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V/A ~ Get Your Wonk On (Sonic Dragon Recs)


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Being honest is good, so I’m going to be honest. British DJ Tom Lurk, who compiled this album, is a good mate of mine. A very good mate of mine, in fact: I’ve known him in various states and on various continents for years, we’ve talked 13,576 hours of abject shit, and I’ve stayed at his house more times than anyone else I’ve ever known in my life (an utterly pointless bit of trivia that I only realised when sitting down to write this review.)

It came as something of a concern, then, when I learned he was compiling an album. Obviously I would be expected to provide a review, which would presumably go some way into deciding whether or not I would continue to receive Christmas cards from the Lurk family in the future.

It would probably be fair to say that Tom Lurk and I disagree with about 80% of what we think is brilliant, and agree with about 80% of what we think is shit. Somewhere in the middle there is evidently some sort of crossover, and happily that’s exactly where Get Your Wonk On sits.

The vibe here is sophisticated, understated, and rather cool. Much like Lurk’s DJ sets, there are no cheesy breakdowns; no dodgy keychanges, no Michele Adamson and no Raja Ram. He’s given space to fresh new talent (Hemi-Sync, Beatnik, Fromem_Ory), and of the more established acts (Fractal Glider, OOOD, Zen Mehanics, Rastaliens) he’s plucked artists who share a discernable common thread: groovy without being too funky, baggy without being lazy, focused without being moody.

None of these tracks will tear the roof off, but that’s sort of the point. The sequencing and selection all point to maintaining a tight vibe, like a slow-boiling casserole rather than a microwave vindaloo. This means, of course, that the album grows on you the more you listen to it – which is a good thing.

Rastaliens’ Chaos Theory is exceedingly fine, as is Beatnik’s appropriately wobbly Balloon Tricks. Braincell’s Total Control has some lovely little melodic flecks, although hearing that “LSD unsanity” sample again is something of a drain.

OOOD’s Starseeker has some of the finest trans-track progression around at the moment, a pure wide-eyed fantasy that picks up exactly the right amount of melody at exactly the right time. My personal favourite is probably the Flip Flop remix of Zen Mechanics’ New Propulsion Technology: you can hear Zen Mechanics in there, but you’re not sure where or how – and the spacing between the sounds is like an old friend with a wet nose to those of us who believe that less is more.

Your obvious reaction to this review is that I’m being cod-positive, telling you to buy a mate’s album because “it’s flawless”. It’s not flawless, nothing is: Touch Tone’s crisp, French-sounding Ammo sounds out of place amidst the other, far more solid tunes; and Fractal Glider’s Spherical has a melody that gets too silly. This may be the point, but it’s still silly.

Get Your Wonk On is another segment in the orange of decent new UK psytrance. It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it deserves points for sticking to its guns and not going over the top with big choons which, while selling well, make you want to cut your ears off.

Confident, tight and unswervingly not gay. Tom, you’ve done well here mate.


8/10





it would be great to hear other people's opinions about it, if you've got hold of it :)
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Hehehe, I really wonder how you got to give 'Tom Lurk' an 8/10 for this album. What did 'he' do wrong? And whatever happened to giving Guy Cohen an album to review it for ya for free? ;)

 

[e] I just saw the subtitle of this thread, which says: reviewed by damion. woops. :o There I was, thinking you'd reviewed your own album, in a funny third-person-kinda-way, but still: reviewing your own album. Nevermind the other questions then.

 

:)

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:lol:

 

Nope, but I think it's a pretty fair review. I'm not blind to the cd's weak points, I just happen to disagree with damion where the weak points are. ;)

 

The reason I posted this myself, is that Damion told me he doesn't make a habit of putting his reviews up on forums and told me that "he'd get around to it", I know what this means ;) l just wanted to use it as a bit of launchpad to find out what people outside the UK think of it. The reaction on psyforum.co.uk has been very positive, but no-one from any other country has actually commented on it, so I'm very curious to hear what the rest of the world thinks of it, if they have even heard of it at all :)

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although i would a complete unenglish reviewer (1/4 english blood) it ll be in the right direction :lol:

 

here goes:

In between all the releases (and god damn there are many these days) this one stands out imho.

Most of them you can toss away for having a maximum of 1 good track among 8 bad or average tracks.

Not all tracks on 'get your wonk on' are good imho, but its definitly better than average.

 

First two tracks make me yawn but rastaliens continue with a groovy nice energetic track. Better than what I have heard from them lately. As Damion said already they are not killarrgghs, exploding dancefloor madness with whistleing screaming people everywhere.. but that's actually a good thing. Dancefloors with climaxes only dont work too well and become boring soon. The rastaliens track is an excellent track with an underlying grooviness that keeps growing as the track progresses.

 

From the same guy(s) (if i am not mistaken) comes the track total control. Another fine funky fullon track with a lovely leadsound. And a very famous sample that isnt annoying for a change.

 

Flipflop remix of new propulsion technology is a very nice remix. I really liked the original and a lot of other stuff that zen mechanics does. I dont like remixes in general, but this one kept the nice stuff from the original while adding some other elements to make the whole track funkier.

 

OOOD has happily surprised me with his releases and does another good job with starseeker. Very trancy without getting cheesy. Nice friendly melodies. Cant wait to hear this one on one of the festivals.

 

The other tracks are not bad but not outstanding either imho. Allthough the fromem Ory track does seem to grow on me.

All in all 4 (5) really nice tracks. the cd is on the too buy list and will be ordered at psyshop soon (I just love the try before you buy concept :P).

Dancefloor tests will be undertaken.

 

7.5/10

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