V/A - Oxycanta (Ultimae Records 2006) CD


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Aalborg, Denmark
V/A - Oxycanta


Hi-res cover: front

Artist: Various
Title: Oxycanta - Electro atmospheric glides amidst emotional gardens
Format: CD (digipack)
Label: Ultimae Records (France)
Cat. #: INRE 019
Distribution: Ultimae.com/network
Date: Ultimo April 2006

Track listing:

01. 07’32†Ghostfriend - Moist
02. 08’57†Solar Fields – Detection (Partially Detected)
03. 05’25†Between Interval - Aerolith
04. 06’34†Aes Dana – Mineral Lights (Submerge Edit)
05. 10’00†Cell – Floatation Retention
06. 07’38†Asura – Galaxies Part 1
07. 06’40†Sync24 - Source
08. 07’55†Hybrid Leisureland – Trampoline Hotel
09. 06’52†Subgardens – Listen To The Flowers Grow (Aes Dana Remix)
10. 05’50†Omnimotion – Magic Tree


What becomes of the broken hearted?

With Oxycanta the French powerhouse chill masters Ultimae marks their 19th release. Following the ambitious 2xCD release of the incredible Solar Fields albums Leaving Home and Extended it’s time for a compilation of mixed sorts. The tracklist reveals the usual Ultimae suspects + a bunch of unfamiliar names – just like we’re used to… And to ensure the previous sky-high quality standards, it’s all been compiled by Mahiane (aka. Sunbeam)… We’re in good hands – now let’s check out these electro atmospheric glides amidst emotional gardens…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Ghostfriend – Moist
This is my first encounter with Ghostfriend which is a project run by the Swedish producer Krister Linder (of K, Solaroid, Tupilaq and Yeti fame) in corporation with Per Holm & Aleah. Combined, they’ve been producing ambient for over 10 years, and that’s apparent after listening to this… This is extremely well thought-out arctic downbeat… Northern ambient with a big splash of subtle percussion and dream-like sequencing… Floating pads and some very lush little melodies… Moist indeed!

#02: Solar Fields – Detection (Partially Detected)
The tracks fade into each other to secure a continuous flow, so we drift seamlessly into the next one. This track is an extract from the last track off the 2005 Solar Fields album Extended. With that album Swedish producer Magnus Birgersson took experimental downbeat to a new level, and much like the original this remake is an extension of its urban, avant-garde predecessor. A symbiosis of sound fusing melancholy ambient with interplanetary rhythms… Breaks, beats and urban ambience… Anyone familiar with the Extended album would know, that this may be perceived as introvert music at first, and thus it requires time to grow. But given time, this is a rare gem… Very journey’esque and very sweet!

#03: Between Interval – Aerolith
Stefan Jönsson (Monodrive/Sublunar) from Lund, Sweden also had a track on the Albedo compilation - a track that was an instant stand-out with its icy cold, dark ambient qualities… And sure enough, this track is very similar… Eerie melodies are constantly morphing into each other creating a very distinct, nocturnal atmosphere… Forget about percussion or bass – this is pure, unhampered beatless ambient… Again seemingly very introvert, but the gift of time elevates this track…

#04: Aes Dana – Mineral Lights (Submerge Edit)
Send in the cavalry!… Ultimae boss Vincent Villuis never seize to amaze me with his consistently high quality of exoteric downbeat… And this track is no exception! As usual the pace is quickening when Aes Dana makes an appearance and style wise we’re drifting from ambient into more chilled downtempo – most notable with the introduction of percussion as an integral part of the track… Rhythm-based, universal downbeat – with floating melodies and majestic harmonies… Wonderful!

#05: Cell – Floatation Retention
French Producer Alexandre Scheffer is another chill-heavyweight... His quality level is pretty much consistent, and lately I’ve been really enjoying his two tracks on the Floating Point 3 compilation released by Iboga Records’ chilled sub-label Sofa Beats… What we get here, is a trademark Cell track with its epic, story-telling qualities… A moving journey from ambient to upbeat chill and back again… All carried out with the greatest of ease – with some real impressive instrumentation too… A majestic, almost orchestral experience… Lush!

