, overused sample ("alright yes, machines are tools..."), build-up is pretty typical Protoculture, break-down is fairly pumping.

2: Sweet Fine Crystaline - Probably the most un-tainted track on the album (maybe). Nothing particulary unique, just a good melodic solid track.

3: Break Out - I dunno, seems like it could've gone somewhere, but degenerates into a pointless full-on cheese track, without even an original bassline.

4: Circadians (Nate and Avi Consumate Their Love) - Seriously, the first minute or two of the title track sounds like the Monster Remix of Infected Astrix from Artcore. It is saved by some rather tasty synth melodies (more like Protoculture) , and not feeling the need for some ridiculous build-up. Still, left me wanting more.

5: Innit (Is it just me or does this album sound a lot like astrix!?) - look i dunno, it goes no-where. skip it.

6: Hitched - Ok, so we finally get a tasty South African bassline. Feels a bit tighter. Again with the broken vocals, but I think it works a bit better than in earlier tracks. Very smooth drop-out, then, at the build-up... ASTRIX AGAIN!!! Did Avi just intercept this album in post-production and change half the tracks. Builds, up, up, up, (you can tell, the drums are getting faster) and drops to... text-book fullon. Come on, something more original.

7: Driven - Now we're getting somewhere. On each listen this one grabs me. Doesnt seem as laboured as the other songs. More like what I would hope Protoculture making cheesier full-on would sound like. Nice broken section before the main build.

Sweet lush, rolling melodies. Great morning track. Probably the stand out on the album for me.

8: Terra Tronics - This is an interesting one, I'd say the most interesting track. Following on from Driven, this is more of what I wanted from the album. This is such a good example of cheese, like really really really cheesey. But it really really really good cheese. How it should be done. Predict this will be a BIG dancefloor hit. Tinglingly good melody. At least this track doesn't leave you wanting more.

9: Halo - Well everyone else is doing it, and this album seems to be about doing what everyone else is doing... so lets put a down-beat track at the end. Why not!? Not half bad, would've liked to see where he would've ended up if he had've opted for a less dancefloor friendly album.

 

I am paying out on the album a lot, but don't get me wrong I do really think I like it, about 8 listens so far, there are some freakin great tracks on there. AND despite what anyone says I think Astrix makes ridiculously good music (despite his admiration for Tiesto). I just feel a bit cheated is all. I am REALLY interested in other's opinions on it as I may have just totally missed the point of this album.

 

Overall: 7/10 - To me the greater part of this album was just too samish. Not very original concepts. I think Nate has prove in the past he has fantastic talent, it just seems wasted here. However tracks 6, 7 & 8 are without any doubt great songs. Whether this album will stand the test of time? I'm leaning towards not.

 

As I said, very keen to hear others' take on this.

 

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Saiko Sounds

Psyshop

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Ok, after listening to it extensively for the past days, I think I'm ready to say what I feel. Let me start out saying that I'm a huge "fan" of Protocultures productions up till now - to me, he's one of the top3 full on producers, and of all his tracks so far, it's only been a few that I didn't like, and the vast majority are downright amazing.

 

"Circadians" is a good album - actually I consider it one of the best morning full on albums I've heard for quite a while, and tracks like "Out Of Reality", "Sweet Fine Crystaline" and "Halo" are stunning. But where some parts of the album are everything I hoped it to be, others are quite disappointing. To me, Protoculture always had a unique touch to his sound - hereby I'm not saying that he's a unique artist or anything (because let's face it, he's using the same formulas as everybody else), but he's always had a trademark touch to his sound, so that when you heard a track at a party, you could easily tell that it had been made by him. In my opinion too many of the tracks on the album miss that touch. Take for instance the "Greece 2000" ripoff "Circadians" and especially the two tunes "Break Out" and "Hitched" - both sound exactly like they where made by Astrix, and not like they where made by Protoculture.

 

Don't get me wrong - it's very enjoyable music, and after experiencing him live on Soulclipse, I can say that all the tracks are wonders on the dancefloor, but I guess I was hoping for something magical and absolutely spectacular, and all I got was something good. I Guess I have to learn to lower my expectations :)

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well I bought this album before I read this review, and now I dont know if that was such a good idea, but Ive heard complaints about some of the best albums I own. Im gonna reserve my opinion til I have a good listen.

 

"Don't listen to what they say, go see." -old Chinese proverb

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I was tempted to get this, since refractions was such a nice stomping dancefloor summer stylee album, but then I listened to the snippets on psyshop and changed my mind.

