10 PRINT “CRAP”
20 GOTO 10
“Theory Of Hype” is actually fairly apt as names go; the publicity machine of the world’s biggest label group was in overdrive on this one once again, proclaiming that this is “an astonishing blend of atmospheric melodies… that will fill your mind and soul, but will also pump your feet to the max.” This is, of course, not true.
Opening track Wicked manages to place ticks in all three columns relating to shit psytrance: tinny high-end NRG stabs, bad vocals, and more stopstarts than the number nine bus. Add to this the addition of sped-up rasta samples lifted off a reggae samplebank, and you’re left with something exceedingly underwhelming.
Virtual Space has some massive, massive melodies and as such – for better or for worse – will tear dancefloors apart. Hard Questions has a wholly disgusting breakdown that really has to be heard to be believed; add to this some god awful guitar (never fucking heard that before guys) and synth programming that isn’t so much one handed as one-fingered and the result is – again – exceedingly underwhelming.
The lumpy, wandering Moon Is A God gives way to the completely nondescript In Flames; One Year After has some interesting melodic touches and, for once, doesn’t go boiling over the edge, but one half-good track does not an album make. Just Asking Remix is spoiled by the vocals, the rolling bassline, the derivative sounds and the shocking similarity in flavour to everything else on this album, but apart from that it’s the best piece of music ever written ever ever ever.
Only the title track tacked on at the end really stands up on its own two feet, and even that sounds like something Talamasca left off Musica Divinorum.
In short, no surprises. Basic will be appearing at many a festival-near-you, it’s the sort of sound people love and hence I would expect their touring schedule to get a lot busier on the back of this.
What is perhaps most significant is that where we would comment in previous years that an artist album was completely unidimensional and formulaic, lately acts have turned this stagnance into an art form. And this is certainly something Basic are guilty of.
Still, at the end of the day, it’s dance music we’re talking about here and hence nothing lasting, significant, or important. Make of that last sentence what you will.