V/A - Alien FM (Dropout Productions 2005) CD

DeathPosture

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V/A – Alien FM



Hi-res cover: front + back


Artist: Various
Title: Alien FM
Format: CD (digipack)
Label: Dropout Productions (USA)
Cat. #: DPCD 100
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: June 2005

Track listing:

01. 01’42†Intro
02. 06’35†JellyHeadz - Intoxication
03. 07’23†The Nommos - Whatever
04. 06’50†oCeLot – Turn It Up
05. 08’00†Yohimbe - Awakening
06. 07’18†Quasar - Hickadelic
07. 07’07†Claw - Botox
08. 07’33†Kindzadza - Surprise
09. 07’52†Yab Yum – Dust Devil RMX
10. 07’40†oCeLot - Flashlight

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/a37c4 (all tracks)

Review:

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…

Dropout Productions is a newly established hypertrance label based in swingin’ San Fransisco, USA… The tracklist reveals only a couple of familiar names to me, but I hear the psychedelic scene in the Bay Area is very much alive and thriving, so I’m looking forward to digging deeper into this… Let’s give it a shot…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Intro
May 11th 2005… Two dudes are in boat on the Rio Negro looking for a UFO crash site… They find something… A radio-transmitter and broadcasting Alien FM… This alleged alien radio feed is present throughout the rest of the CD…

#02: JellyHeadz – Intoxication [148 BPM]
“Attention! The energy level is low. The system will shut down in a few seconds. Connection access. Click the red button for a trip to spaceâ€. JellyHeadz kick things in gear here… Karim & Fabio from France grace my ears with the first track I’ve heard from them… This is deep, dark, raw and pounding hypertrance… It may seem unstructured at first glance, but after repeated listens I’ve come to appreciate this track more… It kinda reminds me of Grapes of Wrath/Meteloids at certain places… A nice little choon…

#03: The Nommos – Whatever [148 BPM]
“Am I going crazy? Have my years of wild hedonism finally caught up with me?â€. That’s right Peggy Bundy – karma! This is Goa Gil and his wife Ariane from the US, creating the same style of music that Gil plays in his dark marathon DJ-sets around the world. Dark, pounding, acid-drenched night-trance… Similar to the latest Goa Gil mix CD Karmageddon released earlier this year on Avatar Records… It’s a pretty good track, though it kinda looses a bit of its focus during the middle part… But generally I like this – the low frequency acid-lead is intoxicating and very, very trippy… “Yes ordinary water laced with nothing more than a few spoonfuls of LSDâ€â€¦ Ah Gil baba, you spiked the water… Nice one!

#04: oCeLot – Turn It Up [146 BPM]
oCeLot is Aaron Peacock from San Fransisco… He’s a star in the bay area, released his debut album Aural Sects on Strange Attractor in 2002 and his second album vectorSelector is out Dropout Productions very soon… Very original intro here…It tricks you into thinking you’re playing the wrong track… Nice blend of styles and rapid changes in pace… And then BAM! The track is in full FX… Fast paced hypertrance with darkish pads and stiff jabs – constantly evolving… Surprising and satisfying… I can’t wait for the album! Although there’s a certain demented melody here, I don’t really dig, I can honestly say that this is an interesting track!

#05: Yohimbe – Awakening [147 BPM]
This is the debut release by Canadian-now-living-in-San-Fran Yohimbe… The intro is so-so with a blunt bassline – stripped down, teKk-trance… The first part here is waaaaaaaay too minimal for my taste… Down-right boring! However, the track does come alive after the 2½ minute mark, though it’s still more horror-techno than psytrance to my ears… And as such I don’t really like it… I tend to skip this track…

#06: Quasar – Hickadelic [150 BPM]
“You know evolution does not end with us growing thumbs…†I have limited info on Quasar, but apparently it’s the guy behind Fractal Cowboys who had a track on the dark Lhiannon Sidhe compilation, and as Quasar he had tracks on the aforementioned Karmageddon compilation as well as on the Doof Records compilation Booo… This is the fastest track here – and that doesn’t go unnoticed… This is very dark, very fast and very, very trippy… Reminds me of Kemic-Al at times… Underground hyper-trance to be played during the darkest hours of the night… I’m not sure how well this will go down as home listening, but dropped at the right time on a dark trance floor, this is the shiznitz… Scary! But we all like to get scared, don’t we?

#07: Claw – Botox [148 BPM]
“On no, I pressed the wrong button again… †Itz da claaaaaaaaw!... Da claw is coming to get you! Again, I have no idea whatsoever who’s behind this project… But apparently it’s a debutant from Greece and as such it’s pretty impressive… It starts out slow, but soon evolves into a monster… Morphing sounds, dynamic basslines and a really tight production… I dig how this track is constructed and the constant drive/building is downright impressive… Wonderful track – works wonders at home and has immediate dancefloor potential!

#08: Kindzadza – Surprise [147 BPM]
Kindzadza is Leo Greshilov from Russia and he’s one of the true veterans of dark psytrance with two albums + loads of compilation tracks under his belt… The Japanese samples in the intro are pretty cool… Later on we get some snare drum action, a tight bassline, playful synths, squelching acid-lines and an overall dark vodka-induced atmosphere… A winning combination really! I like this track…

#09: Yab Yum – Dust Devil RMX [146 BPM]
Yab Yum is an alias for Peak Records label-bosses Gaspard & Ajja S.F.Leu from Switzerland … I really enjoyed their track on the Peaking In Tongues compilation… As with the Kindzadza track this is a little lighter than some of the raw, unpolished tracks earlier on… But calling this light is wrong – this is still in the dark end of the psytrance spectre… The guys successfully incorporate tribal percussion into this track which adds to the overall bouncy feel here… Though dark and fast paced, this is indeed very funky… The rolling basslines are cool and the acid-lines are very trippy… Also the outro is beautifully executed… Sweet! This is, hands down, the best track here!

#10: oCeLot – Flashlight [148 BPM]
“Be sure to keep your fingers on the box at all times…†Aaron Peacock makes another entry and finishes off this compilation… Another darkish tune, though it seems oddly bland after what we just heard from Yab Yum… However, there is cool stuff here – I really like the stabs and the high frequency noises… Doggy trance? … This track has one major flaw though; it seems a little too hectic and unorganized… Decent track!

The first release by Dropout Productions was indeed interesting, but the quality is a little too mixed and doesn’t drop my jaw completely… The artwork is a good example of just that. Whilst the front-cover excels in its stunning visual beauty, the back-cover is an eyesore with its blemish appearance… I will not go as far as saying the music suffers from the same contrast, but I’m afraid the flow is a little off here… I would have put the lighter tracks first and ended with the darkest tracks… And would have abandoned one track completely! But I guess that’s just me…

Now this might sound like this is s bad compilation, but nothing is further from the truth… The good tracks here far outweigh the less good tracks and there is only one track I don’t like at all… The variation is notable and I like the idea of a spoken word intro… All in all, this is a solid compilation and I’m sure Dropout Productions will find many devoted fans among the darkpsy segment… I for one am looking forward to the oCeLot album coming soon. I recommend this compilation to fans of such labels as Parvati, Trishula, Ketuh and the likes… Enjoy – and make sure to wear some flowers in your hair!

Favourites: 3, 4, 6(!), 7(!), 8, 9(!!)

DeathPosture


External links:
Dropout Productions: http://www.dropout-productions.com
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/7rewk
Saiko: http://tinyurl.com/dj3na
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/d4h8q
Wakyo: http://tinyurl.com/c8bcp
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/cmur9
Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/exn4r
 
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