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V/A - Ease Division 3


MattMan
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01 James Murray - Last man in the world (instrumental)

02 Amos - Street lights

03 I Awake - Life Cipher

04 Carbon Based Lifeforms - Endospore

05 Solar Fields - Feelings

06 Vibrasphere feat. Irina Mikhailova - Meander

07 Xerxes - Early morning crystals

08 Illuminus - Dem Cowboys

09 Chromosome - Evens Heaven

10 Blue Planet Corporation - A Foret(e)st Of Paradise

11 Kritical Audio - Yellow Blend

 

 

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Various Artists

Ease Division

Spiral Trax

Sep 2008

Downbeat

 

Tracklist

 

1 James Murray - Last Man In The World (Instrumental) (6:01)

2 Amos - Street Lights (6:50)

3 I Awake - Life Cipher (6:14)

4 Carbon Based Lifeforms - Endospore (5:13)

5 Solar Fields - Feelings (8:00)

6 Vibrasphere Feat. Irina Mikhailova - Meander (8:19)

7 Xerxes - Early Morning Crystals (8:15)

8 Illuminus - Dem Cowboys (7:02)

9 Chromosome - Evens Heaven (8:59)

10 Blue Planet Corporation - A Foret(e)st Of Paradise (6:27)

11 Kritical Audio - Yellow Blend (5:13)

 

Great cover, great tracklist, compiled by one of my favourite artists of all time Solar Fields. Of course my expectations were very high, which is always a dangerous thing and while many times in 2008 my expectations were met or even surpassed this compilation shows the flip side. Yes, expectations were not met for me here but still a worthwhile CD with some great tracks, the average tracks grew on me over time but I am afraid that the weak tracks have stayed poor and continued to be skipped when listening to this.

 

There are some good tracks though, Amos - Street Lights has a vocal wail that initially bugged me but after some time undisturbed managed to sneak through my defenses and under my skin. I Awake - Life Cipher is better than anything on the I Awake album with a much more spine tingling atmosphere. Carbon Based Lifeforms & Solar Fields add tracks that are worthy of such great artists although CBL’s track is a little too short.

Xerxes - Early Morning Crystals is a great track, the most minimal here but very entrancing and engaging. Finishing off the compilation is Kritical Audio – Yellow Blend half of which is Robert Elster from Vibrasphere is a real standout to finish with.

 

The tracks I am disappointed in are the Vibrashpere offering which is a little too cheesy for me with Irina Mikhailova’s vocals and James Murray’s opener is solid but not so engaging. His album on Ultimae though was a treat I am very happy to own.

 

The tracks I don’t like are Blue Planet Corporation - A Foret(e)st Of Paradise which is awful right through from boring melodies to a cringe worthy sample. Worse still though is Illuminus - Dem Cowboys which gets progressively worse throughout culminating in Native American Indian war cries.

 

Overall I have to say I am a little disappointed with this release. With Solar Fields compiling it and what looked like such a strong tracklist built my expectations very high indeed. There are some great tracks here, some pleasant tracks but also some overly cheesy and even a couple of tracks I have to skip when playing. I get the feeling that this wasn't compiled as a journey but as a showcase for returning and upcoming artists. In this way it only half succeeds for me as there is too much I don't like. Definitely worth the money as the great tracks are great but it could have been a lot better.

 

 

Track By Track Analysis

 

1. James Murray - Last Man In The World (Instrumental)

A solid start to the compilation, a soft urban feel to the music created by melancholic tones and high pitch noises. I can picture a city passed its heyday, boarded up buildings and empty streets. The beats are nice and give an element of youthful hope. A good opening track. Will look forward to his album coming soon on Ultimae.

 

2. Amos - Street Lights

I was very impressed with Amos' track on Oxycanta - Winter Blooms. It was one of the best tracks for me in 2007. Street Lights does not quite reach the height's of Fläktsystem as its style is very different. While the former was coldly beautiful with its melody, this track focuses on a female vocal wail which doesn't sit too well with me. It's used a little too much and starts to annoy me. Which is a shame as the rest of the track is really good. Nice random IDM beats. Trippy clicks and sharp stabs of light acid. But I just don't like the vocal. Still, this guy shows a lot of talent and I'm still looking forward to more work from him.

 

3. I Awake - Life Cipher

I Awake's album released earlier this year took some getting into but turned out to be a great piece of work. This track, I got into more quickly. The atmosphere from the start tickles my spine and the vocal sample here is cut up and twisted in such an other worldly way that it never grates on my nerves no matter how many times I listen to it. The beats are cool, sounding heavy and soft at the same time while the slight melody chimes very pleasantly. All in all a solid track from I Awake.

4. Carbon Based Lifeforms - Endospore

Carbon Based Lifeforms have been one of my favourite projects over the last few years. Just about everything I have heard from them, I've loved. This track is good, a little shorter than I'd have liked and it never really goes anywhere but it's a nice quick journey non the less. The beatless rhythm is relaxingly enjoyable and the slight melody is just ear candy but I would have liked to have seen it progress. Unfulfilled potential leaves such an unusual feeling. I enjoyed it but wanted more.

