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Phyx - Kiss The Blade


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Phyx – Kiss The Blade


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Hi-res cover: front + back


Artist: Phyx (South Africa)

Title: Kiss The Blade

Format: CD (jewel case)

Label: Timecode Records (South Africa)

Cat. #: TCCD017

Distribution: Arabesque

Date: 6 October 2006


Track listing:


01. 08’25” The Initiation

02. 07’12” Conundrum

03. 06’39” Serotonine

04. 07’07” The Wall

05. 07’08” 7th Sword

06. 08’25” Soul Keeper

07. 07’57” Electromagnetic

08. 07’36” Rumours Of War

09. 07’35” Tribe


Stream: http://tinyurl.com/qfz3y (all tracks!)




Phyxed acid…


Ian Summs aka. Mr. Phyx himself has been a personal hero of mine ever since I stumbled across his work 3-4 years ago… His impressive back-catalogue of tracks always stood out on whichever compilation they were featured on… Ian knows his way around a studio and his consistently high quality level has made the Phyx moniker synonymous with stand-out tracks on many a compilation… His release frequency slowed down under the Phyx alias in recent years though, but his output continued in the elusive constellations Breathen (with his brother Joseph) and Twisted System (with Chris Hoy & Craig Hudson). All of which has been good, wholesome South African psytrance. Now the time has come to finally release the Phyx album and I’ve been excited ever since it was released. Let’s dig in.


Let me take you thru the tracks…


#01: The Initiation

Starting out with a basic, heavily filtered kick this might seem like a simple tune at first… But after the initial kick & stomp intro, the track soon evolves into something more rewarding… The punch is dark, gritty and almost industrial-like, but as always with Phyx there’s more to it than just punch for the sake of punch… The marching rhythms have been carefully programmed to ensure maximum velocity and this dancefloor stomper will certainly work wonders on the dance floors. Especially the first half which is very heavy on the drums and bass, whilst the latter half has more of the traditional Phyx acid undertones…It doesn’t work as well for sofa trancing, but sometimes you just wanna get up and shake your ass right? This track is for those occasions… Lovely track!


#02: Conundrum

This one focuses less on the actual kick, but more on twirling, morphing melodies… There is always something lurking under the surface, slowing evolving before eventually revealing its true nature… I think I actually get the underlying hypnotizing nature of this track, but I’m somewhat turned off by some of the high-pitched, demented melodies during the middle and second parts of this track… Never been a big fan of those I’m afraid…


#03: Serotonine

“Pulse, perspiration” The next track changes direction again, and this is one is really a clash of styles with both feather-light uplifting melodies and irregular breakz & beats and a very regular bassline… The reverb FX give the track a sort of hardstyle edge, but I’m not sure how well it works here… Several passages seem a little too simple for my liking… Luckily we’re still dealing with Phyx here, so his frequent changes in pace and direction makes this track bearable… Still not a personal fav’e of mine though…


#04: The Wall

“I’m gonna have to go outside the wall… I know! First I have to do this.” But things are really picking up on the next track which is easily the best thus far… This alleged tribute to Pink Floyd is a staggering journey thru the finest in South African full-on psytrance… A carefully musical balance of driving, uplifting melodies and max-power acid-ridden dancefloor napalm… Not overly original, but yet oh so rewarding… I really dig the huuuuge reverb-soaked trance-pads which really fill out the entire sound spectre…. Wall-to-wall audio bliss! This track *works*!


#05: 7th Sword

And if the last track had huge acid-ridden passages, just wait until this one hits you… At first it’s pretty standard with the odd twirling melody here and a blunt kick there… But give it some time, and the real nature of the track will reveal itself… It changes from ‘almost boring’ into ‘almost amazing’… The progression in the track is unsurpassed on the album and after some hardcore morphing this track turns into an overwhelming acid-fest of gargantuan dimensions… Reminds me a little of some of Xatrik’s earlier work… Kissing this blade was an awesome experience! Brilliant!


#06: Soul Keeper

The rapid pace continues on the next stormer which is more closely rooted in the underground… It’s a bombardment of all kinds of electro-twirling melodies and sonic synth explorations. The acid is flowing freely again - just as Phyx did it back in the old days, and we’re now slowly exploring the more psychedelic aspects of his production talent… Yeah, this is another fine piece of Phyxed psytrance.


#07: Electromagnetic

“What's behind that wall, Kelvin? Huh? What was the incident? Electromagnetism - geologically unique. There was a leak. So now the charge builds up, and every time we push the button, it discharges it!” After some initial mutterings from Lost, this next track opens up a bag of neo full-on tricks… The first batch of rolling synth cords are somewhat predictable, but luckily Phyx has seasoned them with a heavy dose of psychedelic twists, turns and musical side-tracking… So it never gets dull, but on the other hand it’s not as impressive as the previous three tracks were…


#08: Rumours Of War

And here it is. What will undoubtedly be dubbed the ‘notorious distorted guitar track’. And yes, you’ve guessed it. I don’t like it! Not because it has those guitars which reminds me of The Chemical Crew, but because it has this pseudo industrial-slash-rock full-on sound which I’ve always had a hard time appreciating. It’s does nothing but annoy me. Fans of later Infected Mushroom albums will have a field day though. Suffice to say, I’m not one of those fans.


