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Hol Baumann - Human

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abasio    225

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Hol Baumann

Human

Ultimae Records

February 2008

 

Tracklist

1. Hours

2. Breathe

3. Radio Bombay

4. Benares (Vârânaçî Edit)

5. Endless Park

6. [Human]

7. One Step Behind

8. We Are Analogue

9. A Forgotten Ritual

10. Tiny Hidden Track

 

The long awaited album from Hol Baumann came with a quiet plop. I had no real build up for this album. I had a lot going on in my life while this was in the pre-order & promotion stage so all the hype passed me by. So I didn’t have my expectations super sky high, which is a good thing as they were already high enough just finding it in my mailbox one morning. The first time I heard this I found it absolutely mind blowing. Ultimae albums usually grow & grow on me so how did this one do.

 

1. Hours

A nice start to the album, the beats are very intricate & at times delicately alluring. The melody chimes nicely in a non committal way and the bassline really drives the track giving it a lot of energy for a chill out track. In the background as well as some broken sounds that feel like scratches is a very subtle vocal. I missed it before I gave this a listen on headphones but there they are throughout most the latter part of the track. Pretty ethnic but very minimal, they go very well with the rough acoustic guitar at the end.

 

2. Breathe

Starts with more on the guitar before a spoken sample comes in. I really like the way it seems to scratch off at the end of each sentence like it is coming through a transistor radio. The bassline & beat come in, the beat is a nice steady plod but the bassline moves up & down very nicely. The beat kicks in properly & is really damn cool. Very crisp, crunchy & well worked. I was put in mind of the beats in Secede vs Kettel – Lerraine. There is a melody but for most of the track it takes a back seat until really coming into it’s own later in the track. When it does makes itself known though it’s a really really beautiful one with a great melancholic edge. A shame it’s not a little longer as I could listen to that melody all day.

 

3. Radio Bombay

A very familiar track, I loved this one as the final track of Ultimae’s Fahrenheit Part 6 compilation. It seemed the best way to finish that comp. It’s very much an end of the night track for me. The deep moody bassline, the sharp beats, the female vocal is all very melancholic & when it all breaks down just to have the ethnic voice comes in just before the beat kicks in is very atmospheric. Many a time have I loved that pseudo ending. It is like it’s going to stop but then you get treated to all the same ingredients but a little more intense. Not sure how to explain why they are more intense but somehow the atmosphere is stronger & deeper and drives me into my seat, slumped and happily relaxed.

 

4. Benares (Vârânaçî Edit)

This was a brilliant track on the best in the Fahrenheit Project series (in my opinion) Fahrenheit Project 2, the vocals are very well used have an upbeat melancholy to them & seem heartfelt. The way they are used, the timing of them is exceptional & they fit very well round the acoustic instruments’ sounds and the delights of the atmospheric electronica. I think that this version sounds deeper than the one on FP2, maybe there has been re-mastering, maybe a slightly new take on the sounds or maybe it’s the positioning or the totally unmixed version but the beats seem clearer & the long synth sounds draw me in much more.

 

5. Endless Park

This is where this album starts to get seriously good. The melody right from the start is a pants wetting melody. Beautifully played & as the beats come in and the bassline too you get the feeling of majesty. Very intense, important stuff going on somewhere that you are getting a chance to be privy to. It’s so deep, so beautiful & draws my mind in so much that I can hardly focus on anything else. It’s so sad that it is so god damn short.

 

6. Human

As heard on the Albedo compilation, one of my favourites on that comp. It instantly kicks in with strong crisp beats & never really lets up. It’s Intense in a chillout kind of way. The machine like feel runs through the entire track. The workman like melody than lathes back and forth from beginning to end is joined in the second half of the track by more fancy melodies but the slow & steady ones win the race, sticking it out till the end whereas the more cosmetic ones filtered out quite quickly.

 

7. One Step Beyond

Here is another well done melody that chimes along beautifully & draws the listener in. It evolves ever so subtly but you can really feel the progression. When the bassline comes in too you really feel like the music has taken over at last. Very nice use of slide on the guitar to compliment the bassline as if it’s part of it. The breakdown is followed by the same sounds mixed in a much more moody fashion. Everything just works to bring your mind down to it’s metaphorical knees & pray that it can last just that little bit longer. Fortunately this track is over 7 minutes so it really gives you the chance to enjoy it.

 

8. We Are Analogue

A softer approach with this track. Amazingly manages to take an even deeper line. The melody is very intricate & melancholic in a nostalgic way. Imagine dreaming of old flames, reliving past triumphs yet still happy with the present. This is the sort of melancholy I like, the longing for the past is intense yet it’s accompanied by hope for the future. Only at the end do the beats really kick in & it manages to take the atmosphere down into a sad look back at old albums late at night on the sofa feel.

 

9. A Forgotten Ritual

Spacey melodies & a hard dark bassline start us off here, the beat kicks in and takes the spacey feel away slightly but the re-emergence of the hard bassline & sci-fi melody come back in & fills the atmosphere with black skies & bright sparks. The whole atmosphere seems to me like a 60’s sci-fi show and when the beats kick in much harder it’s like that 60’s show has been dragged screaming into the 3rd millennium. I’m put in mind of Doctor Who! An old show ridiculously out of date brought & remade in the modern era. Old fashioned ideas with a modern touch.

