V/A - Uplifter Sessions Vol. 2


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Aalborg, Denmark
V/A – Uplifter Sessions Vol. 2


Format: CD
Artist: Various
Title: Uplifter Sessions Vol. 2
Label: Mental Arts, Germany
Distribution: Midijum Global Distribution
Cat. #: MA008
Date: July 30th
Year: 2004

Track listing:

01. 07’25†Klopfgeister – How to Become a Psychic
02. 07’55†Neelix - Relict
03. 08’38†Alfredo Garcia - Enlightenment
04. 08’53†Oszilla – Tantal Tactus
05. 07’55†Twelve Monkies – No DJ to Fcuk With!
06. 07’52†Oszilla - Halluneopren
07. 05’34†Audiomatrixx - Flavanoid
08. 08’42†Neelix - Alcatraz
09. 08’29†Alfredo Garcia – 51th State


Uplifter: Mental Arts compilation Vol. 2

To be honest, I knew next to nothing about the German prog label Mental Arts before this CD landed in my mailbox… And the first look at the track listing didn’t exactly help much… Well, I’d heard of Oszilla and Neelix before, but that was it… But hey, that should deprive my review of the most obvious preconceived opinions – which is a good thing! Anyway, this compilation show-cases some of the new German prog-artist signed to Mental Arts along with a couple of “old-timersâ€â€¦ The whole thing is compiled by DJ Joyrider who also compiled the first Uplifter compilation released last year… Adelante!

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: [137 bpm] First newbie is Klopfgeist - showing us how to become a psychic… ;o) The intro is calm and floating – organic even… But slowly more and more percussion is added along with some subtle psychedelic FX – and before you know it, the track is in full motion… Tribal, percussion driven, atmospheric prog-track… Minimal at times, funky at others… I dig the “reverb-sound†that is present here (and in most progressive trance tracks at the moment)… Very tasty! Not a bad debut for the knocking spirit!

#02: [142 bpm] Nelix released his debut album on Mental Arts last year, and has also released stuff on YSE Records and Phonokol… Relict starts out slow, and then a persistent, boring analogue bassline is introduced… But luckily, Neelix adds enough organic elements and funky percussion to make the whole thing groovier as it progresses… I like how he plays around with the listener – clever use of driving percussion… It builds all the way through… And to top it of, a couple of independence quotes from the movie ‘The Patriot’ …Ok track!

#03: [136 bpm] For undisclosed reasons, this tune starts out with corny rave samples from a British flick called “Saving Graceâ€â€¦ I’ve never heard of Mr. Garcia before, but it sure is well-polished… The style is somewhat housey, leaning towards tech… Not bad, but not very psy either… Decent track!

#04: [138 bpm] Ah, this is more like it… Andreas Weber aka Oszilla – is best known for his Psysolation/Insolation releases… And we get some psy-influenced progressive trance here… Again, very well-polished – with distinctive house-influences… But it gets harder as the track progresses… The second half of the track is definitely my fav’e… nicht revolutionär, aber gut dennoch!

#05: [139 bpm] Twelve Monkies is well-known in and around the Hamburg trance-community – but this is my first encounter with him/her/them!?... This is the “funny†track, packed with all kinds of lengthy sci-fi/Agent Smith/etc samples… The track itself is on the more progressive side - guitar-driven with a touch of psychedelic acid… If this had +10 bpm it could have easily been on a Pavarti-compilation… Nice track, I like the oddball approach… Word!

#06: [134 bpm] The 2nd Oszilla track is the slowest on the compilation… Why didn’t put this as the first track to secure a smoother flow!? This is percussion track – with male vocals/sinning… But somehow Mr. Weber manages to squeeze a little psy into this track – especially towards the end where the percussion is kinda cool… To be honest, I hated this track the first time I heard it… I was a real stinker, but somehow it has grown on me… It’s just not enough – sadly it never reaches an above-average standard…

#07: [140 bpm] Combine the talent of Magnetrixx + Audiomatic and you have Audiomatrixx… First Buzzmonx did it – and now Audiomatrixx… Seems that the double ZZ’s are the hip thing to do in German electronic collaborations at the moment… After a nice floating intro and some Halflife samples we are treated to a fine, deep bassline… Steadily pumping alongside some twisted congas and jolly, floating melodies… This is very well-produced, modern progressive trance a la 2004… Well done Audiomatrix! Only flaw this track has: it’s too short!

#08: [140 bpm] Neelix doesn’t waste time on his 2nd track – it launches straight into a kicking, flat bassline accompanied by random bleeps and twists – and the mandatory movie/game samples… The bassline is a little to anonymous for my taste, but besides from that, the track is quite ok…

#09: [140 bpm] Final track is the second instalment of Alfredo Garcia and this has a somewhat darker, more pounding beat… I’d even go as far as calling the bassline phat – it definitely gets my toe wiggling… Sweet tribal-like percussion and nice echoing FX… Very nice track!

I don’t know what to make of this compilation… On one side, it’s a collection of nice, driving “nu-school†progressive trance tracks – but on the other side, it’s not really the huge, progressive monster compilation I could have hoped for… I mean, it’s not really revolutionary – but it’s not bad either…Somewhere in between I think…

All in all: Uplifter vol. 2 passed the test – without being ostentatious! However, there is a handful of lovely tracks here, and if you can handle cross-over material ~ if you like house music and progressive trance with a touch of psy-trance – you’ll like this compilation… But open-mindedness towards genre-defying music is a definite must to appreciate this compilation…;o)


Favourites: 1, 5, 7 (!), 9 (!)


External links:
Mental Arts: https://products.mental-arts.com/index.cgi?project=uplifter_vol2 (Audio samples available!)
Medijum Global Distribution: http://www.midijum-records.de

Should be available shortly @:

And you’ll be able to buy an mp3 version @: