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Ticon - Mirage (Iboga)

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mars    139
Ticon - Mirage (Iboga CD97)

R-9206976-1476648939-8253.jpeg.jpg


 

Tracklist

1 Mirage 7:38

2 Out Foxed 8:18

3 Tripticon 6:24

4 Entropy 8:30

5 Stimulant 8:10

6 Behind The Wall 9:17

7 Violent Serenity 8:27

8 Ether (Album Edit) 8:06

9 Useless Loop 4:51


 

 

 

I was not a super fan of Ticon back in the days; I prefered SonKite, but I have to say this new album really stood out *by far* amongst all the non-goa music I listened to recently.

 

Mirage is a blatantly progressive album. It's not as experimental as other Ticon productions, although it has very well put touches of electronica, and every track sounds like it's crafted with love and is an instant catch.

 

 

The album starts with an eponymous, cinematic track, with pretty intense breaks, almost giving goosebumps. The sound is crispy, alive. Nothing else to say, just enjoying.

 

Out Foxed is more classic, TIcon fans will like it. There's a nice trancy, then acidish break that makes it really enjoyable.

 

Tripticon is a nice progressive track. Honnestly we're not offroad here, but it's well done, balanced, and not monotonous with its nice melodies in the end. Great.

 

Entropy follows up where Mirage left. Cinematic, aerial, catchy, scratchy, with a solid groove and a superb production. It's like a storm over a summer evening. Awesome track. I like how Ticon manage to make such carefully crafted tracks sound simply enjoyable.

 

If you were looking for more experimental tracks, Stimulant is for you. It makes me think of Star Sounds Orchestra for instance. A rock solid kick/bass couple, ethnic influences, original instruments. Wow.

 

You felt it coming since the beginning, Mirage also has an electro layer. Behind The Wall at last unveils it completely. Just sharp and great!

 

Violent Serenity is more classical. It's not something you've never heard but it completely deserves its place in the album.

 

Ether is yet another of these cinematic tracks that Ticon 2016 can make. That's the little sister of Entropy and Mirage that they can blindly play on a morning!

 

Useless Loop is at the crossroads of progressive, electronica and house. A smooth finisher.

 

 

To me, Mirage is the best progressive album I've heard in a long time. Go get it!

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recursion loop    465

Yeah, no surprises here, probably it was all done before, but almost never with such a great attention both to tiny details and to the overall vibe. Somehow the elements which could seem generic or cheesy in someone else's music sound here just right.

 

If Psynews is going to have a "best of 2016" poll, this album will surely be among top positions in my list.

 

Btw., I'm also not a big fan of earlier Ticon stuff with few exceptions.

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antic604    499

Man, I've been listening to this back to back with Tripswitch's "Vagabond" since last Friday and boy - it's night and day difference  :o

 

One is emotional and atmospheric, the other is empty and calculated.

One is nuanced, organic and full of small detail, the other is formulaic and feeds you cliches with a shovel.

One is varied and constantly surprising, the other is predictable and surprisingly invariable.

One stimulates the mind and body, the other is strictly for the latter.

 

One is art, the other is just - good - music.

 

Ticon's "Mirage" is the other in above comparison. It's a good - probably better than average? - progressive trance, but nothing more (IMO).

 

3/5

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recursion loop    465

Man, I've been listening to this back to back with Tripswitch's "Vagabond" since last Friday and boy - it's night and day difference  :o

 

One is emotional and atmospheric, the other is empty and calculated.

One is nuanced, organic and full of small detail, the other is formulaic and feeds you cliches with a shovel.

One is varied and constantly surprising, the other is predictable and surprisingly invariable.

One stimulates the mind and body, the other is strictly for the latter.

 

One is art, the other is just - good - music.

 

Ticon's "Mirage" is the other in above comparison. It's a good - probably better than average? - progressive trance, but nothing more (IMO).

 

3/5

Listened to that Vagabond after this you post but wasn't to excited about it. To me it sounds pretty similar to an average "Ibiza trance", some nice pads, effects and melodies here and there but nothing especally interesting. And I couldn't disagree more when you call Ticon empty and calculated. Maybe they don't break away from typical proggy synth lines and grooves but within these borders they manage to create deep and captivating atmosphere. 

 

The album which pretty much feets yours the other is AV's Paradise Engineering imo.

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Padmapani    379

after giving it some dedicated listening time i can say that mirage is my favourite ticon album by far (which doesn't say too much). it's not groundbreaking and uses many tried and true elements of progressive psy, but does not do so in an obnoxious way at all. it pushes the right buttons at the right time. it's like someone used the progressive psytrance template for this album, but executes it so well that i don't find anything wrong with it.  plus it has some nice melodies and plenty of acidlines ;)

if someone asked me what progressive sounds like these years, i'd show them this album. it has everything they need to hear (even if it's not necessarily my favourite style), without rough edges that need polishing, in a way where everything fits together nicely.

