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Talpa- When the somberness becomes a game


TheJoker
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I've been a fan of Talpa ever since I heard his debut album. And finally his second album is here, and here is a track by track review by me.

 

Artist: Talpa

Album: When Somberness Becomes A Game

Label: Sundance Records

Catalog: SUNDCD037

Release date: 31.10.2008

Format: CD

 

Tracklist:

 

1. Moronic evil rmx

2. When the somberness becomes a game

3. Awakening

4. I feel nothing

5. The world without me

6. No choice

7. Little pink elephants

8. Good city

9. Still dreaming

10. Lullaby for ms ivon

11. Frock

 

 

 

 

1.Moronic evil remix- Starts out with alot of creepy and dreamy sound FX. Almost like being in a nightmare. This track is outstanding, the title describes the track pretty good. It's a evil feeling, but evil in the vein of halloween, bats, skelletons, zombies, vampires etc. Pretty childish, funky and fun. Awesome track. 5/5

 

2.When the somberness becomes a game- Wow! This track left me speechless. From the amazing intro to the jazzy piano driven madness that is this track! This track is so special, the one word that comes to mind is: innovation. It's original and unlike anything that I've ever heard. This is psytrance mixxed with funk, jazz and classical music. Absolutely stunning. 5/5

 

3. Awakening- Talpa really has some intriguing intro's. Like the previous tracks we get a fair share of weird vocal samples and details. Again, tell me any artist that sounds like this? Talpa really has created a new sound for himself. This track has alot of psychedelia, and it kinda reminds me of the feeling you get from old IM. But you can't compare Talpa to IM anymore, because they are in to different genres (Talpa= psytrance, Infected= trance rock). IM could never, and I mean never make a track like this anymore. This track should be in every lover of real psytrance top 10 of the year. 4.5/5

 

4. I feel nothing- Not my favourite on the album, but you got to give credits just to the sheer production talent thig guy has. It's not a song I would recomend if you go on a acid trip or mushroom trip, because it's downright scary! It's not like darkpsy (which I can't stand), but more like a horror movie. The bassline here is super phat, and the feeling is verry psychedelic. 4/ 5

 

5. The world without me- This track is so filled with emotion, and after I heard it I was stunned. To describe this track with words is really hard, you almost have to hear this for yourself. The melodies, programming, samples. I got shivers all over my body when I heard it. It's imaginative and downright beautifull. The production is handeled with great care. Lovely piano samples and bleeps swing through the track. Also here we get a great string segment and tight percussions. Fantastic! 5/5

 

6. No choice- Haha, what a lovely intro! Maybe the best intro on the album, even though it's short. Here we get to dance around with the devil. A funky, childish, and phat track. It's super kick ass song with alot of attitude. Also the synth work here is oustanding. 4.5/5

 

7. Little pink elephants- There are parts here I really like, and parts that I don't like as much. The funky parts here is really good, but IMO this is the weakest track on the album. Still good though. 3/ 5

 

8. Good city- This song is sheer fun. It's like being in a carnival or something. A nice break from the more uptempo songs. Verry unexpecting and refreshing track. Like the rest of the album this is funky stuff, with a kinky sort of vibe. Lovely strings at the end on this one. 4/5

 

9. Still dreaming- This track is a pure masterpiece. A slow tempo dreamy jewel, that has some influences of Simon Posford. Talpa, if you're reading this: YOU HAVE TO DO A DOWNTEMPO PROJECT! It's a guitar driven track, with a super carefull produced beat, great sound FX and dynamics. This is pure emotion and one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. It's melancholic, epic, detailed and polished. This is my second favourite on the album. Just close your eyes and let your imagination run wild with this one. 5/5

 

10. Lullaby for Ms. Ivon- Another dreamy slow tempo track. Talpa proves with this one and the previous song that he masters chillout tracks aswell as psytrance with a high BPM. This is fairytale music. There are no drums in the track, but that is not needed either. It's a lovely lullaby that should warm everyone. 5/5

 

11. Frock- Another jazzy, in your face song that closes the album in a great way. It's a summary of all the things we have heard in the album: jazz, funk, psytrance and classical. The piano work here reminds me of a old western saloon, swingy and super fun! I really like the reversed orchestra work in this track. As always the production skills is extraordinary. 4.5/5

 

Summary: This is one of the best albums I've hard in recent years. With music it's not often you witness true innovation. The last time I witnessed it was two years ago when Trentemøller released his debut. But this album is really something else.