 

4 minutes of silence and then

 

10. Hidden Track

Sounds from the album put together in a more experimental way than any of the official tracks. Pretty much pointless to be honest, less than 2 minutes long with nothing really to say for itself.

 

Well there are both very good and bad things about this album. The good things are most importantly the music, which is top notch. The ethnic element is not hammed up to painful degrees. The samples are not ones I’ve heard a million times before on someone else’s record, the beats are clear, crisp & very enjoyable & the structure of each track is fantastic.

On the flip side though there are a lot of tracks (3/9) that have been on previous releases, this is something I’m not used to seeing on Ultimae where almost every release has completely new material. I feel also that the album is a little short. What would have been my favourite track, Endless Park, ends just as I’m getting lost in it. The hidden track is pointless. I don’t see the point in putting a tiny bit of music after a load of silence. Why not just put another track on the tracklist?

At the end of the day though, for all it’s faults it is still quality music through & through and that more than makes up for everything. It’s not my favourite Ultimae release but it’s a very worthwhile addition to my collection.

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amphiton    2

Mixed feelings about this album too, though I don't own Fahrenheit 2 :) I know it's art and stuff, but having 61 minute album with 4 min silence and 3 already released tracks (20 min in total) makes it under 40 minutes of new material.

 

On the other hand this is original style and, as always with Ultimae, good quality. Music itself is melancholic and deep, but you need a special mood to fully enjoy it.

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MattMan    2

I love this album. True, some of the tracks are previously released, but overall - this is an excellent piece of music.

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Sawfly    2

I love this album.

Me too. :clapping:

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buzzman    2

Indeed a great album :)

 

The guitar from "ONE STEP BEHIND" isn't it sampled from a Nirvana track?

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Stardust    0

Despite owning the previously released tracks on the earlier Ultimae releases, I am extremely happy that I bought this album. It's fantastic. It's short and sweet and fits together perfectly.

 

Besides, I have noticed that many ultimae tracks get recycled on their various compilations. Nothing new there.

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pedro    7

I really did enjoy this CD. I found the music both relaxing and interesting. Much better than the average colourless psy-ambient we often hear.

 

I would say this is my favourite single artist release on Ultimae and very deserving of a listen.

 

For the record, I did not have any Hol Baumann tracks so all the tracks were new to me.

 

Highly recommended.

 

 

Pedro

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reger    12

Highly recommended.

 

 

Pedro

+1

 

i wish there was other version of Radio Bombay on this album, if there actually is one :D The original is NOT bad, but ive listened to it already too many times so id like somethings new there :P

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Klas    0

My favorite chill-CD at the moment.

 

It´s not only dreamy and floating like many other artists from Ultimae´s albums, but very ingenious and inventive.

 

Makes me smile every time! Perfect for walking because I enter into a very epic world when I listen to it.

 

Breathe is the only weak track imo, It makes me think of russian prostitutes.. :)

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Jon Cocco    72

Hol Baumann - Human

Ultimae Records

February 2008

 

 

Tracklist

1. Hours

2. Breathe

3. Radio Bombay

4. Benares (Vârânaçî Edit)

5. Endless Park

6. [Human]

7. One Step Behind

8. We Are Analogue

9. A Forgotten Ritual

10. Tiny Hidden Track

 

 

I hadn't heard the few tracks released before either. So this album was new to me too. Furthermore, I just became aware of this album in January, 09 after reading through the "BEST OF 2008" thread. I like it. I'm not in love with the whole thing but this downtempo style and sound is refreshing and tasty on more than a couple occasions. Actually, I don't waste my money on stuff I don't consider good/great anymore with a failing economy. This is one of only four or five 2008 downtempo albums I bought. For more, read on.

 

 

1. Hours I initially enjoyed, and the idea of the Christmas-bell notes playing around the bass line and key changes; the bell notes I find a bit too focused and wear off on my senses early on during repeat listens to some degree. The song is ultimately simple and a bit too tame for my personal taste but not bad. The sound is unique and will be further explored to stronger degrees on tracks to come. A decent to fairly good opening. The sound is unique, though I'm not impressed yet. B-

 

2. Breathe is one of the only songs with ethnic vocals; they come across more like sound samples than singing. The violen compliments the stronger beat, along with a more masculine, melodic sound that rises in high notes and then back down. It's catchy! I love the speed and the beat, music throughout. A psychedelic cool and twisted sound effect takes place from 3:37 to 3:40 and wow, sound elements like this are great ways to make the song more psychedelic at times. It's a tiny detail but appreciated. The song never falls off into questionable territory but seems to reprise its confidence, thus refreshing my enjoyment from start to finish. The returning beat around 4:49 is smart too, without voice samples, the song breathes in its driving, though never spectacular or gorgeous direction. Cool track. B

 

