Panick – Lab-O-Matic (Neurobiotic)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - May 30, 2006


Released against the backdrop of gushing fanfare, Panick’s second album is, to be fair, streets ahead of his first, which psyreviews couldn’t quite see the attraction of. If you like that fluid, tinkly sort of daytime psytrance then this is for you. And while it’s clever, it doesn’t quite fire on all the cylinders it tries to.

Blind Sensations stands out as one of the good tunes: plenty of sounds all over the place and good general energy, but for the most part it just doesn’t come together well enough. Throughout the album the ideas seem to be borrowed, the movement is often a little too deliberate. Whereas for instance the Commercial Hippies might ease off the pedal to let the music breathe, Panick seems to be constantly trying to coax and prod and pull and push. This means you end up with a result that’s well-produced, with some nice ticklish moments, but that seems to lack the core soul and lose-yourself danceability that we might have hoped for.

There are good moments, don’t get me wrong, but too much of this sounds very underwhelming – it sometimes moves the head, sometimes moves the feet, but rarely moves both. Chronik Candy, for instance, opens well, then goes a bit stopstart and loses its way – frustrating. The more cohesive tracks like Cap Zion and Incsoc are decent, but are formulaic and sound somewhat hackneyed. Jibjab is an interesting retread of a largely Gamma Goblins-esque mushroom trip, and only Manic Miner is a worthy track on its own two feet – released last year on the Sonica compilation. No doubt internet forums will be ablaze with how great this is, the dancefloors at festivals this summer will go crazy, and people will send me emails saying I’m wrong.

I understand that it’s an exceptionally highly-evolved example at of what it is. And I mean that: it is exceptionally highly-evolved. It just doesn’t grab you. In the humble opinion of the present reviewer, Lab-o-Matic is disposable.


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