V/A - Seismic Mood (AuraQuake 2005) CD

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V/A – Seismic Mood

seismicmoodcoverbig2if.jpg


Hi-res cover: front + back

Artist: Various (US)
Title: Seismic Mood
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: AuraQuake Records (US)
Cat. #: AQCD002
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: 12 December 2005

Track listing:

01. 08’19†Parus – Star Pass
02. 08’03†Penta – Dangerous Game
03. 07’30†Sector 7G - Exploit
04. 07’55†Penta – Half Dimensional
05. 06’42†Ocelot – Trumpeter Swan Rmx
06. 06’39†Parus - Leshiy
07. 09’07†Penta – Always Noon
08. 06’45†Sector 7G – X-mas
09. 07’08†Parus - Volna

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/dg8x8 (all tracks!)

Review:

Earthshaking: an issue of seismic proportions and ramifications!

With the release of Penta’s second album Funraiser in September 2005, Bay Area-based label AuraQuake Records immediately entered the big psytrance league… That was, and still is, a gargantuan album packed to the rim with funny, murky, twisted and downright oddball darkpsy tracks… One of the best albums from 2005 within the genre… So, naturally I was excited when this compilation was announced… To be honest, I only know about Penta and Ocelot off the tracklist, but I’m guessing the AuraQuake quality inspectors are competent people… Let’s find out…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Parus – Star Pass
Parus is the trance-outfit of Latvian-born, American-based twin brothers Mark and Valentin Tarasov… They open this compilation with a slow, technoid afternoon groover… Minimal in structure, but with enough progressive stamina and melodic touches to keep me entertained… The perfect soundtrack to a lazy, sunny afternoon… Stripped down, electro-ridden morning tech-trance meets melodic psytrance… Nice opening track!

#02: Penta – Dangerous Game
Russian-born, American-based producer Nikita Tselovalnikov shouldn’t need further introduction… I’ve already talked about his second album Funraiser, which was just as good as his first output Pentafiles… Anyway, this track is more uplifting than the previous one… The infamous ‘retarded melodies’ from the newest album are back on this track… And that’s a shame – coz I still don’t like them…Luckily they don’t pollute the track completely, and there are some extremely wicked passages in this track… Pretty nice – despite the dreadful melodies!

#03: Sector 7G – Exploit
Besides from being Homer Simpson’s work place, Sector 7G is the moniker for the combined forces of Russian-born Alex Becker and American Scott McDonald… Allegedly their music is the closest thing to punk rock within the trance scene… I dunno about that, but what I do know is that this is indeed a powerful track… The long, murky intro builds tension, but doesn’t reveal the splendour of the actual track which follows… We’re still in pretty minimal, electro-driven morning trance territory – and this track has an impressive NRG level… Best track so far!

#04: Penta – Half Dimensional
Second Penta track – which I’m happy to say, I find much better than the first one… This one has deranged melodies and Penta-twirls too, but somehow they sound much better here… Anyway, this is hard-core night-trance… Which I guess can be played at ‘evil mornings’ too… Pure zombie fodder… Instantly trippy, easily complex in all its multilayered glory - and ever so scary! I mean – holy fudge! A trademark Penta track – amazing!

#05: Ocelot – Trumpeter Swan Rmx
Bay Area thrasher oCeLoT (Aaron Peacock) really impressed me with his second album vectorSelector released in June 2005 by Dropout Productions… Just like the style of the album, this is experimental, borderline night-trance with a melodic touch… So yeah, this is more morning-orientated than the Penta track… It’s still immensely trippy though – like only Mr. Peacock does it… Long driving pads and twirling psychedelia all over the place… My only gripe is a couple of ‘repetitive’ passages – but all in all, this is still a solid track…

#06: Parus – Leshiy
The twins are back with another track. This time, the music is a little more extrovert, but we’re still very far from say the Ocelot or the previous Penta tracks – which kinda throws of the flow a little… Anyway, this is minimal tech-trance with hints of uplifting, melodic morning trance… I kinda like the industrial-slash-technoid approach to trance, but I’m also slightly thrown off by the seemingly bland, infertile atmosphere… So yeah, this track isn’t as easily accessible as some of the others, and will take several listens to fully dissolve… I’m not quite there yet I’m afraid!

