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12 Moons - Solid State

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DeathPosture    16

12 Moons - Solid State

 

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Format: CD (digipack)

Artist: 12 Moons

Title: Solid State

Label: Candyflip Records, Greece

Distribution: Arabesque

Cat. #: CFCD12

Year: 2004

 

Track listing:

 

01. 09’49” Analog Haste

02. 07’51” Ovation

03. 08’41” Pilot

04. 08’26” The Collective

05. 08’39” Without Within

06. 08’17” Anonakki

07. 07’46” Small Adventures

08. 07’12” Halo

09. 02’50” Interlude

10. 10’12” Flair

 

Review:

 

The melodic trance-side of Mr. Andresen…

 

Most trance-artists also produce ambient… And often artist albums are equipped with one or two downbeat/ambient tracks at the end of the album… But seldom do trance-artists release both a trance album AND an ambient album simultaneously… But that’s just what Gothenburg-based Swedish producer Michael Andresen has done… Healer is his ambient moniker, and 12 Moons is his trance moniker…

 

Under the 12 Moons alias, Mr. Andresen has released an impressive 9 EPs and no less than 19 tracks on compilations on such respected labels as Dragonfly, Transient, Spiral Trax, Hadshot and Flying Rhino to name but a few… Now he’s out with his debut-album on Greek label Candyflip…

 

Let me take you thru the tracks…

 

#01: Aaah... Just listen to that smooth intro - Fluffy, light-as-a-feather, floating, twirling synth melodies… Whistles, bells… Prepare to enter the harmonic, melodic trance universe of 12 Moons… After the initial dream-like atmosphere, the track slowly starts to build and after a couple of minutes, a nice crisp proggy bassline is released…But proggy in the cleanest, most well-polished manner and with the floating melodies still playing along… Decent track…

 

#02: As the tracks on the CD are nicely mixed into each other, we seamlessly float straight into ‘Ovation’… This is as close to Balearic-euphoric-Ibiza trance as it gets… to be honest, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m listening to 12 Moons or ATB here… It’s fluffy, it’s melodic – and I’m afraid that parts of it are a little too boring for my taste…

 

#03: Alright, we’re starting to shake that clubby feeling now… First it continues in the same path as the predecessors, but soon a deeper, proggier sound is introduced… Nice… Very nice percussion work here and I especially like the overall fast-paced-tribal touch this track has – while still maintaining the album-theme: Uplifting, euphoric, melodic morning trance… Tasty!

 

#04: Very simple, but very atmospheric intro… The basis is just two synth cords… The pace has quickened now, and the groovy bassline is accompanied by some distant human choir… Again, the Ibiza-touch is very much present, but as long as it’s accompanied by some deep, progressive beats and a touch of psy I’m happy… And that extra touch comes through clever use of hi-hats and nifty little acid-twirls… Sweet track!

 

#05: And we go even deeper now… More talented use of percussion, reverbs and cut beats in this slooooowly building tune… I like the “underplayed” FX (sorry, not a sound-technician, so I can’t explain it better)… A progressive stomper, with just enough simple, old-school melodies to make it retro-cool…

 

#06: Electro-melody intro… Floating, organic soundscapes in the background… And a funky-ass bassline… I’m not sure I like the electro-bit, but I definitely dig the overall groove of this track… Reminds me of Saiko-Pod at certain places… However, it goes too much in circles and ends up too repetitive for my taste… Decent track…

 

#07: “Where are we? I’m not sure…” Percussion-based track here – snares, congas, claves… Kinda tribal progressive trance, spiced up by melodic synths and a tad lower b.p.m…. Very groovy, very laid-back… Delicious!

 

#08: Woow – holy smokes, what a cool intro… A very cool synth effect creates a wicked melody… Nice… Later we get a kinda “distorted” bassline and some basic grooves alongside it… This is the darkest track on the album for sure – but it still has melodic bits… Quite a few of them actually… Such a cool combo… I dig!

 

#09: A taste of Mr. Andresen’s skills as a chill-out producer… Way too short though for a review – good thing that we get a full album of ambient on the Healer-album (released simultaneously with this album – also on Candyflip… ~Review coming soon~)…

 

#10: The journey track… It’s time for some serious experimentation… Cicadas, roars from a lion… Oh, we’re definitely in the jungle now baby… Repetitive tribal congas – slowly becoming faster, and suddenly turning into a drum-machine… Straight from nature into the studio – clever! The beats are much faster now and somewhat colder – metallic even… More percussion and subtle acid lines are added to create a very energetic, techo’ish feel… Halfway through, the beats are going in a more tribal, yet still progressive direction and some of the well-known floating melodies are introduced again… And finally the track fades out to the sound of the jungle again… Wow, what a journey… Sweet, sweet track!

