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Virtuart- Virtuart & Friends

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Trance2MoveU    375

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Artist: Virtuart (and Friends.  He had a lot of help)

Title: Virtuart & Friends (see, right there in the title)

Label: DAT Motherf*ckin' Records

Date: December, 2016

 


CD1

1 Virtuart & Chronomyst - Vashisht

2 Virtuart & Franky - Wakatoom On The Road

3 Virtuart & Kshoo - Esprit Libre

4 Virtuart & Chronomyst - Sacred Drop

5 Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - 2068

6 Virtuart & Kshoo - N2 O

7 Virtuart & Maël - Neverending Party

8 Virtuart & Manitù - Red Spirit

 


CD2

1 Virtuart & Chronomyst - Prospector M

2 Virtuart - Light Lifter

3 Virtuart & Chronomyst - L'Karnaj

4 Virtuart & Manitù - Indian Summer

5 Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - Svadeshi

6 Underhead - Orejuna

7 Virtuart - La Sorcière Des Sables & L'Homme Libre (Sandoz Mix)

8 Virtuart - L'Annee Des 13 Lunes (Galactic Time Mix)

 

 

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Can we get a DAT Records appreciation festival?  F*ck a thread, a festival.  Just take all the artists who have released on Draeke's label and put them in front of a mountain or sea backdrop for a three day weekend.

 

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This is the view from my backyard.  I have 2 acres and would volunteer the space.  Waitaminute...I've seen what you guys do to a patch of land when the festival is over.  Also I'm the youngest in my hood by a generation so you'd probably give them a heart attack.  Besides thanks to our Cheetoh in chief (he's such a disgusting douche bag) you probably couldn't get into the states depending on which country you're in. Offer rescinded.

 

But seriously, DAT just keeps on going with quality release after quality release.  While I wasn't super impressed with Analog Dreams the rest of them have been home runs.  This is an interesting release.  Virtuart is Oliver Abitbol and like the title says he enlisted a lot of his friends to make this happen.  Originally on the first disc was properly released back in the 90's and only 100 copies were made.  The second disc was apparently out there also, but homie just gave it away.  So this is nice to have a 2 CD set of music that was super hard to find.  But that's what Feds does doesn't he?

 

Oliver made several mixes of these tracks so for this release he compiled the best of those remixes and voila you have disc one.  It is old school that churns and evolves with awesome melodies.  The layers are thick with atmosphere and thanks to the mastering you can really hear them.  I find the whole thing delightfully dark and mysterious and not too polished as to sound artificial.  Sacred Drop is the only one I've heard and it reminded me a lot of Colorbox.

 

Disc two has the hard to find tracks and Draeke said he tried to stay true to the tracklist that disc 2 was comprised of when he gave it away to his friends.  Oliver's friends.  Not Draeke.  Draeke doesn't have friends he just bangs supermodels.  This music is deep.  Full of nice, long tracks replete with twists and turns to keep you interested.  Driving rhythms.

 

Let's see...a Pleiadians 3-disc set, a two-disc Etnica set, a Doof 2-disc album and now a 2-disc Virtuart Opus.  

 

Can you be my president? 

 

Bring your supermodels with you. 

 

DAT Records

 

Psyshop

 

Beatspace

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antic604    499

@T2MU - thanks for making the review! I was planning to write one myself, but somehow couldn't find the time...

 