 

that said, i'm not a big fan of stimulant as it sounds too much like minimal/electro/house/whatever to me. behind the wall and violent serenity are also lacking a bit in the atmosphere department and rather average. but mirage, entropy and ether are have everything i expect from progressive and therefore more than compensate for the less-good tracks. out foxed and tripticon are also quite good.

still, for a best progressive release of 2016 this album is up against stiff competition. the contenders so far are robert elster - still breathing, john 00 fleming - alter ego and ticon - mirage.

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IronSun    45

I find myself enjoying this quite a lot. Like a few have said before Ticon might not have managed to create something special as in genre-ascending/breaking borders or being innovative-special.

I would however strongly argue that staying within a genre's borders, & comfortably residing there with a near-to perfect execution of the ruling tropes of said genre is an accomplishment not too many artists can claim to have achieved.

 

 

To me this is the point where progressive really reaches full maturity. Kick-bass combo's are produced very well and the surrounding effects and atmosphere fit in perfectly and are never overdone.

 

Acid lines like in Out Foxed complement everything to form an enticing whole.

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I love this album for it being mostly straightforward.

Their last album was a bit too house for my tastes. The album before was great but was also more electro-house influenced.
I really like that they dialed those traits back and gave us some pure progressive trance with some acid and nice fills.

 

No vocals, no horns, no gimmicks. Just gorgeous psychedelic progressive for a warm sunny summer afternoon... 

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healium    9

Man, I've been listening to this back to back with Tripswitch's "Vagabond" since last Friday and boy - it's night and day difference  :o

 

One is emotional and atmospheric, the other is empty and calculated.

One is nuanced, organic and full of small detail, the other is formulaic and feeds you cliches with a shovel.

One is varied and constantly surprising, the other is predictable and surprisingly invariable.

One stimulates the mind and body, the other is strictly for the latter.

 

One is art, the other is just - good - music.

 

Ticon's "Mirage" is the other in above comparison. It's a good - probably better than average? - progressive trance, but nothing more (IMO).

 

3/5

 

I don't think that is a fair comparison - Ticon is obviously going for a mechanized, cyber sort of sound here.. Personally I'm loving this album, and find it highly artistic, despite that it isn't breaking new ground in terms of the basic format of progressive psy..

 

-

 

 

By the way, please people post more progressive psytrance reviews! This forum is so goa-centric...

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antic604    499

I don't think that is a fair comparison - Ticon is obviously going for a mechanized, cyber sort of sound here.. Personally I'm loving this album, and find it highly artistic, despite that it isn't breaking new ground in terms of the basic format of progressive psy..

 

Let's agree to disagree then. :)

 

It's been a month since I purchased it and I really gave it more than enough of a chance (listening to it daily) but it still sounds like a simplistic, unemotional Protoculture-wannabe. If this is considered among the best progressive trance has to offer, then I'm glad I'm not particularly invested in that sub-genre...

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healium    9

Yes I think we will have to agree to disagree :)

 

For me this album creates massive atmospheres, and the timing with the rhythms and other elements is fantastic (very groovy and danceable) - some tracks are also very catchy, which psytrance often lacks - "Entropy" for instance is a massive track, super catchy melodies, deep dark sound.. "Behind the Wall" is absolutely epic in terms of the dark atmosphere and catchy elements.. Yes it is unemotional but that is intentional, and what you call "simplistic" to me is a good quality that I refer to as "minimal" -in fact, back in the early 2000's, before people even used the term "progressive," we had a genre we called "minimal psytrance." Check out Krumelur - "Minimal Animal" for a great example of this style.. I guess what I'm getting at, is that the un-emotional, minimalistic, dark cyber sound is an intentional style that I find quite beautiful - your review makes it seem like they failed somehow because their album sounds like this, when it is an intentional sound - really, to me it seems like you're more just saying "I don't like the sub-genre" or "I don't like this style of progressive psytrance" rather than rating the album for how well it executes the sub-genre..

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antic604    499

@Healium, I don't mind music sounding dark or cold and definitely like minimal (starting from minimal techno), but usually if the style aims at using fewer sounds and simpler arrangements, it is compensated by those sounds being more elaborate (Sensient, Tetrameth, Beat Bizarre), arranged in an unusual, hypnotic patterns (Spirallianz, MidiMilliz, MOS, etc.) and / or interestingly modulated (Son Kite, Minilogue). There's nothing of it here. Sorry, I just don't like it :)

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Celaripo    149

i like your reviews antic but i dont understand your ratings sometimes

you "dont like it" and yet you rate it 6/10?

 

I also rate it 6/10 by the way because i find it quite enjoyable but certainly not groundbreaking and not too memorable

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antic604    499

i like your reviews antic but i dont understand your ratings sometimes

you "dont like it" and yet you rate it 6/10?

 

I was meaning "I don't like it" in a non-negative way, but I can see how that can be confusing.

