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V/A - Water


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V/A - Water
Altar Records
2009



water2.jpg


1. Asura - Marianna Falls
2. Androcell - Seahorse Dreams
3. Chronos - Planetarium [Aquarius Edit]
4. Astropilot - Voda
5. Aes Dana - Cyan
6. Kanc Cover - Sugar Rush [Co-produced by Martin Freeland] - Kanc Cover rework]
7. Shakri - Lysergic Atmosphere
8. Zymosis - God Is Mine [DJ Zen extended remix]
9. RA - Creation Of Tefnet


Water is the second compilation by Altar Records in the "Element Series" which will be released throughout 2009, 2010. Such compilations include Air (released), Water, Fire, Earth, and Either. The compilation begins with an ambient influenced trance number by Asura and ends with RA. Song's throughout the middle consist of mainly down and mid-tempo numbers in the Psy/Chill genre. A full review ensures.


1. Asura - Marianna Falls starts off the compilation with an atmospheric, dreamy opening. The beat takes a backseat to the transparent harmonies, soundscapes, and ambient backdrops. The song begins with an arresting ambient score and builds to a chilling shift at 2:36. Sounds as if hundreds of little insects are in motion sprinkle across the atmosphere. A fusion feeling emerges throughout the growing layers, accompanied beat, though softer than Asura's previous tracks in general. The slow kicks escapes around 4:20 for an emotive interlude. The beat picks up in the final act along with numerous placed elements; a euphoric buildup and release takes place which enhances the track. This is an elegant, romantic number, though not as ambitious as numerous songs by Asura I've heard. B+

2. Androcell - Seahorse Dreams starts interesting, with psychedelic alterations; sounds as if winding up various toys in an oriental toy store. The lush backdrop is meditative, ambient, sounds of ocean waves, wind, and air. gentle female voice sets a meditative mood before exiting softly close to the beginning. The oriental melody work is catchy; a tasty skipping sound a la Shpongle and earlier Aes Dana compliments it. The melody/sound work, a violin and/or guitar is effective too, giving the track an organic feel to the various, worldly ingredients integrated. The real star is the oriental melodies along with the flowing atmosphere. Strong track. B+

3. Chronos - Planetarium [Aquarius Edit]'s first 2-3 minutes develop a healthy introduction, a thick ambient stream before the first drum arrives before the third minute. A little chiming melody teases as the beat pics up; sounds as if a door is opening take place around 3:30. It's interesting. The first melody plays more as chiming notes around 3:56, like a slow ride on a golden pony across the deserts of Egypt before a brief moment of contemplation, interlude arrives. Sounds of what seems to be deep drops or bubbles of water occur as the thick atmospheric, enhancing the returning rhythm at 3:37. This is one of my favorite parts on the album; the music movies rhythmically like liquid, or a flowing stream, painlessly, perfectly. Around 5:25 a key flows into the fusion; a strong, albient slow, orieiental lead arrives at 5:52. The sound shifts higher, though this moment lasts 1-2 minutes, it's effective. Great track. A-

4. Astropilot - Voda begins ambient/atmospheric with a floating introduction. What sounds like a rattle snake slithers across the beat-free textures. Soon an aggressing beat emerges, lifting to the senses. It is around this beat that an infectious, little clicking and echoed sound appears. The sound works extremely well, a little infection similar to small, highly enhancing bits mixed in from old school Space Cat, Toi Doi, and more recently, Merrow. It's gripping. The overall song is more progressive than previous numbers however. The second half lets go of the clever sound for a ethereal, driving fusion albeit mid-tempo, signed with flutes and a breezy, romantic atmosphere. Key changes are seldom used, though in a good way. I love how the song picks up, its distinguishing parts, and the incorporation of the echoed effect early on. Another strong number! A-

5. Aes Dana - Cyan begins relaxing, with various sounds being curiously added before a strong, mid-tempo beat kicks in. A driving melody arrives at at 3:12, giving direction and grip. Echoed male sounds, like an Indian chanting (think Aes Dana's manipulating voice work) are played with, though I prefer the spliced up female voice work on the artist's Lysistrata track. It works fine here for me. My gripe is the main, driving synth that began at 3:12; it loops like the beat, though appears almost halfway through. More work could have developed this number into something more creative and varied sounding. The song is pretty good, better than the artists track on the previous compilation IMO, just not what I consider great. B-

6. Kanc Cover - Sugar Rush [Co-produced by Martin Freeland] - Kanc Cover rework] was the one track I was most unsure about initially, primarily because I miss and love Man With No Name's earlier work (first two albums and various singles). I love Martin's Goa/Psy and ambient work. I can still hum them via memory, tracks like Azymuth, Vavoom, and numerous others. Furthermore, I really like his the old school Sugar Rush track which many consider a gem/classic in Goa/Psy-Trance. So that may explain the reason why I felt uncertain when I saw an artist whom I've never heard of before doing a chill rework to one of the best Goa tracks. I suppose I should reiterate not to judge a book by its cover. To my surprise, the rework version here (it's not a cover) appears to have been done by someone with a tremendous appreciation and passion for the original that inspired it. Kanc's track captures the essence of the classic, never striping it of its beauty, but highlighting its strengths. The song is beautiful, sad, provocative, arresting, and passionately produced. It is a respectful approach to a wonderful original from my favorite genre; Goa/Psy-Trance will always have a place in my heart. To the contrary, full on versions of old school gems over the years (Transwave, 2009 anyone?) have tarnished numerous tracks for me. However, this reminds me why the original was so well done. The artist let's the magical melody breath with high production values today and acknowledges Sugar Rush's roots with more than a nod. I'm really curious to hear what other people and fans think of this one. A-