Anyway, this was a great surprise for me because 1) I didn't really liked the EP, and 2) I'm usually cautious of double CDs, because lot of them end up filled with ...filler material. Not so in this case, though! This is from start to finish a very deep, psychedelic and twisted material! It definitely sounds "old", but in a good way - you can literally feel the smell of the plastic and metal those analog & digital hardware was made of. One can tell that the sound wasn't sculpted with a mouse and a ruler, but instead it's very primal, raw and unpolished - compared to current standards - but at the same time so alive, beautifully imperfect and natural: some tracks sound like Total Eclipse, others like Planet B.E.N. or Children of Paradise, or Orichalcum & The Deviant. In this aspect it is very reminiscent of Nervasystem's "Timetravel" - has that genuine, primal sound. Also, just like that seminal release, Virtuart (& friends) won't overload you with dozens of layers, but they carefully choose 3-4 of them and propel you in a trance state, be it with their melodies, or acid lines, or strange FXes, or chanting, or drums, etc. Thanks to involving a lot of co-creators it's also very varied, even though there's a clear coherency to the album. It is so good in fact, that when I don't know what to play I just put this on, press "random" and I'm sorted - there's really no bad track here, which in itself for a 2xCD is an incredible achievement! The only thing I didn't liked was the front cover, reminding me of some tacky Tekken or Street Fighter game (you know, the "cool" and weird Japanese characters with fancy hairdos & silky clothes) - I just don't get it.

 

I'm stunned that music like this wasn't released (to the wider public) back in the day, so DAT Records needs to be praised for digging this up <3 Thank you!!!

 

5 / 5

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draeke    299

I am very Very VERY pleased to read your reviews, and it is incredible how well it is being received. I am really smiling and happy about all the passionate words used!

I do hope everyone will enjoy this release as much as T2MU and Antic are doing, and as a matter of fact I am very satisfied myself, it's the achievement of so many years of work.

I have been speaking with Olivier about his album since well over a decade ago and it is soo good to finally have it out there, please enjoy :)

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antic604    499

I have been speaking with Olivier about his album since well over a decade ago and it is soo good to finally have it out there, please enjoy :)

Now that your work here is done, convince him to write & release NEW music :)

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MrAnarchy    221

I've never heard of Virtuart, but this is AMAZING. DAT records does it again! This takes the 2nd place in my top 10 releases of 2016 right after ChiAD - Earth Crossing. FUCKING A

Im buying the shit out of this release as soon as I have the opportunity. 

 

Also, here is the bandcamp link: https://datrecords.bandcamp.com/album/virtuart-friends

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Ormion    417

That awesome french, aggressive old school sound. I miss that sound.

Fantastic release, instant classic.

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MrAnarchy    221

Neverending party is one of my favorite tracks of all time!

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Jon Cocco    90

Virtuart and Friends

DAT Records

2016


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1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Vashisht
2. Virtuart & Franky - Wakatoom On The Road
3. Virtuart & Kshoo - Esprit Libre
4. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Sacred Drop
5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - 2068
6. Virtuart & Kshoo - N2 O
7. Virtuart & Maël - Neverending Party
8. Virtuart & Manitù - Red Spirit

1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Prospector M
2. Virtuart - Light Lifter
3. Virtuart & Chronomyst - L'Karnaj
4. Virtuart & Manitù - Indian Summer
5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - Svadeshi
6. Underhead - Orejuna
7. Virtuart - La Sorcière Des Sables & L'Homme Libre (Sandoz Mix)
8. Virtuart - L'Annee Des 13 Lunes (Galactic Time Mix)
 
DAT Records released one of the best compilations of 2016, e.g., Mind Rewind 3, yet Virtuart and Friends was undoubtedly IMHO their best album of the year. For starters, it received #4 in the Psynews "Best of 2016" Results. I think it had a good chance making #3 if more people heard it. Update: After posting my review, I saw that these songs were made in the 90's! So I reviewed it like they just finished production. I suppose that's a good thing. Anyway, we occasionally talk about a certain sound we miss from the golden years (1996-1998) of Goa-Trnace. Fortunately, we get to experience that with this fresh double album that would have been a classic then, had it released then.

 

CD 1
 
1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Vashisht incorporates some very nice drum work before the arrival of a catchy, low grinding synth to drive the vehicle at 1:46. More world building ignites after a brief transition, and we climb again. Detailed textures emerge in the second act, creating an infectious rhythm. A soft spot approaches, fronting a second lead. The last act incorporates some nice sounds and arrangement, though it sounds a bit similar (safe?), possibly due to the music rebuilding on its general 0:16 sound. But that's the worst I can say. This is a solid track, and this is just the beginning.  