 

My rating "system" is something like this (and think of it as stars, e.g. 2 stars out of 5; not as numbers):

1/5 - a release that's really bad, it should never get released, sold and purchased in 1st place

2/5 - a release that I actively don't like, i.e. there are certain annoying aspects - technical, musical, stylistic, etc. - that make me avoid it and cause discomfort while listening

3/5 - a release to which I'm indifferent: it's OK, typical, average, mediocre, inoffensive, etc., I don't look forward to playing it particularly, but at the same time when it's on it doesn't bother me, I can even enjoy it to certain degree

4/5 - a release that I actively like, it's maybe not mindblowingly awesome, but definitely stands on its own, is better than most in given sub-genre or is a good example of how top-of-the-crop for that subgenre sounds like

5/5 - a future classic, a release that pushes its subgenre to the max, redefines it or transcends many subgenres, it doesn't have to be perfect, but is a milestone and benchmark for future releases

 

So, in that sense Ticon is 3/5 (in 10-ratings scale I'd rather see it as 5/10, i.e. a middle grade) because I neither actively like or dislike it: when listening to it I don't throw stuff out of the window because I hate it and I feel I wasted precious time, but neither do I drift away in awe or jump like crazy, because it gives me so much pleasure and energy. It's just there, it's fine, I don't mind it, it's average, it's 3/5 :)

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I've always preferred the simplicity of the Siskel & Ebert thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating system.

Trying to qualify a rating, especially when so much great music is relative to mood and timing of listening, just seems rife with error.

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masen023    37

I'm really looking forward to the retroset at ZNA Festival 2017.... as promised it will be retro

(The Ticon i fell in love in back in the early 00-ies)

 

 

....although would be if they played some tracks from their earlier project called Tripticon :D

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great album indeed! one of the best from this artist for sure. not dull, trippy enough, light and warm.

besides solid snake's release it is the best hypnotice progressive release of the year!

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RTP    35

I find that the album is good, but not a complete highlight. I can not connect to some parts and sometimes entire tracks.

 

"Mirage" opens up well, but after about three minutes it loses the throttle.

Second track is good. I have no clue at all why it reminded me of Rinkadink's Pirate Signal track ... no clue, they sound quite different. Maybe it's just that the vibe is similar. Or maybe the melody's just in the same key? Good, but not groundbreaking.

Third one has two parts that really push it forward and are awesome I'd say, but the track kinda hangs in the air in the middle ... just a trick that they have "something else" to display than the awesome part...? Anyway, good track that I won't skip.

"Etropy" is a "no thanks" track for me. Doesn't catch me. Skip.

"Stimulant" is good for most part, I like the voice and also I forgive that there's a bit of a lack of something because of the awesome kick. But I'm not overflowing with compliments.

And then there comes "Behind The Wall". For me a masterpiece and THE reason, the only one why I would recommend this album to EVERYBODY. This track is a true bomb in my opinion, just perfect. Growling bassline like old-style progressive ... a looming dark synth over it all ... and this really well executed melody ... this track produces images, tells a story ... the bright melody as an "uprising force against the looming dark forces of government, society" (or something else if you wish) ... man, this is really great. When I run to this through the park at night, images pop out everywhere. The factories in the distance become guard towers, the looming synth becomes the pressure that society and our lives are exposed and exploited by government, police, cyber-espionage and whatnot ... spies everywhere ... and the melody becomes the light in the darkness, attempting to fight back, rise up, enlight your spirit, make you a member of "the resistance" ... and after a really interesting break that symbols something (what? think for yourself) it gets more furious, more insisting, I run faster, it gets more ferocious, more dirty, more biting, more pushing ... like a rally driver that has previously set up his car right and is now going for the special stage -- or to stay in our scenario, make it the chase that the resistance has to master to evade the bad forces ... until finally at the end it feels like "Evil" was overcome, but alack, listen close, it seems the upriser has become evil itself and the circle starts slowly to repeat - like defeating Diablo and then ramming the soul stone into your own skull - only for you to play the game again ... and to listen again to the whole amazing track.
Yes, that's how you do it! Goosebumps! Plain awesome.
But ... but ... why can the rest of the tracks not be like this?

And here's the problem. Next track "Violent Serenity"? Yeah good, but heck ... where's the story? It's all nice and stuff ... but nothing groundbreaking. I don't have real motivation to listen through it after such a fest of awesomeness.

"Ether" is, however, a nice closing. I am at peace with this one.

The "Useless Loop" is ... ok ... but I kinda see it as an addition to chill down. Nothing major. Also not from the music. No goosebumps.

 

And from that text you see the "thing" I have with it. It's a good album - with one PERFECT track (for me). Yeah. But instead of saying "it's worth the asking price" blah blah, I say: go get the track on beatport, listen to the album at a friend - job done. You don't miss out on anything major this way, at least in my opinion :)

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recursion loop    465

There are many albums which make me think "wow, great" at the first listen and then I forget that they exist. This is not one of them. I think this is a perfect progressive album becuase the tracks do the most improtant thing progressive is supposed to do - they, well ... progress. I mean what we have here is not just a bunch of unrelated melodies, sounds and samples randomly thrown over the beat (like it often happens with "progressive") but carefully executed musical progressions which start subtly and then completely suck you in. Basically every track has something to offer, either a deep, warm melody or a detailed sonic landscape, or both. Only the second track doesn't sit well with me for some reason, but that's not because it is worse than the others.

 

For what I know the Ticon guys are oldschool hardware synth users and this manifests itself, all the synth sounds here are very warm, deep and detailed. 

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