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Mantrix - Universal


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Mantrix - Universal

 

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Artist: Mantrix (Australia)

Title: Universal

Format: CD (jewel case)

Label: SUB (Australia)

Cat. #: SUB002CD

Distribution: Arabesque (worldwide) / Psy-Harmonics (Australia)

Date: June 2006

 

Track listing:

 

01. 08’22” Levels

02. 08’22” Free Your Soul

03. 06’50” Armageddon

04. 06’31” Psycorumba

05. 06’20” Gaia

06. 06’27” Universal Reflections

07. 06’56” Alpha Beater

08. 08’38” Rebirth

09. 02’44” Spontaneous Existence Part 1

10. 06’46” Spontaneous Existence Part 2

 

Streaming: http://tinyurl.com/q78ny (all tracks!)

 

Review:

 

Essential outback-saikodelic extreme groove electronica!

 

Psy-Harmonics’ sub-label SUB is out with their second release following the extremely cool Bus (Gus Till) album Morebusinesslinkyouthere released in late 2005. The Mantrix name might not ring any bells – it certainly didn’t with me. But after some research on my behalf after receiving this album, it appears this duo (Benjamin Last & Richard Hinkson) is very popular in their native Australia. Renowned for their spectacular live shows, they’ve been producing and performing for over a decade and have released tracks on a number of Australian psytrance/crossover compilations… And now they’ve compiled a bunch of their tracks onto this, their debut album Universal. Let’s dig deeper…

 

Let me take you thru the tracks…

 

#01: Levels

“The Mayan calendar system operates on several different levels. Everything that exists is in some way created or touched by the different cycles of the Mayan calendar. Our path is to climb this pyramid - consciousness wise. That’s the path of the universe. It’s all about the climb to higher and higher levels. And human beings will attain a cosmic consciousness and become citizens of the cosmos. People are really starting to feel that time is accelerating. Time is disappearing.” Hell yeah, this track rules! It takes exactly two seconds before you realize that this choon is gonna rock your fucking socks off! The thrilling, bouncy and squeaky old-school melody and the trippy samples spoken by Carl Johan Calleman… They all come together extremely well here. It totally works and this entire track is an instant flashback to 1996 – only with 2006 production! The native chanting and the trippy sitars is the icing on the cake - this is nothing short of amazing!

 

#02: Free Your Soul

“The world you see with your eyes is an illusion. The real world is of spirit! And emotions are your navigators. Emotions tell you all you need to know. Accept them! Bliss is here for you now if you will accept all things as part of it.” Next up is a true crossover hit! This is absolutely soaked in intense tribal percussion and dreamy female vocals by Marianella Kundalini… The ever evolving rhythm section is sprinkled with a heavy doze of trippy synth exploration, didgeridoos, chirping birds, native chanting and other world beat treats… Juno Reactor or Shpongle has nothing on this shiny gem… It’s just lovely!

 

#03: Armageddon

The next track takes things in a totally new direction… This is space rock! And with space rock, I mean spacious, out-of-this-world Ozric Tentacles-on-ketamine guitar-ridden space rock! Oh yes, this is a multitude of electric guitars in quantities even S.U.N. Project wouldn’t be able to handle! Armageddon is upon us! But fear not – this might sound like Skazi audio-devastation on paper, but it’s much, much more refined than Skazi… It’s immensely well-produced and very interesting for an old rocker like me, but somehow it doesn’t seem to drop my jaw as much as the previous two tracks… Also the fade-out ending seems weird. It’s cool and all, but it pales in comparison with some of the other tracks here…

 

#04: Psycorumba

On this track the Mantrix guys have invited all their friends to come into the studio and jam with them… And holy shit, what a jam fest it turned out to be… Tons and tons of percussion are all over the place creating a very intoxicating carnival atmosphere – the thick, pounding and trippy psytrance pads create a familiar ambience, and the fusion between live, tribal percussion and phat, melodic psytrance is a hit… This is like an extended version of Decoy vs. Juno Reactor vs. The New Orleans Steel Band vs. Safri Duo! Funky funk funk! Awesome!

