Ka-Sol - Fairytale (Suntrip Records 2006) CD

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Ka-Sol - Fairytale

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Hi-res cover: front

Artist: Ka-Sol (Sweden)
Title: Fairytale
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: Suntrip Records (France/Belgium)
Cat. #: SUNCD05
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: 12 May 2006

Track listing:

01. 07’46†Tecmorning
02. 07’42†Blogz
03. 07’39†Schlumpen
04. 08’12†Skreno
05. 08’38†Back Basic (Goa Mix)
06. 07’16†Matrix (Remix)
07. 07’12†No Return
08. 07’13†Sticky Web
09. 08’26†White Magic
10. 08’47†The Light

Review:

From psychedelic tooth grind to fluffy melodies in 10 easy steps…

Once again the Psynews.org spawned label Suntrip Records is out with a genre-defining, daring album. Fairytale is the long awaited debut album from Swedish sound magician Christer ‘Lulle’ Lundström. Previously Ka-Sol had more members, but for the last couple of years it has been Christer on his own. He has been in the biz since the late 1990ies though – and has produced psychedelic music in a number of outfits including Lulle, Alien Hand Syndrome and Exakt Abstrakt.

He has also been a frequent guest on Schlabbaduerst compilations, both under the Ka-Sol guise but also as a member of the following constellations: Church Of The New Age Hippie Disco Shit, Doda Hundens Kyrka, Lardfish and Signal. All of which has produced extremely underground, maximal, forest-friendly psytrance. So yeah, this is a guy that doesn’t give a shit about psytrance conventions – he has always gone to great lengths to produce unique music – and pretty much everything I’ve heard from his hands have been relentless, extremely powerful, unconventional and totally stellar! So hell yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this album longer than I can remember… It’s a fairytale!

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Tecmorning [145 BPM]
Forget about boring, lengthy and pretentious intros… Ka-Sol is grinding teeth right from the first second… As the title suggests, we’re deep in teKknoid goa trance territory… The edges are rugged, the rhythms are rugged and pretty much everything is as anti-fluff as it can get… This is 100% pure, unfiltered, untreated, underground goa trance… Reminds me of Snake Thing – Shango in all its maximal glory. Hypnotic and hectic – and maybe even a tad too hectic a few times… But generally I like it. The last couple of minutes are pure goose-bump moments and they kick the shit out of anything that dares to label itself as full-on… This is fuller-on! Brilliant!

#02: Blogz [145 BPM]
The distinct old school melodic ventures from the previous track continue in this track… And old school is just what this is – it’s very reminiscent of 1997/1998 melodic trance – though with a very distinct industrial/rugged edge… The Ka-Sol style, you know! Halfway thru, the track changes appearance into a more upbeat, stomping nature with distinct tribal rhythms… The psychedelia is flowing freely and there’s acid pouring out of every conceivable orifice now… Trippy stuff! Wonderful!

#03: Schlumpen [144 BPM]
This track was made in cahoots with the previous Ka-Sol members Jens Kvisler & Mickael Svensson. Despite the lower BPM this track seems even faster than the previous ones… What we get here is wall-to-wall, maximal psytrance… Packed to the rim with flaring, distorted acid-lines and demented melodies tweaked beyond recognition… The sound spectre is bursting and this track will put your hi-fi to the ultimate test… Is beyond hardcore – its frekkin’ massive and so jaw-droppingly intense! Again the hectic nature of the track is almost too much for me to cope with – it drains all my energy reserves! Yikes!

#04: Skreno [142 BPM]
Skreno continues the old-school approach to maximal, melodic, modern goa trance (and that’s the first time I’ve ever used ‘old-school’ and ‘modern’ in the same sentence!). After some nerve wrecking building and building, this track eventually explodes in a meteor shower of raging, full-power, relentless melodies… It’s a cornucopia of multilayered, interweaved, Pleiadians-like full-on melodies… And in that perspective, this is reminiscent of another Suntrip heavy weight – yes, you guessed it: Filteria! Extremely uplifting – and sadly also a tad over the top… Yeah, I’m sorry to say so, but to me, those demented, high-pitched melodic stabs are too much of a good thing… The rest of the track rocks though.

#05: Back Basic (Goa Mix) [145 BPM]
As the title suggests, Ka-Sol takes things back to basics now – goa style! That’s right, this is full-blown goa trance just like on all those wonderful releases from the mid nineties… Ka-Sol is paying homage to the pioneering labels such as TIP, Trust In Trance, Blue Room, Matsuri, Fairway, Symbiosis, Dragonfly, etc… This is quintessentially goa trance as it sounded 10 years ago, but with 2006 production qualities. It’s rich, deep and totally soaked in modulation, flaring 303s, galloping bass lines, etc… Nothing new under the sun, but DAMN, not since Filteria have I experienced such a trip down memory lane… Brilliant trippy and immensely melodic stuff!

