V/A – Aerocruz (Groove Zone Records 2005) CD


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Aalborg, Denmark
V/A – Aerocruz

Hi-res: cover

Artist: Various
Title: Aerocruz
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: Groove Zone Records (Japan)
Cat. #: GZCD-004
Distribution: File Records
Date: July 2005

Track listing:

01. 08’16†Side-A – Hybrid Rise
02. 07’35†Natural Flow – Flying Toaster
03. 08’26†Son Kite – Let Us Be (Vibrasphere Rmx)
04. 09’03†Counter Tech - Aerocruz
05. 09’00†Soul Surfer – Bonzai Beach Of Magic
06. 07’28†Visua – Stage Of Evolution
07. 06’21†Triptych – Two Ears And One Mouth
08. 06’27†Sync - Cursor
09. 08’14†S>Range feat. Z-Man - Wonderful


Afternoon sushi…

This is the fourth release by the very productive Japanese label Groove Zone Records… I really liked the previous compilations: The smoothness of Back To The Future and the darkish night-time tool Magnetic Storm. Again Taku Yoshihaya has carefully selected these tracks which in his own words are ‘perfect for the morning and afternoon dancefloors under the sun’… So yeah, this looks like a pleasant, uplifting experience… Let’s find out!

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Side-A – Hybrid Rise [133 BPM]
Side-A is Olivier Cambier from Paris, France and his track on previous Groove Zone compilation Back To The Future was pretty decent… This is very mellow, well-polished progressive trance… Melodic in nature and very uplifting… The epic female vocals really top it off and send this right into crossover land… Like a lo-fi version of Antix really… It’s all very fine and dandy, but I prefer my progressive trance to be edgier…

#02: Natural Flow – Flying Toaster [140 BPM]
Natural Flow is the combined forces of Swiss producers Rumble Pack & Blue Vortex. To be honest I don’t know much of their work, but I do know that Blue Vortex released the debut album Mirage on YSE in 2004… Again this is melodic progressive trance – and this time with a little more bite! Yeah I really like the retarded main melodic lead – it’s funny really – it’s usually one of those things that piss me off, but it seems very well-placed here… That lead literally makes this track… Refreshing! The tribal break-down with the synth-stabs is also very well executed… Yeah, my head is definitely bobbing along to this track…

#03: Son Kite – Let Us Be (Vibrasphere Rmx) [140 BPM]
Vibrasphere remixing Son Kite – that sentence alone is enough for me to cream my pants… We’re dealing with progressive royalty here – two of the very best and most talented progressive outfits Sweden has spawned… Anyway, this remix was already released on last years Colours Remixes EP – and it still rules! The vocals from Son Kite’s original track are still here, and so are the melodies – though they’ve been cleaned up a little… Vibrasphere has rebuilt this track into a rich, groovy progressive gem of Balearic descent… Omnipotent crossover material… Very nice track!

#04: Counter Tech – Aerocruz [140 BPM]
Counter Tech is the alias of Japanese producer Daisuke Inoue and this is his debut release… We’re on the less-melodic, more experimental side of progressive trance… To be honest I wasn’t too impressed with the first part of the track here… Weird cuts and off-beats – sounds a little too experimental for me… Also, the melody line doesn’t sound very original… Things pick up after the breakdown though… It even gets interesting for the last couple of minutes – too bad it’s not all like that…

#05: Soul Surfer – Bonzai Beach Of Magic [140 BPM]
Anders Nilssen from Sweden is the personification of Yellow Sunshine Explosion Recordings… He has released three albums on this label under his monikers: Soul Surfer, Andromeda and Chromosome – and to be honest none of them has impressed me too much… It’s all fine and well-polished, but that’s it… Not enough edge for me! But on this type of compilation it fits in perfectly… Epic, floating, well-polished progressive trance – with enough uplifting melodies to be played @ Ministry Of Sound… The breakdown is the attraction here – I like how tension is build through both digital and organic FX… Pretty sweet… Also the melodic lead in the last three minutes rules! It helps lift this track from the bottomless pit of cheese despair… Nice one!

#06: Visua – Stage Of Evolution [140 BPM]
“We are now seeing the beginnings of another stage of human evolution…†Mexican producer Rodrigo Roggi Montiel is all over the place now… He debuted on the Soulseeker 3 compilation released by Midijum earlier this year and has a track on the new Cosmic Conspiracy compilation Contact Lens… And now here! Ahh yes – this is more like it… Though still epic and uplifting, this track is much more down my alley… A very impressive rhythm section, reverb-FX and a tribal-slash-industrial-slash-electro approach toward progressive trance – with a splash of melodies thrown in just to please the ladies… Sweet! A very, very fine track here!

#07: Triptych – Two Ears And One Mouth [142 BPM]
“Activate dance mode countdown. Five… Four…Three… Two… One! … We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak!†Charles Michaud from France is one of the veterans on this compilation… He’s released two albums, two EPs and a number of compilation tracks and remixes… This is one of the fastest tracks here – and also one of the most experimental… We get a funky hybrid of EDM/electro/progressive trance here… As always Michaud is quite the risk taker, but he pulls it off here… I dunno about the dancefloor potential, but it’s definitely a very original track…

#08: Sync – Cursor [142 BPM]
Sync is Hasse Klitta – one half German outfit Vaishiyas… We’re in the deeper end of uplifting progressive morning trance now… There melodies are still here, but this is less cheesy than some of the previous tracks… I like how this track has sort of a raw edge – without venturing too far away from the melodic, progressive trance theme framework of this CD… A pretty nice track – but way too short!

#09: S>Range feat. Z-Man – Wonderful [134 BPM]
“It’s necessary for us now to go beyond…!†Sweden representz! S>Range is Anthony Sillfors who has released two albums and a number of EPs and compilation tracks… His third album Another Theory is in the pipes… Z-Man is Jonas Bergvall (one half of Logic Bomb and is closely associated with Hux Flux)… These guys go hand in hand… On the Liquid Records compilation Build Your Own Reactor they hard two very similar tracks – and now they working together… As the BPM count indicates, this is a very subtle, laidback morning tune… Very smooth and very groovy – and a great way to end this compilation… Nice one!

I actually have a hard time grading this compilation… I mean, it’s all high-quality progressive trance with melodies en mas – but somehow parts of this seems a little too dull for my taste… Whereas Magnetic Storm focussed on the darker side of progressive trance, this focuses on the lighter sides… And as I’ve mentioned several times, I prefer to take my progressive trance a little edgier than this… However there are also some very fine tracks here… I just wish all of them were fine… It’s hard for me to explain. Luckily we get a bunch of stand-out tracks… And they rock in their own way!

I like the previous Groove Zone compilations over this one though, and I don’t consider this an essential release… The cross-over potential however is huge here – and as such this compilation already has a higher fan-base than anything released within the psychedelic trance scene… So yeah – fans of epic, uplifting progressive trance sprinkled with melodies will dig this… Enjoy!

Favourites: 2, 3(!), 5, 6(!!), 8, 9


External links:
Groove Zone Records: http://www.groove-zone.com
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/b93qb
Tower JP: http://tinyurl.com/cg7px
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/85wno