Spectra - Beyond Belief (Oxygen Records)


Jester / Alien Crew
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Montreal, Canada
Artist : Spectra
Album : Beyond Belief
Label : Oxygen Records
Cover : http://ip23.dyn181.pacific.net.hk/showCover.asp?titleID=5295

Tracklisting :
1. Intro
2. Audio 59
3. Into The Monkey Planet
4. Set The Drive
5. Headshot
6. Ganzales
7. One Self (With Zero Sequence)
8. Discoshit
9. Beyond Belief

Review :
Spectra - Beyond Belief

Oxygen Records is back again, this time with their first album release. Dj TV has placed his trust in two young brothers from Portugal. Paulo and Francisco Oliveira are the brains behind this fresh new Full-on act. They deliver an 8-track album with an extra intro. Lets get into a little more detail of each track..

The intro starts things off with a breakbeat feel, and IMO is a great opener for this album.

Audio 59 jumps right into things with a strong bassline and kick after just half a second into the track. This track is driven by the insane bassline used to create this track. There isn’t too much melody in this track, however, those that are used fit very well with the rest of the track. This track is in constant buildup, and keeps exploding on the way down. It makes me think of Silicon Sound on Steroids. This track is defiantly dancefloor material at its best that I can be sure to hear a lot of in the near future.

Into the Monkey Planet also doesn’t waste any time getting things pounding as this track starts off very heavy and a little more twisted than the previous track. You can almost feel the electricity omitted from the sonar frequencies of this track, as it progresses into something more melodic near the end as the bassline grooves a little more as well. It’s a very nice track from beginning to end.

Set the Drive keeps things kicking and surely sets the drive on any dancefloor it will appear on. This one takes about 2 seconds longer than the previous one’s before it kicks things off, before these guys serve us another great bassline driven track. Its quiet similar to Audio 59 when we refer to the bassline (but then again, I don’t think I can ever get tired of this type of bassline), only it’s a little less melodic and sounds more “South African†in the style of Pads used.

Headshot brings us to a deserted island, finally giving us honor to an intro before the killing begins.. but wait, whats this, something new?? A much smoother track than what we have just witnessed, also slowing down the pace a little to change up the vibe. So far, it’s the most psycadelic of all the tracks, with interesting delay effects creating the depth of the song. This would be a great track to open up there LIVE act in the near future.. It’s a very interesting track and I must admit it caught me by surprise and touched me in a very positive way.

Ganzales speeds up the pace a little, starting a little more progressive than the first 3 tracks, to build up into something very strong. It almost feels as if the pitch changes during the buildup of this track. Here we have another smasher without any sign of melodies until the last part of the track, yet the melodies aren’t cheesy nor do they take too much room in this track. I really like the way everything flows so well together and progresses slowly as the track moves forward.

One Self features Zero Sequence, as these four guys team up to put together something cool. With the Spectra trademark of this album, this track gets right into the action with a buildup at the very beginning of this tune. You can feel the melodies in this track and the bassline now transposes a couple of times to offer even more variety to this great album. This track sounds like some Astrix at his best, with a very Isrealie sound. It’s probably the best track of this album up to now.

Discoshit features a very dark bassline with some very interesting twists and turns. In this track, Spectra delivers something with a little bit more of a morning flavour, with softer pads and a more standard morning sound. All the sounds are very harmonical and very soothing, yet this track still has what it takes to be played out during the peak times at a party. I really like the breakbeat breakdowns used in this one. Its so relaxing when you have been dancing for hours non-stop.

Last but not least, these guys finish up their debut album with Beyond Belief, another morning inclined track. Lots of melodies are found in this one along with a very interesting bassline, that almost sounds like Wizzy Noise’s style, yet they don’t seem to go exactly in that same direction. It’s a great track to end off this album, with a very soft ending to relax the soul and make you wounder what just went through your mind for the last hour listening to this great album..

In Conclusion, this album as a whole is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. All the tracks are dancefloor designed, and I couldn’t even mention which track I find better than the other, since they are all pretty much top class. This is by FAR Oxygen’s best release, offering nothing less than top notch music. The Mastering is just phenomenal as well, and I’d like to congratulate Audiolize for his hard work.

Regardless, here are my fav’s : 2, 3, 4 ,5, 7, 9

A must by for every DJ and psytrance collector and this should get up there with this years best album releases. Great work TV and crew..

Will Dogon

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Agree wiv ya about trax 2-5.....also quite liking 6. The last 3 just didnt quite hit the mark with me. too much key change i seem to recall.

Good review tho mate :Smile3:


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Aalborg, Denmark
Spectra – Beyond Belief


Hi-res cover: front + back

Artist: Spectra (Portugal)
Title: Beyond Belief
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: Oxygen Records (Czech Republic)
Cat. #: OXYCD003
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: 5 December 2005

Track listing:

01. 02’39†Intro
02. 07’33†Audio 59
03. 07’32†Into The Monkey Planet
04. 08’38†Set The Drive
05. 09’54†Headshot
06. 09’26†Ganzales
07. 09’06†One Self (With Zero Sequence)
08. 09’57†Discoshit
09. 08’49†Beyond Belief

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/cc2j6 (all tracks!)


