Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
yerg

Spatialize - Beyond the Radar

Recommended Posts

yerg    12

a1523538079_16.jpg

 

Released:11 Jan 2019

Style: Ambient, Downtempo

Bandcamp

 

Tracklist:

1. Cat and Mouse 04:57

2. Beyond the Radar 06:03

3. Hobo Sapien 06:21

4. Colour of the Sky 06:06

5. Dance of Light 05:58

6. The Great Super Mango 06:26

7. Tolticken 03:58

8. Out of Body 05:54

9. Tree Frogs 07:51

 

Spatialize is Neil Butler, an ambient producer from UK, who is also known as Dreaming Tree. This is his fifth outing as Spatialize, an ambient project that has been alive and kicking since 2005. Neil's music appeared on a fair number of compilations for labels such as SAS Records, Disco Gecko, Mystic Sound Records, and others.

If you like rhythmical ambient that can at times delve into the 4/4 territory, then you will appreciate this effort. As usual, I will give a short description of each track with individual rating, and then summarize my thoughts at the end of the review. I also need to add that I like to evaluate each track separately and don't see much point of talking about the album as a whole.

 

REVIEW

 

1. Cat and Mouse 04:57

The first track is rather upbeat and goes into proper breakbeat territory from the very beginning. It's not too fast or anything, but it isn't much of a chill out track either. The harmonica sounds evoke memories of OTT's Halucinogen remixes, and those are clear influences here.

It has a really nice production and some live saxophone comes in the second half of the track. The sax doesn't sound cheesy or anything, and it actually fits the jazzy vibe of the track pretty well. Overall, a nice little intro track that sets the mood for the whole album.

3/5

 

2. Beyond the Radar 06:03

Now this is where the album really starts. Psychill vibes are all over this track that runs on a slower BPM than the previous one. Then, the soothing vocal enters the scene and makes everything roll. Swirling melodies caress the ears, and the harmonica is back once again, which is not a bad thing at all. Everything in the first half of the track sounds very, very nice.

After a moderate breakdown in the middle Spatialize adds a bit of intensity with the help of an electric guitar, but its completely subdued and doesn't scream in your face. The "acoustic" guitar takes the lead at the end and nicely rounds things out.

4/5

 

3. Hobo Sapien 06:21

Track #3 has a fantastic intro, very cinematic. The dramatic overtones are supported by a pulse rhythm in the area of 100-110 BPM. It isn't exactly a dance track, but you could easily make it a bit faster and turn into some weird house track. Once again, the guitars and, I think, a violin emerge and play around chopped up male vocals until everything boils down to another dramatic interlude.

In the last third the sax is also back, but this time it's a bit funny and doesn't really know where to go with the mood set in the first part of the track. But maybe that's how Neil wanted it and who am I to judge.

3/5

 

4. Colour of the Sky 06:06

Colour of the Sky truly begins at around 2:30 when a sitar introduces a synth melody and a female vocal. These intertwine and create an incredible effect. I really like this track and would say that this is probably one of the best psychill tracks I've heard lately.

The sounds of various instruments create their own whirlpools or pockets of sounds that make the entire track shimmer. I can't describe this any better, just listen to it.

A fanastic psychedelic track.

5/5

 

5. Dance of Light 05:58

We're back on the 4 on the floor territory with this rather generic track. The rhythm is similar to Hobo Sapien, but the ideas in the track are far less interesting. I can't really say much more about Dance of Light, it's just bland and recycles previous ideas in an uninspiring way.

2/5

 

6. The Great Super Mango 06:26

Here is an example of a track that once again recycles the previous ideas on the album but in an interesting way. It's not the highlight of an album, but it doesn't just run through the speakers in an unnoticable fashion, but actually creates some friction within a listener. I guess it has something to do with the choice of the instruments, which are basically, the same as before: a guitar, a harmonica, and a sax. Probably the way they are processed also has something to do with the intriguing atmosphere of the track.

I am not a producer and can't really judge this too well, but one can clearly hear whether an artist has a certain motivation or one simply goes with the flow and improvize as they go. In any case, it's a solid track, but nothing you haven't heard before.

3/5

 

7. Tolticken 03:58

The shortest track on the album is also the most beautiful one. There is no sonic trickery involved, just lush melodies interrupted by short rhythmic bursts. It finishes before it even begins properly, and it really feels like it should've been much longer. If it had extra 3-4 miniutes in it, then the rating would be higher.

3/5

 

8. Out of Body 05:54

Experience shows that all 4/4 tracks on the album have been underwhelming. The same goes for Out of Body, which is a nice track overall, but with the same recycled patterns as before. Not much is happening here throughout the entire run of the track. But if you enjoy the sound of an acoustic guitar, then you will definitely appreciate it.

3/5

 

9. Tree Frogs 07:51

The final track saves Beyond the Radar and sets the high standard of the first half of the album once again. The flute is the king of this track and it has so much power that the result is nothing short of magnificent. I would say Tree Frogs is in the top 3 tracks of the album, which also includes Beyond the Radar and Colour of the Sky.

Music like this is truly inspiring and I'm glad that Neil decided to close the album with such a strong production. It leaves the best possible impression.

4/5

 

---

 

The first half of the album is much stronger than its second half. I really wanted to put this album in one row with my favorite chill out albums from the past, but I just can't do it. It has a lot of interesting ideas and the production values are strong, but there just seems to be not enough fire or inspiration for it to be truly outstanding.

The highlight of the album is definitely Colour of the Sky. This track is so complex that I would dare any producer to figure out how it's done. But it's not just the complexity that really makes it stand out, but the ideas in it are dare I say innovative. I'm just really happy that  I could find something that is so musically meaningful in this album. And that doesn't happen too often, even when I listen to some of my favorite artists. I'll be returning to this track at moments when I seem to lose any interest in music, just to remind myself that those precious moments of awe can still exist in the current psychill scene.

With all that said, the album is quite good, but not remarkable, so the final rating of mine would be:

3.5 out of 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...