 

#05: Gaia

“For the spirit of this land to rise. Freedom. Spirit. United we dance!” This next track is easily the most trancy thus far… The kick drum is harder than ever and the twirling, tweaked melodies are trippy as hell… Oh yes, this is a hard-hitting, gut-wrenching mean old monster of a night track! Extremely sharp and so incredibly well-defined… And totally smashing! Psy trance in its finest, purest form! DJs take notice – you *need* to drop this one during your most intense sets over the summer! Hell yes, this is stellar track!

 

#06: Universal Reflections

“Universal reflections!” And if you thought the last track was intense, just wait until this one penetrates your brain! This is an electro dirty bomb! It takes a little longer in getting there, but when it finally explodes it does so with an unsurpassed burst of energy of gargantuan dimensions… This is one of those constantly evolving and driving tracks that builds an incredible amount of tension – and when the climax is drawing near you’re closing to popping a vein in your forehead – and then BAM - you’re finally rewarded with a huge explosion that sends radiating shock waves thru the dancefloor… I mean, just listen to that last minute of pure, relentless bliss! It’s an audio orgasm! Cracking stuff!

 

#07: Alpha Beater

But fuck me, if it doesn’t get even more intense now! This is definitely the fastest, most intense track here… Multi-layered, multi-climactic and insanely trippy stuff that sends instant shivers down your spine! This is old school goa trance with nu-school production values and studio trix… Very reminiscent of the legendary UK masters as well as the best of the old melodic Israeli goa trance era… The tribal beats and the ethno touch just adds to the enjoyment – and this is another extremely well-produced piece of ear candy… The last minute does get a little cheesy though, but it’s still a lovely choon!

 

#08: Rebirth

Here’s another very epic tranced-up piece of sonic bliss… Ben hits the dulcimer like a madman and Uncle Robbie Rasta chants down Babylon! The driving force in this track is the finely knit pattern of atmospheric, floating, epic melodies seasoned with all kinds of subtle rhythms and ethno-tribal elements… Again the Juno Reactor link is evident and this is truly a majestic piece of crossover electronica… It’s simply gorgeous – but perhaps a little too epic and fluffy in certain passages… Don’t get me wrong, this would be a milestone track on virtually every album – but on this particular album, the masterpieces are hobnobbing. And sure enough, this is a VERY nice track – but there are even better tracks here…

 

#09: Spontaneous Existence Part 1

#10: Spontaneous Existence Part 2

“And the children of light shall cover the barren land with tall grass and trees bearing fruit. They shall build the old waste places. They shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. They shall be called Repairers of the Breach. Restorers of paths to dwell in.” Much like the role model Juno Reactor’s latest album Labyrinth, this album also has a two part track. Obviously they are connected, so I’m gonna review ‘em as one single track. And what a track this is! Holy Kylie! From the epic Raja Ram-flute ridden intro with bible quotes and floating, orchestral beauty – to the upbeat, tranced-beyond-comprehension middle bridge that makes it virtually impossible not to move… The big phat reverbs just grab you by the balls and swings you around manically and the tight electro stabs penetrates your mind, body and soul… It’s huge! This is what journey trance is all about! Fantastic!

 

This CD is as close to being a masterpiece as any CD I’ve reviewed for a long time. And it will make all your other CDs jealous because you’re gonna listen to it over and over and over and over again! An essential purchase for any fan of electronic music that crosses well over into a myriad of sub-genres… Epic, eclectic, trippy, gargantuan and totally amazing!

 

Trust me on this one – this is going to get HUGE and it *will* become a benchmark album that other musicians will hate themselves for not having produced!

 

Nuff said – get this or get left out!

 

Favourites: 1(!!!), 2(!), 4(!!), 5(!!!), 6(!!), 7(!), 8(!), 9 + 10(!!!)

 

DeathPosture

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External links:

Psy-Harmonics: http://www.psy-harmonics.com.au

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/700643

Mantrix: http://www.mantrixproductions.com

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

Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/n44ke

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the samples are from the start, bleh!

 

only the last track is not and indeed, it sounds rocksolid! :)

 

I'm gonna get this.

 

edit: alright some of the tracks aren't from the start... and I'm impressed =]

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the samples are from the start, bleh!

 

only the last track is not and indeed, it sounds rocksolid! :)

 

I'm gonna get this.

 

edit: alright some of the tracks aren't from the start... and I'm impressed =]

549537[/snapback]

Yeah, this album is a breath of fresh air. Really good.

