Los Angeles-based Quadra has caused considerable ripples across the global trance scene with this album, showcasing a sound that’s simultaneously light and deep, full of flurries and surprises. Become Aware kicks off with a nice, airy groove with plenty of spaces between the sounds. The cute production rounds off a bouncy bassline, and the movement in the filters is reminiscent of the old goa sounds of yesteryear. External Pleasure has a busier bassline which picks up clatters and stabs, gaining energy and momentum as it goes, and displaying Quadra’s skill in creating a track with unquestionable atmosphere and drive. The Tunnel is ultra-shivery morning trance; beer in one hand, spliff in the other. After the break, it picks up more energy, more buzz and an anthemic synthline to drive it all onward and upward. Epicycle is a standout, a substantial bottomend is coupled with a lysergic hook, that pulls you right in before foaming over at the top like a rabid, shirtless doofer with a glowstick in every orifice. Nice. Space Flights is centred around a huge breakdown which gives way to a graceful-yet-gnarly run, and Function of Color (sic) is an irresistible call-to-the-dancefloor. The messier, busier fullon of Energy Transport is a large step away from the breezier opening tracks, while Stimulated is proper peak time malarkey. The “I’m on ecstasy” sample is unlikely to please those who believe that the current wave-after-wave pattern of doof is more pilltrance than psychedelic, but you can’t doubt its effectiveness as a positive, kaleidoscopic stomper. Serotonia is more melodic, suited again to the morning dancefloors, with a popcorn-style hook progressing into a shivery final run with a cutsaw synth over schlumpy noises and topend tickles. Obligatory downtempo closer The Ecstasy Of Revelation is perfectly competent, and sort of sums up the feeling you get from the whole album. It’s perfectly decent, very well-produced, and delightfully put together. But after a complete listen, you can’t help but feel like there’s something missing: that non-specific “timelessness” that keeps you coming back time and time again.
This week’s psyreviews (17th Nov 2004) was dedicated to the memory of daniel davis, 1976-2004