 

It seems to have some distinctive protoculture sounds, but it's not new and fresh like I thought it would be. It's sounds all 'reach for the lasers' :blink:

 

Glad to see the reviews confirmed my initial judgement <_<

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..."Circadians" is a good album - actually I consider it one of the best morning full on albums I've heard for quite a while, and tracks like "Out Of Reality", "Sweet Fine Crystaline" and "Halo" are stunning. But where some parts of the album are everything I hoped it to be, others are quite disappointing. To me, Protoculture always had a unique touch to his sound - hereby I'm not saying that he's a unique artist or anything (because let's face it, he's using the same formulas as everybody else), but he's always had a trademark touch to his sound, so that when you heard a track at a party, you could easily tell that it had been made by him. In my opinion too many of the tracks on the album miss that touch. Take for instance the "Greece 2000" ripoff "Circadians" and especially the two tunes "Break Out" and "Hitched" - both sound exactly like they where made by Astrix, and not like they where made by Protoculture...

You couldn't have summed up how I feel better. I have listened to this a lot more over the last few days and it honestly bores me. Seeing him live is something else, his set at Earthcore '05 was amongst the best morning sets iv heard, but this albums just misses the bar. He has lost that little unique touch you so aptly speak of. It's a shame, it really is.

I have no doubt this will be a success, due in part to his name and also to the fact that "cheesy kiddie-trance" will get swallowed up, as that seems to be what people are after. But this will not go down in the books like Refractions (auditory bliss).

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  • 3 weeks later...

he changed his style to a more predictable type of full-on...

i love the terratonics track, except the melody that's so incredibly cheasy...

but that sample is just great... i heard that track at a party last weekend and i have to admit that it sounded great on a big soundsystem...

same thing for the circadians track... starts really good then it gets interrupted by another cheese fest.... the ambient track is really good too... the rest did not do it for me...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cicadians sounds like the new Atomic Pulse album.

 

but that's not a bad thing - cos I actually like Atomic Pulse!

 

Refractions was ripped by tons of psy-clone artists. A follow-up album would have to break new ground to be as successful. I thought that Proto would find HIS unique sound in this album. But no. I guess our expectations were pretty high to start with.

 

so:

 

 

For originality and songwriting I give it a 2/10

 

For production skillz: 10/10 - nicely polished as always. :)

 

 

 

although I would like to recommend it for any melodic psyheadz - it's decent :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Expectations were high for this one.

 

You could sense in some of his more recent singles that he was losing a bit of inspiration. This album confirms that.

 

Nothing new here, but, I don't regret getting it. Nice for home listening when you're in the mood for something light and not that challenging.

 

If you liked his first and are looking for more of the same, this is a pretty good bet.

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  • 4 months later...

A mixed bag.

 

If he peeked with Refractions, which wasn't great as a whole either (lots of potential though!), then that's disappointing.

 

Hitched is pretty good, more psy-influenced trance.

 

Driven is okay.

 

Terra Tronics is pretty good too.

 

But what is up with the generic, cheesy club-esque melodies?? Protoculture did not have this. Similar stuff (here) used to be popular in the pop-influenced United States club scene. It's a trend, a fad. It doesn't last.

 

Halo sounds like a 1980's love song you hear at the roller skating rink. I look up and see the disco ball reflecting on the skaters under dim lights. The song improves at least.

 

CONCLUSION - Circadians does not sound like a continuation or an improvement as a whole from Refractions. There is some pretty good work on it that's different than the debut. Too much however sounds similar to other generic Full On artists. So much of this "sound" is common that DJ's practically hand it out for free (sometimes literally). After three years, one imagined something more refreshing, especially since this is from the guy who made Refractions. This album seems made to appeal to the general clubber who's never heard Refractions. I feel like the debut was used as a marketing tool to entice the fans into buying this album. It sounds like it's trying to appeal to the clubs, whereas Refractions felt more present with the artist's passion, imagination. The debut was unique and while I wasn't a fan of every song, the debut stood out among the ocean of talent cashing in on a formula.

 

See my review on Refractions in the 2003 section. I own that album, not this one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Protoculture - Circadians (2006)

~NANO RECORDS~

 

Posted Image

 

1. Out of Reality

2. Sweet Fine Crystaline

3. Break Out

4. TerraTronics

5. Circadians

6. Innit

7. Hitched

8. Driven

9. Terra Tronics

10. Halo

 

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/nar/nar1cd014.html

 

Well I have written many reviews in Dutch so reviewing track by track is not my style anymore,

I prefer a short trying to be as objective possible review to give the reader a concept what this release is actually about,

Well first and very important, when protoculture first released their album in 2003 I guess called ‘refractions’ If I remember correctly it was a blast,

Everybody loved it and it was revolution air, off course the morning fullon wave was fresh so artist had lot’s of credits back then comparing to today…

