Pound Shop Alex Petridis
Zero Six After
Digital Structures (Sweden)
This has to be one of the most eagerly-awaited follow albums in ages. Two and half years since Aero, one of the finest progressive acts is back: and what a way to return, kids: Zero Six After is an utter belter. And yes, psyreviews is delighted to be able to offer you an interview with Ticon at http://www.chaishop.com/lasso/content.lasso?id=1518.
The cinematic Prologue warms things up a treat: warm pads and ticklish runs get larger and larger, before finally picking up some cheeky glitchatronic beats that form the backbone of Kids Of The 80s, a seriously good piece of work that slams hard with Ticonâ€™s return. Itâ€™s full of energy, brimming over the edges with quality and life. The groove is a mishmash of house and cutups, with messy casio electro keeping it moving. It dips right out, and almost falls silent, before teasing back with a proper-job progressive run.. then gets breakbeaty, and then falls gloriously back into its screaming, driving housey origin.
Serious contender for Psyreviewsâ€™ favourite track title of the year, U Make Me Wanna Drink More has echoes of late-Motown to it; something in the high-end strings, maybe? All about housey drive and flair once again, this time with a huge lumbering elephant of a riff sitting in the low midrange. Itâ€™s dirty, sassy psybooty with a twist of lime.
In The Dirt takes things a shade more frantic. At 140bpm, itâ€™s verging on a fullon track, and it does it bloody well. Think a tighter, fresher Silicon Sound at his best and youâ€™re not far off. Huge breakdown, tight melodies, and more of these clean, sparky-retro-80s sounds. Poem For Granny has a great vibe going on, and escalates really nicely: itâ€™s like a more fluid Minilogue with plenty of airy space all through the track.
In Stereo is a godsend, a truly dazzling piece of electronic music. Itâ€™s breakbeat, and it makes for a nice interjection in the flow of the album. But sit back and let it do its stuffâ€¦ simply phenomenal, it picks up cute melodies and runs, and around the middle it picks into a sort of 4/4, wrenches out this melody that sounds like it could make you cry but thenâ€¦ as soon as you notice it, itâ€™s gone. Truly something special. Rip It Up is like a fit bird in tight jeansâ€¦ striding into the room, all heads turn, charged by this current of deep energy. Once again, itâ€™s staggering â€“ quite how they morph these sounds into such smooth layers is beyond a numpty like me. Some of the sounds here are maybe a little too in the retro-80â€™s, but for my money it works okay.
Chicken Shaker sounds a little like Underworld, with looped distorted vocals (nowhere near Infected Mushroom, yerâ€™alright) and is made by itâ€™s huge breakdown, with real-sounding drums; but for me, itâ€™s all really hype up to The Anaolgue H. This is fucking blinding: very smoothly done, itâ€™s the perfect energetic, melodic psytrance groover that unfolds like a dream, with some of the finest riff-based grooves in an awfully long time, and a hands-in-the-air melody that screams goa at you.
Finally, the emotions are running high with Six Years Afterâ€¦ and again itâ€™s amazing stuff, possibly the greatest â€˜fin-de-albumeâ€™ number I can remember. Itâ€™s got more in keeping with the NakedNYC sound than anything psytrance, but fuck me is it gorgeous. Emotive, ticklish, smooth and inspiring, it rounds the album off a treat.
Zero Six After is a dazzlingly accomplished artist album. Ticon try their hands at a lot of styles here, and with each track you get the feeling that theyâ€™ve achieved something significant. In the long run, not everything they touch may turn to gold, but it sure as hell does here. A classic album, everyone should own a copy. And by that I mean: everyone.