oCeLoT - vectorSelector (Dropout Productions 2005) CD


oCeLoT - vectorSelector

Artist: oCeLoT (USA)
Title: vectorSelector
Format: CD (digipack)
Label: Dropout Productions (USA)
Cat. #: DPCD101
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: 20 June 2005

Track listing:

01. 04’57†Intro
02. 06’48†Snickety Snack
03. 07’26†Alien Harmonix
04. 06’45†Tine Tanies
05. 06’00†Penumbra
06. 06’45†Snooze Kontrol
07. 07’28†Electrix Connectrix
08. 06’48†Upwards Spiral
09. 07’23†Totally Tubular
10. 07’46†Livnoc Tulor


Bay Area Thrasher!

San Francisco-based label Dropout Productions made their notable entrance on the hypertrance scene with the compilation Alien FM released only a month ago… And now they’re back with their second release – the album vectorSelector by oCeLot. Mr. Aaron Peacock released his debut album Aural Sects on Ceiba Records in 2003 and since then he’s released compilation tracks on such labels as Soular, Insomnia, Avatar Records + of course Dropout Production where he had two highly original, darkish tracks on the Alien FM compilation… This second album has been hyped around the net ever since it was released – let’s find out what the fuzz was all about…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Intro [100 BPM]
Intros are coming back into fashion – like chilled last tracks on artist albums… Generally I like them – it’s usually a nice way to start a journey… Let’s you adapt to the sound environment you’re about to be exposed to…This is no exception - what we get here is a very experimental, atmospheric and dark track… A big mish-mash of various styles. Aaron shows off his talents here, as he tweaks through an industrial-ridden downbeat universe… Cold, harsh, static and gloomy… And very interesting! I’m ready…

#02: Snickety Snack [140 BPM]
We stay on the same experimental, darkish pad here – but now we get a subtle bassline to go with it… Yummy! … We’re deep in the Bay Area underground here – cruising at a very comfortable 140 beats per minute… Spacey synths, subtle melodic acid lines and just enough rippling industrial FX to keep me happy… This is some good shit – I like how Aaron keeps this melodic despite its grim appearance… Fuck me, this shit rocks! Brilliant track!

#03: Alien Harmonix [146 BPM]
I really like when a track name suits the actual music – and this is absolutely well-named… Alien harmonix indeed… Just like the previous track, we’re deep in the psy-trance underground here – phat, kicking, pumping alien trance – reminds me a little of old Orichalcum – only with a more serrated edge… Razor-sharp kicks, evil hisses and relentless acid-lines – seasoned with a no-questions-asked bassline… Again Aaron makes sure not to forget about the melodies – they’re in there - hence the harmonix! This is a dope track!

#04: Tine Tanies [146 BPM]
Aaron takes a different approach here… Nice! There’s a really cool, orchestral, majestic pad running in the background for a long time here – puts an otherworldly spin on things… Yeah, this is some medieval, spooky shit…. Like something the Misted Muppets would pull of if you fed them MDMA… Cut beats, percussion experimentation and the ever-present ingenious little acid-lines… I’m sure the break will work very well on the dancefloor… The last couple of minutes though seem to lack some of the energy put forth in the first half of the track… But still, nice track!

#05: Penumbra [148 BPM]
A penumbra is the area of partial illumination surrounding the darkest part of a shadow caused by an eclipse… And yeah, I can see that – this is murky stuff indeed… The bpm-count is a dead giveaway, but still… Holy smokes, this is hardcore tunage – with a dark, haunting atmosphere to scare kids, pets and neighbours… I really, really like the spooky, yet strangely appealing naïve melody here… Very forest-like – and very shroom-friendly I’m sure… This is the most psychedelic track thus far – brilliant!

#06: Snooze Kontrol [148 BPM]
Woow! Talk about an intro that will knock you right off your feet… What a cool surprise! We’re shifting towards more digital, electro-rich, acid-ridden hyper-trance now… Reminiscent of Phyx, N3XU5 and the likes… Though still with the trademark murky oCeLot touch… The rapid changes in pace are cool, but somehow I could’ve hoped for even more variation here… Don’t get me wrong, this is a very dynamic track, but when it’s this good I think I’m entitled to have high expectations… A decent track, but surely not the best here…

#07: Electrix Connectrix [148 BPM]
Here’s another fast-paced, in-yer-face stomping track… It’s tweak-o-rama – those stabs are indeed crazy, but somehow also a little monotonous – that’s true for the first half of the track at least… All in all, this is a very, very fast track – and to be honest it’s too hectic for me… I need some time to breathe… Moving on…

#08: Upwards Spiral [148 BPM]
Onwards and upwards… Another aptly named track here – you can hear the spiral from the get-go and throughout the track… Yeah, this is more like it – this track has the same bpm count as its predecessor, but it’s much trippier… It’s dark and fast-paced – but it keeps a melodic edge to it – and this it just how I like my 148-bpm trance to sound… The computer game FX are funny and puts a smile on my face… The tribal drums halfway through are also very cool… I really like the constant evolving here – spiralling upwards… Great tune!

#09: Totally Tubular [148 BPM]
We continue down the same path – now totally tubular! This is fast-paced right from the start… Night-trance with a melodic edge – tons and tons of layers of synths, acid-lines, percussion and atmospheric pads… With a big splash of electro thrown in just to annoy your neighbours! I really like the blend of naïve melodies and a hard-hitting rhythm section + the blend of old school sounds mixed with modern underground sounds… Totally tasty track!

#10: Livnoc Tulor [144 BPM]
We already had the downbeat tune, so the last track is also full-power psytrance… I’m not too impressed by the generic bassline here, but I can cope with it… The echoing-humming sounds are cool though and the filtered loops are cool for the first couple of minutes – luckily they morph into something else before they really started to piss me off… The transition @ 2’51 is insanely cool – typically oCeLot… All in all a pretty nice track – though on the verge of becoming too hectic and too loopy for my tastes… But very oCeLot – and a very nice way to end the album…

Alright, I can see why this album was as hyped as it was… It was totally worth it! I really like oCeLoT’s style… It’s very diverse within a darkish framework… And Aaron makes sure not to forget the ever important melodies in his darkish psytrance… Well done! The production sounds rich and flawless too me – and this is one of those albums that works best on a massive sound system or in headphones – so make sure you do not bereft yourself from listening to this on a proper set-up! Oh and before I forget – Punkadelik’s artwork looks absolutely smashing here – this will look good on your CD-shelf!

I like most of the tracks here – a handful of them are even very, very good – and they outweigh the less good tracks by far… All in all, this is a massive album, and hopefully an indication of where Dropout Productions are headed in the future… If that’s the case, the future looks pretty damn bright from where I’m sitting… Put on them shades! …Fans of experimental, borderline night-trance with a melodic touch should not miss out on this… Nor should any fan of diverse, darkish, underground, acid-ridden psy-trance… Arrrrgh – enough labelling, just check it out and find out for yourself… Enjoy!

Favourites: 2(!!), 3, 5(!), 8(!), 9


External links:
Dropout Productions: http://www.dropout-productions.com
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/7tcry
TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/75mfr
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/c2wge
PsySale: http://tinyurl.com/9ymjp
Wakyo: http://tinyurl.com/d4ku9
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/cnyfp
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/bqsjo