B

 
2. Virtuart & Franky - Wakatoom On The Road is more complex, melodic, and ambitious. Early effects, like nuts and bolts add to the mix before a lively sound via 3:00. The first act is good, showcases a mechanical passage. There's a gripping lead at 4:20 that is soon complimented with a more aggressive, stacotto synth. Brief transitions front new ideas that keep this path unpredictable and interesting. The song climaxes with a beautiful lead at 7:16. This part reveals heart, the one ingredient I felt was missing. This is a strong, creative, and energetic track filled with variety! I find it more fulfilling than the previous one. Nice work! 

A-

 

3. Virtuart & Kshoo - Esprit Libre accents early on with a brief voice sample. It's not bad, though tastier accents exist in the track and overall album. The zippy synths add intricacy, engaging us early within the effect-ladden structure. There's a sweet, echoed sound at 2:12. The ear candy backdrop takes the forefront around this exciting fusion of energy. The sound selection, arrangement, and mixing in the second act is juicy, dynamic, and tastefully rhythmic. A little synth suddenly appears, enjoying the spotlight before the artists press the ignition at 5:38, a terrific sequence! The third act maintains the high energy. I love the skipping (hypnotic) sound towards the end, and the return of the music after the song seems to peter out. This track is so dynamic, pumping, and psychedelic. And this never-released-thing is from the 90..?! So cool! Kudos to the sound/melody work, mixing, and direction. Super track! 

A

 

4. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Sacred Drop is more raw, driving, and acidy. We get a neat, little synth melody in the first act. But what really stood out to me, besides the vibrating atmosphere is the energy emphasis that occurs when new synths arrive, e.g., 3:34 and 4:01. That aspect is fun! I'm not a fan of the Indian chanting. I'm just a huge cosmic nut. What can I say :D. Also, the middle Eastern melody at 4:16 sounds a bit childish to me. The song grows ridiculously trippy from 5:10 forward, as if we OD'd on psychedelics! The last act is strong with exception to the returning melody from 4:16. It takes away from the otherwise sleek, edgy feel. Otherwise, great song!

B+ / A-

 

5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - 2068 has a dong-esque accent early on that develops into a melody. The accents on this album are so catchy and this is no exception. Another plus is the synth at 1:10. Here the song has a sort-of skipping, hypnotic feel that Espirit Libre first introduced, conceptually anyway. The first act's arrangement could have used more variety, but that's a nitpick. Also, the music gets a little repetitive by 5:30. Fortunately, the interlude at 5:50 changes things up, restoring intrigue and appeal. Things grow catchier from there thanks to a gripping final act. An emotive wave hits at 7:26, adding harmony and improving the whole with beautiful sound formation. Despite a few nitpicks, this is a very good track.  

B+

 

6. Virtuart & Kshoo - N2 O is another psychedelic albeit darker vehicle. There's a drumroll at 1:37 and the plot starts to thicken. A little more could have been added (for me anyway) by 2:30. Not to worry. A synth arrives in the third minute, though it isn't the fire. It lights the wick. A stronger lead suddanly enters at 3:41, and everything lights up! The forth and fifth-- basically the rest of the track is exciting, full of energy. It's excellent. While the song's first half took a while to get going, the second half turned this number into a psychedelic cocktail. Enjoy!

A-

 

7. Virtuart & Maël - Neverending Party has a curious, arguably mischievous opening. Remember a while back, I praised the usage of "accents" on this album? Well this thing accents very well, multiple times, e.g., the beeping at 0:26. The song showcases more energy too. The synths are fast and involving. The character's personality has attitude. The song's more dynamic and magnetic than the previous tracks. And that spinning, spiralizing accent effect from early on is sweet! There are transitions that front new accents, killer synths, and some crazy voice FX that add to the unstoppable carnage of this Joker-esque ride! Not only does the song excel on the mixing front (like many of the songs on the album), it's daring, determined, and intense. Never mind that this never-ending party starts strong and keeps getting stronger. Even the last minute is FANTASTIC. Can we order more of this please? :) Neverending Story is one of the jewels of the year, and in years. The unhinged nature of it coupled with an experienced set of mixing skills, solid direction,and risk-taking are just a few things that make this song top notch and so much fun! 

