Various – Empty Hand (Trancelucent Productions)

Posted in Reviews 2002 by - June 09, 2002

 

Bit different this one. It’s sort of a concept album, revolving around the ideas associated with the disciplines of Karate (which, literally, means Empty Hand.)

Part of this ethos comes from Trancelucent’s label owner and all-round amazing chap Homsy, who’s from Japan and living in Israel. So this kind of mashup between the Japanese martial arts and cutting-edge Israeli trance is more than just wicked music with good imagery : there’s a tangible flow to all of this that somehow seems to encompass plenty of elements of the martial arts movements at its heart.

Perplex kicks things off with Empty Hand, a deceptively dormant and smoothly laid out tune that picks up dark pads and atmospheric tweaks, up to a breakdown that’s pure cinematic fright night bliss. Side Effect’s Kata gets things shifted up a gear in good style – and what a corker. Right from the off you know this is going to be a blistering tune, and the perfect blend of melody and snarl really lives up to its expectations. About half way thorough a wicked serpentine acidised line comes in, raising pulses and getting those bodies moving in proper style, with the melodies coming back in for a truly worldbeating trance moment.

Alo Malo & Vortex step in with Distorted Reality, a nicely bubbly piece with plenty of character, and some pretty chunky guitars that you’ll either love or hate as the gap between psy and metallica grows ever narrower. Misted Muppets’ Human Beings is pure devilish fun, with good samples, bags of attitude and a mechanical, don’t-give-a-f*** melody that twists and contorts while the beats mash you into submission.

The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same from Evil Drug Lords is more than a tune with an absurdly long title. It’s a slomo, downpitched slinky little beast, with a playful acid line over tight bass and smile-making squelches over the top. Closing with Maze’s epic and beautiful downtempo The Final Ki-Yay, it’s a nice and meditative end to an album that really makes you think.

There’s a nice cohesion here that a lot of compilations seem to lack, and a busting amount of thought and effort has gone into laying these down. Class.

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