Jump to content
Psynews.org

Mantrix - Universal


DeathPosture
 Share

Recommended Posts

I don't really understand the hype, I had this with my last Saikosounds order and was greatly dissapointed, only track 7 (the Alpha track) was very good imo, old schoolish melodic tribal trance, the rest sounds not good enough, often the samples annoy me like hell, or drums do not really fit imo and the melodies are way too simple... it reminds me on old juno reactor, I never liked their music either so it's a matter of taste I guess. 5/10 because it is original these days but still... If anyone wants to have this cd, let me know, I'm sure this can be lots of people's taste! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I don't really understand the hype, I had this with my last Saikosounds order and was greatly dissapointed, only track 7 (the Alpha track) was very good imo, old schoolish melodic tribal trance, the rest sounds not good enough, often the samples annoy me like hell, or drums do not really fit imo and the melodies are way too simple... it reminds me on old juno reactor, I never liked their music either so it's a matter of taste I guess. 5/10 because it is original these days but still... If anyone wants to have this cd, let me know, I'm sure this can be lots of people's taste! :)

602723[/snapback]

I want it, how much you ask for it?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MANTRIX: UNIVERSAL
2006


01. Levels
02. Free Your Soul
03. Armageddon
04. Psycorumba
05. Gaia
06. Universal Reflections
07. Alpha Beater
08. Rebirth
09. Spontaneous Existence Part 1
10. Spontaneous Existence Part 2


Universal is easily one of the most solid albums of 2006. It has a respectful amount of good songs, great tribal influence, and some songs, ideas, and [especially several] voice samples that I don't care for. I'll discuss more below next to each song in their respectful order. When I think of other artists who create tribal/ethnic psytrance, Juno Reactor first comes to mind. To me, Juno Reactor is awesome, one of the few old masters still producing superb music today. Mantrix is influenced by Juno to certain degrees on certain tracks, and that's where comparisons should probably end.


01. LEVELS - I like this song. The voice bits (are those echoed voice bits 2-4 minutes??) are catchy! I find something very attractive, even sexy about them, the echoes. Although the track does not develop into much more after third or forth minute, those cool echo's and sounds keep it alive and well. It's an energetic opening and I really like it. B+

02. FREE YOUR SOUL starts off peaceful...flute, ambience, birds, but I don't care for parts of the opening voice samples. The female voice says... "The world you see with your eyes is an illusion... The real world is of spirit (sounds good to me until...) Emotions are your navigators.. Emotions tell you all you need to know... huh?! Emotions don't tell us everything!, and all we need to know of what?, for what? The truth gets distorted at times due to people getting emotional which makes it difficult to see the facts!! This whole sound bit is too abstract. Look it's obvious we can understand things through a persons emotions. That's scientifically proven, and such words are too general, especially coming from a voice that seems to start off far more aware and philosophical than that of the end result relative to what we're given here. It feels inconclusive and not satisfying. The sample would have sounded better if they ended it sooner with... "The real world is of spirit." Think about that. Anyway, it's in the past now and in retrospect they could have used some ambience to fill in the extra seconds to replace the last part where she says emotions are everything. Concerning the actual music, I like the ethnic voices/brief echoed vocals...chilled/relaxing vocals like that. Very nice. This song has more of a tribal sound that I like. It is the first song I feel is Juno-influenced maybe. The second half of the song drops the voices and changes direction, incorporating other sounds and style that I find less arresting than the first half. The songs pretty cool though and I like that they move the song around but it's not evolution sounding to me when the second half is less catchy than the first. Sounds of echoed water drops, bird chirps mixed into ambience adds character and the song ends nicely. B

03. ARMAGEDDON - This is the only real rock n' roll influenced one on the album. It's not bad. I really like how it starts out...the first 1:18 seconds before some guys voice (echo's) appear which I don't care for. The song continually develops and change direction to more catchy ground which I like, the melody, and then another. It's okay. And I think this track is great at exactly 5:06... (for only 5 seconds unfortunately -- the first guitar sound drops creating this massive, heavy industrial sound) I'm thinking WOW...this is so good and dark sounding!, and this happens right before a second guitar sound drops over the first, killing and washing out the far too short-lived great industrial rhythm and they had going and crafted so well. Fortunately this solid, darker direction stays for the end of the song, but it just isn't the same with that other guitar playing over it... Couldn't this solid part at 5:06 lasted a bit longer before dropping in the second guitar? I would have really enjoyed this song chill and breath some before addingthat second guitar sound, which could be Axel Rose or Aero Smith letting lose some chords for all I know. It's a decent song, but can't seem to decide what rock or heavy metal-rock-esque mood or TONE it wants to be. A darker track like this is cool. Hopefully if they create a darker one, it will be awesome in their follow-up. A better themed related song than rock n' roll and being dark (since they're good at tribal) is maybe indians or cannibals about to sarcrifice someone around a fire like Lord of the Flies. It's just an idea...a dark tribal song thats absolutely nuts with raging melodies sounds potentially attention grabbing if they can pull it off. C+

