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Ultrapop 2 [Fabularecords]


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The following is taken from my full review:

http://www.ektoplazm.com/reviews/ultrapop-2/

 

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01 :: Tom Cosm - Swagger (5:58)

02 :: Vishnudata & Dr. Nipert - We Are Family (6:37)

03 :: Kiwa - Get Wet (5:59)

04 :: Loopus In Fabula - Fat Ladies Bingo (Itaitaiko Remix) (7:45)

05 :: Krumelur - Pigg (6:03)

06 :: Ocelot - Supercool (5:26)

07 :: Loopus In Fabula & Mauxuam - Civic TV (7:00)

08 :: Tom Cosm - Psycurious (7:25)

09 :: Paul Kearney - Too Weird To B True (4:45)

10 :: Loopus In Fabula - Radio EXP (7:47)

11 :: Talpa - Miss Ivon (7:31)

 

Ultrapop 2 is the second compilation from Fabularecords, an independent label founded by Loopus In Fabula in 2003 to provide an outlet for their distinctly unconventional style of electronic dance music. Although the label operates within the psytrance realm, the Fabula sound defies strict classification. They’ve carved out their own niche—a mutant blend of styles jokingly referred to as “funkypsydiscoteknimal.” True to form, Ultrapop 2 sports a diverse array of weird and groovy selections from around the globe. This will surely be of interest to those listeners and DJs who exhibit an appreciation for the experimental fringe of progressive psychedelic trance.

 

Tom Cosm breaks the cherry on Ultrapop 2 with Swagger, an extremely offbeat opener. Tom is widely known for an informative set of videos explaining his views on live electronic music. Ultrapop 2 marks his commercial debut—a sharp move by Fabularecords. This bizarre breakbeat-driven mayhem peaks with an over-the-top climax, immediately establishing the manic fun-loving mood of the CD. Whatever that cryptic chipmunk-voiced sample might be saying, it makes me grin!

 

Vishnudata and Dr. Nipert collaborate on We Are Family, a slick and dirty tune that integrates several elements of the 1979 single of the same name, originally by Sister Sledge. Blurred and manipulated vocals from the source material can be discerned throughout, and a killer bass line injects a massive amount of funk into the groove. The results are incredibly upbeat—this song can be counted on to encourage good vibrations and infectious smiles all around. I’d call it the cream of the crop.

 

Kiwa exemplifies the highest technical achievement of Finnish psychedelic trance; their tracks are always produced with an impressive attention to detail. The fat and funky Get Wet sounds much like the songs on their recent album release, On The Frequency. Expect crispy grooves and shimmering atmospheric twists delivered with confidence. Solid stuff.

 

Next up—Israeli artist Itaitaiko provides a “thin” remix of Loopus In Fabula’s Fat Ladies Bingo, originally released on the album of the same name. Utilizing the same bingo hall samples, lazy retro grooves, and playful melodies that characterized the 2006 original, Itay breathes new life into the work without deviating far from the genuine Loopus feel. Charming.

 

Over the last few years, the idiosyncratic Swedish artist Krumelur (Frederik Larsson) has forged an incredibly unique style of psychedelic trance, expressing a bold artistic vision like no other. On Pigg, he employs samples of live percussion, dirty loping grooves, bizarre vocals, and a touch of jazz to achieve bewildering results. This sly tune is highly representative of Larsson’s capabilities—his fans will love it, and he stands a good chance of making new ones with this slick piece of work.

 

Lately the American producer Ocelot (Aaron Peacock) has diversified beyond the hard and heavy style he was initially known for. Supercool sounds like nothing else I have heard from him—this is a slow and ponderous creeper laced with quaint bell-like melodies and sludgy masses of bass. Intriguing—I look forward to more like this.

 

On Civic TV, Matteo Stroppa from Loopus In Fabula teams up with Mauxuam (Maurizio Liguori), an Italian producer most known for his downtempo releases. Impeccable rhythms shift between steady grooves and broken beats as this oddly cheerful tune unwinds. Aside from all the subtle little hooks (just wait for that bass line to get really ballsy), the implausible organ themes are sure to entertain. It might take a while to grow, so be sure to give this one the time it deserves!

 

Tom Cosm’s second contribution is smoother than his first. Psycurious flirts with funky breakbeat patterns, gracefully morphing into a straight-up 4×4 beat pattern at the half-way point. Surprises lurk at every turn; there is never a dull moment. Psycurious is brashly experimental in some regards, but never inaccessible. Tom Cosm’s ardent grasp of timing ensures that boundaries are pushed just enough without upsetting the listener’s equilibrium. A creative success.

 

Paul Kearney from Australia provides a hearty dose of psychedelic funk from down under with Almost Too Weird To B True (a reference to the platypus, a very weird animal indeed). This short interlude is not to be taken seriously; the samples are silly, and so is the mood.

 

Opening with a riff from Jimi Hendrix, Loopus In Fabula’s Radio Exp demonstrates a complex fusion of elaborate bass lines, chugging synthetic beats, and intriguing acoustic instrumentation. The lurching groove provides a solid foundation for the sublime arrangement of sampled guitar textures that spice up the atmosphere. As peculiar as it may seem, Matteo almost manages to out-bizarre himself with the bastard bassoons that close the song. Weird and delightful!

 

The big surprise of the compilation has got to be Talpa’s Miss Ivon. After establishing a reputation as one of the leaders in the new school Goa trance movement, I never would have expected something so outrageous from Mr. Goran Juric! The killer bass line, swanky orchestral themes, jazzy flourishes, and ad hoc piano work results in an irresistible cross-genre fusion. This is trance, but not as we know it! Truly exceptional.

 

Ultrapop 2 rocks. Aside from being inordinately cohesive—the listening experience really hangs together—Ultrapop 2 is also fresh and innovative, boldly plunging into territory seldom visited by the more established labels. Opting for more songs of a shorter duration was a wise move—these compositions never overstay their welcome. With a number of highlights and a big batch of stand-out tunes, Ultrapop 2 is a smart choice for psytrance fans seeking something out of the ordinary. If you like this don’t miss the first in the series, Ultrapop 1.

 

Check out my full review for embedded links and other goodies:

http://www.ektoplazm.com/reviews/ultrapop-2/

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  • 3 months later...

I loved Ultrapop. And this one is just as good. I find the opening track a bit too excessive (and I skip over it), but the rest of the album is pure enjoyment. Even the Ocelot track is good.

 

This has to be one of the best releases of 2007.

 

 

Recommended.

 

 

Pedro

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this is really great!! I'm listening to it and i'm very glad about it

(so far i didn't really like the remix of the loopus track)

 

very fresh indeed

blend of funk, electro, disco, minimal, suomisaundi and progressive trance = psychedelicaaaa

 

(so far i didn't really like the remix of the loopus track)

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  • 3 months later...
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