 

Phew, what a ride... A journey even… This is best enjoyed as a whole… What we get here are a bunch of diverse tracks – yet they are all bound together by a common denominator: the unique sound of 12 Moons… At times it’s super-light, melodic and fluffy – and later on it’s deep, darkish, progressive trance… This album was mastered by the talented Son Kite guys, and their progressive fingerprints are all over this baby… A sign of quality in my book… The cover-art by Micky Noise (Wizzy Noise) is also sweet, and appropriate for the music…

 

Also, it’s nice to listen to an album that isn’t riddled with voice-samples… The music speaks for itself here… There are a couple of tracks that are just too boring for my taste, but they are more than counter-balanced by the many wonderful tracks on this album… Recommended to anyone who likes uplifting, melodic trance – with a distinctive progressive edge!

 

8/10

 

Favourites: 3, 4 (!), 7, 8 (!), 10 (!)

 

DeathPosture

 

External links:

12 Moons: www.12moons.net

Candyflip Records: www.candyflip-records.com

Psyshop: www.psyshop.com (Audio samples available!)

Saiko Sounds: www.saikosounds.com

Chaos Unlimited: www.chaosunlimited.co.uk

Trance-shop: www.trance-shop.com

Wirikuta: www.wirikuta.at

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Manuser    286

Mellow music here.

 

As you said DP this album will delight melodic trance lovers! First of all I am an uplifitng and melodic trance lover, but if you are "allergic" to this kind of music, I doubt this album will satisfy you.

There is nothing twisted in this album, it's pure morning trance, a lot of melodic layers, a melodic atmosphere from the start till the end. Most of the tracks are progressive, repetitive, I'd say entrancing and hypnotic for some, for example track 1 Analog Haste which might be my favourite here (with the last one); it's a trance journey, which sounds a bit old, but i love it. I also liked that they put a interlude, track 9, it makes a break before the last track. This last track "Flair" is awesome, simply amazing, I can"t believe I can hear such melodic prog trance like this today :) There is a huge melodic atmosphere, with cool basslines in it, it really reminds me old trance music.

 

I will not give a review of each track, but on the whole if anyone here knows Planisphere's trance, it 's quite similar, and you will enjoy this album for its relaxing morning atmosphere, but don't look for twisted sounds here, not strong basslines either.

You have to be in the mood for this album, to listen to on a great sunny day. It deserves a solid 8.5/10, not more not less.

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Quazzi    11

About time somebody reviewed this. Beautifull, beautifull melodies!

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Basilisk    44

My choice for album of the year, but you certainly require a particular taste in trance to find this as good as I do. It feels like the most polished gem to have emerged from the world in 2004. Purity embodied. Simply amazing.

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Redeemer    0

If there's "just" trance music these days without any sub-genre, I'd say this is it. One of the best albums of 2004. :)

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ukiro    2

Disclaimer: I'm super-biased since Michael is a friend of mine, and I've even helped him with his live sets on occasion.

 

But yeah, this is one of the best trance records of all time, in my opinion. It just grows and grows! This is sheer class.

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Usually I find that the connotations of songs; the places they take you, the feelings they imbue you with, depend on your actual experiences and emotions at the time when you first began to understand the music at hand. Only rarely, I feel, does music have the power to, by itself, create these settings within you; to in some strange way permit the percieving of sound, to transcend both senses and words, to create a deeply satisfying sensation of escapism. To me, Solid State doubtlessly has this ability. This is advanced, mature and intelligent crafting of sound waves.

 

5/5

 

 

EDIT: Just saw a picture of 12 Moons, which has made me appreciate this album even more, since he has the nice hardy face of a man who doesn't get everything for free in life.

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abasio    228

A wonderful, smooth melodic ride through trance.

12 Moons - Solid State I thought was a wonderful album because a. this guy is a quality musician and that always releases quality material and b. I hadn't heard many of these before on the E.P.s or compilations he'd been on.

So rare. Why this hasn't had more love is beyond me but then again I never took the time to review it either...

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Trance2MoveU    395

There's smooth...

 

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and then there's smooth.

 

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This is definitely the latter. Death Posture already gave you such an in depth review that I you don't need me to rehash this. I'll just say that I was a cheap bastard and downloaded my copy from Ektoplazm for free. I guess when you make both ambient and trance music you album can showcase your talent in both areas. The sounds are soft and gentle creating a dreamy atmosphere. Melodic trance that has a bare bones approach. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece as I feel a lot of the tracks build up to something and then just hover, not really changing that much. Still, good album and I'm glad I have it.

 

Free at Ektoplazm

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Cynos    20

Definitely, Solid State is such a masterpiece: full of oneiric atmospheres and smooth melodies, and it's trance in its purest form.

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