Etnica - Sharp (Solstice)


Pound Shop Alex Petridis
Solstice (Japan / France)

After a fair old while in ibizan hibernation, Max & Maurizio return with a new album and a new (sort of) sound. Essentially what they have is, a nice and deedrah-ish bottom end, and over the top they layer sounds that are, at times, a little too “Ibizaâ€. As a case in point, Automatik opens the album up nice and heftily, and the melodies come in and take you a little by surprise. A wonderful drop at around the four minute mark sends it shooting off, and by the end you’re sat there with a smile on your face. Inner Space is a growlier affair, with a spacious elongated groove that has suggestions of the old Etnica sound creeping in. Eros and Machine both have very little to write home about, not really going anywhere and, in the case of the latter, seemingly having a shortage of ideas. Planet X immediately starts out with more attitude, more character, but it soon descends into a four-chord pattern which is very, very ibizan-anthem stylee. Delightfully, the chords are almost the same as Bloodhound Gang’s Nothing But Mammals (or whatever it’s called), but other than this there’s not much to be happy about. B.A.S. is much more like their older stuff and one of my favourite tracks on here. It’s riff-based, and has a groove that sucks you in. Title track Sharp had me in stitches. It starts brilliantly – you know when a tune kicks off and you just KNOW it’s going to be a good ‘un? So, a great melody and a vacuum-bass get it going nicely, and all looks pleasant. Until… until the chords come in, bringing everything crashing down into a cringeworthy state of pity and vomit, a chord pattern that smacks of jean michelle jarre. How we laughed. Phototonic is simply toss, it’s like Etnica are pretending to be Protoculture but where the latter’s melodies are at once emotive and subtle, these are neither and suggests that the track was the work of a bedroom-producer refractions-wannabe, and not from a duo who allegedly formed some of the greatest pieces of innovation this scene has ever witnessed. The 120bpm cliché that is Fade brings to a close an awkward album, that I really wanted and tried to like. I still maintain that Etnica are capable of so much more, but this is a real disappointment.



Direct DJ
You got this a bit early didn't you, I didn't fink it was out till january,
friends in all the right places hey... :Wink3:
But by the sounds of it I shouldn't be in a rush to find it anyway :!:
oh no...
looks like i'm gonna have to kill myself then

4/10 for etnica but 10 for timecode - the turning and 9 for neural rectifier syndrome :o
etnica must be so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad :huh:


Junior Members
I totaly agree with Damion here :Smile3:

I have to confess I got it off P2P network, but honestly I'm very glad I downloaded it , becasue otherwise I would probably buy it if I only saw it available on psyshop. But now, when I heard it, I deleted the thing from my HDD 2 days later, because it's CRAP!!! They are trying to pull some melodies, but either they're cheasy (or "Ibiza-stylee" like Damion said) or totally out of tune! Some kay changes are so wrong, that it hurts my ears.

Please people, do yourself a favour and DON'T buy it!!!

(OMG, that was the first recomendation like this I ever did!)

And to Etnica guys - hold on to un-melodic stuff you did on Chrome album, because that's what you do best! I loved that CD and if you can't write melodies, simply don't do it...


God mintsmak
It's not like they can't write melodies, they've managed to pull quite a few really nice ones out during their careers so far, Triptonite was achingly beautiful and memorable because of it's melody (whether you're listening to the chilled playa remix or to the original stomper). Let's face it they were kind of known for their good melodies in earlier days. :cool:

Sounds like they're not on form with them here though, maybe it's a case of too much of the white from the white island destroying their musical sensibilities for a while, again. :lol1:

----scurrilous rumour control----

I've no idea what they've actually been up to on Ibiza, I just made it up, it's a joke!


Junior Members
@grokit23: current Etnica can't make a decent melody, just because there is only two guys of the original 4-member group. Carlo Patterno & Andrea Rizzo are not there (since Equator album I think) and I _suspect_ they were the ones responsible for the melodies.

Max & Maurizio are good beat programmers :Wink3:


God mintsmak
I've heard this said before, I remember when they did still have 4 members, but I'm not sure it's that simple as they have produced other more recent tracks with nice melodies too.

Simple example, The Beast Man.

Got to question a bit further because yours was the sort of answer that I'd normally come out with. :Wink3:


Junior Members
OK, so the Beast Man they did by accident :Grin:

But really - I don't have the simple answer to it, because I'm not a member of the group. I said just what I heard and it somehow corresponds with my experience because I have all of their CDs and they constantly are less and less interesting from musical point of view. Like I said I love Chrome, but you can hardly call it melodic - it's very good, stompy & psychedelic music and I say hold on to that sound! They are really good at creating interesting rythmic structures, they have enginered some really interesting and innovative sounds but they shouldn't try to satisfy their old fans attempting to make another Alien Protein or IFO, because it's simply impossible now!

