Trauma – TB-O-Not-2B (Agitato)

Posted in Reviews 2005 by - May 01, 2005




Agitato (Israel)


If you think there’s not been enough raw 303 power in psytrance lately, the idea of this will delight you. If you think there’s been too many dodgy vocals in Israeli trance lately, this will utterly abhor you. Dance With Me opens up with a very infected groove, which Trauma finds hard to shake. Think Beat Hackers with more 303 and you’re there. Just as the 303 builds and you think you’re in for a tasty drop, this typical Israeli “depeche mode through a megaphone” vocal comes in and wrecks it for everybody: “now you dance with me, this is my guarantee”. I mean, what?! On to Step Off, a twistier groove with the acid firmly centre stage, more fizzling around than escalating. By the peak though, its retreated from any brave novelty and retreated to the realm of the predictable.

By third track Revolution, the formula is already becoming dull: the post-Infected groove is quickly tiresome, the Beat Hackers have taken care of this quite nicely. The title track is worth a listen only for the hilarious Israeli vocalist doing an eminem impression (really), and the way it makes you shake your fist at the heavens and curse Infected for not doing a Sex Pistols and disbanding when they were still good. Traumatic works pretty well by all accounts: nice layering, and a better energy that’s only possible because you can tell he’s held back on things a little. And then more shit vocals come in.

Gurumania is by far the worst track I have heard in such a long time. It’s everything you hate about the new Infected sound, but turned up to 11. And with the same chords as the Knight Rider theme tune. The acoustic guitar at the break sounds like it was sampled from a dodgy Poison album track, and the legions of air-guitar-friendly heavy metal guitars coming in makes you want to slit your wrists, but in a bad way. And then the vocals: “This is the way so don’t go away we’re going to take you away to the dancefloor or something” under a sickening series of euro stabs, then “come on everybody! Come on everybody” then fucking hell I’m going home. Not to the bar, not to the chillout, not even to the toilet. Fucking home. And I’m not stopping to get my coat on the way.

On Wide Moment he remembers he can use an arpeggiator, and so he does, with infected chords over a backbone that’s a straight rip of Deeply Disturbed; Realistic Drugs is cliché-ridden but at least has individuality – this is a hint at what he can do if he really evolves the sound, instead of using the same presets all the time. Breaking the mould, there’s a chillout track at the end, The Master Is Asleep. Also breaking the mould for an Israeli band, this features girl-who-can’t-say-no Michelle Adamson. This is actually one of her better contributions, a pretty nice song, but it’s wrecked by his Fisher Price instrumentation and it makes it sound like it’s a fucking Dido song.

I cant even be bothered to write a conclusion for this, because I have the feeling I’ve already put more thought into this review than Trauma did for the whole album.

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