Bio-Tonic – Divina (Solstice)

Posted in Reviews 2004 by - November 20, 2004




Biotonic’s third album is a game of two halves. They’re best at party-fuel dancefloor fullon, and where that muscle’s flexed on this album it shows a confident and different use of vocals: Anybody disillusioned with the infected mushroom school of meaningless depeche-mode-through-a-megaphone twaddle will be happy. At the same time though, their more experimental tunes are interesting, but largely unlistenable. It’s straight in and no messing with Green Dreams, a cute and energetic stomper with a nice cut-up vocal over the top, and a hook that draws you right into its deep lines. Blasting Plastic shows vocals that can work – there’s a hook (“the magic of electric”) which drives things along nicely, before several other vocal loops and flurries guide the tune along. Vocals used as another instrument – which is refreshing, as well as feeling like a return to something that worked in the past and still works now. Acid Explosion is a belter, dropping into a bassline that wouldn’t be out of place in a circa1988 acidhouse tune. It builds and builds and builds, into a final run that’s staggering, if a little short-lived. Terra Incognita may be the first (though I could be wrong) tune to combine scratching, Buddhist chanting, and platypus-style lysergic bouncing hobnobs. All very nice , but then things change. Divina Musica has a deep and staccato groove, not unlike an angrier Beat Hackers; Epic dream-house chord changes and synth washes may place this a little out of reach for the average case logic; Divina Commedia is an interesting, borderline puzzling tune – takes a while to get going, and when it does I’m not too sure it goes anywhere. We’re firmly back in classy fullon territory with Storm, which builds and builds until it really takes on a mind of its own, with movement and shift that’s indicative of sentience of some degree… But then: Humanimals, a breakbeat tune with abovementioned megaphone twaddle in abundance, saying something about humans turning into animals. Whatever. Finally Aroma Divina is an ambo, washed-out, pink-floyd-insulting snoozer to bring the record to a close. If you program your CD player to pick out tracks 1,2,3,4 and 7 you’re sorted: absolutely blinding, 110% refreshing fullon that should destroy dancefloors. As for the rest: experimentation in psytrance is something that should always be commended, but if it doesn’t work you may be better advised to start again.



This week’s psyreviews (17th Nov 2004) was dedicated to the memory of daniel davis, 1976-2004
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