Do what you're good at and leave melodic trance to.... hmm I don't know? leave it in peace :Smile3:



Hmm, i was so looking forward to this & Pixels' release. Sounds like there are only several decent tracks on each, if that. :blink: Alas, i will get my copies in time for christmas and give it a shot. :rolleyes:

On the upside there are still some other killer cd's due out soon :Wink3:


Time to prime..
Ahh, Damion, you're too generous - believing they can do better. I prefer the more cynical approach that -

they're clawing the plaster off the walls for a new sound, but no matter how much they try, their heartless, weary techno just keeps comming back like a bad mullet;

cUrling-up aT the edgEs with nO reaL bOdy to speak of..

I literally flicked through this tripe and palmed it off to someone who'd love it for all the other reasons other than it was intended for.


Respect though.. :rolleyes:

it seems pointless people reviewing a cd that they blatently dont like the style of / wouldnt like anyway

not specifically getting at you guys but honestly!!

i'm not going to review something i know i dont like from before - what's the point!

if eg damion gives these south african cds 10's of course he wont like this!!

there comes a point when we all get too fussy and only like certain things/styles, at which point surely it's better to ignore the stuff you dont like rather than reviewing it for the sake of it?

:peace: :peace:


Time to prime..
Hey Romp,

I get you, but I think you're wrong in this case. :rolleyes:

Damion seems musically minded with a great sense of humour. People respect his opinion and it means alot that he has reviewed it. :cooljump:
I can't speak for him, but I wouldn't have thought he would be quite so pre-emptive as you suggest. You need only listen to his mixes! Propper Shocking Sheeite as you've never heard!

I would take his opinions as generic. If it's good - it's good. If it's shite, it's Sheeeeite.

Now you know.

I think he chose this becuase it has people asking the most questions - i.e Is it good?

That's his job, to address the peoples most popular longings.. Etnica are big in the scene regardless your tastes. He's just saving us the disappointment - or at least giving his valued opinion.

Am I waffling??

You just know he appreciates the finer things. That counts for alot.



Pound Shop Alex Petridis
Zaven, your check's in the post mate *shucks* :P

romperstomper said:
if eg damion gives these south african cds 10's of course he wont like this!!

its an interesting point mate.... and yeah there's the question of course whether any reviewer of anything can ever be impartial.

with psytrance i think it's easier to be impartial than with, say, indie or films or whatever (just from the sheer amount of other material thats gone before it....)

dance music is written for a dancefloor -- if i hate something but can tell it will melt a dancefloor, that doesnt make it a bad record - it makes it a good record :P
you could give me a ton of house records and i'd bet me christmas dinner that i could just about manage them.

but i dont know though... at the end of the day, with intenet, everyone can check out the samples, something you could never do in the golden age of the NME and Melody Maker (which would have saved me shedloads of money on crap 7"s thinking about it)
so whatever any review says, its just suggestions which people use to make up their minds.

which essentially makes things like psyreviews redundant, but please dont tell anyone , i couldnt live without the free music :P

Chris Organic

Mongolian FishSlap dancer
Good on yer Damo... if it's shite, say so.. unless its one of mine, that is. But then of course... would I release a shite record? Not really, at least i hope I wouldnt. Mind you, I might have to if I dont start selling some of the bleeding buggers. I dunno... state of the World these days... Damo gives us 10/10 for our chill-out CD and no-one takes a blind bit of notice... might as well not be here really... might as well turn myself into a pixel and download myself into Zelda Windwaker.. at least its a pretty world there... etc etc etc


Stunning Cunt
:lol1: :lol1: (sorry, chris, i know it's not funny really)

i've heard the etnica album in full. i don't like the south african sound much. the etnica album is still shite. for all the reasons damion listed.

Chris Organic

Mongolian FishSlap dancer
No, go ahead... laugh at my expense. Everyone else does.

"there he goes" they all say... "old turnip features, pffffffff"... "when's he gonna realise it just aint working and give it up.... "..... oh yes, I hear the laughter... the laughter, the sinnister laughter.... don't think I dont see the hooded carrot creeping up behind me... no... no.... NURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bumbling Producer
Lol... I didn't think it was as crap as some people think either :Grin: Anyway, I just gave it a listen or two, so I'll be back with a final judgement... but let's just say that I did expect it to be a little more psychedelic...


Not total bollocks, just pretty shit! If you like messy melodies then you'll like this!

Track 6 is outstanding in a bad bunch./