V/A - Swedish Goa Trance & Progressive (Spiral Trax 2005) 2xCD


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Aalborg, Denmark
V/A – Spiral Trax Volume One


Artist: Various (Sweden)
Title: Spiral Trax Volume One - Swedish Goa Trance & Progressive
Format: 2xCD (jewel case)
Label: Spiral Trax (Sweden)
Cat. #: SPITCD011
Distribution: Cosmophilia
Date: March 2005

Track listing:

01. 09’27†Human Blue – Street Pilot
02. 09’15†Vibrasphere – Cactus Point
03. 08’25†Chris Pointdexter – Darkness (Ticon Rmx)
04. 07’12†Vibrasphere – Mental Bearing
05. 08’02†Tranan – Preacher Boy
06. 10’36†S>Range – Out Of Range (Noma’s Morning Glory Rmx)
07. 08’05†Atmos – Catch From Scratch
08. 09’29†Stress Assassin – Lextorp (Echölab Rmx)
09. 06’56†The Source Experience – Roots FM (In The Box Mix)

01. 08’25†12 Moons – Invisible Light
02. 07’31†Antoine - Flashback
03. 08’12†Tranan – Morning Scoop
04. 09’10†Hux Flux – Lex Rex Perplex
05. 08’03†Logic Bomb – Innocent Until Caught
06. 07’14†Hux Flux - Reflux
07. 07’54†S>Range – Serial Overtypes
08. 09’10†Psychlopedia – The Gurningpoint (Miranda Rmx)
09. 07’56†S>Range – Test Tones (Chromosome Rmx)


Best of Spiral Trax: From goa to proggressive!

Most labels do it – release conveniently collected compilations of hits, 12-inch b-sides, rarities and other stuff… And now it’s Spiral Trax’ turn… Headed by DJ Anti, this Swedish label has been in the game since 1997 and has released loads and loads of high-quality stuff… And now some of it is available on CD for the first time… Let’s check it out!

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#1-01: Human Blue – Street Pilot
We start out with an unreleased tune by Dag Wallin… Despite his three released albums I’ve never really found his stuff essential… And this track here doesn’t do much for me either – it takes forever to progress and when it finally goes somewhere it’s kinda dull… It’s not bad at all… In fact the production sounds flawless – it’s just a little too boring… But that’s all looking from a dancefloor point of view – I’m sure this would work wonders in the chill-out… Decent track!

#1-02: Vibrasphere – Cactus Point
This was on the flipside of a 2000 EP + it’s been on a couple of German compilations… I really like Vibrasphere (Rickard Berglöf & Robert Elster) and consider them among the best Swedish producers of smooth progressive trance… But I gotta admit that this is not among their finest work – but the stuff they released on the album Lime Structure is among the best progressive ever, so it’s very hard to top… This track isn’t bad; in fact it’s pretty smooth and silky-soft and would fit in nicely in the beginning of a groovy proggy set… Ok track!

#1-03: Chris Pointdexter – Darkness (Ticon Rmx)
Chris Pointdexter is Christer Gunnarsson, and this remix by Ticon (Filip Mårberg & Fredrik Gilenholt) was released in the summer of 2004 and I remember it as a massive hit at the time… Gone are the grim shadows of the original version – they’ve been replaced by the sheer funky brilliance of the magic Ticon-touch… Oh fuck, this an awesome progressive monster that has; and will continue causing havoc on the trance-floors… Brilliant track!

#1-04: Vibrasphere – Mental Bearing
And here’s another Vibrasphere EP flipside track… This was on the Stereo Gun EP released in 2003 – and this is much better than their previous track on this compilation… Drenched in phat groovy progressive soundscapes, this track beautifully portrays what I love about Vibrasphere’s style… It’s funky, it’s sexy, it’s so fucking smooth and it’s temptingly hypnotizing… Awesome track!

#1-05: Tranan – Preacher Boy
Tranan is the solo-project of Jonas Pettersson from Logic Bomb and this was released on a 2002 EP + loads of compilations… So most people should know this track already… The style here is a hybrid between full-on and minimal progressive – creating a very unique, drifting sound… Progressive morning trance with hints of Logic Bomb… Pretty good!

#1-06: S>Range – Out Of Range (Noma’s Morning Glory Rmx)
Both the original Anthony Sillfors version and the remix by Noma (Magnus Andersson) were released on an EP in 2001 + the remix has been on loads of compilations also… This is a huuuuuuuge track… The first couple of minutes are pretty boring, but after the break and the voice-sample it goes full-blown… This is very tight, progressive minimal – with a very funky and tribal groove… I really like the slow evolution of this track – the long harmonic pads are awesome, and the percussion fits in perfectly… Very nice track!

#1-07: Atmos – Catch From Scratch
Although a couple of edited versions of this track have already been released on the Metro De Luxe maxi-CD, this is the first time the extended 12†version is available on CD… This is basically progressive house – touched by Atmos (Tomasz Balicki)… Like many of his tracks from the time this is soaked in tribal percussion and has a very house-club nature… Smooth, sexy beach-carnival trance… Very tasty!

#1-08: Stress Assassin – Lextorp (Echölab Rmx)
Stress Assassin is Henrik Jonsson, and together with Atmos he’s also in Echölab who released this remix in 2001… It’s a combination really - of the dubby downbeat influences from Stress Assassin and the more progressive up-tempo style of Atmos… It’s Echölab! Pretty distorted bass and percussion – kinda industrial at times, but still with a certain smooth charm to it… Can get dull at times – but suddenly it pops back into effect and puts your speakers to the test… Decent track!

