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Ambivalent Records

Jul 2003




1 Special Liquid (7:40)

2 13.5 Hours (7:40)

3 The Aquarium (2:56)

4 Oracle (6:29)

5 Mutoid (Extended Version) (8:30)

6 Drum War (6:51)

7 Klangman (9:05)

8 Metabolic Activity (7:52)

9 Psycore (9:28)

10 Stupid Science (9:19)


This albums holds a special place in my heart. I have many great memories attached to this album. It was released in the month that I moved to Japan & was one of the first CDs I bought upon my arrival & I listened to it all summer, and the whole summer the year after & after that. The pace is just right & the psychedlica is one of my favourite brands of contained weirdness.


1. Special Liquid

A nice crunchy acid ridden track. The sounds jump about & there is a feeling of acid running down the walls in the back of my mind. A nice dark atmosphere like at a basement party full of mad dancers going nuts.


2. 13.5 Hours

Sweet medieval melody before an urgency comes in. The slow menacing bassline & siren like sounds build the urgency & by the time the beats drop I'm ready to dance. A hard pounding beats with an underlying crunchiness again accentuated by the twisted synths. A number of times the track breaks down & has to rebuild. Each time is a well placed sample be it a creaking door or a unfathomable vocal. The energy comes from more & more surprising places & it's really hard to describe some of the noises used in this weird powerhouse.


3. The Aquarium

A random little ambient number (although apparently at 150 BPM which I just can't seem to notice). The melody is fantastic as are the watery sounds. This feels like a slow dance of fairies at the bottom of a lake. Not deep sea, deep but still able to see the glitter of light up above. Great track if a little randomly placed in the album, acts more of a transition.


4. Oracle

From the little stabbed chords at the start to the soft ambient drone running through it to awesome breakbeats to the sounds all around this track screams modern mysticism to me. Remove the beats & a few of the harsher sounds and this would be one hell of an ambient journey. The presence of the up beat elements make this a really good crossover. The energy of trance & the mood of ambient. I love this track.

5. Mutoid (Extended Version)

A more steady beat again and baseline to match. A lot of the tracks have basslines but they are quite subdues like this & rest in the back of the track allowing the random sounds, melody & synths room to move about & make themselves known. Where as the first few tracks were crunchy, this feels squelchy with a wet synth line & dripping beats. Although this doesn't start brilliantly it builds into a really top drawer track. Towards the end along the wetness there feels like a dark dank underground party with acid soaked walls and crazy faeries dancing on the ceilings & wall.


6. Drum War

A more relaxed pace now with a more Deviant Species feel to it. Very dark nightmare trance. What I always hoped dark psy would be, dark without trying to be horror. Effortlessly scary without being evil. Twisted psychedelic enjoyable night time stuff

Towards the end comes a mind blowing melody. You here it coming but it still comes as a surprise every time as it's released at the same time as a burst of psychedelic bubbles. Nice stuff.


7. Klangman

back to full pace again with klangman. This is a little more off the wall weirdness compared to the straight edged strangeness of the previous tracks. This is little monsters camped in your brain waiting for you to fall asleep so they can set fire to your temporal lobe and lay eggs in the ashes of your charred brain weird. Gets very ethereal towards the end. Lifts your burnt brain up but then casts it down & stamps on it hard resulting in the agonised sounds at the last.


8. Metabolic Activity

This carries on the same feeling as Klangman but is slightly less deranged and more structured dancefloor trippiness. Imagine standing at the front of the dancefloor in an underground club, eyes closed so you can see more clearly the music that's flying around you. That's where I imagine myself whenever I listen to this. Even when it slows down I still see myself in the same spot, eyes closed feeling the euphoria. But when the hard stabs of synth come in & it kicks off again my brain explodes & I must dance dance dance.


9. Psycore

Fast paced right from the start. No messing about. A nice crazy tech melody & a driving baseline (still subdued) push this forward & the melody shifts up a gear my brain is really thrown into a slipstream, a nice comfortable rush! A really well used sample from The Hitch Hikers Guide just twisted enough to fit & to stay recogniseable! The melody that comes in halfway through is not seratonin releasing but pleasant & it's progression in the track is well done. I can't help laughing along with the evil laugh & smile at the final run.


10. Stupid Science

I'm always expecting some ambient track like The Aquarium but I'm always wrong & we get another track in keeping with Psycore. Dark, structured, driving & with weird twisted melodies. Very cool end to a very cool album. This has a black metallic feel to it with spots of glitter on it as the melody tries to escape the surface. The final run of the album is possibly the best music on show here. The dark crispy sounds kicking off the beat for one last time is real end of the night please don't stop even though I know the end is imminent stuff.



This album is a masterpiece of arrangement. The tracks are all perfectly placed here building what is a great work of abstract art. The tracks get crazier & crazier until Klangman where after the tracks build more dancefloor energy & trippiness while keeping up the twisted craziness of the earlier tracks. The theme gets darker & darker right through to the last track which has a black metallic feel to it. All tracks are between great & masterful and the music seems to get better & better the more you listen to it. This is one of the few CDs that after 4 years of listening to it still makes me want to go right out find a big venue a few hundred people a big sound system, put this on & dance the night away.

I'm very happy that I have this album & I'm eagerly anticipating the follow up to it.


Highly recommended!

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What the fuck. This album hadn't been reviewed until now? What a shame. This shit is the fucking shit. Really though, can't find anything uninteresting on this album. Every single track (but Aquarius, and even that is a sweet little piece of cuteness) gets me bouncing like mad. This is proper diehard psychedelic trance; crunchy, freaky, growly, bouncing and very psychedelic, if you ask me.


Just brilliant.

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