#09: Tribe

The final track also has some of the same element, though they are not nearly as predominant as the previous track… It’s a weird hybrid of fluffy full-on and heavily distorted basslines and marching kick rhythms… And sure enough, it’s experimental and doesn’t sound like anything else here, but it’s still way too unstructured and hectic for my tastes. Maybe I don’t get it?


Well, after waiting for this album for almost 5 years I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed by the limited number of really excellent tracks here… There are only 4 really great tracks here and in that regard Phyx’ debut album didn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe they were too high or maybe I just didn’t get some of the musical directions this album took… But it’s not all bad. Far from it actually. Those four stand-out tracks certainly are great and they underline just what a talented producer Phyx was and still is. Too bad I didn’t really dig on all his new ventures.


To break it down, it goes like this: The first three tracks are so-so, the middle three tracks ROCK and the two tracks I don’t really like… The cover art is subtle and minimal and will not turn too many heads.


So, all in all this was an average album with less awesome tracks than I’d hoped for. Timecode fans and fans of South African psytrance in general will not be disappointed though. Enjoy.


Favourites: 1, 4(!), 5(!), 6



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External links:

Timecode Records: http://www.timecode.co.za

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/800972

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

Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/poror

Discobole: http://tinyurl.com/r2k2c

Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/qsabk

Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/nyfuq

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/r9tq4

Psybuy: http://tinyurl.com/ng2ca

Juno: http://tinyurl.com/lcphk

Play: http://tinyurl.com/o4vhj

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Finally is here.

For one more time I like completelly different tracks from D.P. :)

Ok, here we go:


First of all this can not be bad! We're talking for South Africa here and Phyx!

Second of all it's not the ultra masterpiece.

All the tracks are great and some of them are superb.

For example Electromagnetic is what Phyx is all about. Powerful, fast, squezzy and with these liquid melodies. Conundrum has a great leading melody (very Goa-ish by the way), The Wall has a twisted system flavor and The Initiation has an awesome climax melody but it's more downtempo than the others.


But like I said it's not a masterpiece like other South African albums. Why?

Well like DP said we were waiting for this album for four years so we expected even better tracks. I certainly believe that Ian could make even better tracks for his album. For example none of the tracks is such amazing like Hounds Of Hell, Ruby Blaze or Contraband.

If no one knew Phyx we will be like ''awesome release, amazing debut'' etc. But because we know Phyx very well we're not that excited.

BTW Phyx never changed his style, all the tracks here are 100% Phyx style.


Overall: No, it's not a 10/10 album, no, it's not the best SA album (TS still win that), but it's a great album, real full on and 100% Phyx style. We just want more!

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Some Phyx tracks over the past couple of years have been blinding however I'm not convinced this is any good-none of the tracks seem like standouts howevere I will give it a bit more of a listen and pass judgement a little later.

BAck to trip controllers-now thats a good cd!

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Yes  :)  Damn, I love their music!


+1, I agree on TS, but this Phyx album just let me down bigtime :( even as a S.A fan, he didn't impress me much lately.. maybe I was just expecting too much.
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+1, I agree on TS, but this Phyx album just let me down bigtime :( even as a S.A fan, he didn't impress me much lately.. maybe I was just expecting too much.


This is exactly what I mean. We really had high hopes for this one, so now we're a bit dissapointed. If he was a brand new name things would be different, but it's Phyx for god's sake! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im pretty sure it does.


I still rate Artifakt as the best SA Psy artist.


So do I, Genius he is!


+1, I agree on TS, but this Phyx album just let me down bigtime :( even as a S.A fan, he didn't impress me much lately.. maybe I was just expecting too much.


Probably. I hadn't heard much of his stuff before this album & I liked it :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

To buy. A nice sa full on album, one of the best this year in its genre.


Not to buy.. it's there's loads of better S.A psy around.. this really mediocre/nothing news stuff doesn't cut the cake !
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I liked this album but like everyone else, I was disappointed. His compilation tracks are so good, that I feel he didn't rise to the occasion here. Plenty of power, but I found myself bored with the lack of variability. I suppose I will look forward to more of his compilation work.

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  • 3 months later...

well, I was really expecting more of the throbbing bass-filled sound IE Sub-Zero rmx (Sonic Pantomime-Ketuh). So this was a bit of a surprise to find it in this style, that kind of bass that reminds me of Mechanix, kinda... Id call it mid-heavy bass.


Plenty of Phyx-ation, but... I was hoping for better.




(Brethren-Legend of Cane is much MUCH better IMO)

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Probably. I hadn't heard much of his stuff before this album & I liked it :D

nothing on this album really peaked my interest & although I liked it I haven't found myself playing it!

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  • 6 years later...



Artist: Phyx

Title: Kiss The Blade

Label: Timecode Records

Date: 2006


1. The Initiation
2. Conundrum
3. Serotonine
4. The Wall
5. 7th Sword
6. Soulkeeper
7. Electromagnetic
8. Rumors Of War
9. Tribe


We've come to expect such great things from Timecode. This one didn't connect right away, but it's grown on me. Not the best the label has to offer, but like DP said there is some value here. The South African eerie style is well represented which is dark and brooding with a healthy dose of acid.


I think the main issue I have with it is the lack of pure bombast. After The Dealers I expected each subsequent release to match the barely contained chaos. To unleash raw energy and fury from every direction. At the same time. This was more laid back and even minimalistic at times in its approach. Once the car got going it moved at a good clip. Just be prepared to let it idle a few times. Still a good album, just different.


Best? 7th Sword. Pure madness.







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  • 10 years later...

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