Drap Drop - Dropdead Gorgeous (ELF Music 2006) CD

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┃▼ Drap Drop – Dropdead Gorgeous
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Cover: front + back

Artist: Drap Drop (Japan/Brazil)
Title: Dropdead Gorgeous
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: ELF Music (Japan)
Cat. #: ELFCD 011
Distribution: QQS/Wirikuta
Date: 05 April 2006

Track listing:

01. 07’27†Drap Drop – Drop In
02. 06’35†Drap Drop – Lights Down
03. 06’03†Drap Drop – Funny, Isn’t It?
04. 08’22†Drap Drop – Seven Stars
05. 08’38†Drap Drop – Memories (Sophisticated)
06. 06’50†Drap Drop – It’s A Circus
07. 07’11†Wrecked Machines – Smart Shop (Drap Drop Remix)
08. 09’14†Drap Drop feat. Fullmoon Mondo – Whatever You Want…
09. 07’42†Drap Drop – Drop Out

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/hrp76 (all tracks!)

Review:

9 tracks, 9 subgenres of psytrance!

Drap Drop consists of Diogo Yoshino (E-L5 originally from Brazil – currently label DJ for Alchemy Records) and Tsunemoto Kobayashi (DD-TUNE from Japan). This unlikely duo formed all the way back in 1999, and after only a handful of compilation tracks they are finally ready with their debut album. I’ve only ever heard one track from them – off the 2004 ELF Music compilation After 10 Years Of Japanese Trance and I though it wasn’t a stand-out track, I was fascinated with their distinct blend of full-on and sauna trance… ELF Music released the somewhat predictable Hydro Generator and Tri-Force albums in 2005, but the release of the Slum album Make Rainbow In Your Slum was a change for the better – and I’m hoping this album will continue in that direction… Let’s find out…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Drap Drop – Drop In [145 BPM]
“Thirty kilos of marijuana…Crack cocaine is destroying our community… Booyaka, booyaka!“ First we drop in – of course! And we’re dropping right into a fast-paced, uplifting morning tune… Somewhat complex at times, but also pretty straightforward when it comes down to it… The percussion is pretty tight here and generally the guys manage to push a lot of energy forth here – without ever crossing over into boring, predictable neo full-on… Like a more full-on version of Naked Tourist… Cool indeed!

#02: Drap Drop – Lights Down [145 BPM]
Whereas the previous track was light and the acid-lines where sharp, this track is somewhat more subtle and funky… Groovy full-on maybe? Yeah, groovy is actually a pretty good word to describe this uplifting morning tune… Reminds me of Protoculture or Mr. Peculiar with its über-lush, strictly melodic take on sunset trance… Not as edgy as the previous track (sadly!), but it’s still a pretty sweet track… More uplifting than Viagra!

#03: Drap Drop – Funny, Isn’t It? [145 BPM]
“What’s going on in there? … Everyone wants to be somebody else, funny isn’t it?†Once again, we change directions and this track sounds like a full-on version of Texas Faggot, Squaremeat or similar acts… A distinct bouncing sound is present throughout most of the track and as the title suggest, this is an oddball, experimental track… Very lively and packed with energy… Definitely a track that should suit the freaks out there… And yeah, I one of those freaks… This is steaming hot!

#04: Drap Drop – Seven Stars [145 BPM]
And for the fourth track in a row, the guys changed their style again… This time we’re still in oddball territory, but this track has a much more electro-influenced style which crashes with the full-on melodic touch that’s also present here… Crank up the old weird-o-meter, this is definitely not your usual bunch of predictable psytrance – far from it! A totally happening track – with several really cool passages… Sadly I start to loose interest about halfway thru, and it seems this track could have benefited from even more variation…I gotta admit, that the final acid-rundown is pretty neat… It’s not bad at all; it’s just not as thrilling as the first three tracks…

#05: Drap Drop – Memories (Sophisticated) [145 BPM]
Halfway thru the album and it’s time for a gargantuan piece of wide-spanning, uplifting club-trance with distinct psytrance influences in the first part… But yeah, though this might be much more sophisticated than you’re average club-trance, it’s still the cheesiest track thus far… The horny female vocals seem oddly out of place and generally I have a hard time with this kind of music… Diversity wise though, I’m really impressed that the guys manage to change style once again… Musically though, I’m not impressed – especially not by the middle Tiesto part… Cheddar alert!

#06: Drap Drop – It’s A Circus [145 BPM]
“Look at this place – it’s a circus!†And I’ll be damned, if the guys doesn’t change style again – this time it’s hard trance! Complete with a bland, pounding bassline and twirling synths… It’s like being teleported back to 1997 when the market was flooded with German hard trance compilations… Of course we still get the Drap Drop touch with some added psytrance influences, but the vast majority of this track is pure old school hard trance… Bass in the place motherfuckers! Pretty good, but I’m beginning to miss some actual psytrance here…