It's animatic, scarry, funky, funny, emotional and EXTREMELY well produced. Talpa must have used a shitload of time on each track, as you will hear for yourself. The album grabs you by the neck and takes you on a rollercoster music ride. In his first album (the art of being non) Talpa was critized of sounding like Infected Mushroom... Nobody can say that anymore. This album sounds totally unique, refreshing and is the best album of 2008 IMO!

 

Verdict: 4.5/ 5

 

:drama:

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It is funky and seems to still have a little bit of that gothic style he is known for, which is cool. I wasn't overly impressed with this however. It's not full of power and to my ears comes off as "light sounding". The sounds give the tracks this weird quality that I cannot get into, almost like if you were listening to an opera in space.

 

Meh, that's why tastes differ I suppose.

 

Mdk

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It is funky and seems to still have a little bit of that gothic style he is known for, which is cool. I wasn't overly impressed with this however. It's not full of power and to my ears comes off as "light sounding". The sounds give the tracks this weird quality that I cannot get into, almost like if you were listening to an opera in space.

 

Meh, that's why tastes differ I suppose.

 

Mdk

Ya know, that was my first impression also. Maybe this album takes a few listens before it catches on.

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So much time and effort must have gone into this album. I've listened to it alot since I got it and I think it's just amazing. I don't know how to describe it but it has some kind of "make every sound count"-sound to it :)

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Well, if you don't apriciate innovation and something that's different, then this album is probably not for you. This is not 100% psytrance. It's a mix of many different genres. To me this album is a super fresh entry to the psytrance scene :posford:

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Talpa - When Somberness Becomes A Game

Sundance Records

2008

 

 

Tracklist:

 

1. Moronic Evil (Rmx)

2. When the Somberness Becomes A Game

3. Awakening

4. I Feel Nothing

5. The World Without Me

6. No Choice

7. Little Pink Elephants

8. Good City

9. Still Dreaming

10. Lullaby for Ms Ivon

11. Frock

 

 

When the Somberness Becomes A Game is the official long awaited follow up to 2004's The Art of Being Non. For me "The Art of Being Non" was one of the best, most dynamic and catchy Psytrance albums to come along in the 21st Century. Talpa was introduced to the world, though the artist had been producing for years before that. I heard his songs at Psytrance nights at clubs and the floor went nuts. I anxiously awaited for a follow up. But in 2006, nothing. At some time either in 2006 or 2007 I heard of a new album titled Cinderella. But again, nothing. Finally October 31st it arrived in a completely different sound and style than that of the devilish angry and chaotic melodic original monster debut. Here Talpa plays around with his dynamic Classical Psytrance style I'll call it, last heard by me at least to some degree on Suntrip's V/A - Twist Dreams compilation, a song I found great, though I hoped Talpa didn't completely abandon his more powerful, moody, danceable nighttime numbers like The Moon for instance. Well he did. Talpa diverted, and the result is refreshing, different and..

 

 

1. Moronic Evil (Rmx) is an okay start up track. The music sounds like a crazy circus act, moving through few areas that hook my senses; I don't care for the general clown/party sound. But it's defintely stand out being goofy, playful, and unique/fun in a sense. It doesn't take itself seriously but it doesn't seem to go anywhere great so why should I care? The production value is high but that's expected. Creative wise, it's got a handful of cool little effects and tweeks going on. I don't like this track very much. But it's crazy/playful. I'm sure some people will like it. Thinking positive, let's see where the next one goes. C

 

