Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bionic Visions by phil.harmoniq

Let me start by saying that this is an EP, but since there is a respectable ten tracks in there, I don't feel bad reviewing the album. I am not a big fan of the EP format because, one, I don't think there's enough material and, second, there's usually a full length album that's gonna replace the EP in the near future (although it doesn't always happen). This release by phil.harmoniq is on the uptempo side of things and, lo and behold, it has vocals (on selected tracks). I think it's a nice change from the usual downtempo instrumentals that seem to rule here.

Track 1, "Just Ask", is a nice little gem of a tune. It's fast and catchy, a great way to get things going. Track 2, "USA", apparently features a guest vocalist (I think), named Slowriter. It's a bit underwhelming at the beginning but things get better when the vox stops and the tune really gets going. Track 3, "Transistor", is probably more dance oriented and not that interesting (just like track 4). Track 5, "Mile Away", features Slowriter once again, and this time, the tune delivers with a very catchy chorus. Track 7, "Feel the Same", is very dance oriented. I feel that the track gets better as time moves on, it gets really good after the 3:20 minute mark when the harmonies between the two vocalists kinda kick in. Track 8, "Skylight", also gets better with time. It gets to standout track status after the 2:30 minute mark. The last two tracks left me wanting for more, as I think there's great potential there.

This is a great house dance album. You've got some nice catchy tunes and it's nice to hear tracks that evolve and go places that happen to be nice. It doesn't hurt that the production is top notch.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Black Cake 2 by HEXSYSTEM

This release by HEXSYSTEM is probably less melodic than the other albums reviewed on this very blog, but, after a few complete listens, I figured it had its place because it's well produced and quite enjoyable to listen to. The tracks are for the most part downtempo with some typically spacey ambient sounds and well crafted drums. The opening track, "Shapes", gives a good idea of what to expect. The first seven tracks are good but a bit in the same mold. Track 4, "Last Try", and track 6, "Latency", are probably the best of the bunch. Track 8, "Crossing", brings a nice change of pace with its dark and crunchy "progressive rock" vibe. This is a standout track in my mind. Track 10, "Saw", has a pleasant industrial feel, if there is such a thing. Track 11, "Television", is another standout track. The percussion work, once it gets going, is outstanding. This is my fave track in the album.

This a rather well stocked album with 14 tracks, most of which are of the long variety. Some tracks are quite forgettable but there are a few really outstanding tracks that make listening to the whole album really worthwhile.