V/A - Asian Babylon (B.P.F Records)

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JP Noir was exciting and imaginative without ever being too clever for its own good. Here we are presented with Asian Babylon.



1. Kowloon – The Scene Changes (Between The Sheets Rmx)

2. Civilekick - Summer Night Organ Bar

3. Motion & Clutch - Sucksess&value

4. Civilekick - 5days

5. Clutch - Secret Family

6. Ice Fort – Water High

7. Yamabikaya - Anybody Here ?

8. Sine 6 – Tranceform (Tech Remix)

9. Yamabikaya – Back To Creation

10. K.U.R.O – Mind Flux





1. Kowloon – The Scene Changes (Between The Sheets Rmx)



Starts off easier than a 2 dollar hooker, but nowhere near as slutty. This is something you can play to a 3 year old and not get a single complaint. The mood that this sets makes you think that anything can happen. There is a slight distortion which gives the track a vintage feel, or for lack of a better adjective a “city†feel. Makes you feel like you are driving through a city, late at night. The rise and fall of the harmonies are quite beautifully realised, as is the downbeat tempo. Then it breaks into something that you would expect to hear from Café Del Mar but that’s alright, because we’re listening to Asian Babylon here.



2. Civilekick - Summer Night Organ Bar



Excellent intro. Sucks you in. There is a skip that keeps repeating, it even includes a click that makes you believe your cd is skipping. It’s a perfect way to begin the track because from the last track you are in your own world, and the click draws you out of your comfort cave. Things get sped up here a little. This track reminded me of a movie score, in an early 80’s thriller/horror film. It really builds up nicely, the synth is creative and the track bounces around never letting you stop. Again, you sense that something else is coming. The use of the stereo is also well done, very subtle and nothing over the top. At about the 4 minute mark, it kicks in and suddenly the dance floor is alive, twisting and moving about. This is a well layered track.



3. Motion & Clutch - Sucksess&value



A real tech feel here. The snares are pounded hard, the industrial synths are in place and kick feels like it is being played in a factory somewhere. Almost sounds futuristic in its tone. Then it picks up, to reveal a more sincere approach. A sample plays over the top but still this doesn’t feel like a track you want to get the people dancing to. Even after an obese bass line plays, and sucks us in, it remains a track to nod your head to rather stomp your feet. It is consistent and feels relaxed.



4. Civilekick - 5days



Distortion. Distant sounds. We must be in the thick of things now. Sounding like we’re in the wild, a stop/start kick introduces us to a few piano notes that sound like someone is learning to play jazz. Really effective and never sounds cheesy. When things pick up at around the 1.50 mark, you sense that this is going to go somewhere. And it does, it stays in the jazzy zone and that’s cool because it’s like a jazz/tech/psy/trance track. Original and innovative. I like at the end when everything comes together, it’s a moment for the senses.



5. Clutch - Secret Family



Very uber intro. Almost sounding like Son Kite here. The bass is very deep. The rising harmonies, the little moments here and there. Although this track doesn’t really have any standout melodies, it does seem like a track you can get lost in on the dance floor, the beats are fast, and there is a lot going on in this seemingly quiet track. It stops for a moment at 3.55, and then reinvents itself, a much more controlled environment. I enjoy this track on a different level than the previous tracks.



6. Ice Fort – Water High



Blast! We’re in! Speaking of sounding like Son Kite, so does this. But this is quickly becoming one of my favourites for the year, it really has the pull to suck you in. Really catchy and the way it stops and lets go off you for the split second and then kicks right back in is an awesome feeling. I enjoy this track for so many different reasons, but one of the main reasons is that it is well thought out, it doesn’t try to do too much and never gets boring. For love to see what this does on the dance floor. Really catchy.



7. Yamabikaya - Anybody Here ?



Sounding like all the instruments are loose, this kicks into it without warning. An almost haunting feel, some strange messy sounds, and some samples to suggest that we may be in a ghost house. This is a very different experience to the previous tracks, but that is a good thing. This spreads its wings, and it is actually very cool. The samples are well used. The moment at around 4:30 is worth stopping for. Very cool track, making us wondering where this is going to go!



8. Sine 6 – Tranceform (Tech Remix)



Sounding like the former, this bass-driven track breaks onto the dance floor. The blistering synths, the constant hi-hat and the miscellaneous sounds make this one a stomping. It squeals and howls and is unrelenting. Sounding like a darker psy track, it experiments with the notion of being industrial dark tech psy. And it succeeds in most part, due to the rapid change of motion and sounds.



9. Yamabikaya – Back To Creation



Almost in Nabi territory in the beginning, sounding like a stomach churning. The tracks pulses on in unforgiving fashion and quickly builds to the moment that your ears stop and then a very cool moment when Yamabikaya unleashes the strings. If it doesn’t make you smile, check your pulse. It continues throughout, and it really does hold this track together. Just like JP Noir had that single moment in Clutch’s track, at the 4 minute mark, this has it, but it’s all throughout. There is some very excellent sounds throughout here.



10. K.U.R.O – Mind Flux



Thumping kick. No time to stop. We’re nearly at the end. And once this gets going, it GETS GOING. No time to breathe when everything comes together at once, and drives you to stamp your feet. Hard to describe what’s going on here but it sounds like a washing machine and a dryer in sync with each other. Around the 5 minute mark, something appears that you can cling to and it becomes a track you can relate to.



11. Hidden Track

Now, track 10 finishes with 15 seconds to go…and then comes in this…sounding like some country’s National Anthem being played at an outdoor concert, with about 2000 motorbikes revving off their heads…then suddenly a deep voice grunting…and then silence…



From track 1 to track 11…there was a journey. It’s interesting to go back and go through what I’ve written because it shows the diversity and range of the B.P.F folk. And if track 11 is anything to go by, we may be in store for a crazy comp. from them next time. Tracks 6 and 8 are the standouts of the bunch though, very creative and exciting. This is a worthwhile album, it has a range of everything which is what you may want. I would recommend this album to most people. If you want something that is different in most parts then this is for you. And if you don’t want something different get it anyway!



Favourite tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9


Overall: 8/10
 
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