A

 

8. Virtuart & Manitù - Red Spirit opens with cloud walking atmosphere. After the inclusion of a fairly harmonious and catchy albeit incoherent vocal-esque accent, the song begins to develop. I wasn't as engaged as I wanted to be in the first act. There's a strong buildup in energy across the 4th minute, peeking our curiosity. This follows the energetic release, a attractive braid of melodies. The second act is elegant. The music crosses a second mystical barrier (transition) which takes this dragon to new heights, encompassing improved sound/melody work coupled in warm atmosphere, and the song's signature, harmonious accent to boot. My favorite part is the re-collection of energy around the 8th minute, resulting in a beautiful, infectious climax. This is another highlight on the album. 

A-

 
CD 2
 
1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Prospector M combines layers of euphoria with bouncy, infectious tunes, immersed in warm and euphoric atmosphere. Sounds good? I hope so because this song's excellent. The first act incorporates a very catchy, be it gentler melodic approach before the relaxing interlude. The music returns refreshed, with a very catchy tune, arrangement at 3:45, and is complimented with stronger synths and energy at 4:52, the latter is superb. The beat soon disappears to introduce something new (and very nice) in the 8th minute. The final act evolves into an arresting, exciting, and captivating rhythm, ending the chapter on a refreshing high. The sound/melody work, development, and direction throughout this song was wonderful. The first track on CD 2 is already one of my favorites tracks. If you like catchy "tunes" in your Goa, you're going to love this. Superb track!
A
 

2. Virtuart - Light Lifter has a mystical opening thanks to lush female hymns and atmosphere. I wish the overall song built on this sound (earlier on). The promising introduction fades at 1:20. Here the song basically starts anew. The first act is decent buildup. From around 3:50 forward, the song grows increasingly catchy. Things really jelled for me at 5:09. The sound/melody work really stands out in the second act; it's great! The last third sees the change up of music. I liked the progression initially, but felt that the music could have developed more, encompassing more variety, as it's not eventful. I feel like the artists could have developed the fantasy (more infectious, detailed) aspect towards the end, in that sense. This is a solid track with a really good second act!

B / B+

 

3. Virtuart & Chronomyst - L'Karnaj begins darker, more atmospheric. The first act engaged me more than the previous numbers first few minutes. After an ominous (beat-free) interlude, the music breaks out at 2:47. The rhythm here is less predictable and quite catchy. The next clearing is brief. It fronts a homogenous continuation. More development would have been more refreshing I feel. After the drumroll at 4:30, an elegant lead enhances the vehicle. The atmosphere grows increasingly thick with soundscapes and dripping, psychedelic ooze and treats. The transformative final act of the song is sneaky relative to how trippy it becomes. The sound/melody work keep us hooked, thanks to the creative direction. By the time we reach our destination, the vehicle is drenched in psychedelia.  

B+ / A-

 

4. Virtuart & Manitù - Indian Summer begins with a danceable, stomping sound. It's a little atypical, but let's see where it goes. A flying saucer effect cuts through the air, across the third minute (very cool). The lead at 3:54 is strong too, elevating the vehicle through an intriguing transition. This song improves considerably since the stomping opening. Another area worth nothing is at 4:50. From the midway mark forward, the creature grows like a tornado, gaining strength and delectable details as it moves forward. From the halfway moment (roughly) we're flying through in an exciting wave of immersive wonder, color, complexity, and imaginative psychedelia. The sound work in the last act is fantastic! Infectious soundscapes nearly jump out of the speakers, infecting our senses like bursts of cosmic delights. The first act seemed like a very different song from how this evolved. I suppose it could have been more homogenous, but what a wonderful ride this turned into. Great track!  

