Recent Stuff Roundup

Posted in Reviews 2009 by - July 01, 2009

Terrafractyl, Principles of Flight, Abakus, Jocid


So I’m not supposed to be reviewing stuff that’s already been released; psyreviews is supposed to be forward-looking.

Well, that’s the idea anyway: in practice, by the time I get around to reviewing something that’s been sent my way it’s often so old it’s got whiskers growing out of it. Just like in 2001 when we proclaimed "it’s on With The Beatles that you finally sit up and realise – these boys are going to be huge."





Terrafractyl’s Chrysalis (Sundance) is lucky to get a mention here because, let’s face it, I can’t think of any two words that are harder to spell.


T-E-R-R-A-F-R-A-C-T-Y-L. C-H-R-Y-S-A-L-I-S.  See what I mean?

Anyway, good album, even if large portions of the community know it as Chrissulis by Terry Fractal. Those strong Sundance morning melodies are in strong evidence, and the playful technicalities on the production work well with the musical structure, to the point where a less intelligent party person could be convinced that they are listening to music made by elves. 

Comparison’s with Talpa and early Misted Muppet are hard to shake, and it would be fair to say that if you don’t like those acts then you ought to steer clear. At times there’s too much going on; several ideas might congregate and take over while you’re still busy enjoying the last one — but I concede that this might be intentional. 

What sets Chrissie’s Lisp apart is a sort of musicality that’s not been seen before, or if it has been seen before, then it’s not been seen for a long time, at least not by me, a point which is lost in the midst of this, let’s face it, dreafully-constructed sentence.

Terrafractyl’s strength might just prove to be his ability to combine groove, production, inspiration and funk with a tonal sensibility that adds another element to your dancefloor experience, another hook in your brain to keep you focused. Recommended.  






Principles of Flight‘s Chaos Opera (Timecode) does pretty much what it says on the tin, which is a baffling statement seeing as I promised myself I’d never say "does what it says on the tin" ever again. 

The interesting thing here is the combination between balls-to-the-wall nightmare peak trance, and gentleness. Really. One minute you’re soothed into your favourite easy chair with a mug of cocoa, next thing you know you’re flung into a dark forest with tree-shaking bass kicking all around you, and you’e not able to find your hands, let alone your car keys. 

They do the dark-psy thing well, but it’s still dark psy. Which means, while I like this record I can see few times when I’d actually listen to it. But then I’m an old fart who more or less thinks that the genre peaked with Azax vs Toxic’s Rain which I think was about four years ago, although I expect someone will send an email telling me it’s closer to five. 

As night music goes, it’s a strong release. A very strong release; there are incredible moments which, after all, is what it’s all about. If conventional nighttime psy can be likened to banging nails into a wall, then Chaos Opera can be likened to banging nails into a velvet-cladded wall, studded with diamonds, while drinking some seriously expensive wine out of nice, heavy glasses while being winked at by your personal choice of playboy centrefold you remember from your early adolescence. 







I thoroughly enjoyed JocidThe Machine (Pixan), possibly the only good album to have ever been sent out by Electro Public’s "spunk in a cup" marketing and promotions operation. 

The vibe is, I would say, slightly to the darker edge of things (although listening to it right after Principles of Flight, I can’t help but think it sounds like Acker Bilk doing a Huey Lewis cover with Herb Alpert, and yes this is a sentence designed to make anyone under the age of 20 50 fuck off.)

There is an oldskool marvel here, a sort of return to the source (ahem) of analogue, caustic acid sounds. It bustles; there’s an organic cacophany that builds and eases, and builds again — add this movement to lovably crunchy sounds and the recipe is a sure-fire winner. 






Abakus’ album We Share The Same Dreams (Modus) is, of course, completely made of girls.It’s wet, poncy music, limp-wristed stuff created by the kid at school who sat in the corner quietly. 

Several tracks nick the drum patterns off Billie Jean (which is fine, as Abakus seemed predisposed to this from day one.) In addition, one of the tracks sounds like the theme song to Burnout 3

Bloody fantastic.

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