Various – Africa In Trance – Microdot

Posted in Reviews 2002 by - May 26, 2002

New South African label Microdot has pulled out all the stops on this one, with a killer album assembled by DJ Jay-O, a chap who’s not only one of the nicest people in trance but evidently has a good ear for the killer tunes as well. This album has a dark edge, though not without humour.

Think Process and Synchro, that warped-shifting sound heavy on growl and percussion, and you’re almost there. Rabdom L’s What A Lag is a shining example of this, a nicely evolved feel with killer runs and bags of attitude. Shaft’s Virtucon is percussive and barmy, it really messes you about with its lysergic twists and turns and mad little melodies. The groove changes about eight times throughout the course of the tune, and the final section is a blistering outdoor frenzy. Artifakt’s Itchy has a slinky, wobbly bassline and cheeky snares to form the basis of the track, adds a sprinkling of warped-vox melodies, and builds into a huge rock marathon. Nice.

Damage’s Power Management reaches a new dimension in headbanger, Napalm Death trance – your mother certainly wouldn’t like it. Artifakt’s Nihilism is a killer: wicked 303’s, great samples, a major mental breakdown then it comes crashing back in with a lovely computer-malfunction bass riff, snares everywhere, and disjointed melodies cascade everywhere then fall down at the same time leaving a huge linear run to keep them guessing and stomping. Wicked.

Cara’s Drip closes the album, a sparse tune with some very digital drip sounds with a brooding melody that bubbles under the surface (and sounds amusingly like the Knight Rider theme.)

All in all, this is a top album featuring some truly manic moments, and if you like your trance dark, innovative, acidised and outdoors then look no further.

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