A-

 

5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - Svadeshi teases us early, keeping us at bay around friendly voices, atmosphere. The song takes off at at 1:55 and doesn't look back. The music is rich and engaging! This is just the beginning and it's about to get so much better! 2:52 sees the involvement of a gripping lead before becoming increasingly catchy across the third minute. The brief interlude leads to juicer, more infectious synths and soundscapes, gorgeous ear candy! The sound work in the second and third act are delightful, ultra melodic, so good you can nearly taste! To top if off. the artists incorporate a stellar lead in the last act. It's awesome. This is one of the catchiest Goa tracks I've ever heard! Another super song!

A

 

6. Underhead - Orejuna​ has an interesting opening coupled with ambient/atmosphere. An intense burst of energy electrifies the atmosphere at 1:23, kicking this thing into high gear. The music does remind me of Pleiadians' side project, Crop Circles 3:43. The second act is harder edged, more acidy and complimented with a softer (less aggressive) tune. The last act continues the high octane and cosmic approach. This was one of my favorite tracks for a while, but the adrenaline has since worn off. As a whole, it seems like the artists were going for a super/killer (and danceable I presume) Goa song. Either way, it has the energy, the leads, climaxes, etc. That said, the direction and the overall sound/melody design never quite reaches the heights of I.F.O.'s finest songs, Elektra, Alcyone, Asterope, etc. Nonetheless, it's high energy approach is bound to appeal to many Goa listeners and dancers alike.

A-

 

7. Virtuart - La Sorcière Des Sables & L'Homme Libre (Sandoz Mix) begins hard, acidy, and stomping. The darker tone adds variety to the previous track. The second act introduces hard synths to punctuate the aggressiveness. What's missing to me is more variety within the song's structure, sounds, and overall direction. This concept happens to some degree when a new lead is introduced at 5:56, restoring interest. Crunchy psy butterflies pass by, and I can imagine the psychedelic nature of the song will please psy/goa listeners alike. The overall song to me, while being effectively hard, acidy, and rough, also feels uninteresting, fairly repetitive, and lackluster. Conceptually, the dark heavy nature of it will appeal to some for the same reasons I don't care for it. But it's not bad!

B

 

8. Virtuart - L'Annee Des 13 Lunes (Galactic Time Mix) is a distinct closing. The driving feel has an atmosphere nearly unseeable from the amount of thick psy pollution via textures and soundscapes. I imagine the artists wanted to end the album with a very psychedelic track, and I give him (them) credit for sticking to their vision. This chapter adds to the imaginatively exciting and more often than not elaborate chapters played beforehand. The song reminds me of a group of malevolent, extra-terrestial saucers, scouting neighborhoods for potential subjects. The song is moody and dark, and the ambient adds to the haunting vibe. This is a solid closing to an excellent double album.

A-

 

CONCLUSION

 

Virtuart and Friends is a surprisingly strong Goa album that would have been in the red section for Classics here on Psynews (for those who remember back then) had it been given an official release in the 90's. The old-school style is style. It's getting better as the album progresses. A few things to boot include the sound/melody work, mixing, creativity, and complexity. We get a handful of terrific numbers on CD 1. The album climaxes with Neverending Story (energy wise IMO) and then follows that up with the traveling, elegant, and mystical journey of Red Spirit.

 

CD 2 continues the healthy trend of super songs, starting with the infectiously harmonious, Prospector M. This is DAT's best release IMO of 2016, followed by V/A - Mind Rewind 3. The double album is a newly re-mastered, previously unreleased (for sure, destined to become a) classic from the golden era. Only for our time now. It's one of the best Goa albums of 2016 and one in... well I'll let you decide after its grown on you. Highly recommended!

 

Favourite tracks

 

CD 1:  2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

 

CD 2:  1, 3, 4, 5, 6

 

A-

 

 

 

Sample / Order

https://datrecords.bandcamp.com/album/virtuart-friends

http://classic.beatport.com/release/virtuart-and-friends/1959583

https://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/dat/dat2cd009.html

 

Stream a full track off the full album!

 

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