#07: Penta – Always Noon
“Come, we don’t have much time. We’ll make it – it’s still noon! It’s always noon here! What – what do you mean? Back home it’s already after midnight! What?†The third and final Penta track on this compilation is a murky, haunting affaire… And though Nikita claims it’s always noon, I beg to differ… This track is what you want to hear in dark, abandoned warehouses with smoke all over the place and the smell of brimstone in the air… Über-dark and somewhat repetitive, this is easily one of the darkest Penta-tracks I’ve heard in a while… Like Xenomorph on PCP…And that’s about the best description I can give. A ripe, mature track – which once again shows just how talented this guy is… Impressive track!

#08: Sector 7G – X-mas
…‘Tis the season to be jolly, so here’s the Becker / McDonald take on a psychedelic Christmas carol… And by golly, this is a hard-core x-mas tune! Stiff syncopated acid-stabs revolve around the bassline from hell – and the pixies and elves are dancing around tripping on shrooms… Check out the cool breakdown after which the track rebuilds itself into an even stronger party choon… This is a very interesting and very unique tune… If only it wasn’t so short… Ho ho ho!

#09: Parus – Volna
Final track by the twins is another odd one... But whereas the others were kinda low-key, this one is more four-to-the-floor and accessible… Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very much Parus, but with an acid-spin put on things… So yeah, we get flaring melodies here alongside the bland, industrial-like soundscapes… Sadly I’m not a big fan of those melodies... Actually I find them kinda annoying… What a shame – this track had potential!

Well, let’s take the negative stuff first… I really didn’t connect to the last two Parus tracks – style wise they seem oddly out of place on this compilation, which leads me to talk about the evident flow-problems… I know that flow is maybe not as important on a compilation compared to an album, but still… I would have much preferred to have all the Parus tracks first – and then move on to more accessible stuff… Also, I can’t seem to get past those demented, high-pitched melodies in the first Penta-track… But enough with the negativity now – thankfully there are heaps of stuff to be positive about here!

Yeah – this is a wicked compilation! There are a handful of really excellent tracks – and I’ll never get tired of the Bay Area experimental psytrance… I really, really like it and we get some real hits here… The cover-art was made by Penta himself, and I dig it… It stands out from the crowd and fits both the overall seismic activity theme – but also the music… Especially the Parus tracks! Fans of Penta/SF psytrance will definitely take well to this compilation – and I’m sure the Parus tracks will find its fans within tech-trance circles… To conclude, this is a solid piece of plastic… Easily worth a purchase… Enjoy!

Favourites: 3, 4(!!), 5, 7(!), 8,

DeathPosture
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External links:
AuraQuake Records: http://www.auraquake.com
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/582918
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/ajo2m
Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/akdld
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/crbrw
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/acebu
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/7vtxa
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/b2x2u
 

penta

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Hi everyone, I have just signed up for the list.
Nice Review, Death Posture.
About the cover: The pictures are taken in the heart chakra of the world, near Alto Paraiso, Brazil, in a place called Valley of the Moon, - very trippy rocks out there. Sector 7G tracks might not sound like punk rock, but if you see those guys perform , you will know what I mean. Not many people pay attention to the performance act itself nowadays like those guys. I hope you folks in EU will see them soon. Many UK artists know them as Scott and Becker of Thump Radio. As for our first compilation, we are pretty proud of it actually, I hope you'll like it too... :Smile3: i will classify it as music for listening first of all.

cheers,
Nikita
 

Full Lotus

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Hey Nikita, welcome to the forum. :Smile3:
 
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