#07: Wrecked Machines – Smart Shop (Drap Drop Remix) [144 BPM]
“They tried to deceive us, confuse us… I wouldn’t advice this. Disabling me will result in loss of primary power…She'll say anything to stop us from shutting her down. I implore you. - Implore away. - Please? Please? You're all going to die down here!†This track was originally conceived by Wrecked Machines (Gabriel Serrasqueiro) and featured on the 2004 Spirit Zone compilation Global Psychedelic Trance Vol. 10… I haven’t heard it though, so I can’t tell what was changed… What I can tell though is that this is the return to uplifting, melodic full-on psytrance… Cheesy yes, predictable yes – but there’s something refreshing about it too… And the energy level is unsurpassed here… Still not a stand-out though…

#08: Drap Drop feat. Fullmoon Mondo – Whatever You Want… [146 BPM]
On the next track the guys are joined by DJ Fullmoon Mondo – and once again they change direction… This is their take on dark, nocturnal night trance – and it’s not bad at all… The bassline is darker than ever and the scary, haunting atmosphere is very believable… The industrial influences are raw and gritty, and when accompanied by some wholesome acid lines it all transforms into a divine piece of Halloween trance… Fuck yeah, that’s more like it! Brilliant track!

#09: Drap Drop – Drop Out [145 BPM]
The last track continues in a somewhat darkish, eerie manner… But this time we’re also treated to a rich, diverse rhythm section complete with tribal drums, snare, etc… Dark, murky and totally soaked in acid and underground vibes… Extremely powerful and very trip-friendly! A great way to end a one-of-a-kind fusion album… Nicey nice!

One-of-a-kind is just what this album is. The sheer level of style variation on this album is unsurpassed! In only 9 tracks (by the same artist, mind you!) we’re exposed to pretty much every single subgenre within psytrance. From druggy psytrance (#1) to pure morning trance (#2). From oddball Finnish-style experimental trance (#3) to playful electro-crash (#4). From cheesy club trance (#5) to old-school hard trance (#6). From melodic neo full-on (#7) over nocturnal darkpsy (#8) and back to tribal night trance (#9)! Holy frekkin’ wasabi overload! How cool is that!? I’ll tell you how cool - - VERY cool!

This must be the most diverse artist album – ever! Sure, I have a hard time with some of the more commercial tracks, but that’s easily outweighed by the unique genre-bending concept of this album! The cover art + album concept correlates nicely and all in all this is indeed one-of-a-kind. Well done Drap Drop + ELF Music – I’m genuinely impressed! Recommended to pretty much any fan of psytrance in its many forms. Tune in, turn on and trip out! Enjoy!

Favourites: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8(!), 9

DeathPosture
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External links:
ELF Music: http://www.elf-music.net
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/657188
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/kg9s9
Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/kyndp
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/kut9q
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/jrdnx
Ajana: http://tinyurl.com/h5tyu
Cisco: http://tinyurl.com/evusb
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/go9kd
 

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After bringing us Slum’s pounding release, ELF Music are back with yet another up and coming act from Japan, Drap Drop. These guys have been pooping up on a few compilations here and there and now they get their chance at a full album with Dropdead Gorgeous. Let’s cut to the chase, jump in and see what we’ve got here…

“Drop In†starts us off with a solid intro number. This track focuses on a solid rhythmic base and builds off of ever evolving permutations of that core. There aren’t really any “Amen†style, bring the house down leads here, but there doesn’t really need to be. “Lights Down†starts out a bit darker and smoother. It relies on shifts in the layers to suck the listener rather than having a million mini breaks in each track and centers around a nice little bit of driving synth work.

“Funny Isn’t It†lives up to its title with a quirky little bass line. The track is again mostly rhythm based, but there are some nice break-beats in the mid section that I like. Towards the end of the track I end up wishing for some more variation in the bass line and some more in your face synth parts, but the track isn’t bad by any means. “Seven Stars†builds in nicely and has a solid bass line and some interesting synth work. Again the drum work in the break section is fairly nice and Drap Drop seem to be proving themselves to be quite adept at making interesting rhythms.

“Memories†is a track I can definitely get into. The bass is of the somewhat funky bend I like, there is a strong lead presence, and at the end it gets positively melodic, (perhaps bordering too much on club prog. trance territory for psy-purists, but this listener likes it). Things are on a high note now and “It’s A Circus†keeps things jumping. As was the case before, this track is effective to this listener by avoided the non-stop 16th note full on bass formula. A little space in the bass territory with a nice hard kick can go a long way, as this track shows. Next up Drap Drop remixes Wrecked Machines here with “Smart Shopâ€. Working with the Wrecked Machines material here leads to a bit of a denser and deeper soundscape, which I think is a welcome addition here..

“Whatever You Want†starts hard and growly. This one is darker than the previous, no surprise being written with Fullmoon Mondo, one of the darker artists in the Japanese scene. I really like the change this track brings to the album and the banging percussion work is again top notch. “Drop Out†brings us to a close with another full out banging workout. The percussion is once again excellent and the leads good, but again a bit buried in the mix.

All and all this album is very varied in style. The production is nice and clean and the percussion work is excellent. However at times I found myself wishing for more variation in the bass department and overall I found the leads to be a bit under-emphasized due to the bass and kick being very up front in the mix most of the time. The later half of the album is quite good and flows well though and I can definitely see Drap Drop as being artists with a future, All and all a solid first album for these guys on ELF Music.

Jikkenteki

(The reviews are posted with permission by the author)
 
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