2. When the Somberness Becomes A Game begins with a thought provoking sample regarding time before we die. Gradually building with a continuous layer of expanding/contracting atmosphere. The first minute is interesting, my favorite part of the album so far. Soon kicks in more playful melody/piano work. The sample carries over from out of the atmosphere and into this more upbeat world. The number's definitely more catchy and dynamic than the opening. The mixing is great, one of the artist's strengths who appears to be taking advantage of that here. The melody/sound work however, though care free and entertaining, captures my ADD senses via the mixing of these melodies more than my mood or connection. I'm not infected and the song all but loses me in the middle third each time I listen to this. It isn't until around 5:22 and again at 5:33 (though something catchier began to build around 5:05), that the song begins to finally, really capture my attention. The music becomes more gripping, though I'm getting a little tired of the circus sound (most stand out from around 6:24 to close and more or less throughout) within this otherwise fun style. Nonetheless, this is a decent to pretty good track. B-

 

3. Awakening starts out with a catchy, repeating "There's no place like home" sample. The melody/sound leads appear less goof focused than the previous two tracks. I liked the dark edgy sound during the beginning of the previous number and this is very consistent not to lose that edge but sharpen its blade in various ways as the song progresses. The song is also very psychedelic and I like the change up from previous "more dynamic circus" (I describe it as) sounding Psytrance in Talpa's playful style. Coupled with horns, voice bits, and about two dozen more sound effects and melodies combined, the atmosphere is both haunting and surreal. The high pitched, moving tune like a ghost flying past the ears is good. Entertaining segments of melody/sound short stories come into view for a certain amount of fun/time before moving for the next act. The crazy melody lead thta solidifies its sentence around 5:15 is great. I really like this part of the sound forward. It's definitely one of the most unique, developing, eerie, artistic, and creative Psytrance songs I've heard all year. The melody and rhythm work stands out and improves as the song progresses, especially past the 4:50 mark. Good track! B

 

4. I Feel Nothing is another quick, fast edited, stylish change up number. It appears to be more of a follow up to the second juggler rather than the previous "darker" coaster that I prefer in this style. The drums and hi hats quickly bop and tiss to the continuous parade of sound effects like marching animals, melody moments, and numerous other sounds. The song appears to be less developed in ideas than it is comprised of them, though the song develops as it progresses of course. Around 4:12 is a catchy melody. At 4:39 takes place the Psytrance circus sound that I don't really care for on this album. The song's entertaining, nothing spectacular. C+

 

5. The World Without Me is the first super, uptempo song in this style. I don't care for the first minute. The first really stand out and gripping part (for me at least) takes place beginning at 1:35, followed by some of the most intricate, infectious, and intermediate melody/sound work and mixing I have heard all year. And that says a lot from someone who has 5-10 years of sound engineering behind him. Beautiful layers upon layers of piano work play in accordance to a driving, psychedelic orchestra. The combination effect is excellent. There's not a minute nor a second where I feel unsure where it's going in a negative way, as every moment of every minute seems to develop with style, hook, and substance. I'm completely hooked in this more provocative/stylish version of a previosly goofy version of this classical style. I prefer the more mature tracks with the hint of danger, as this one here. Excellent number! A-

 

6. No Choice is fairly relative to his older style; it's just not as good. A fast piano over a shrieking female voice, repeating time and again, over and over. I don't like it. Several nice elements take place: ambient notes, drums, speed, drive. But the various voice bits in combination with the high pitched female opera shriek, well, you either like it or not. Nonetheless, the mixing is good. The drum work from around 1:40 to 2:04 is catchy. Same with 3:13 to 3:39. But these are moments in a bigger picture. After reading the opening review, I suppose it's possible that some people actually like this sound or are unaffected by it in a negative way. Personally I find this the weakest track since track 1 and 4. You decide. C

 

7. Little Pink Elephants is the 5th song in this stylish and musical circus/Wonderland style and I like it, probably because of the strong melody lead around 2:00 that evokes certain moods and scores my interest. The number begins with a tauntingly humorous sample. Quick ambient notes move with a playful (that taunting) Talpa character/sound, though any form of dialogue is incoherent. The guitar work is good, sounds organic. The track picks up to an upbeat rhythm and drive, emphasized around 4:15. I like it. The guitar is good, not over used. The ambient notes compliment it and the funny creature sound/character gives a little attitude without overstaying its welcome. The song sounds simple in structure, ideas and execution to me. But its various "feel good" melody work and guitars develop the anti-intense style in a positive way. It's a decent/pretty good track. B-