#06: Matrix (Remix) [144 BPM]
“Now we’re not in the past or the present anymore. This is the future. Don’t worry about a thing!†The next track also relies heavily on old-school characteristics… The construction, the flow and the basic feel are all very ‘classic goa trance like’… This track seems even more multilayered than the previous one, and the melodies are more sharply defined… Lulle tweaks those knobs like a madman, and there’s some serious synth exploration going on here… Filtered acid-lines, travelling melodies and smoking hot trance passages… This is what Astral Projection should have sounded like in 2006! Lovely!

#07: No Return [146 BPM]
The next track contains some of the same flaring, high-pitched, somewhat demented and deranged melodies we heard earlier in the album. This time they are not set in a darkish, brutal, industrial like track, but in a much lighter, uplifting piece of a goa-like trance… Tons of melody lines are tripping over each other, spiralling out of the speakers doing their best to lull the listener into trance… Sadly it doesn’t really seem to work, and I’ve never thought I’d hear myself say this about a Ka-Sol track, but this is too cheesy for my tastes… Double yikes!

#08: Sticky Web [142 BPM]
Let’s raise the bar a little after the somewhat disappointing last track – luckily the next one is better! It’s still very melodic and extremely uplifting, but this time there’s a distinct edge that suits me much better… And even if the BPM is among the lowest of the album, this track seems like one of the fastest – strange! Again the Pleiadians (and evidentially Filteria) link is evident, but this is far from being a clone… This is Ka-Sol sending a friendly nod to his peers of the past… The acid is still flowing freely and those 303s are really getting a workout now – Green Nuns style! As hypnotizing as it is mesmerizing! Sweeet!

#09: White Magic [145 BPM]
Up next is another extremely party-minded show tune! Yeah, this is more unpretentious melodic goa trance reminiscent of the days long forgotten… The layers are too many to count and the bassline sounds like it’s lifted directly out of a 1995 track. So yeah, it’s hardly uncharted, but who gives a fuck when it’s this good? The intensity level is unsurpassed, and unlike some of the previous tracks the high-pitched melodies doesn’t bother me one bit here – they help raise the bar and lift this track into another dimension! Trippy!

#10: The Light [146 BPM]
“And way off in the distance a pin point of white light, and it was so subtle it was coming towards me and I didn’t know it. Until I was completely embellished in that light. And then I realized the same type of light was coming for me. I really was light, I wasn’t flesh and bones.†The final track starts with a very AP-like sample about UFOs and the track itself continues down the same path... This is extremely uplifting stuff – luckily it never crosses over into complete cheesy fluff. It’s the last track of the album and surely it’s meant to be enjoyed as the first rays of sunlight travel across the dancefloor and meets the ecstatic dancers who’ve been going on all night… This is the burst of energy needed to dance another couple of hours… Somehow I feel the track looses some of its bite in the last couple of minutes, so I prefer the first half… Not a bad track though – and you’ll need to catch your breath after this compulsive explosion of energy. Phew!

So, did this album live up to the expectations? Well, yes… for the most part! The first three tracks are pretty much what I hoped for – raging mad, relentless Ka-Sol mayhem… The next couple of tracks are somewhat of a hybrid between the I-don’t-give-a-fuck-attitude of recent Ka-Sol tracks mixed with more full-on, uplifting elements – but those extremely intense moments riddled with high-pitched and deranged melodies never really grabbed me… Those less-good moments are scarce though, and the vast majority kicks royal ass! Luckily the last half of the album saves the day with its nostalgic pure goa trance tracks… That style was somewhat of a surprise to me, but in retrospect I don’t think I could have coped with an entire album in the hardcore Schlabbaduerst style. So, as always, diversity rules!

As always with Ka-Sol stuff, the level of energy Lulle puts forth in the tracks are unsurpassed in our scene – and this kind of music should really be mandatory for all those upcoming, so-called full-on artists… *This* is how you create energetic, trance-inducing music! Let that be a lesson!

Flow wise I’m not sure how well this album works. I think I would have preferred it in reverse order, having the most hardcore tracks finish the album. Also, the white-out mistake on the pressing plant is an eyesore to John Bauer’s wonderful artwork. The retail copies were not supposed to have the big white squares, but I believe Suntrip Records will issue high-res replacements on their website for people to print themselves. But all that is nit-picking – this is truly a marvellous album with more than enough fantastic tracks to validate a purchase. Suntrip fans should order immediately as should fans of nostalgic goa trance propelled well into the 21st. century. Another benchmark album from Suntrip – and their best release since the Apsara compilation. Go get it!… Enjoy!

Favourites: 1(!), 2(!), 5(!), 6, 8, 9

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External links:
Suntrip Records: http://www.suntriprecords.com
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/673798
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/pofoe
Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/r28yw
Discobole: http://tinyurl.com/rvdvx
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/meyv2
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/ro478
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/lwfgz
Play: http://tinyurl.com/mslcj (free shipping worldwide!)
 

RooTz

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great album!! makes me wanna go to sweden to see ka-sol live in a forest party !!
 
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