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Distant System - Spiral Empire


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Distant System

Spiral Empire

Celestial Dragon Records

2008

 

Tracklist

1. Astropolis

2. Equidistant

3. Light Echoes

4. Gravitational Vortices

5. Time Circles (Distant System Remix)

6. Outer Rim

7. Cloud Nebula

8. Astromech Starport

 

Tyler Smith better known maybe as Androcell has changed the moniker & is out with a new album. I was expecting as the artist name had changed that style would have changed. For some reason I was expecting a completely beatless album which this is not. Instead it's a Ketamine laced trance album. Slow steady kicks, lot's of spacey atmospheres & beautiful beautiful melodies. I was not disappointed that I got the wrong idea about this album at all, I was in fact pleasantly surprised at the strength of Tyler's ideas, production & execution.

 

1. Astropolis

Instantly we are treated to a long intro filled with spacey sounds, atmospheric drones & wet rushes. I can't tell if I'm by the sea or in the ocean of interplanetary space. When the melodious jabs come in it definitely feels like the latter. I feel like I'm taking off into the cosmos & the deep rushing I can hear is like the roar of the rocket engines in the distance behind me. The more bassy sounds take the journey deeper & further into the cold outer reaches. The beat kicks in & it's quite a strong kick drum but nicely layered in the track to give it a steady but relaxed push. The melody really adds a nice warm feel & the little wet acidic sounds scattered top off the spacey alien feel to it.

A great start to the album, it's over 10 minutes long but it's over before you know it. the progression is great with the sounds & atmosphere being built up throughout & by the end it's almost rapturous.

 

2. Equidistant

Deep drones in the background like solar wind & cascading little melodic noises falling all around really sets this track, for me, in hyperspace. Not the quick Star Wars jump to light speed kind of hyperspace but the Immaterium kind of hyperspace. A different dimension, a dimension of pure energy, where your mind drips off the walls of reality as your heart races into a slow pulse. The melody, the spacey ambience, the steady but relaxed beats all send my mind out into this warp where distance has no meaning. The atmospheric synth, long & deep adds an incredible atmosphere here & when the oldschool synth line comes in towards the end I'm agape with amazement. Truly amazing track. Fresh & Nostalgic at the same time.

 

3. Light Echoes

A long intro builds up an atmosphere filled with suspense, & I am left feeling that the music is just going to kick of at any moment. The long spacey drones build and build the tension until suddenly you realise the beat has been in for some time. There was no kicking off as I felt but still the energy has managed to have been injected into it. The kick is pretty heavy again but layered nicely as to not dominate proceedings even on headphones. Different parts appear as if by magic & leave you wondering when they were introduced. The melody is one of these, suddenly it's just there inside my head, filling the music & breathing life into the spaces in between the sounds.

 

4. Gravitational Vortices

First up you'll notice that this is much colder sounding. The wind has picked up in the drone work & it sounds like a very cold deep space wind, filled with nothing but space dust. The tiny melodies that permeate slightly before & just after the beat kicks in as well as the beat itself which is the heaviest so far add to the cold feeling of this track. The beat, the structure & even the sounds really remind me of Aes Dana on his last album Memory Shell but with enough of Tyler's touch to make it individual.

Although the melody becomes the focal point and twisting & turning along it's journey, the whole atmosphere remains cold & distant. Very nice.

 

5. Time Circles (Distant System Remix)

The original H.U .V.A Network track was on the album Distances & I will admit that I didn't really get it on that album. It wasn't bad but I feel like I missed the point. It was a bit to weird, and I like weird music believe me. This remix though makes much more sense for me. A rare case where the remix is better than the original & seeing as the original was by Solar Fields & Aes Dana you can take that as a good thing. This remix has more structure to it. More rhythm & more feeling. To be honest I can barely hear the original in it, if at all. It has more in common with the opening track of that album (Distances) in terms of the soft floaty dreaminess of it.

 

6. Outer Rim

This is great. Way to mix it up while staying with the same feel. Although it's still definitely got that sci fi feel that present through the rest of the album, the music seems to have a more orchestral & a more glitchy feel to it. The beats are gravely as they crunch on the soundscape & the big string rushes sound like a space odyssey in their grandness. The lighter melody is one that just seems to ping out of the darkness. Really nice stuff,both different & very fitting.

 

7. Cloud Nebula

As we enter the final part of this trip through space we finally get to what I was expecting. The real ambient parts where the kick is gone & we are left just with the atmospheric ambience of the spacial drones, the solar wind and very light, high pitch acidity in minor places. A very nice if too short track that expands the space we've been travelling to into a wider, emptier void!