This album has imo two interpretations, if you are actual I die hard protoculture fan there is a big chance this album will disappoint you cause protoculture went into a totally different direction comparing to their first album, this is not the protoculture we are used too, still I see no negative points in that, changing styles and directions is a challenge for producers and who wants to make the same music over and over again, I wouldn’t,

Well over with the history class lol J

This year 2006 we meet protoculture again, and what do they have to offer,

The concept protoculture gives us is the pure typical morning fullon formula, nothing special, been done before, heard before, but still they imo created a typical touch with the morning fullon formula especially when it comes to atmosphere…

This is so warm and subtle morning fullon, is it cheesy, I guess most people will say yes, but hey I like cheesy J

I’m an old skool fan and astral projection, mfg and etc was cheesy too and I still like their old track so why shouldn’t I like cheesy fullon …

The sound they created is not new, it’s a bit similar to the fullon climaxes like astrix, delirious, explaining very one layer, just synths going up and down,

This album hasn’t got a very high psychedelic level is more based on ‘the euphoria concept’ ,

Not all tracks have full climaxes, some are just filled with a continue of warm sounds going up and down, speaking through your speakers…

One thing is sure, protoculture managed to keep you busy from minute one until the end, it’s not like you have the feeling you have to wait until the 6 minute to hear the climax and that’s it, now the advancement is good and is detailed…

What I do prefer is that protoculture used very good samples in this album, the hype of singing women like MICHELLE ADAMSON, which I don't mind don't get me wrong, is not present here, the samples are all from movies I guess, one I recognize from 'what the bleep do we know' but I'm not quite sure, what I'm sure is that the samples are used very professial and fit perfect within the concept they created...

Conclusion: this is very very warm and emotional fullon, listening the release you have moments to lay back and enjoy the little sounds and once and while you get euphoria and they create the concept to make some dance steps…

Everything fits at the right place and every sounds comes perfectly when it’s needed, some see that as predictable others prefer that as an comfort…

Well I like it, not considering the categories of goa I always preferred the subtle trance and within the concept of morning fullon today you can call the new protoculture album as subtle morning fullon, it’s not super fast and not nervous but very smooth…they never go over the top, although there is one climax that is very euphoria and almost a clone of astrix, but for the rest you can count on the fact they stay more low profile…

 

 

grtz koen

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After many listens to this album i can say its "standard" fullon. Except 1 marvelous track which is of course nothing else then "terra tronics", all others are just fine to not say bad. When i heard "hitched" i completely lost any respect to protoculture :(

As someone say...another rip off astrix :P I feel it like copy/paste sounds.

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  • 1 year later...

I just listened to this one again tonight, after not listening to it for some time. It does do justice. I'm an owner of both Refractions and Circadians. This album beats off like a 17 year old that's never had sex. And beutiful melodies. Stop hating. This album will tear a hole in your ass. I saw Protoculture live this summer at S.O.S. in Japan and he played Out Of Reality. The crowd went nuts!

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  • 5 months later...

4 tracks i like, overall sound is pretty boring and not very innovative, just steady bassriff rollin' towards the end of it.

 

still one of the better full-on releases in 2006, which tells a lot about the condition of the scene...

 

6.5/10.

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  • 5 years later...

6O6hYTJ.jpg

 

Artist: Protoculture

Title: Circadians

Label: Nano Records

Date: April, 2006

 

1. Out of Reality
2. Sweet Fine Crystaline
3. Break Out
4. TerraTronics
5. Circadians
6. Innit
7. Hitched
8. Driven
9. Terra Tronics
10. Halo

 

 

OsyZp8d.gif

 

 

This is some of the shiniest and most delicious full-on you'll ever hear. So shiny in fact that you might need sunglasses to hear it. It's dreamy melodic trance that doesn't seem embarrassed to embrace its inner cheese. Comparisons to Astrix are dead on as tracks like Circadians are loaded with glow stick melodies and just begging for a laser light show in a warehouse on the wrong side of the tracks.

 

But I like it.

 

It's my guilty pleasure. Full-on has become a dirty word and rightly so for some time, so uber melodic music like this is bound to draw the ire of some folks. But one thing that can't be derided is Nate's ability to layer so effectively. Sure he has more in common with Paul Van Dyk than Paul McCosh, but each song is brimming with lush atmosphere. It's akin to a football hooligan staring at a beautifully muscled man. They'll tell you they're not gay (yes they are), but they certainly seem to appreciate the effort and dedication to look that way. And that's what I think these tracks are.

 

Finely chiseled Chippendale dancers.

 

Full-on? Yep. Cheesy? Sure. But if you're looking for incredibly muscled men gyrating to layers of melody then step right up.

 

 

 

LWTAOAj.gif

 

 

Beatspace

 

Psyshop

 

Mdk

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