04. PSYCORUMBA - This is more like it. I find there style most fun when they create psy/tribal music like this one. Here there are shouts, brief ethnic vocals echoed, and other echoed voices bouncing to the layered drum beats, and melodies. It's like a bunch of people dancing wildly while beating drums in a giant circle outdoors. This track rocks! 4 minutes into the song the vocals fade, the song changes to a countdown voice sample....it's like a song people at a real party are creating while partying. It's fun to listen to and very catchy. A-

05. GAIA is okay. After hearing the far more animated and dynamic previous song, this is far less memorable. I feel this is missing something. It's lacking in sounds, melodies, layers. This song needs more character, development, and structure. It doesn't ever open up and go anywhere interesting to me. Incorporating Earths elements as voice samples are cool however and the song builds nicely. Decent track that could have been stronger. C+

06. UNIVERSAL REFLECTIONS - People will notice the repeating altered guy voices saying "Universal" repeadedly throughout the first 2:50 seconds of this song. I find the actual music repetitive and dull until around that 2:50 where the pace and beat really improves. The voice returns with a melody that sounds different, but this melody sounds far too basic and almost amateurish IMHO. It's just not THAT good. This continues until around 5:00 where the song again picks up/changes for the better. There is more layers, better rhythm, and they leave that damn, repeating voice off. Finally I can enjoy the music, almost...because one minute later the guys voice returns and says Universal three times before the song ends. Okay, word of advice for the artists of Mantrix here for future work: If our time now was the late 80's or early 90's ... this repeating the same word throughout might have been great like the disco-techno "Pure Energy" song back then, but it's 2006. It seldom works now days and there really isn't anything great about it here. I wish the song ditched the sample halfway through at least because IMHO it's distracting from the quality music and kind of irritating by the seventh or eighth time, especially when it returns after finally going away. Focus on the music, develop the music....voice samples should compliment, not be a total distraction against (while mixed in with) the music. B

07. ALPHA BEATER - The first half could be better, more arresting. I love the second half of this song. It's great, tripy, sexy, floating!


08. REBIRTH is arguably the most Juno song on the whole album. The voices couples with the atmosphere, beats, melodies, and other sounds come together very well. Drums (one of the layers) sound off early on. Regardless, this is very well composed, mixed, and the vocals compliment it. B+

09. and 10. SPONTANEOUS EXISTENCE: PARTS 1 & 2 - This is basically the same track cut in two parts. Maybe slicing this track and calling it pt-1 / pt-2 respectfully in order to create an extra track on the tracklist was the intent, or not. I don't know. Either way, I'm not impressed with these last two songs on the album because they don't captivate the same way the previous two tracks did. PART 1 sets the second part up nicely. I really like the melodies and ambience from 2:00 to 2:44 in PART 1, which is catchyand interesting sounding as an intro, before the beat. And then begins PART 2. There's just not much here that stands out and makes me feel or say "Wow, that's catchy" or "Yes!" ... After hearing tracks 7 and 8, I was impressed. My standard rose from these artists in tracks 7 and 8 and it would have been great to have two last tracks in that spacey, beautiful trance style to end the album awesome, or even something more exciting. intense, developed, and catchy, with more layers and imagination. PART 2 is apparently the song PART built up to. It's longer and surprisingly repetitive to me. Yes I like when it seems to change around 2:46 in Part 2, but it never goes anywhere impressive, ever explodes or touches greatness. These final two songs don't end the album with a bam, nor a whimper. I just felt indifferent which is a disappointment if you don't feel any hate or love from the end. They could have ended the album with a beautiful chill track too, just a thought. Or a track at the heights of 7 or 8 (of that energy, strength, and depth) would have been a fantastic way to end the album, with a bang or something beautiful. This is neither. Some people may like the less spacey nor tribal final song, but even Juno ends the album with a bang. (or something amazingly beautiful) The last song should be great IMHO because the last song is the one we as listeners, buyers, fans last remember. I'm not saying to move these two last tracks to the middle of the album, but focus on greatness throughout, back-to-back, like Simon did with Twisted and look, he created a masterpiece! I feel this is a weaker track to end an otherwise good album with. Judging from all this negativity I write, you'd probably think I hate it, but I don't. I like the song to a degree. It's fine really, far from bad. However, it's not nearly as memorable, captivating, and involved with sounds and feeling (or just plain coolness) as the several previous highlights on the album. B-

In conclusion, Mantrix seem to do two things very well. First, they create very good tribal ethnic-influenced psytrance. A handful of the songs have that feel or influence, even if one or two (most notably track 4) brings it out and shows it off the best. Their style/mixing with the songs with vocals are well done. The second thing they do great is creating what I'll call "lush spacey/dreamy sounding trance with psy-influence." This is most notably track 7. Track 1 is also good and seems to be in a third sub-genre style of psytrance. They should drop the Rock n' Roll thing however (ever so present in track 3) because this isn't early Dark Soho, nor does it correlate with the general sound and style of the album and what works best. Also, I think they can come up with better voice samples than "United, we dance together" at the end of track 5. The words are nice sounding but the phrase is kind of cheesy. Most people won't comment because they're forgettable but I like to look at all aspects of the song, how it can be better. Some voice samples on Universal sound surprisingly basic and general to the point I question why they're even here other than to sound general and basic. Think about it. Mantrix can do better and a follow-up deserves it. Nonetheless, this is easily one of the best albums of 2006 and definitely worth checking out.


