Xavier Morel – Mode-S (Horizon)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - December 07, 2006


A very hot property this. Psy-heads may not know this chap by name, but chances are he’s sitting in your CD collection already; he’s worked with Genetic, Eat Static and Juno Reactor, he’s compiled the two mighty Black compilations on Solstice this year, and he guests on the Koxbox album.

The common denominator on the more recent appearances is, essentially, what Mode-S is all about: tecchy, metallic trance that builds subtly, morphs violently, and jaw-drops daw-droppingly.

It’s essentially a load of music that I don’t know, but I now know that I probably should; the dynamic, intricate layering of psytrance has been preserved and this raw, split-level techno has been dusted all over the top of it. The Tony Rohr remix of X-Dream’s We Interface makes so much more sense than the original; stripped-down and paranoid, the elements that are retained from the original have more impact via not being shoved down your throat.

Speedy J & C Liebing’s Eventide is disturbing, and the midsection peaks with a smashing run of O’s Atomit, Steven Bodzin’s Tron and Heckmann’s Shadow Dancer.

See, these names are new to me. Which makes reviewing it a handsome challenge.

The closest familiar ballpark to this would probably be the Solstice Black compilations with less of the psy bassline; or X-Dream’s last album with more subtle poke. And if that’s no good you can always check the preview at Xavier Morel’s Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/xaviermorel.

Oh, and the fact that it’s a Japanese import gives you extra trainspotter points with yer mates.



Only released in Japan as far as I know, but worldwide delivery is available here.

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