3. Radio Bombay is the second and possibly final number with ethnic vocals. I love the organic sounding instruments and sounds combined with the beat and bass line element. The fresh returning of the music with strong key changes around 2:55 after a breathing interlude is excellent, gripping. I like how the song becomes more powerful, developed as it progresses, never losing its soul to an uptempo or even mid tempo speed. Great direction and work throughout! B+

 

4. Benares (Vârânaçî Edit) is excellent, fantastic. Here these artists prove that they can match virtually any top artist in the downtempo genre, but in their ethnic influenced musical style. The song is more animated, dynamic and a bit more aggressive here too. The song is filled with a strong and infectious musical sound combined with some of the best tribal influence and melody arrangement that I have ever heard in the downtempo genre. I highly recommend Hol Baumann to further pursue creating more stand out songs with greater energy like this one. Unlike the lacking in zest opening, this less progressive, more developed nature retains its beauty and strength throughout. This is easily my favorite track on the album. I'm completely sold on the melody/beat work. It would be awesome if these artist(s) produced more super songs like this one. I love it. Wonderful track! A

 

5. Endless Park is an interesting, gradually developing piece. But it's so short, thus remaining a bit forgettable or at least noted for what could have been so much more. That said, for what this is, three minutes of unique and musical greatness. The song is slow, carefully articulated and passionately produced. I suppose it could have been longer and blossomed into something really superb; I enjoy it the way this is as well. It's interesting. The song continues to evolve and soon ends, thus producing shorter length less memorable to me and some others seem to agree. Interesting work, great while it lasts. I just feel like more could have been done to extend the greatness here. B+

 

6. [ Human ] is great. I love how the new agey, ambient influenced downtempo number builds up to the tribal combination beginning aruond 1:53. It's great! Followed by an interlude for only around twenty seconds in the third minute, the catchy tribal downtempo trance returns. Various musical notes and sounds compliment the unique style and sound. I really like this. B+

 

7. One Step Behind has bell sounds around far more melody/sound development than the opening. I prefer this one. It's more emotive, the beat on the chime is great and various other melodies distribute attention to more areas of an attractive world of moving, developing sound. The ambient notes enhance its feelings too. Smooth, enjoyable track. B+

 

8. We are analog is a dreamy psy and ambient influenced score over a slow, chillingly gentle beat. Coupled with a moment of peace, a beat free interlude, I really like the softer sound present throughout this track. As the beat returns with more energy around 4:16 it elevates song, enhances the gentle waters with a more sensual current. Good track! B

 

9. A forgotten ritual is a more traveling, melancholic beat with strong tunes present over an atmospheric backdrop. A solid track to end the album on. B

 

 

In conclusion, I love the tribal beats, influences on this album. I generally love the music and style and relieved to see that the creator(s) kept the style downtempo influenced. I'd love to hear more songs that further develop and explore the energy and greatness of tracks like Bénarès (Vârânaçî edit), Endless Park, Human for starters, as those are very enjoyable and fun to listen to. I also enjoy softer, more ambient influenced downtempo tracks, such as We are analog. Overall this is a great Chill album and one of the best 2008 downtempo albums.

 

 

Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

 

 

B+

 

 

 

Samples (It's also available on MP3 via Amazon)

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display...ase.asp?id=7097

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Redington    4

I think this album has bumped Shpongle's Tales of the Inexpressible out of the top spot for me. I don't know it's a very close run. It's definitely in my top 2 or top 3.

 

Yeah, not all the tracks are original but they are so damn good. Especially Beneres (Varanaci Edit). That song just makes me die of happiness.

 

 

This album is definitely 10/10 in my book. Maybe 11/10. :D

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5meohd    0

This cd is WONDERFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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p(sy)ayam    2

as usual Ultimae brought us another wonderful album. i loved all of Hol Baumann's tracks on previous compilations and had high expectations for this one. Some of my favorites here were released on those compilations though!

funny thing is at the beginning the first half of the album was my favorite, now i like the second half better :rolleyes: overall, great album.

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Astrognomix    0

This album is seriously a masterpiece... I'm surprised it received so little attention here in the forum then placed 2nd for downtempo album of the year in the psynews votes. It was under my radar until then, glad that I found it! Only thing about this album is it requires a really good system, by Bose Tri-Ports barely do it justice and they handle most psy just fine. The bass here is deep and enveloping and the high tones do a lot to keep the ride very engaging. Just lovely when listened to in the right settings.

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DaZeD    1

:wub: Wow, i love this album so much!

This is going to be a classic!

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JISNEGRO    106

:wub: Wow, i love this album so much!

This is going to be a classic!

 

 

It's from Ultimae ;)

 

seriously, is there any bad album from them? I haven't listened to it yet

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psybuyer    0

Circular-Substans is a bad album.

 

This one... is just great! Sure we are greedy and always want more new tracks, but at least the already used tracks here fit in perfectly with the new material. And it's overall excellent. Top quality.

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Pandemonium    0

Circular-Substans is a bad album.

 

 

Wow!!!! :blink: seriousely!? we are all entitled to our own opinions but you need to open you ears and give this another listen.

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Redington    4

I thought Substans wasn't bad. Unless he means bad as in that's the worst out of the rest of the releases from Ultimae... then I can kind of see what he's getting at.

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