 

8. Good City is a relatively medium-in-uptempo paced and goofy sounding number. What stands out is the up and down melody in Talpa's stylish, circus sound/style. But I find this one of the least interesting and arresting songs on the album since No Choices. It seems to stay in the same general repetitive act for far too long before finding grace in its final moments. But by then it's all but too late. There are some good elements, the part where the song begins to evolve around the 4-5 minute mark is decent and the song improves after that. But where is the dynamic Talpa I'm used to? The one who's style I find irresistibly infectious, dynamic, and fun? I don't know, I just expect so much more from this wonderful artist. This is a decent track in a city that may be alright, but it's no Vegas. C+

 

9. Still Dreaming is a huge change around from the previous, Texan, riding through the dessert number. This is THE track on the album for me. It's in this new Classical style but gone is the playful circus/clown sub-style that I'm not in love with. This song is an evolution in a sense of Talpa's new, classical style. The song is beautiful; it's provocative, moody, driving, and euphoric. I could have mistaken this for a super song by OTT. Read that again. This song is superb. It would be amazing if this artist made more tracks like these. His abilities transcend virtually everything I have heard so far on this followup. The downtempo genre could be reinvented with an album comprised of songs as wonderful as this one. I'm impressed. Finally, one of the best songs I have heard all year. Wonderful work! A

 

10. Lullaby For Ms Ivon is a strong and romantic Chill (Ambient) follow up to what I consider the best downtempo song of the year along with one or two tracks from Ott - Skylon, the final track (Light Receiver) on RA - 9th, and few more. But this follows up that song before it. Far as this goes, a floating through the heavens, sad and contemplative piece. It's very emotive, sad, and thoughtful. I imagine saying good bye to someone I love before I dying or vice versa upon hearing this. "Lullaby.." deserves to be in a film. This is a beautiful track. A-

 

11. Frock is bounces the listener back up after the previous, meloncholy good bye. It's as if the label didn't want to end the album on a sad note and decided to say "Just one more." The interlude around 3:35 and the section forward until around 5:00 is catchy, gripping. The style here proves again that this artist has so many ideas. Each song has sounded so different from those around it so far. The song here ends chillingly, both relaxing and haunting. The song goes through two attitudes that generally reflect the mood of the album, from playful/goody to provocative/darker and back and forth. I like when both light and dark combine, such as the part from 6:00 to end. But the goofy part from 0.00 (opening) to 2:24 is just not that good. Overall this is a pretty good closing track with some strong moments. The song is nothing spectacular. B-

 

 

In conclusion, Talpa's new sound/style takes place in mixing at what feels like 200 mph at times. Creative, strange, fun, playful, dark, light, silly, spontaneous, campy, crazy, happy, sad, cheerful, and at times emotional. What the album lacks however, aspects that made the Art of Being Non so memorable was testosterone and/or power, drive, aggression, super Psytrance/dance numbers, and a devil-at-play attitude. These are only some words to describe the mood shifting music on this ambitious, Psy/Classical/Trance/Pop-Art follow up. What the album lacks however, aspects that made the Art of Being Non so memorable was testosterone and/or power, drive, aggression, super Psytrance/dance numbers, and a devil-at-play attitude. Here's my gripe with the album. The new style (or styles) is interesting, original, and more or less imaginative depending on the track. Yes. But does that mean it's good? By creating a new style different from everything else, the artist has produced something innovative, interesting. You can get lost in this Wonderland at times. But at the same time, the artist has created some tracks that sound different; I admire them because of their mixing more than I enjoy the actual songs. While certain songs are wonderfully developed and complete, others feel like a world full of ideas that never form into a congruent whole. Naturally, the less inviting tracks have their more or less fun and/or attractive elements. Unfortunately, few songs I find super or really infectious in character and melody/sound work. Yet replay value appears to be healthy because the general song is entertaining. The style stands out like crazy. I just wish that the artist spent more time producing super songs in this style and/or improving a couple of them here because its been four years. Tracks like The World Without Me, especially past the first 1:34 showcases excellent, new uptempo, dance friendly work while Still Dreaming is an outstanding, feel good, downtempo number that stays with the listener long after its ended. Same with Lullaby for Ms Ivon; this is the most emotional Chill song I have heard all year. It's very heartfelt. I'd love to hear more wonderful work in this more mature style. The more playful/goofy tracks here are hit-and-miss in my opinion. Fortunately, in taking risks Talpa has produced some very interesting tracks that are good, great. The follow up is unlike anything I've ever heard. I'd go as far as to say that it's one of the most if not more entertaining and artistic, creative Psytrance albums of the year, though I liked The Art of Being Non more without question. Some of the work here surpasses some of the debut for sure. When the Somberness Becomes A Game includes some of Talpa's best as well as his least best work released to date. Not every song is a gem or what I consider great or even good. The album is probably worth getting, at least worth hearing based on tracks 5, 9, and 10 alone. Just don't expect The Art of Being Non 2 of you'll be disappointed.