 

5. Solar Fields - Feelings

For me this is the stand out on the compilation and alone made the money I spent on this money well spent. Big spacey atmospheres with quite a majestic feeling. Slow steady beats and big rushes of synth drone with little sharp and squelchy noises running down them. The beats coming off the break down seem to be building to something but just as you think they are leading nowhere the mood changes with much more glitch than I've heard from Solar Fields before. Blending the glitch into the lush melodies and spacey atmosphere works surprisingly well. Again I am left very impressed by Solar Fields' versatility as an artist.

 

6. Vibrasphere ft. Irian Mikhailova - Meander

Sounds very much like the later tracks on Exploring The Tributaries but a little more pop accessible. The female vocal wailing is not unpleasant, it reminds me of Ibiza chill albums. It has that Island feel that goes very well with the cover but not so much with the rest of the music here. Without the vocal this would be quite a nice if forgettable track. The piano melody is nice, the water sounds add a nice relaxing feel and the beats are chilled but funky. I could do without the vocal though. It's a little to cheesy for my liking.

 

7. Xerxes - Early Morning Crystals

Another stand out track for me. This has got me very excited about Xerxes and has me really looking forward to future releases. The beat is the strongest so far. Driving in a relaxed way, like a Sunday afternoon drive through the country. The atmosphere is only slightly dark like a cloudy day and the melody is subtle yet engrossing. More minimal than the other tracks and in ways this makes it better than most of the others. It's more entrancing and allows the mind to wander through the soundscape it creates. As mine does I experience rolling hills, cool breezes and the threat of a storm in the distance. Towards the end the beats kick up a gear, sealing the mind back into my car and driving down an empty road. Little melodic sounds rush passed me on each side as I go. Excellent track.

 

8. Illuminus - Dem Cowboys

Another female vocal doesn't exactly fill me with hope for this track and the guitar sounds add to Ibiza island chill out feel. The bad flutes, weak reggae vocals and music hall sounds, the weird ethnic vocals and twangy strings add up to a track I find verges on excruciating. Too much has been crammed in and the thought of blending doesn't seem apparent. The icing on the cheese cake is the Native American Indian war cries. I really do not like this track.

9. Chromosome - Evens Heaven

A better track by Chromosome, there are still vocals I'd rather not hear but they are within my acceptable limits. They sound like they want to be ethereal and mysterious but fail somewhat. I've heard it before. The rest of the track is better, brief Shpongle-esque vocals followed by a rather enjoyable bassline and a bright melody. High pitched vocals sound pleasantly trippy and slightly irritating at the same time. The beats, the trippy little noises both sharp and round are good but as with the last track there seems to have been too much put in. Unlike the last track, the single elements are quite good and there has been a good attempt at arranging them and blending them. It's a decent track that gets better towards the end. The melodies, synths, beats, bass and vocals blend much better in the final third.

 

10. Blue Planet Corporation - A Foret(e)st Of Paradise

I have liked so much of Blue Planet Corporation's music from the lush trance on Blue Planet to the great downbeat tracks released on Dakini and Chill Tribe so it pains me to say that this track is not good. Or at least not to my liking. Pedestrian rhythms, boring melodies and a horrible Jazzy saxophone. A cringe worthy sample and unwelcome random percussive clicks don't help but the Jazzy saxophone makes me want to skip to the last track. I hope this is a one off failed experiment.

 

11. Kritical Audio - Yellow Blend

A nice mellow track to end on. It has a nice warm summer feel without sounding like it's Ibiza. The beats are great, the cut up twisted melodies work well and the sharp stop and starts to the beat is something I really like. Definitely one of the best tracks on the album and Kritical Audio is on my watch list for the future.

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I agree with most of Abasios review except the Illuminus track. This is one of the most interesting new chill projects coming from Sweden. This is the most trippy track on this compilation and I don't think it really fits with the other tracks. Not their best track but I enjoy it a lot and I believe any Shpongle fan will find this project very interesting. If this is "Ibiza island chill out feel." please recommend me some compilations because I like it!

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I think most of the tracks are good, but also many of them lacks complexity and you get bored of them quickly. Though i strongly enjoy both I awake and Solar Fields, Solar Fields ofc is the best track on the entire compilation without any real competition. Also the album art makes me want to, do something.....it's just amazing..

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@abasio: thank you for such kind words in your review. i am happy you like my track, and that you were able to appreciate the minimalism (which is always a bit scary to do, and pretty different to what i usually do). i think your experience of it pretty much sums up the feeling i had while making it.

 

 

cheers from norway :)

klaus

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

this is a nice compilation.

from the beginning it gets better and better but suddenly there are few tracks that i don't like at all.

 

to sum it up:

i like: 3, 4+, 5+, 6, 7+, 11+

yeah, i even like the Vibrasphere track. it has just the right amount of cheese for my liking :). the CBL track is awesome but way too short :( wish it was going on forever!!!

i dislike: 2, 8

neutral!: 9, 10 :mellow:

 

lovely cover art BTW :wub:

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"Moaning Women" would be a great subtitle for this compil. :P

Actually it's a very nice collection from great producers. All tracks flow nicely and i can listen to them all day long without being stressed even a bit. So, favourite tracks are:

5. Solar Fields - Feelings

7. Xerxes - Early Morning Crystals

9. Chromosome - Evens Heaven

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