#1-09: The Source Experience – Roots FM (In The Box Mix)
Robert Leiner has been in the game since the goa hey-days – and he’s still active, though he’s shifted into more technoish territory now… This was released as the flip of a 2003 EP and it’s a pretty experimental tune with hints of world music, electro, house and euphoric trance… Not really my cup of java to be honest…

Phew! Let’s take a deep breath and put on CD2…

#2-01: 12 Moons – Invisible Light
Michael Andresen released the excellent album Solid State on Candyflip Records in 2004, but this track was released on an EP back in 2002… It’s very reminiscent of the first couple of tracks from Solid State in its very fluffy, uplifting nature… Definitely morning trance with progressive percussion – Very euphoric… Balearic even! It’s a little too well-polished for my taste I’m afraid… Decent track!

#2-02: Antoine - Flashback
Paul Lachenardière released this in 2002 amidst limited attention – at least from me… This is a hybrid really – between uplifting morning trance and sun-clad proggy grooves… The percussion work is cool, but besides from that it kinda lacks something to lift it from its average level…

#2-03: Tranan – Morning Scoop
Ahh – this is more like it… A bizarre raven-cry instantly sets the pace of this 2003 morning tune… Tranan is the solo-project of Jonas Pettersson from Logic Bomb… And the Logic-influence is definitely present in this track in all its goaish progginess… It’s kinda held back – never goes full-blown, but it’s a nice track to use in a set when slowly building towards a raging morning climax… The last couple of minutes are really intense and the sweet, tribal percussion is going to heighten the sweat-level on any dancefloor… Nice!

#2-04: Hux Flux – Lex Rex Perplex
“There is no question about that!†Dennis Tapper & Henrik Fietz released this little masterpiece on a 2000 EP… I’ve never owned actually owned it, but I’ve heard it at parties many times… This is full-blown goa-trance as it sounded in 2000 – with tons of trippy digital FX and twirling little melodies… The bassline doesn’t steal the picture, but rather lets the twisted percussion work carry the track… I’ve always been fond of the Hux Flux style, and this track is another good reason to be so… Extremely psychedelic – stellar track!

#2-05: Logic Bomb – Innocent Until Caught
“Then you have two universes running parallel to each other…†This track was released in 2001 by Jonas Bergvall from the highly acclaimed group Logic Bomb… Along with Hux Flux I consider them among the most important post-2000 Swedish psy-trance groups… This is very reminiscent of the style at the time – emphasis is not on the bassline, but on the many, many trippy digital FX the track is drenched in… I absolutely love digital-tribal acid-twirling tracks like that… And it sounds as fresh today as it did four years ago… Brilliant!

#2-06: Hux Flux – Reflux
Hux Flux again, but this time it’s Dennis Tapper on his own… This was on an EP released back in 1999 – but despite its age I don’t find it that dated… That’s really what I love about goa-trance – it has such a long life compared to more commercial types of electronic music… This is very reminiscent of the Hux Flux style from their debut album Cryptic Crunch – dark, deep pounding night-trance – with tons of bleeps, blobs and video-game FX… A very gloomy track, yet totally soaked in thick psychedelia… Oh, the memories!

#2-07: S>Range – Serial Overtypes
We’re shifting from goa-trance to progressive morning territory now… Anthony Sillfors released this track on a 2001 EP – and it still sounds awesome today… It’s kinda minimal, yet still very morning orientated… The break has already caused havoc on many trancefloors, and with CD-version I’m sure it will continue doing so for many years to come… Brilliance in simplicity!

#2-08: Psychlopedia – The Gurningpoint (Miranda Rmx)
The original version of The Gurningpoint was on the very first Spiral Trax EP released way back in 1997. Psychlopedia is a collaboration between DJ Anti himself and Miranda… This version – remixed by Miranda again, has never been released though… I haven’t heard the original so I can’t tell you what was changed, but what I can tell you is that this is a very dark, repetitive track with a phat bassline… And Miranda’s double-touch can be heard in the rounded melodies and the overall energy… I’m glad this oldie surfaced here… Nice little track!

#2-09: S>Range – Test Tones (Chromosome Rmx)
The original version of this track was released on Anthony Sillfors’ second album Space in 2003 – and this remix by Chromosome (Anders Nilsson & Serba Milojevic) was also featured on the 2004 Turbo Trance compilation Trance Scandinavian Express… This is a tasty track indeed – somewhere in between morning and progressive… Very uplifting and very floating – and especially the last part of the track after the break is nothing short of perfection! Brilliant!

Phew, what a long review! To my understanding this CD is priced only a little more expensive than a single CD – so you really get your moneys worth here… There are at least 9 really awesome tracks here, and it’s always nice to own classic pieces of music not previously available on CD…

Despite a couple of fillers, I like the majority of the tracks… I’m not sure the flow is perfect here, but then again it’s not really meant to be a journey – it’s just a collection of Spiral Trax goodies made available to own on CD… I like that concept, and I will not hesitate to recommend this compilation to fans of the Spiral Trax style as it sounded from 1997 to 2004… From old-school goa to rich, smooth progressive trance… Enjoy!

CD1: 3(!!), 4(!!), 6(!), 7
CD2: 4(!), 5(!!), 6, 7, 9(!!)


External links:
Spiral Trax: http://www.spiraltrax.com
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/6lfps
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/5zx62
Chaos Unlimited: http://tinyurl.com/477sh
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/6ahn7
Trance Shop: http://tinyurl.com/6tmjj
Wakyo: http://tinyurl.com/4qcot