Favorite tracks: 1, 4, 7, 8, 9.


B+

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overall, this is easily one of the best albums of 2006 and definitely worth checking out.

Thanks Jon,

;)

 

Just to clarify also, Spontaneous Existence was split into two parts to make an easy reference for DJs who may wish to drop the track without playing the 2 or 3 minute intro... just cue up part two and you're sitting on the first beat of the the track.

 

 

Rich :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I falling in love with 01-Levels track :) what an intro :) it's melodic, dreamy and deep ... and we can recognize the deep forest sample when the melody come back in the second part off the track. Great one, but for the rest off the album, i need more listening, i have not been impressed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Definately agree with the view that its one of the better albums of the year. Some parts of the album are outstanding , some good , some average and some just *nevermind* (basically because of oversimplification) . Great for listening once in a while like with all good albums. Mantrix should definately stepp it up a notch with their follow up (add more steam ;) )

 

Favourites : 1,4,7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Damn, I hate that clean, well produced trance! I like my trance to be poorly produced hip hop type trance! I like a lot of static coming through my headphones yo!

 

Clean aint bad bro! Just cause it's well produced doesn't mean that it's pop!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still loving this with a passion... I keeps getting better and better and better!

 

If I was to nominate one album for the 2006 Nobel Trance Prize, this would be it...

621032[/snapback]

Agreed. Start to finish, its a great listen. Works great on the dancefloor as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, I hate that clean, well produced trance! I like my trance to be poorly produced hip hop type trance! I like a lot of static coming through my headphones yo!

 

Clean aint bad bro! Just cause it's well produced doesn't mean that it's pop!

638389[/snapback]

with clean I mean the plastic >< not organic nor mechanic sound = > a sound without personality wich leaves no room for imagination imo ...

 

it's just a matter of taste ... I don't deny their skills ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

with clean I mean the plastic >< not organic nor mechanic sound = > a sound without personality wich leaves no room for imagination imo ...

 

it's just a matter of taste ... I don't deny their skills ...

638402[/snapback]

totally agreed.

abasio

that kind of music for me is like a cycle. I think psychedelia looks like a spiral. :)

Cycles are boring and spirals are fun if you know what i mean ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
  • 5 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

This is one of those albums that grows on you over time the same way wine gets better during fermentation. Slowly, but surely this album gets better and better every time. Spiritual like no other B) 10/10

I agreed all the way to 'spiritual'... I wouldn't call it that, but this album surely got way too little attention. I'm loving it to bits. :clapping:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a well done album. My favorite tracks are 1, 4, 7, and 8, though every track has something interesting, catchy to offer IMO. I enjoy listening to the album straight through.

Mantrix seems to do really well with edgy, nighttime, crystal-clear, driving trance such as the opening track Levels. They also make good tribal-influenced electronica. I'd love to hear more. Furthermore, emotive work as what's in the second half of Alpha Beater is catchy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
  • 11 months later...

Great album with a healthy and evolving sound to various degrees throughout. Unfortunately, I never heard their follow up album to date. The samples sounded different (less psytrance) to this one. It would be really nice if they made a strong psytrance album closer to what lacked in layers though what worked best (MELODIES). I really liked their driving, edgy, and philosophy/mystic driven style, and for those who like tribal psytrance, this has a solid track or two. The album's grown on me over the years in a positive way, though I notice 4/5 seem to like it. That's still high compared to many albums now days. I remember being quite popular here when it released. Then the second one arrived and no one seemed to know about it, no review thread to date, nothing.

Anyway I hope they make a delicious Psy/Goa-trance album in time for one of our end-of-the-year holidays. smile.gif

They actually have a 2nd album out now i noticed. any good?



I too wondered this over the years. My only assumption is that it wasn't stronger than the first, and people overlooked it (or they released it too soon after the first!), but I cannot say for certain. They have potential to produce a real fireball yet. Cheesy (okay any at this point coherent singing/lyrics will hurt their work in psytrance).


suu1cd003.jpg

Mantrix : Neoteric

Track list :

1. Undercurrent
2. Solid State Logic
3. End Of Time
4. Come Get Some
5. Interconnector
6. Infinity
7. Turn On Your Brain
8. Shine


Samples to Mantrix's second album

What I like: The first 2-3 energetic tracks and "Interconnector" (the crisp and evolving sound and style). Shine (minus words, ack). This is what people generally like from them. I wish they'd put more energy into that more!

What I don't like: Overuse of and/or words on Come Get Some and Infinity. It's no wonder this album was less popular. The music is good and then (on few tracks) cheesy singing/lyrics come in. Prodigy and Chemical Brothers got away with it, but Mantrix's music is good and imaginative enough to breath and move fluidly without it.

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display...ase.asp?id=6994

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...