8. Astromech Starport

The space is empty of all objects. No stars, no planets, no cosmic dust. All that is here is the radio waves, sent from spaceports millenia ago but travelling ceaselessly carrying their message. The message of not requiring disk space or CPU power comes across in my mind as one of peace. Like trying to communicate that this message will not take over your system but in fact requires no space at all, if you'll take a look. This is a deceitful track though, as even though every time I feel like it's going to be a beatless finish, as soon as the message has been received, the crunchy beats kick in like a virus spreading the beautiful melody through the whole system bringing peace & harmony to my addled mind. If I was an alien computer system I might feel a little saddened that I had been duped but overall overjoyed by the joy that this had brought me. Fantastic track to end a great album.

 

 

This album I think could easily have been released on Ultimae. The sounds is there (maybe due to the mastering by ultimae guys but probably due to Tyler's skill) it's soft, it's got some light/heavy kicks & a hell of a lot of atmosphere. It puts me in mind of Asura's last album Life² but this has more of a journey to it. A Journey through space & a lush one at that. One of the best releases of 2008 so far & I'll stick my neck out & say it will be at the end of the year. Definitely one to get believe me.

 

Tyler (Quasga/Androcell) also did the artwork for this album which in my opinion fits the music very well www.quasga.info

 

Discogs says this was released in 2007, the record label says February 2008. I couldn't get my hands on it until then so I'm going to believe that. Maybe the promos were released late 2007?

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Nice songs. Much better than Asura's "Life²", which seemed to lack direction for me. I can't really see why you compare them, though, since this is more spacey. To each his own.

 

Nice review, btw! I tend to dislike this kind of reviews, treating the album as a story. But this was well done.

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does it have vocals dropped from a sample CD?

'cos that was the only thing holding Asura's Life back from being classic to me

i'm keen to hear this if it is similar

 

they chose a great name - Distant System. i like it

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does it have vocals dropped from a sample CD?

'cos that was the only thing holding Asura's Life back from being classic to me

i'm keen to hear this if it is similar

 

they chose a great name - Distant System. i like it

Nope, no vocals from sample CDs. I like the name as well but there is only 1 member in Distant System. :lol:

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Pure science fiction music at its finest... this one really captures the feeling of outer space, as the titles and iconography suggests. Outer Rim is absolutely captivating (and it works wonders on the dance floor, I have discovered). This was totally not what I was expecting but I am really enjoying the experience of getting to know Spiral Empire so far... nice one Tyler!

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Pure science fiction music at its finest... this one really captures the feeling of outer space, as the titles and iconography suggests. Outer Rim is absolutely captivating (and it works wonders on the dance floor, I have discovered). This was totally not what I was expecting but I am really enjoying the experience of getting to know Spiral Empire so far... nice one Tyler!

He tried so desperate to sound like Ultimae that I found no sincerity in his music.

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This release was a lot heavier than I thought it would be. Some tracks are a but too heavy for me (well not always of course), but maybe I just need to adjust. I haven't "had the time" to get to deep into this one, too much new music lately. But I can feel it has potential no matter what (too heavy or not)... I especially like the intros, the one on track 1 makes my feel I'm entering a bustling space station!!!! How awesome is that? Perfect for a space mix :P

 

Well I hope I can return later with some more thoughts on this one, cus it is damn good! But it just needs more of my attention!

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He tried so desperate to sound like Ultimae that I found no sincerity in his music.

Then I think that you are obviously missing a lot about this release, sure this is an album that fits the Ultimae sound but it really has a lot Tyler in it. It has his own signature written all over it, or maybe under it. Great spacey trippiness the likes I have not heard on Ultimae.

I hope others don't pre judge this or judge it on samples or a mp3 download.

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Favorite album for 2008 so far. LARGE!!!!

 

 

 

:clapping:

 

Yeah but we all now that if the Guru of space music releases this year, this ahs NO chance! But I can agree that thus far 2008 this is the winner clearly!

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I dunno who the guru of space music is, but I think after this album it would have to be Distant System! - this is excellent work - pure bliss throughout!

 

I love the slo-motion trance beat thing too - this does remind me a bit of some of Ultimae's artist's stuff, but without all the boring slow tracks in between the good ones :P However I wouldn't say he is copying that sound, it is fresh in its own way...

 

 

The melodies on this album are excellent, and the beats phat and groovy - love it!!

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