#06: Asura – Galaxies Part 1
Asura is another one of my all-time fav’e chill projects... Both Asura albums are nothing short of amazing and have given me countless hours of satisfaction. Nowadays it’s a one-man project by Charles Farewell and it’s been way too long since I’ve heard anything from this Lyon-based magician… This is electrified world-beats – lush ethno electro of gargantuan dimensions… Epic, uplifting, mesmerizing, hypnotizing and – need I go on? This is, hands down, the best track here… The triumphant return of Asura! Simply marvellous!

#07: Sync24 – Source
Swedish producer Daniel Ringström (of Carbon Based Lifeforms fame) is another Ultimae regular who has yet to let me down with his distinct style of experimental, fused downbeat… And as usual, this part of the compilation marks the return to more chilled, laidback grooves… We’re slowly moving from eclectic, progressive downbeat into more sterile, floating ambient…

#08: Hybrid Leisureland – Trampoline Hotel
Apparently Japanese producer Hidetoshi Koizumi has been making music since 1995 – but this is my first encounter with his work… This track is anything but conventional – this is deeply experimental, electrified dark ambient… Dubby, heavily filtered, virtually beatless ambient with evident links to both electro, avant-garde and abstract electronica… And in that regard, this is maybe the most flow-breaking track off the CD. Actually it’s pretty out there! Not bad, but I have a somewhat hard time connecting to it… It’s not bad at all, but it’s not a fav’e either…

#09: Subgardens – Listen To The Flowers Grow (Aes Dana Remix)
Subgardens is a joint project between Cédric Desseaux & Mahiane – and this seemingly unreleased track is remixed by Vincent Villuis… And you can easily tell who’s behind this – this is trademark Ultimae ambient – rich, versatile and totally smooth… Floating soundscapes and atmospheric pads – carried out to near perfection… Brilliant!

#10: Omnimotion – Magic Tree
“Magic tree, please grow far above the clouds while I sleep on this branch so high up over ground. And there’s no turning back now…Tomorrow when I wake up, we’ve reached heaven.†Omnimotion is Stefan Lundaahl from Sweden who has released an album on Waveform Records and a bunch of compilation tracks on such great chill labels as Liquid Sound Design and Interchill… This is his Ultimae debut though – and also my first encounter with his music… As legend has it, we’re really chilling out on the closing track – and this is pure ambient with a distinct ethno-tribal touch to it… The guitar work is impressive, the vocals by Mimi are adorable and the track sounds very organic and mysterious… Pure magic!

Another stellar Ultimae compilation comes to a halt – and once again I’m filled with satisfaction as the journey comes to an end… This is another above-average chill-out compilation by the leading chill label. The Ultimae compilation formula doesn’t surprise much any longer – it’s pretty much the same structurally and flow-wise, but why change a winning formula when it’s *this* good?

There are no bad tracks here, and there’s only one track that I didn’t really dig – and a couple of tracks that took a while to get into… But it’s all good – literally! Especially the middle part of the compilation is extremely nice – and I keep dropping my jaw when listening to those gems. The quality level of the music continues in the artwork, and as usual we get a really slick, informative digipack with subtle artwork. All in all, a great package and a no-brainer purchase for the many members of the Ultimae Army… Fans of eclectic downbeat can also start, what will undoubtedly be, their life-long love affair with Ultimae here… Enjoy!

Favourites: 1, 4(!), 5(!), 6(!!), 9, 10(!)


External links:
Ultimae Records: http://www.ultimae.com
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/669595
Ultima E-shop: http://tinyurl.com/p8qup
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/q4wqq
Amboworld: http://tinyurl.com/n95ev
ShopSonic: http://tinyurl.com/lvd4d
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/r8fdj
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/pcf9l


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Sauntering about...
listened to it just before going to bed had an excellent sleep thank you , have to listen on a purely awake state now but will be fully surprised if it doesn't amaze me!