Good morning Portugal!

As the 3rd release from Czech morning trance label Oxygen Records, we get the debut album from Portuguese psytrance duo Spectra… The tracks I’ve heard from Paulo & Francisco Oliveira have had varied impact on me… Some of the stuff released on Ketuh has been really nice, whereas I wasn’t too thrilled with the cheesy track on the Parsec compilation… But hey, I know these guys can pull off some proper stuff, so let’s dig deeper into their first full album…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Intro [145 BPM]
The intro track is pretty sweet… Distorted, tweaked synth-twirls – kept within a crisp, morning trance framework… Promising for the rest of the album… I wouldn’t have minded a full track in this style… Anyway, a very nice intro…

#02: Audio 59 [145 BPM]
We already had an intro track, so this track only runs for 14 seconds before the bass and kick are unleashed… It’s full-power, banging morning trance… The distinction from the endless pool of boring full-on, are the nice, frequent breaks and the twirling melodies... Also the syncopation effect, works surprisingly well in this track… I mean, it’s all been done before, but it actually works pretty well in this track… I like it!

#03: Into The Monkey Planet [145 BPM]
Again the Spectra guys doesn’t use much time on boring, pretentious intros… No time is wasted, and before you know it, this track is in full FX… It’s still uplifting full-on, but this time with a slightly more night time feeling to it… Also, the attempts into acid-stabs are pretty successful, and I like the edgy sound here which again distances the track from the most obvious full-on pitfalls… Oh, and that final build-up is simply impressive and ultimately rewarding… Best track so far!

#04: Set The Drive [145 BPM]
On this track, we’re approaching more standard full-on – and the bassline seem a little blunter now... That’s a shame, but luckily the melodic twirls are much more in focus, and the sound spectre seems more refined… Kind of old-school in a sense, but obviously with very fresh production techniques… Reminds me of Mr. Peculiar or Silicon Sound… A pretty nice track, but somehow it lacks a little bite…

#05: Headshot [135 BPM]
Besides from the intro track, this is the only track that ventures away from the 145 bpm range… So, half way thru, we take it down a notch – and that’s a welcomed change! This track cruises at a comfortable speed, offering a break from the dancefloor tunes… This could easily work on the dancefloor too, but more as an opening or transition track – or as a cross-over track between progressive and trance… A nice track, but it’s maybe a little too anonymous – and also a little too long…

#06: Ganzales [145 BPM]
And now we’re straight back to energetic full-on with the speedy Ganzales track [pun intended!]…The syncopated stabs from earlier are back, and this is pretty straight-forward full-on… What I like about this track though, is that it’s focussed… It keeps building straight towards that inevitable climax towards the end… It doesn’t waste time on boring excursions… It’s just plain, driving full-on – and in that sense it’s ultimately rewarding… An honest track, so to speak – and for that reason I like it!

#07: One Self [145 BPM]
On this track the guys are joined by fellow countrymen Pedro & Nando… I’m not familiar with any of their previous work, but who cares!? Again, this is pretty standard full-on – and there’s not much innovation in this track I’m afraid… Sure, it’s uplifting, and its dancefloor friendly… But the bassline is way too uninspired, the melodies are predictable and generally I feel the guys are starting to copy themselves… Would fit right in on one of the endless Israeli neo full-on compilations… *Yawn*

#08: Discoshit [145 BPM]
Well, we’re still in uplifting, morning full-on territory here – but at least this track has a little edge and more variation that the previous one… And again, this has certain elements of 2000-2003 full-on in it… The little breaks offer a welcome break for the dancers, and I’m sure the club-folk will also take well to the floating, uplifting melodies and the climactic nature of the track… I’m not the biggest fan, but I do like the energetic rhythm section… Not a bad track per se, but it’s too long and there are several parts where I loose interest…

#09: Beyond Belief [145 BPM]
The sun has set, and it’s time for the last track… The title track is maybe the most uplifting here, and different parts of it, reminds me of both Silicon Sound, Mr. Peculiar and especially Protoculture… Well-polished, multilayered, energetic morning trance that’s both epic and dancefloor friendly with a few surprises thrown in… The climaxes are just right, and overall this is among the best tracks here… Nicey nice!

Truth be told, I usually stay clear of blatant full-on albums… But there was a certain appeal to this album that was too good to miss – there is indeed a handful of nice, energetic tracks… And as much as I’m sure, they’ll work wonders on the dance floors, they also did pretty damn well in my living room… Sadly, there are also too many tracks with too many boring parts… Not boring as in event-less, but boring in the sense that they lack individuality… That being said, I must also stress that Spectra certainly has unique moments... Indeed! I just wish the entire album was like that! The good tracks are indeed good – and they distance themselves from the vast pool, of copy/paste full-on from Israel… The cover art is lovely – as always with Oxygen Records. Nice work!

To conclude, this is an album for fans of uplifting, melodic morning trance – with a little bite… Not among the best melodic albums of 2005, but certainly not among the worst either… Enjoy!

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


External links:
Oxygen Records: http://www.oxygenrecords.com
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/576035
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/8sykq
TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/7vsop
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/bywrc
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/92bbz
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/865fh
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/b99z4