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the samples are from the start, bleh!

 

 

Hi,

actually no, none of the samples start at the beginning...

our intros are much more intricate than that! :)

 

 

Really glad you like it, and I dare say the more you listen to it, the more it will grow on you! ;)

 

Kind regards,

Richie mantrix

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Seriously - this is ground breaking stuff!

 

Unfortunately the first batch of retail copies had a major pressing error - so they all had to be recalled. The release date has been moved to 'early July' accordingly...

 

But it's definitely worth the wait... Trust me on this one... This album totally blew me away - and I listen to A LOT of albums... This one managed to stand out from the crowd though... It's amazing - and this is EXACTLY why I'll never get tired of psytrance. <---Those are big words I know... But it's true... This truly is an essential release! =D

 

/DP

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  • 2 weeks later...

What are the odds of you guys coming over to play for us in Europe?

589499[/snapback]

We're totally up for it! :)

We've been playing live together for over 13 years now, and we've finally streamlined our live rig so that it wont cost anything in freight, while still having enough cool gadgets to keep it LIVE and interactive with the dancefloor... including electronic drumkit and guitar...unlike most acts, we DONT premix our sets or run backing tracks, everything is cut up into loops for live remixing. It goes down very well and when we do make it over to Europe I think we'll get a wild response... got any gigs in mind?

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juding from the samples alone it sounds pretty well done.

better than 90% of full on anways.

 

my only problem is the melodies are mostly rather simple and

the guitar track sounds a bit lame. guitar tracks are totally overdone.

 

theres a shitload of other cool instruments out there that are way

trippier/cooler and more original than the guitar. dark soho tried

out the sitar and it sounded pretty cool, juno reactor always use

loads of original instruments to wonderful effect. so i think artists

need to look beyond the guitar. dancefloors love it though so what do i know.

 

 

everything else is done really well though especially the sampling

+ pads to create a cool atmosphere.

i can see how this would work really well at a party.

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What are the odds of you guys coming over to play for us in Europe?

589499[/snapback]

 

We're totally up for it! :)

We've been playing live together for over 13 years now, and we've finally streamlined our live rig so that it wont cost anything in freight, while still having enough cool gadgets to keep it LIVE and interactive with the dancefloor... including electronic drumkit and guitar...unlike most acts, we DONT premix our sets or run backing tracks, everything is cut up into loops for live remixing. It goes down very well and when we do make it over to Europe I think we'll get a wild response... got any gigs in mind?

590256[/snapback]

And what are the odds of you guys taking a side trip from the Europe visit to come play a few gigs in North America? :rolleyes:

 

I am totally in love with this album...... :wub:

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And what are the odds of you guys taking a side trip from the Europe visit to come play a few gigs in North America?  :rolleyes:

 

I am totally in love with this album...... :wub:

591908[/snapback]

Sounds good to us! We've had quite a bit of interest from North America lately...

Glad you love it so much :)

Rich and Ben

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PLEASE come to Denmark and play, partypromoters; GET BUSY :P

 

This is real psytrance, no less alot more :)

 

I simply love that album! What about some remixes...? Oh yeah, why fix something that isn't broken? :D

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I listened to samples on saikosounds. I really like this. Parts (ethnic/tribal influences, drums, etc..) definitely seem inspired by legendary Juno Reactor.

I like how the songs changes, morph, evolve...the sounds, (drums), ambience (sound of water drops, nature, etc..) and especially the echoed voices. The melodies sound pretty good but I wish there were more layers.

Also Alpha Beater has this up and down sound that keeps repeating before the beautiful voice/song change which sounds silly and somewhat irritating to me. I wish they found a better/cooler first half, but I'm greatful for the second half, it builds and surprises because you don't expect the song to become so good.

 

The drums and tribal sounds are a big plus!

This album is fresh, creative, exciting, and energetic! Well done!

 

Favorite tracks - 1, 4, 7, 8.

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I'm having a hard time getting into this album at all... Have listened to it a few times now and generally am bored by it - tracks bring in simple meoldies and sounds and combine them in unremarkable ways, I feel... Very little of it is catchy or easy on the ears...

 

I like the clear production, and there's an occasional melody I like, but it's mixed with a lot of discordant and somewhat irritating type sounds as well..

 

Alpha Beater I really like though...

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