 

 

Favorite tracks: 3, 5, 7, 9, 10.

 

 

B

 

 

 

Samples

 

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display...ase.asp?id=7562

 

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/sud/sud1cd037.html

 

 

 

For my full review/scores of Talpa - The Art of Being Non see below, 4th review down.

http://www.psynews.org/forums/index.php?sh...20&start=20

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I´m dissapointed.

 

I have waited and hoped for this album for four years, and what do I get?.. Circus is a good word.

Where´s that dark and mysterious sound that I loved so much on "The art of being non?.."

This album is kind of dashing, which isn´t exactly the kind of attribute I look for in psytrance..

 

Still dreaming and Lullaby for ms Ivon are fantastic though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still Dreaming... :wub:

 

This album is simply different to everything in the psy scene today and I can't understand all the bashing. Original, melodic, light, bright, positive and very musical. I'm sure Goran achieved his aim, thanks for that. If you remember, the album had to be released a year ago (if not two) - it would probably make more effect then. On the other hand, there may have been more people disappointed by this not being the second chapter to the first album. Early to say, but it looks like to be one of those albums that I'll always have a pleasure of listening to with a smile on my face.

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Although I found this album pretty excellent the first week of listening, it quickly got boring. This is the trademark of cheese, it does not take further investigation to establish that this album is full of said substance. All to my sadness.

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Cheese? I can agree that it's goofy, funny, silly sometimes, but I don't think you understand what cheesy is if you label the album in this category.

 

Cheese in psytrance= Infected, Phonokol records, Skazi++.

 

I can understand that if you listen to alot of dark psy, standard psy you will be dissapointed with this album because it has almost zero resemblence to what you can call "regular" psytrance. But that's what it makes it so great IMO. Ooooopeeen yoour minds :lol:

 

Along with the new album from Electrypnose and the zap! this album is one of my favourites of the year.

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Defining cheese would be hard, because such definition would have to consider musical complexity (or at the very least, whatever happens in milk) or some other very abstract concept. Nevertheless, I find this album similar to those mentioned because its appeal lies in (clearly emotional?) melodies, rather than more profound musical stimulation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't like the sound of this at all when I first heard the samples. But now I've heard the album a few times I'm really starting to like it. Talpa deserves a lot of credit for being brave enough to try something new, and he deserves even more for having actually pulled it off.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I'd bump this thread just because I think this album shows an incredible amount of originality, and is just plain fun to listen to. Even though the songs are supposedly about 'dark' things it still has almost a comic book feel to it, but also makes me want to dance... really interesting stuff, and well worth the time spent listening. I'll be getting Talpa's first album based on the strength this one, most definitely.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Talpa delivers again. His first album gave me the best hours of listening music in the last 6 months so i expected something similar from a new album. Well i got something but not similar. It is great in its own right and it just pulls different triggers in me than "art of being non" did.

I am glad Talpa stands firm on his psy-feet and i wish him the best.

 

9/10

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This release has had a very short half-life for me, while I still enjoy The Art Of Being Non, I find myself annoyed whenever a song from When the Somberness... pops up during random raids of the playlist. Probably because of the cheese.

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