7. Shakri - Lysergic Atmosphere is a strong and delicious, higher energy return after the previous more relaxing number. Coupled with L.S.D. samples we rarely seem to hear anymore; the song is like a strong Goa/Psy dance track set to mid-tempo. Cool atmosphere arrives in various waves, flowing across the synth and sound/melodies to the aggressive, higher octane energy and beat. I don't mind the samples too much, though I'm glad that the compilation stayed away from them for the most part. After the previous, slower track, this one offers a desired dose of adrenaline. Great track. B

8. Zymosis - God Is Mine [DJ Zen extended remix] is a huge song, at 13:36, they really took a chance here. Fortunately it's well done, an epic story with enough variety and movement to keep it solid. I give credit to any artist or great who can keep me interested for ten minutes, let alone closer to fifteen. I could write a longer paragraph how the song has an interlude that lasts for 3:50, though I don't care for the transisional grown around 3:45 which branches one section to the next; the effect sounds dark, a bit awkward for the gentle when compared to surrounding work. The song itself branches into various downtempo styles, from experimental, instrumental, trance, ambient, tribal, Psy what appears to be electronic orchestra. One of my favorite parts is from 8:00 to 8:18; this part could open for a new track by Solar Field's - Movements style and I'd never know it. Suddenly tribal drums and a building beat arrive, complimenting a piano, various melodies, harmonies, and a subtle atmospheric backdrop. The drums are my favorite part. Around 8:55 with distorted strings stand out too; they're catchy, and return in the eleventh minute. My complaint is that the first third to half of the song felt less arresting than the ambient, tribal, strings, and danceable/chilled trance fusion developed later on. Overall, this is a good track with some great elements. B

9. RA - Creation Of Tefnet follows up their moving, chilled style with a strong refreshment. The ancient influenced piece reminds me of a more colorful cross between their cool Egypt-esque track on the Twist Dreams compilation, along with their wonderful down/mid-tempo work on 2008's album of the year according to Psynews.org, 9th. The song is filled with life; numerous attractive layers build around a delectable lead, and arrive at a crossroads with additional strength. I like their song here more than their number V/A - Air, primarily because it doesn't sound as similar at times (to me) to the song I heard by them on 2008's Sundrops compilation. Yet the track here is strong and elegant, utilizing pitches, quick turn ups in melodic sound. The song has a positive sound while never getting cheesy. It flows smoothly throughout, and leaves a solid lasting impression to what is currently Altar Record's best album release yet. B+


In conclusion, Water is much better than Air. It's nearly consistent with solid, mature numbers. Offered is a healthy combination of down and mid-tempo Psychedelic Ambient and Chill/Down and Mid-Tempo tracks. No song is average or below. Each provides something interesting and distinct with few exceptions. Asura's track for instance is a beautiful space opera number. The middle third of the album is excellent, and the re-work of Sugar Rush never sounded so good since, well, the original. Overall V/A - Water is one of the best compilations of 2009, especially for the Psy/Chill (down/mid-tempo) genre.


Favorite tracks - 2, 3, 4, 6, 8


B+


Samples / Order

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/alr/alr1cd002.html

http://altar.fonderieart.com/water.html

http://altar.fonderieart.com/preorders.html


.

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Look at that smirk on your face, quite the ladie's man aren't you Jon?

 

That RA track is almost so good, you want to not lie about how you're into the early psychedelic days of Beatles and stuff like the Grateful Dead to a broad (when you tell her you like psychedelic music and she looks at you like a questionmark) just so that you can bag her to some decent fucking music for once. Speaking of ladies. Anyway that was a long and unnecessary sentence, I'll just say good compilation, to be concise and relevant.

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Androcell's new track "Seahorse Dreams" makes me ecstatic... "My Head Feels Like A Frisbee... Horny and Holy at the same time"... So good I can taste it. The rest of the album is good, if not great, as well. But Androcell, seriously, is off the hook right now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Androcell's new track "Seahorse Dreams" makes me ecstatic...

Hey thanx Jon for this complete review, also the sample quote the girl is saying is this:

"Just imagine you're weightless... in the middle of the ocean... surrounded by tiny little seahorses."

 

;)

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  • 1 month later...

I like this a lot more than the first compilation air. Whereas Air just kind of ambled about with some nice tracks, this one hits home with some great tracks. Chronos' contribution is amazing, The remix of Sugar rush is very nice too and Ra finishes in some fine style. Although not very watery it is more watery than air was airy, if you know what I mean.

 

Look at that smirk on your face, quite the ladie's man aren't you Jon?

 

 

This wont make any sense once his avatar changes :P
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I like this a lot more than the first compilation air. Whereas Air just kind of ambled about with some nice tracks, this one hits home with some great tracks. Chronos' contribution is amazing, The remix of Sugar rush is very nice too and Ra finishes in some fine style. Although not very watery it is more watery than air was airy, if you know what I mean.

 

 

This wont make any sense once his avatar changes :P

 

:lol: exactly my thoughts!

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This album rocks too, liked air also bt u can say this is better, fav. tracks wuld be asura's track,Ra's and androcell all simply ausum bt every track is butiful bt was expecting better from mr aes dana 3.8/5.

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  • 4 months later...

Great compilation. V/A's Water and Fire are included in my top 5 Chill compilations of 2009. Hopefully the last two will be as good. These two are a big step up over V/A - AIR in my opinion, though Air had some good work too.

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